Monday, 11 February 2008

More more Ales

I almost forgot to tell you about the remaining Ales described in "A Cyclopaedia of Six Thousand Practical Receipts, and Collateral Information" by Arnold James Cooley, 1854 (pages 44 - 45).

ALE, WELSH. Take 3 quarters of the best pale malt and 25 lbs. of hops ; turn on the first liquor at 178°. Mash for an hour and a half, and stand two hours. Turn on second liquor at 190°, and stand two hours. Boil an hour and a half; pitch the tun at 62°, and cleanse at 80°, using salt and flour. After the second mash, turn on for table beer at 150°. Mash three quarters of an hour, and stand two hours.
Not much of note here. Except the 8 and a bit pounds of hops per quarter, for comparative purposes.

ALE, WHITE, (DEVONSHIRE.) Boil together 12 gallons of pale ale-wort, 1 handful of hops, and 4 or 5 lbs. of grouts; cool, and add of yeast 3 lbs When it is in a state of lively fermentation, bottle in strong stone half-pints ; well cork them down, and wire them. Remarks. This is much drunk in some parts of Devonshire. It effervesces when opened.
This is a bizarre local style that eventually died out towards the end of the 19th century. If I recall correctly, grouts was a prepared mixture of malt flour and water that had been left to start spontaneously fermenting. Zythophile has written in more detail of this strange, extinct beer.

ALE, WINDSOR. This ale is brewed from the best pale malt and hops. Turn on the first water at 180°; mash 1.25 hour, and stand 1 hour; boil 1 hour. Turn on the second liquor at 190°; stand 3/4 of an hour; boil 3 hours. Turn on the third liquor at 165°; mash 3/4 of an hour; stand 3/4 of an hour. Pitch the tun at 60°; cleanse at 80° on the third day. Skim as soon as a close yeasty head appears, until the yeast ceases to rise, then rouse in 4 lb. of hops per quarter.
This, again, I've included mainlt to demonstrate hopping levels. At 4 pounds per quarter, this is the same as specified for Scotch Ale.

ALE, YORKSHIRE OAT. The malt used is made from oats of the white sort, and dried with coke. Mash 1 quarter of ground malt with 44 gallons of cold soft water, and let it stand 12 hours; then draw off the wort, and infuse therein for 3 hours 2 lbs. of hops, well rubbed between the hands; next strain; tun it, and work it briskly with yeast for two or three days ; cleanse, and in ten days it will be fit to bottle. It drinks very smooth, brisk, and pleasant, but will not keep. It looks very much like white wine.
This is another odd one. It sounds as if the hops aren't being boiled, but just added to the wort and left top stand for a few hours. At only two pounds per quarter, there aren''t a great deal of hops, either. I can't imagine that the final beer could have been very bitter. There's no mention of barley malt, either. Can you mash with oats alone? Does it have the enzymes? Hang on a minute. There's no mention of mashing, either. Just standing the oat malt in cold water.


brendan said...

There had to be some mistake or miscommunication about that last recipe, since you need to at least gelatinize the oats to release their starches and then you need some source of enzyme for conversion. Even so, I have read it somewhere but have no personal experience to back it up, that grists of over 30% oats produce a beer that is hazy, astringent and grainy.

Ron Pattinson said...

I must admit it doesn't seem to me that there are enough steps in that recipe. Isn't a just a description of cold porridge?

I'll see if I can find any other sources that mention it.

Ron Pattinson said...

Here's an evocative description of Oar Ale:

"n the evening, the men filled our house, bringing with them some jars of a liquor they called chica, made of barley-meal, and not very unlike our oat-ale in taste, which will intoxicate those who drink a sufficient quantity of it, for a little has no effect. As soon as the drink was out, a fresh supply of victuals was brought in; and in this manner we passed the whole time we remained with these hospitable Indians."

"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Arranged in Systematic Order" by Robert Kerr, 1824, page 383.

Tom (homebrewindonegal) said...

Seen a few of these recipes recently myself. Have you tried any? I'm going to try and make the oat ale exactly as described this summer.