Thursday, 20 August 2009

Scottish hopping, 1851 (part two)

No, I hadn't forgotten. I'm not that bad yet, am I? Here's the next enthralling installment of William Younger's hopping in 1851.

Let's kick off with Porter and Stout, because I've a reasonable number of examples to work with. I've not found a single Porter in the Younger's logs. But what they called BS (Brown Stout) was similar in strength to a London Porter.

Younger's BS, much like the three London Porters, was hopped at around 3 pound per barrel. Amongst the Stouts, Younger's has the second heaviest hopping, just behind Barclay Perkins. Can we agree Younger's did not hop their Porters/Stouts more lightly than London brewers?

Now on to Pale Ale. I'm afraid that I don't have many London examples. In 1851 neither Barclay Perkins nor Whitbread brewed a Pale Ale of any description.

Not enough data to be conclusive, but it certainly doesn't look as if Younger were going easy on the hops.


Tandleman said...

Ah. The tinkling sound of shattering myths. But when did tradition change? It'd be good to know how things panned out in the 1950's when the number of large Scottish Breweries were at their (exporting) peak. Certainly by the seventies things had seemingly changed as I recall, but what happened in between?

Gary Gillman said...

Ron, Roberts, speaks to an average of 6 pounds per quarter for what "brewers use in Scotland", see page 89:

He states a usage of 4-8 lbs per quarter depending on season and type of beer, from which I took the average above.

This seems much less than what you found for any kind of Younger's beer and the English examples mentioned, but similar to the Maclay's range from 1909.

Clearly there was variation amongst brewers, but as a contemporary authority writing a fairly detailed book, I would have to think he represented the norm accurately.


Ron Pattinson said...

Gary, but which beers is Roberts talking about? Scotch Ales. But, even in 1850, that was just part of what Younger's were brewing. Roberts, for the most part, only discusses Scotch Ales.

I disagree about where you find the truth. Brewers logs trump brewing manuals for me. But I don't see any discrepancy between Roberts and the logs.

More research. That's what will provide conclusive answers.

Gary Gillman said...

That's true Ron, Scotch Ales, but that seems the main type of local beer for Roberts, he views porter and IPA as London styles even though made in Scotland too by then.

Was the London range for mild ales greater than 4-6 pounds? That would be a fairer comparison, I agree.

He is a secondary source but clearly knowledgeable about brewing. Original evidence from logs is all to the better where it can be found. But short of a comprehensive look (yet) from that aspect, it seems fair to me to accord some value to a contemporary source like this.