Saturday, 21 March 2009

Lovibond 1864 - 1865

I was very excited when I got home yesterday. A very special book had arrived. A brewing log of my very own. It's from the Henry Lovibond brewery and is for the brewing year 1864 - 1865.

Funnily enough, it's a brewery I've already written about. Now I should be able to add some real OG's, instead of just guesses.

I haven't had chance to look through it properly yet. Matt also arrived for a brief visit yesterday. I couldn't ignore him to pore over a dirty old book. ("Ugh, what's that dad? It's disgusting. It looks like a dog's crapped on it." My kids have no sense of romance. I'd call the book authentically distressed.

But I have spotted one fact of note while swiftly flicking through the pages. The Porter grist.

In "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, (pages 499-501.), the author gives 6 different Porrter grists, using various combinations of black, brown, amber and pale malts. Here they are:

Grist 1 was the cheapskate's favourite and produced a beer with the taste of liquorice. Grist 2 made an ordinary Porter, though better in quality than from grist 1. Grist 3, with a portion of amber, was better. Grist 4 was better still and in common use outside London. Grist 5 was excellent, but best of all was grist 6. That's the only one that contains no pale malt.

The grists I've seen in the brewing records for Barclay Perkins, Whitbread, Truman and Reid are similar to grists 2, 3 and 4. None has more than 20% amber malt.

Can you guess what I found in the Lovibond Porter logs? That's right, a grist of just amber and black malt. I'd been starting to wonder if anyone had really used it. Well, yes they did.


Anonymous said...

Ron, I thought the attached might be of interest in pondering what degrees of palate sweetness might be produced by the different grists you showed using the typical attenuation rates of the day for each style:,M1

In tables VIII and IX, the author, a Dr. Jones, gives a rendering in ounces of the sugar content of a wide range of contemporary beers (1850`s). (All his data appear self-generated and not from Brande if I read the article correctly).

I wonder how this sugar content compares with some of the 1800`s porter recreations you have done and with modern porter and stout.


Anonymous said...

I should have said Dr. Jones rendered (as I read him more closely) the sugar content of the beers in grams per ounces.


Anonymous said...

OK, I know the malts were different at the time, and you've written extensively about brown malt, but do we know more about amber malt? More importantly for me, do we know a decent modern equivalent? The amber malt I've seen here wouldn't work as a base malt, but recipes like Tizard's Grist 5 and particularly 6 are really intriguing. Have to love those dusty old books with all their tables.....

Anyone have any ideas?

Tim said...


The Dingeman's Aromatic malt is a lightly kilned malt that could be considered amber malt, although I'm not sure how close it would taste to 19th century amber malt. It is 17-21 Lovibond and minimum 30 Lintner.

"This malt can make up to 100% of the grain bill, but it is fairly low in surplus diastatic enzymes."

Ron Pattinson said...

Bill, amber malt varied hugely in colour, spanning pretty much the whole gap between pale and brown.

The best beer I ever brewed was a Dark Mild where I accidentally used amber malt instead of pale malt. It ended up more like a Porter.