Sunday, 2 January 2011

Whitbread Porter 1805 - 1819

This is the first post in what will probably be a long series. As I told you, I've the full set of Whitbread Porter logs. It's time to put them to use.

Where to start? How about at the beginning. These numbers are taken from the earliest of Whitbread's records to survive. They're from a particularly important period in Porter's development. When the Napoleonic Wars were still raging. And the extra taxes imposed on beer to pay for the war put brewers under intense pressure to cut costs.

The easiest ways to cut down expenditure on malt was to move away from a 100% brown malt grist to a mix of pale and brown. It may have made the beer cheaper to brew (a gravity point from pale malt cost less than one from brown malt), but there was one little problem: the colour. Various things were used to darken the colour: burnt sugar, liquorice juice, concentrated wort. But, when the law on brewing ingredients was tightened in 1816, making sugar, among other things, illegal, brewers had to find a replacement.

Just one year later, in 1817, it arrived in the form of Wheeler's patent malt. Malt that was roasted in a drum to give it a very high degree of colour. Being malt, it was perfectly legal for brewers to use. You'll see below just how quickly Whitbread adopted it.



Whitbread Porter 1805 - 1819
Date
Year
Beer
OG
FG
ABV
App. Atten-uation
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
boil time (hours)
boil time (hours)
boil time (hours)
boil time (hours)
Pitch temp
pale malt
brown malt
black malt
amber malt
white malt
total
15th May
1805
P
1051.2



10.46
2.83
1
2.5
5

70º
79.73%
20.27%



100.00%
18th May
1805
P
1052.6



10.41
3.12
1
2.5
5

70º
79.73%
20.27%



100.00%
1st Jan
1807
P
1052.6
1015.5
4.91
70.53%
13.06
3.60
1
2
4

61º
63.48%
15.37%

21.16%
0.00%
100.00%
4th Feb
1807
P
1052.4
1015.2
4.91
70.90%
10.73
2.79
1
2
4

62º
63.48%
15.37%

21.16%

100.00%
14th Aug
1807
P
1054.3
1018.6
4.73
65.82%
9.30
2.59
1
2
4

68º
56.21%
11.66%

32.12%

100.00%
29th Aug
1808
P
1052.9
1010.2
5.64
80.63%
9.01
2.55




66.5º
65.85%
34.15%



100.00%
5th Sep
1808
P
1055.1
1014.7
5.35
73.37%
8.71
2.42
1
2
4

63º
55.02%
26.64%

18.34%

100.00%
1st Jun
1809
P
1050.4
1012.5
5.02
75.27%
10.04
2.81
1
2
4

65.5º
73.36%
26.64%



100.00%
16th Oct
1809
P
1051.2
1013.6
4.98
73.51%
8.82
2.34
1
2
4

65º
76.98%
23.02%



100.00%
6th Nov
1809
P
1049.3
1014.7
4.58
70.22%
9.82
2.66
1
2
4

65º
76.98%
23.02%



100.00%
10th Aug
1811
P
1054.0
1018.6
4.69
65.64%
9.51
2.85
1
2.5
4.5

65.5º
73.36%
26.64%



100.00%
5th Nov
1811
P
1050.7
1011.9
5.13
76.50%
9.99
2.61
1
2.5
4.5

64.5º
73.36%
26.64%



100.00%
7th Aug
1812
P
1049.9
1011.6
5.06
76.67%
8.93
2.52
1
2.5
4.5

65.25º
73.36%
26.64%



100.00%
6th Oct
1812
P
1051.8
1014.1
4.98
72.73%
8.45
2.20
1
2
4.5

63.25º
61.86%
16.04%

22.09%

100.00%
30th Nov
1812
P
1050.4
1013.3
4.91
73.63%
9.03
2.32
1
2.5
4.5

64º
80.51%
19.49%



100.00%
1st Mar
1813
P
1052.4
1011.4
5.42
78.31%
8.00
2.09
1
2.5
4.5

64º
80.51%
19.49%



100.00%
27th Aug
1813
P
1052.6
1012.2
5.35
76.84%
9.33
2.57
1
2.5
4.5

64.5º
80.51%
19.49%



100.00%
19th Oct
1813
P
1052.6
1010.5
5.57
80.00%
9.10
2.43
1
2.5
4.5

63º
49.81%
23.02%

27.17%

100.00%
24th Jan
1814
P
1056.5
1018.0
5.09
68.14%
9.82
2.69
1
2.5
4.5

62.5º
49.83%
21.11%

29.07%

100.00%
3rd Oct
1814
P
1055.4
1017.7
4.98
68.00%
9.82
2.57
1
2.5
4.5

63º
81.35%
18.65%



100.00%
31st Dec
1814
P
1056.8
1016.6
5.31
70.73%
10.89
2.81
1
2.5
4.5

63º
78.76%
21.24%



100.00%
3rd May
1815
P
1055.7
1018.0
4.98
67.66%
12.60
3.18
1
2.5
4.5

63º
75.18%
24.82%



100.00%
19th Sep
1815
P
1052.6
1018.3
4.54
65.26%
10.80
2.57
1
2.5
4.5

63º
77.76%
22.24%



100.00%
17th Nov
1815
P
1053.5
1015.5
5.02
70.98%
11.62
2.81
1
2.5
4.5

63º
78.17%
21.83%



100.00%
16th May
1816
P
1053.7
1015.5
5.06
71.13%
11.51
2.81
1
2.5
4.5

63º
74.60%
25.40%



100.00%
4th Sep
1816
P
1052.1
1016.3
4.73
68.62%
10.54
2.42
1
2
4.5

62.5º
53.19%
23.17%

23.64%

100.00%
22nd Nov
1816
P
1054.3
1014.4
5.28
73.47%
10.53
2.48
1
2
4.5

63.5º
52.05%
23.74%

24.21%

100.00%
16th May
1817
P
1053.7
1014.4
5.20
73.20%
10.20
2.54
0.83
1.5
1.5
3
63.5º
61.96%
20.83%

17.21%

100.00%
26th Aug
1817
P
1054.0
1017.7
4.80
67.18%
8.78
2.44
1
1.5
2
3
62.5º
88.39%
11.33%
0.28%


100.00%
20th Dec
1817
P
1052.6
1016.3
4.80
68.95%
7.41
1.87
0.83
1.5
1.5
3
63.5º
88.41%
11.24%
0.35%


100.00%
14th May
1818
P
1056.0
1018.6
4.95
66.83%
11.21
2.75
1
1.5
1.75
3
62.75º
91.68%
7.93%
0.40%


100.00%
19th Aug
1818
P
1055.1
1015.8
5.20
71.36%
11.21
2.67
1.25
1.5
3
3.5
63º
90.18%
9.36%
0.47%


100.00%
2nd Dec
1818
P
1055.4
1017.5
5.02
68.50%
9.38
2.42
1
1.5
2
3.25
63º
91.68%
7.93%
0.40%


100.00%
18th Dec
1818
P
1056.8
1014.7
5.57
74.15%
8.40
2.11
1
1.75
2
3.25
63º
69.85%
7.93%
0.40%

21.83%
100.00%
14th Aug
1819
P
1053.2
1014.4
5.13
72.92%
10.02
2.82
1.25
2.5
3
4.5
62.5º
92.62%
6.51%
0.87%


100.00%
24th Sep
1819
P
1055.4
1017.7
4.98
68.00%
10.12
2.68
1
2
3
4
64.5º
91.76%
7.49%
0.75%


100.00%
29th Sep
1819
P
1055.4
1017.7
4.98
68.00%
10.16
2.73
1
2
3
4
64.5º
91.76%
7.49%
0.75%


100.00%
18th Oct
1819
P
1056.0
1016.3
5.24
70.79%
10.10
2.70
1
2
3
4
63.5º
91.76%
7.49%
0.75%


100.00%
19th Oct
1819
P
1055.4
1017.7
4.98
68.00%
10.03
2.64
1
2
3
4
63.75º
91.76%
7.49%
0.75%


100.00%
Source:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives
Documents:
LMA/4453/D/09/001, LMA/4453/D/09/002, LMA/4453/D/09/003, LMA/4453/D/09/004, LMA/4453/D/09/005, LMA/4453/D/09/006, LMA/4453/D/09/007, LMA/4453/D/09/008, LMA/4453/D/09/009, LMA/4453/D/09/010, LMA/4453/D/09/011, LMA/4453/D/09/012, LMA/4453/D/09/013



The amount of black malt in the grist was initially very small. Less than 1%. That would change later. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. That will  be the subject of further posts. As I investigate Whitbread Porter in my trademark ridiculous level of detail.

16 comments:

Rod said...

Fantastic work - thank you very much. I'm sure this sort of research takes ages, but it is absolutely vital.
Carry on the good work!

Tim said...

Fantastic, I'm looking forward to the rest of this series. They seemed to have been indecisive about the amber malt. Any idea why?

Ron Pattinson said...

Tim, amber malt is an interesting one. As you'll see as I go further through the series. But I don't want to spoil the fun by giving away too much now.

Jeff Renner said...

Ron - Could you post an image of the chart so we can see the whole thing? Looks fascinating, and is one of my favorite subjects.

Gary Gillman said...

Not to take away from this important work, but wouldn't it be great too to see tables such as this based on 100% brown malt? Only a few years before the start date that was the staple way to brew porter, or so various non-brewhouse records suggest. Yet the start time to keep records seems frustratingly just after the change occurred, not just for this brewery but for all.

I wonder if some of the smaller of the 20 or so porter breweries in London kept up with the old ways for a time, or alternatively, whether 1700's records can be studied to shed light on the "true" porter.

Gary

Craig said...

Hey Ron,

I was messing around with some of the numbers the Oct 6, 1812 Porter. Running it through a calculator, the OG and FG worked out perfect, but the color was really reddish. So, my question is: Wouldn't the addition of an adjunct for coloring increased the OG? I don't know about liquorice juice, but I'd imagine sugar or condensed wort had to effect it somehow. Was it added after primary fermentation? Was the sugar burnt so much it lost most of it's fermentability?

Oblivious said...

Was amber malt not use in keeping stouts/porters, as it was believed to aid in storage? Gunnies keep it up in foreign extra till the 40's I believe

Was Spanish Juice and the likes really used in Britain or just left to the Americans?

Craig remember the brown malt is hand roasted and a slight different method to standard pale malt roasting too. There will be a good bit of variance in batch to batch and possible different level of roasting within a batch.

Barm said...

What do the four distinct columns for boil time mean?

Ron Pattinson said...

Oblivious, I've seen Spanish juice mentioned in recipes for private brewers. And liquorice in commercial recipes after 1880.

The brewing records I've seen from this period (1805-1819) make no mention of any colourant.

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, there's one column for each wort.

Craig said...

Looks like I'll have to make it and see what color it turns out!

Barm said...

So the first runnings were boiled for an hour, the second for longer, and the third for 4.5 hours then all blended? How was boiling the watery third wort for five hours economical? Coal must have been cheap.

Naugled said...

What are there 4 columns labeled 'boil time'?

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, it must have been economic or they wouldn't have bothered. The point would be to raise the gravity to a useful level.

Ron Pattinson said...

Naugled, see above.

Craig said...

Is it also plausible that another effect of those extended boils was a darkening of the wort? It may not have been cheap, but in order to obtain the results they wanted, it was a necessary evil. Perhaps that is why there was such a quick adoption of black malt shortly after it's 1817 introduction.

Yet, with the introduction of black malt there still are extended boils. Excluding the experiment with white malt in December, 1817, the averages for the malts used after May of 1817 are 91.8% Pale; 8.4% Brown and 0.5% Black. Even with black malt those ratios are going to produce a pretty ruddy tint.

It seems that early 19th century brewers, or Whitbred at least, weren't willing to jump, feet first, into the black malt pool. quite yet.

The real question... What will 1820 bring??