Monday, 16 March 2009

Conditioning in the cask

It seems that breweries trying to skip proper conditioning in of their beer in the pub is nothing new.

This 1894 advert from Overton & Gibbon makes clear that they weren't taking shortcuts:

"Nothing artificial is used in these Ales in the shape of Finings (in order to produce early brilliancy), consequently the Ales will require about three days to become spontaneously bright. THESE ALES WILL NEVER ACIDIFY."

There really isn't anything new under the sun, is there? It sounds depressingly similar to the modern practice of racking beer pretty much bright into casks so it can be sold almost as soon as it hits the cellar floor.


rs said...

Ron, I hope you write a real (old skool, ya know, with ink) book at some point, it's hards to beat stuff like this...

Gary Gillman said...

I wonder, Ron, if they may have done a rough filtration or a centrifuge procedure to allow residual flock to settle down so quickly.

Commercial brewing in Scotland early on (mid-1800's) adopted a brewery-conditioned model and I always wondered why. Perhaps the climate there did not allow for use of finings in the English way.


Fat,m said...

Nothing new under the sun indeed. I note the brewer was happy to spout bollocks in the usual manner, this time about the health giving properties of his ale.

Ron Pattinson said...

Gary, they weren't brewery conditioning. This was cask-conditioned beer.

I heard from a landlord in the mid-1970's who was an S & N tenant that Younger's cask beers weren't fined. Maybe it was a Scottish thing.

Gary Gillman said...

I think the Scots for whatever reason wanted to send a clear beer to the pubs. It wasn't initially pasteurized of course (say around 1850), so it wasn't what much later was called keg or container beer. It would have been similar to most current draft North American microbrewery beer.

That English beer was not such a beer because clearly it had some yeast presence but I speculate that most of the yeast had been removed at the brewery. If that was not so, they must have had a way to make it drop bright so fast without finings. Maybe they used something else that was new at the time, but I'd infer a rough filtration of some kind was done at the brewery, which brings it close to non-pasteurised, brewery-conditioned beer.