Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Style guidelines 1909

Style guidelines, dontcha just love 'em? You can never have too many. Then I realised. Everyone's been so occupied writing ones for the present, they've forgotten about the past. Time to put that right.

Here are some style guidelines* for 1909. Handy for time-travelling home brewers who don't want to stand out.

OG: 1040 - 1048
FG: 1008 - 1010
ABV: 4.5 - 5%
Hopping: 1.25 oz Cluster, 2.25 oz Goldings (for 5 gallons)
Grist: 55-80% pale malt, 0-15% maize or rice, 15-35% sugar
Colour: 20 - 25 EBC

OG: 1050 – 1057º
FG: 1009 - 1018º
ABV: 5 – 6%
Apparent attenuation: 70 – 85%
EBC: 40 - 90
lbs hops per barrel 1 – 1.5
Grist: English 2-row pale malt, foreign 6-row pale malt, English mild malt, crystal malt, No.3 invert sugar
Hops: Mid Kent, East Kent, Oregon, California.

OG: 1055 - 1060º
FG: 1012 – 1020º
ABV: 5.5 – 6.6%
Apparent attenuation: 70 – 80%
EBC: 25 - 30
lbs hops per barrel 2.5 – 3.25
Grist: English 2-row pale malt, foreign 6-row pale malt, crystal malt, No.1 invert sugar
Hops: East Kent, Mid Kent.

OG: 1040 - 1050º
FG: 1010 - 1015º
ABV: 3.5 - 5%
Apparent attenuation: 65 - 75%
EBC: 20 - 25
lbs hops per barrel 2 – 2.75
Grist: English 2-row pale malt, foreign 6-row pale malt, crystal malt, No.1 invert sugar
Hops: East Kent, Mid Kent.

* These guidelines apply only to London.


Gary Gillman said...

Ron, it is interesting to compare these 1909 pale ale references to comments I found yesterday in a 1871 scientific journal: 

Two people answered a question of a T. O'Brien as to how bitter ale is made.

"Meunier", possibly a nom de plume, stated he worked in the beer export trade in London some decades before. He gives a figure of 1066 OG for bitter beer, 1012 at final, with pounds per barrel dropping to 4 from 24 in attenuation. Clearly this was the top quality. Possibly (by 1871) he was referring to Burton production. He stated the beer fined of itself. This is a reference I believe to the gypsum in Burton water which promoted rapid clarification.

Meunier refers to the story often heard of a ship foundering off England and bitter ale becoming popular in England after. But he gives interesting details. He states the approximate year as 1839. He states the name of the ship, The Crusader. Internet research quickly confirmed a ship of that name did founder off Black Pool near Preston in 1839, captained it appears by a Wickman, I believe R.G. Wickman. It was outbound to Bombay from Liverpool:

I could not find any further reference to beer being sold by underwriters or publicans in Liverpool, however. Wikipedia states that the ship was carrying silk and refers to looting of the vessel by some people from Marton, but again no reference to beer.

Some India beer was sold at auction before 1839 in London (Zythophile gives good information on this in his website). But this doesn't mean this foundering event did not occur and have some influence. The detail given by Meunier and his asserted background in the beer business suggests to me there is something behind the story. I wonder if there is some way to find out what the full cargo was of The Crusader and what happened to it. I found also the date of the foundering, January 8, 1839. There had been a terrible storm in the area, a hurricane, and numerous ships foundered or were lost.

I find of interest too that "Aroma" defines AK as "keeping ale" - the first such definition I have seen. I know you have felt that AK means precisely that and I think you must be right, Ron.


Jim said...

I think this is a great post - I would love to see similar guidelines for other years. It's a valuable summary.

Bill in Oregon said...

Having these styles outlined like this is actually incredibly helpful for getting a clearer idea of the differences in the beers at the time. Thanks for posting these. Looking forward to other historical style guidelines as you get to them.

Ron Pattinson said...

Jim & Bill, you'll be pleased to hear that I will be publishing more historical style guidelines.

At the weekend, I thought "I don't have enough to do, what about a new project?" So I've started putting together Beer Style Guide (1909). It'll be a booklet of 50 or 60 pages. Kristen will be providing recipes. If I don't get disturbed too much, it should be out in November (just in time for Christmas).

The book will be 100% based on information from brewing records.

Kristen England said...

It will be the first time any sort of guideline is published not from anecdotal evidence but from directly original sources and, most importantly, brewers logs. Its one thing to be able to argue with what a writer says about a style, a complete other thing to try and argue with what a brewer does.

This will be a very good preamble to Ron and my much larger book.

Matt said...

Is this a build up to the opening of the long awaited Barclay Perkins Edwardian pub serving early 20th century strength bitter, mild, Burton and porter on draught?

Gary Gillman said...

I think the choice of 1909 for this is good one, in that the characteristics of these beers form a kind of bridge to modern English brewing. It's a good starting point, then. By 1909, adjunct and sugars were being used (for this range anyway), just as generally today in commercial or larger-scale brewing. Adjuncts were not used in 1870 (not 1871), per the material I mentioned earlier.

More hops were used in 1909 than today, I think it is fair to say that. But not as much as in 1870 for the pale ales at any rate.

1850-1870 might be a good volume 2, and then 30-50 years before that for the next.

I don't want to make more work for you both, though. :)


AEC said...

I presume the lbs per barrel refers to English barrels. And this requires math. Oy. I was an English major for a reason. Can't you give an IBU?

Ron Pattinson said...

AEC, you'll have to buy the book if you want IBUs.