The original London Porter was a smoked beer which utilized exclusively British Brown malt, smoked over Hornbeam. There was until fairly recently a general consensus that it was in its original form a mixture of a ‘mild’ beer (actually a ‘fresh’ or ‘green’ beer) and a ‘stale’ (or mature beer with sub-acetic ‘sour’ flavor).
Depending on what you believe in from threads in the forums, “dough balls” muck with your efficiency. Think about the outer surface of the dough ball as a protective shell and insulation. What it’s effectively doing is keeping the hot liquor from mingling with a portion of your grain. Read about how to avoid dough balls in your mash.
Before long, any homebrewer with a little yard space is going to start eyeing up the corners of his or her yard and thinking about where to plant some hops. Gardening for your homebrew is a great extension of the hobby, and even with a plant as big as hop plants, you don’t need as much space as you think!