Thursday, 18 November 2010

Liquorice primings

Just a short little quote for you. About a special type of Porter primings.

"When we come to the syrup, you will see I say in my statement that : "The sample of syrup is not a pure cane-sugar syrup, but a special preparation for porter, or to be used as priming. It contains liquorice, the active  principle of which does not ferment, and which, when used as priming, produces a palate fulness of distinctive persistency. The liquorice is apparent to the taste. " and as it does not reduce copper, it would not be detected by ordinary sugar analysis." You arc aware, I think, that in that sample of syrup which was brought before the Committee, there was no mention made of liquorice at all, nor was liquorice given in the composition of it, and therefore I think we can from this omission judge pretty well about the nature of the work in connexion with those chemical analyses when 5 per cent, of liquorice is missed altogether, especially when by just the simple taste its presence might have been detected."
"Minutes of evidence taken before the Departmental committee on beer materials", 1899, page 241.
Evidence given by Mr. R. Bannister. 

I've seen liquorice mentioned in domestic brewing recipes from the 19th century. And Maclay's added liquorice to their Stouts. But this is the first time I've seem liquorice mentioned as a component of primings. I wonder what the product was called?


ealusceop said...

I don't remember where, but I have encountered the word "Spanish Juice".

Ron Pattinson said...

ealusceop, it comes up in a lot of 19th-century Porter recipes. The ones aimed at domestic brewers.

Vaughn S said...

I've used licorice root in a porter or two before, but that was in the boil. It adds a marshmallow/rooty sweetness that is pretty nice. If I remember correctly, licorice root contains glycyrrhizin (a form of glyceric acid), which is substantially sweeter than sugar. Maybe they boil some licorice root and then use that liquid as the priming agent?