Sunday, 1 April 2012

England vs Scotland, part 3i: early 1850's Best Stout

We're almost there. After this last bunch of Stouts, there's just Stock Ales to go. When did I start this series? It's so long, I've no idea.

You may have noticed that I've come up with yet another new style: Best Stout. Do I think it's seriously a style of beer? Sort of. It was during at least part of the 20th century. Not that that's got anything to do with the beers I'll be discussing here. Just throwing that in for maximum confusion.

As with Ordinary Stout, Best Stout is a very artificial construct. Once again I've a single William Younger beer to work with. And, once again, again, I've selected a set of London Stouts whose average OG matches that of the Younger's Stout. Is that clear? Not a perfect method, but the best I could come up with using the limited data I have available. The London beers are a mix of Double and Triple Stouts, with a side order of Export and Keeping.

Wondering why no Barclay Perkins Stouts have appeared so far? I do have some for this period. Just there's a little problem: they're all too effing strong. The weakest is 1095º and falls just outside the range I included. In amongst them is IBSt, or Russian Stout as you probably know it better. Very impressive hopping that one has. Over 9 pounds per barrel. Again, not that relevant here, but I thought I'd tell you anyway.

That's me all preambled out. We can press on with the table.

England vs Scotland early 1850's Stout 1087º to 1093º
Date Year Brewer 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 max. fer-ment-ation temp length of fer-ment-ation (days)
18th Aug 1852 Whitbread SS 1087.8 11.22 4.52 1.5 1.5 2 63
26th Nov 1850 Truman Export Stout 1088.6 1023.0 8.68 74.06% 19.3 8.15 62 8
5th Aug 1850 Truman Double Stout 1088.9 1026.3 8.28 70.40% 14.2 7.63 62 8
23rd Dec 1853 Whitbread KSS 1089.2 1027.7 8.14 68.94% 19.19 7.63 1.75 1.5 2 63
8th Sep 1851 Whitbread SSS 1091.1 11.19 4.49 1.5 1.5 2 63
1st Sep 1851 Whitbread SSS 1091.4 11.15 4.55 1.5 1.5 2 63
20th Sep 1850 Whitbread SSS 1092.0 11.84 4.31 1.5 2 2 2 63
11th Sep 1850 Whitbread SSS 1092.2 11.84 4.46 1.5 2 2 2 63
Average 1090.2 1025.7 8.37 71.14% 13.74 5.72 1.5 1.7 2.0 2.0 62.8 8.0
13th Dec 1851 Younger, Wm. DBS 1089 1025 8.47 71.91% 14.00 5.68 2.25 64 75 6
difference 1.2 -0.7 0.10 0.77% 0.26 -0.04 0.71 -1.7 -2.0 -2.0 1.3 -2.0
William Younger brewing records document number WY/6/1/2/5 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive
Whitbread brewing records document numbers LMA/4453/D/09/044, LMA/4453/D/09/045, LMA/4453/D/09/046, and LMA/4453/D/09/047 held at the London Metropolitan Archives
Truman brewing record document number B/THB/C/052 held at the London Metropolitan Archives

Hopping rates, as is now traditional, are first out of the traps. I'm tempted to say exactly what I did for the first set of Stouts. What the hell, I will say exactly the same: I swear that I haven't selected the English beers to get this result. It's scary how closely the average hopping rate of the London beers matches that of Younger's DBS.OK, it's a small sample, but: in the early 1850's Younger's Best Stout wasn't less hopped than equivalent London beers.

There's the same problem with boiling times as with Porter and Ordinary Stout. (There I go repeating myself again.)  A single boil at Younger, multiple boils in London. (There I go repeating myself again, again.)  A fair comparison is impossible. Though, if you add up all the boil times for the different worts, the London Stouts were boiled for much longer. Not sure that makes any sense. But there you go.

There's little difference between any of the pitching temperatures. All are 62º, 63º, or 64º F. With the warmest one being Younger's DBS. I think it's pretty clear that: in the early 1850's Younger's Best Stout was pitched at about the same temperature as equivalent London beers.

Are you beginning to see a pattern? DBS is an almost exact match with the London average. FG, attenuation and ABV are all within a whisker. With the warning that we are talking of a single William Younger beer: in the early 1850's Younger's Best Stout had a very similar FG, ABV and apparent attenuation to equivalent London beers.

The data is very thin on the ground for the fermentation length. But what there is shows that it was shorter for DBS. It certainly doesn't look like Younger's took much longer to ferment their Stout than London brewers did.

I'm surprised at how exactly the London average corresponds to Younger's DBS. I don't think it's coincidence. I'm convinced that Younger were trying to mimic London Stouts.

Almost done, almost done. Only Stock Ale left. Though the gravities cover such a wide range it'll take more than one table to complete.

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