Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Logs - lesson 1

You know, I'd love to research the last 200 years of British beer history single-handedly. Just my idea of fun. But I have to admit the odd ray of reason to the darkened chamber I inhabit. I'd never have the time.

I've already told you who to locate and visit an archive. Next step is interpreting what you find. It's not that hard. I managed to pick it up without help. You'll get a helping hand.

Here we go then. Below is a log from Kidd & Co.

As these things go, it's pretty straightforward. Maybe I should let you have a go yourselves first, to see what you can work out. One thing I feel obliged to tell you, is that the gravities are given in pounds per barrel. It's the proverbial chunk of urine to calculate SG from that, but you need to know the formula. Which is

sg = (lbs barrel * 2.77) + 1000

So 20 pounds per barrel is (20 * 2.77 ) + 1000. Or 1055.4º.

In the log above, see if you can find the SG in pounds per barrel. As there's a full fermentation record, it's easy to find the FG, or at least racking gravity.

The mashing details are pretty clear. You'll see there are 3 phases to the mash. Mash, underlet, sparge.

The ingredients aren't too hard. I'll tell you that Qrs means Quarters. That's around 336 pounds of pale malt, 250 pounds or so of brown or black malt. In terms of sugar, a quarter is 2 cwt (2 hundredweight or 224 pounds). It's quite simple.

Did I mention there was a prize? Or two. It depends on my mood. And what you don't mind getting lumbered with. It's my books I'm talking about. But back to the matter in hand.

Yes, it's a sort of, help familiarise yourself with brewing records study aid sort of quiz. With a prize. Or two.

Look at the Kidd log in the image and try to answer these questions:

What was the OG
The FG
fermentation temperature
length of fermentation

The ingredients in pounds and what each is
Unusual ingredients
pounds of hops per barrel of beer
pounds of hops per quarter

mash temperatures and duration
length of boil

anything else you can see.

One point for each one of the above. Highest score gets a copy of "Trips!". The book I haven't got around to releasing yet. Except to Mike. I gave him a copy on Saturday. And there may be a second prize. "Numbers!", perhaps. No-one's got one of those. Except me.


Oblivious said...

Sorry to be off topic, but they use Spanish juice, the Americans are all knocking out about it for authenticate colonial porters. Any information on how common it was use on this side of the pond?

Joshekg said...

The OG was 1062.6 (22.6*2.77+1000)
The FG was 1018.8 (6.8*2.77+1000)
Appx 5.7% abv.
The peak fermentation temperature was 69.5 degrees F.

Length of fermentation was 8 days, brewed on Feb 6th and racked on Feb 14th.

With 336 lbs per quarter of malt and 224 lbs per quarter of sugar the following was mashed:

336 lbs black malt
336 lbs crystal malt
336 lbs brown malt
2016 lbs Fine English (pale malt)
1008 lbs of fine Californian (pale malt)
1008 lbs of ? cannot decipher script
336 lbs of caramel (sugar)
112 lbs of DME? (dry malt extract)

2.28 lbs of hops per barrel (67 barrels)
9 lbs of hops per quarter

Liquor was treated with 14 lbs of table salt (NaCl) and 9 lbs was added to the copper.

Mashed in with 20 barrels of 162F liquor for a mash temperature of 146. Let mash for 1/2 hour. Underlet with 6 barrels of 198F liquor for a mash temperature of 149F. Let mash for 1.5 hours.

Sparge, with 65 barrels of 165F liquor.

96 barrels was drawn off and boiled for 2.5 hours. Not sure how many boilers they had but the note that there were 2 burners on may mean it was a vigorous boil. Wort was reduced by 30% to 67 barrels.

1/8 pint of cytol per barrel (which I assume is some sort of yeast nutrient)was added to the fermentation tun.

On the 2nd to last and last day of fermentation they added 1/2 lb irish moss, 1 lb spanish juice (liquorice or sweet wood) and 448 lbs of cane sugar to the tun. Have not heard of adding liquorice before.

Produced 51.25 barrels at racking.

Barm said...

DME in 1917? Doesn't seem very likely. I don't know when spray malt was invented but I have always assumed it was significantly more recently. And why would a commercial brewery be using it anyway? It must be something else. I think the first two letters are WM... ?

Barm said...

The sixth item in the list looks like "Budgett" to me. In 2004 there was still a sugar merchant in the UK called James Budgett Sugars. Possibly they supplied brewing sugar at one time?

Ron Pattinson said...

Joshekg, very impressive. You've picked up pretty well all the relevant details. You've won a brand new copy of "Trips!". Send me your address via the email addredd on my website:

The malt entry you couldn't read is Budgett. From it's position and the amount, I assume it's a type of English pale malt.

I think it's WME, not DME. It's some sort of malt extract, though I'm not sure what the WME stands for.

The addition of cane sugar the two days before racking is weird. It's 2 cwt (224 lbs) on Monday 12th and 1 cwt (112 lbs) on Tuesday 13th. Which means it's tricky working out the real FG. I'm not quite sure what this was for, whether it was simply primings or intended to sweeten the finished beer.

These are some other points of interest in the log.

The hops were 50% 1916 Knight Cy (nor sure what that is) and 50% Fordham Kents.

The yeast used was 90 pounds from gyle 436 of BB (probably Best Bitter or Bitter Beer).

The section entitled "Excise Entries" is calculating the number of gallons at standard gravity (1055). Confusingly, this part uses sg and not pounds per barrel. The first entry is for the main bulk of the beer. The other three are for the cane sugar added to the fermenter.

From the fermentation record it's clear that they used a dropping fermentation system. It started in tun 7 and was then dropped to settling square No. 5 at midday on the 8th February.

Barm said...

I was all ready to carry on arguing that Budgett could be sugar on the basis that there is otherwise only malt and caramel in the mash plus WME, whatever it was. You've posted a Whitbread porter with 16% sugar before, so some breweries were using sugar during the war despite shortages.

That's until I noticed the bit about adding cane sugar during fermentation. If Budgett were sugar that would make the total fermentables over 40% sugar, which is incredible ... at least I hope it is.

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, I'm sure the Budgett is pale malt. Well, 99% sure.

Joshekg said...

Could the WME possibly be wheat malt extract? Earliest reference I can find using google/books is 1930.

Was licorice used a lot at this time?