Do you remember the way I bang on about innovation? Or at least the relative lack of genuine innovation in modern brewing. (I can only think of a couple of real innovations in the last 30 years: ageing beer in spirit barrels, continuous hopping and using peated malt in "Scottish-style" beers.) Pretty much everything else has already been done before. Not only that, there are plenty of practices which have been forgotten. Providing a good opportunity for someone crafty to do a bit of "innovating".
Yorkshire Gazette - Saturday 30 June 1888, page 3
This might be a good one to try. It's to do with the use of black malt. When I mentioned on a forum the Barclay Perkins used to boil some of the black malt with the hops, a few home brewing "experts" told me at great length how this was a terrible thing to do and the brewers must have been idiots. Yeah, right, they got to be the largest brewery in the world by being dumb. I could see the point. I t was obviously a way to extract more colour from the black malt.
It made me smile when I noticed that the Kirkstall Brewery did the same for their Stout. But they didn't just leave it there. They also added black malt to the hop back. I assume this has also got something to do with the extraction of colour, though I'm not sure I understand the mechanics of it.
For the 7th September X and the 8th September L, all the black malt went in the hop back. The Stout had some in the copper as well. And some in the mash, the conventional way. Come to think of it, I've just thought of one reason for leaving the black malt out of the mash: the value of the spent grains. They fetched a higher price without the presence of black malt.
While we're discussing the Milds, I'd like to talk more about colour. Remember me speculating just a day or two ago that certain beer styles might have started turning darker in London earlier than in the provinces? Well blow me if this doesn't show that I was talking out of my arse. A good demonstration of the dangers of extrapolating too much from small amounts of data.
Look at the Milds. They all contain dark grains. A couple have caramel, too. Irritatingly given in gallons, making it hard for me to work out exactly what impact it would have had on the colour of the finished beer. What is clear, is that they weren't trying to keep them as pale as possible.
Moving on to the grains themselves, they're proving me a liar in another way. I used to believe that brown malt had only appeared in Mild Ales during the chaotic and difficult wartime years of the 20th century. Yet here it is turning up in a 19th-century Mild.
There's something ironic about the Pale Ale being all malt. There's a note that says: "Malt gave rather too much colour." You may remember me mentioning in the past that sugar was used quite deliberately in Pale Ales to keep the colour as light as possible. This shows the danger of using all malt for such a beer.
The column marked saccharine. That isn't saccharine in the modern sense of an artificial sweetener, but a form of sugar. If it were saccharine the amount used would probably be enough to kill you. It might well just ne No. 2 invert noted down a different way.
One last point. The beers called PA and BA in the brewing records seem to have both been marketed as East India Pale Ale. I'll let you decide whether they were really Pale Ales or IPA's.
|Kirkstall Brewery grists in 1885|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||pale malt||brown malt||black malt||no. 2 sugar||caramel||saccharine|
|7th Sep||1885||X||Mild||1052.6||98.77%||1.23%||2 gallons|
|8th Sep||1885||XXX||Mild||1066.2||95.65%||4.35%||1.5 gallons|
|10th Sep||1885||PA||Pale Ale||1060.9||85.71%||14.29%|
|10th Sep||1885||AK||Pale Ale||1049.9||78.46%||21.54%|
|11th Sep||1885||BA||Pale Ale||1055.4||100.00%|
|15th Sep||1885||KKK||Stock Ale||1069.3||90.91%||9.09%|
|15th Sep||1885||L||Mild||1049.3||79.52%||3.61%||16.87%||2 gallons|
|16th Sep||1885||IS||Stout||1071.7||67.02%||9.57%||6.38%||17.02%||4 gallons|
|Kirkstall Brewery brewing records.|
Next it's the turn of the brewery's Australian connection.