First let's take a look at the types of Lager Barclay Perkins brewed. In the 1920's, they brewed just two: Export and Dark. Both had pretty respectable gravities for the period. Between 1925 and 1930 the average OG of beer brewed in Britain was about 1043º*). Dark and Export, at 1057 and 1050 respectively, were both well above the average.
A third Lager, romantically called Draught, appeared in 1932. That they could justify brewing a draught beer as well as bottled ones is an indication of the success of Barclay's Lager. As is the increase in the batch size of Dark and Export from 1932 onwards. In the case of dark, from 65 to 105 barrels, for Export from 125 to 200 barrels. It's worth pointing out that far more Export was brewed than Dark. Its batches weren't just larger, there were more of them. Draught Lager was weaker and closer to average gravity.
I've included tables of foreign Lagers for comparison purposes. A bit of compare and contrast never goes amiss.
It's easiest to find a comparable beer with Barclay's Dark. I'm pretty sure Münchener was the style they were aiming for. The Barclay's beer has an OG at the top end of the German examples. The FG is pretty similar to the German beers, as is the attenuation of around 65%. Barclay's Dark seems to match the specifications of the Munich style quite well.
Barclay's Export also looks similar to its German equivalent, this time from Dortmund. Though this time it's at the bottom end of the German range in terms of OG. The FG's match up pretty well, too, roughly between 1010º and 1014º. The attenuation is also pretty similar at 75-80%.
This is where it gets tricky as I'm not sure what style Draught is aiming for. If I hadn't seen the hopping rate, I might have said Pilsener. But it's not very well hopped, falling between Dark and Export in terms of hops per quarter. It seems to match best with a German Lagerbier or a Danish Lager, though I'm not sure that I'd want to read too much into that.
The hopping rate is quite modest for all the Lagers. In 1924/25, these were Barclay's hopping rates:
|XLK (Ordinary Bitter)||7.5|
|Export Brown Stout||14|
|Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/611|
You can see that the most highly hopped Lager, Export, only had the same level of hopping the least highly hopped top-fermenting beer.
The boil times are short compared to those of Barclay's other beers. Their Pale Ales and Milds were boiled for 2.25 and 2 hours. Their Porter, Stouts and K Ales were all boiled for more than 2 hours.
Unsurprisingly, the fermentations were much cooler than for their top-fermenting beers, which were pitched at 60-63º F and rose to 70-73º F. The logs from the 1920's indicate that they used Carlsberg yeast harvested from earlier brews. Later logs just say which previous gyle the yeast had been harvested from. It may well still have been Carlsberg yeast. I wonder if they were also culturing it, as was common in larger continental breweries.
Next time we'll be looking at grists and mashing techniques. Lots more surprises there.
|Barclay Perkins Lagers 1925 - 1934|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp||max. fermen-tation temp||length of fermen-tation (days)||colour|
|Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/638, ACC/2305/1/640 and ACC/2305/1/641.|
|Foreign Lagers 1930 - 1935|
|1930||average of 4 samples||Germany||Dunkles Münchener||Dunkles||1055.2||1018.6||3.5||4.69||65.15%|
|1930||strongest sample||Germany||Dunkles Münchener||Dunkles||1056.9||1020.4||3.9||4.72||62.92%|
|1930||weakest sample||Germany||Dunkles Münchener||Dunkles||1053.6||1016.4||3||4.82||68.27%|
|1935||Löwenbräu, Munich||Germany||Dark Lager||Dunkles||1055.0||1020.8||4.42||62.18%|
|1930||average of 14 samples||Germany||Export Dortmunder||Export||1054.0||1012.2||0.73||5.39||76.44%|
|1930||strongest sample||Germany||Export Dortmunder||Export||1057.2||1014.3||0.84||5.58||73.85%|
|1930||weakest sample||Germany||Export Dortmunder||Export||1051.2||1009.4||0.66||5.08||80.88%|
|1930||average of 15 samples||Germany||Lagerbier||Helles||1048.2||1011.0||0.72||4.78||76.25%|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.|
|"Van Brouwerij tot Bierglas" by F. Kurris, Doetinchem, 1948, pages 26-27|
* Brewers' Almanack 1928, p. 110.