Funnily enough, a name I haven't seen mentioned until now is Guinness XX Porter. Though when I did a bit of digging on the web, the name popped up in various 19th century adverts and texts. Luckily, I've been able to work out the OG of the beer they anaylsed and it's clear which of the Guinness products it is: Porter. I've other analyses for Guinness Porter and Extra Stout from the 1890's. The Porter was 1063º, the Extra Stout 1073º.
"On the Composition of Dublin Porter.
By George W. Jackson, B. A., and William J. Wonfor, Students in the Laboratory of the Museum of Irish Industry.
[Read on Monday Evening, December 17, I860.]
A Want has often been felt by medical men, and others, in Dublin, interested in the composition of such substances, of a reliable and complete analysis of Irish porter; for although the composition of the principal English and foreign beers has been determined by different chemists, no such investigation had hitherto been undertaken in Dublin. At the suggestion of Professor Galloway, Mr. Jackson undertook the analysis of Guinness's XX porter; but at an early stage of the proceedings being obliged by ill health to forego the completion of the research, the task devolved on me to finish it; and we have much pleasure in laying before the Royal Dublin Society the results of our joint investigation. The sample of porter which we employed was obtained from Mr. Edward Burke, of Middle Abbey-street, agent to the Messrs. Guinness; and the analysis was performed in the laboratory of the Museum of Irish Industry, under the direction of Mr. Galloway."
"The Journal of the Royal Dublin society, Volume 3", 1862, page 163.
Amazing, isn't it, that no-one had bothered to analyse beers in Ireland.
Here's the table they produced. With a few extra bits I've worked out, such as ABW, ABV, OG and apparent attenuation.
"The following are the amounts of the various constituents in 1000 parts by measure of the Porter:—
|Guinness XX Porter 1861|
|Total amount of fixed organic matter||67.566||66.426||66.996|
|Total amount of fixed inorganic matter||4.166||4.27||4.218|
|Phosphate of Magnesia||0.851||0.851||0.851|
|Chloride of sodium||0.448||0.449||0.448|
|"The Journal of the Royal Dublin society, Volume 3", 1862, page 169|
|* Proof spirit has a sp. gr. of 0.9198 at 60º Fahr. and contains 49.25 per cent, by weight of real alcohol.|
First thing that jumps out at me is the attenuation: less than 70%. That's much lower than modern Guinness Extra Stout, where it's 85%. But, as I've pointed out before, very dry and highly-attenuated Guinness is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating from just the 1950's. With an acetic acid content of 0.36%, Guinness's XX porter must have been quite a tart beer. Analyses of Guinness Porter and Stout from 1870 also show quite high levels of acetic acid: 0.24%, 0.20% and 0.26%. In another sample from 1888 the acidity was as high as 0.52%.
How did Guinness Porter compare with the London version? Time for another table, I think. here are the details of four London-brewed Porters from the same period:
|Year||Brewer||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl|
|Brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives.|
The London Porters all had a lower OG, averaging around 1055º, compared to the 1062º of Guinness Porter. In terms of attenuation, there wasn't a huge amount of difference. With the exception of Truman's Runner, all were a shade under 70%.
Here's the slightly bizarre conclusion of the scientists:
"Without expressing any opinion as to the medicinal virtues of the porter we examined, we may, perhaps, be permitted to draw attention to the facts which our analysis reveals, that it contains a large quantity of heat and flesh-producing matter, as well as the necessary inorganic constituents required in the formation of bone and flesh.
As we were obliged to limit ourselves to one sample of porter, as it would have required more time than we could give to have examined samples of porter from all the different manufactories, we selected Guinness's as the type of all the rest."
"The Journal of the Royal Dublin society, Volume 3", 1862, page 170.
Anyone an idea as to what "heat and flesh-producing matter" might be? I haven't the foggiest. It's the weird sort of thing 19th century scientists had a habit of saying. I think they just made most of it up.
Lazy bastards, that's all I can say. If only they'd been able to drag themselves away from their laudanum, they might have found the time to analyse all the different types of Dublin Porter. Now that would have been interesting. But no, dilettantes that they were, they only bothered with Guinness.