Monday, 2 September 2013

1815-1850 Porter supreme



With the pressure of increased taxation to pay for the Napoleonic Wars removed, British Beers and Ales began to increase in strength and decrease in price. Though they never quite returned to the levels of the late 18th century.

Tied Houses

The most of the licensed public houses in the city are connected with one brewing company or another, and, hence, are called 'tied houses.' The brewers advance loans to the publican on security of his lease, and on condition that he sell the lender's liquor alone. The sign of the company is then placed above the door, and, in this way, a single brewhouse has the value of £15,000 in sign-boards stuck up over London. This explains what a stranger in the metropolis is at first sight very much struck with — the number of large boards marked with 'Whitbread's Entire' Meux'a Dublin Refined,' or ' Combe and Delafield's Brown Stout house,' that meet the eye in every part of London."
"The parliamentary gazetteer of England and Wales, volume III", 1848, page 241.

Drinking vessels

There's various types of tosh talked about the move to glass drinking vessels. Usually that beers became paler after its introduction. I'm not going to argue the toss about that particular myth today. Instead we're going to consider pewter pots.

Glass has one definite advantage: it's neutral in flavour. Pewter, on the other hand, is not and adds its own particular taste to anything which is consumed from it. Which probably explains the unusual attachment some drinkers had to vessels of this sort. Particularly for drinking Porter.


". . .  everybody knows that there are many persons who would rather not drink ale or porter at all, than drink either out of a glass. Their affection for pewter pots is so great, that one cannot help thinking there is something in the peculiar metal itself as palatable to their taste, though only put to their mouths, as is the liquid which it contains. One of the late Irish M.P.'s was so devotedly attached to drinking porter out of a pewter pot, that he rather preferred running the risk, when he went into any tavern, of being voted, as he used to say, " ungenteel," than submit to the privation of not having the liquid in a pewter pot. His plan for concealing his metallic partialities from the other persons in the room, was to instruct the waiter, when he brought in the porter, to place it under the table. This done, the ex-honourable gentleman bowed down his head, and took draught after draught of Whitbread and Co.'s " Entire,'' as occasion required, replacing the pewter pot with its contents, each time, in its locality beneath the table."
 "Sketches in London" by James Grant, 1838, pages 126 - 127.

This text implies that not only was glass in wide use in pubs, but that pewter pots were very low class. Not something any respectable person would be seen drinking from.

Brewing materials


There was a huge change in the materials used for brewing caused by the enactment of a law prohibiting all ingredients other than malt and hops in 1816. It was a reaction to brewers avoiding the malt tax by either brewing with unmalted grain of sugar.

Measures

There was a change in the size of a pint of beer in  1824, when ale and wine gallons were combined, standardising on the something close to the former.

Malt

Malting was a highly regulated activity. The reason was simple: a duty on malt was the principal method of taxing beer. Even more so when the excise duty on beer was abolished in 1830. Government legislation dictated how maltsters had to operate. The penalties for failing to adhere to the regulations were severe: fines of £100, £200 or even £600 and confiscation of the malt. Most of the offences were concerned with artificially reducing the volume of grain at the points when it was measured by excise officers, duty being set per quarter, a measurement of volume. (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 10-14.)

The malt tax was not collected as efficiently in all parts of the UK. Less than 50% of the duty was collected in Wales and Ireland. (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 40.) In Ireland, great quantities of unmalted grain: "many Irish Brewers are at present using raw barley, mixed with Malt, and this, not in a small way, but to the extent of one-half; some even more: and from their mode of peparing barley, they obtain an extract within 7s. per quarter of that manufactured from entire Malt." (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 40.)

A significant proportion of total tax income, around 10%, was derived from the tax on malt.

Tax on malt and total tax income
year
total tax
malt tax
hop duty
malt+hop tax
% of total tax
1830
£50.786.683
£4.231.997
£88.047
£4.320.044
8,51%
1837
£48.742.656
£5.665.200
£178.578
£5.843.778
11,99%
1843
£46.965.631
£4.848.584
£133.431
£4.982.015
10,61%
1845
£54.060.350
£5.027.062
£158.009
£5.185.071
9,59%
1848
£51.546.000


£212.482

Source:
"An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, pages 210, 212, 229



The best type of barley for malting was rath, which ripened two weeks earlier than other types. Its thin skin and plump grains made it particularly suitable for malting. Chevalier barley was also highly regarded by brewers. Spring was the best time to sow. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 14.) Barley suitable for malting weighed, on average, between 50 and 56 pounds per bushel. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 17.)

Mostly English barley was malted, purely for reasons of quality. "the barley of continental growth is, for the most part, OF TOO INFERIOR QUALITY, as compared with English, to justify the Maltster extensively using foreign; beside, the duty and expense upon a barley malted, yielding 70lbs of saccharine, is the same as upon the best English yielding 90lbs." (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 47.)

Each quarter of barley needed 149 square feet of space on the malting floor and 40 square feet in the kiln and 12 cubic feet in the cistern. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 18.)

Coke, anthracite, wood and peat were all used as fuel in kilns. The choice of fuel was determined by price, locality and the colour of malt to be produced. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 85.)

Brewers could get any colour malt they wanted, not just pale, amber or brown, but any shade between. Either by malting themselves or by instructing the maltster exactly what colour they wanted. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, pages 21-22.) There was, in any case, considerable variation in the colour of malt from different sources. "The shades of amber malt, in particular are so many . . ." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 499.)

The kiln was heated slowly, the temperature slowly increasing over the first 12 hours. The intensity of the final temperature was determined by the type of malt being made. The malt went through each shade, starting at and ending up as high-dried brown, if the process was carried that far. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 25.) "The drying is finished by a clear sweet fire, increasing the strength according to the colour required."  (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 25.) "Coloured malt will require, towards the finish of the drying, some dry billet wood, of beech or birch" (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 26.)

The use of wood in the final stages of kilning gave malt a deeper colour, something which became to be highly-valued with the advent of Porter. Maltsters adapted their methods to produce this type of highly coloured malt. In the early 18th century maltsters in Hertfordshire and Berkshire (the main suppliers of malt to London) had used almost exclusively straw as fuel for their kilns. They began to use beech or birch wood in the final stages of kilning. Some even used more expensive oak for this purpose as it gave an even stronger colour and flavour. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 484-485.) London brewers, who had scorned smoked malt in the 18th century were, by the 19th century, demanding it.

The high temperatures used in the production of coloured malts meant many had lost all their diastase. "the old-fashioned blown, and even some of the ambers, do nothing more than passively dissolves in the mash, through having been deprived of their activity by heat." Presumably, as all grists by then contained a high proportion of pale malt, this did not cause problems in the mash. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 500.)

Here's a cautionary tale of the dangers of malt:

"Malt newly pulverised is inflammable and apparently electrical. The destruction of Barclay's brewhouse, London, in 1832, was caused by the accident, that a man happened to lift one of the covers upon the box of the Jacob's ladder which conveys the malt to the hopper, and to thrust a lighted candle amongst the fine powder-like malt that was flying about when the ladder was in motion. Undoubtedly, the dry state of the grain, and its electrical condition, arising from friction in breakage between the rolls, had occasioned a state of gradual decomposition, and brought some hydrogen into the box from the vast quantity of malt that was being crushed at once, and hence its inflammability; but the danger of such an accident does not arise when the process of crushing has been ended, and the gases have been allowed to subside." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 98-99.)


The authorities took great pains to prevent the use of unmalted, i.e. untaxed grains. The penalties for breaking the rules were severe:

"This Act [the 1830 Excise Act] continued in force, although during the year 1847 a further Act was passed permitting brewers to use sugar in the brewing or making of beer. The collection of duty in terms of malt used led, notwithstanding, to much fraud and deception, and for fiscal reasons again, it was found expedient to pass a more stringent Act to prevent the possibility of employing raw grain. This was in the year 1855. The enactment is contained in 18 and 19 Vict., cap. 94, sec. 36, and again it is interesting to follow the exact wording:—

"And for preventing fraud and evasion of the duty of Excise on malt by the use of raw or unmalted corn or grain in the brewing of beer for sale, be it enacted that it shall not be lawful for any brewer of beer for sale to have in his brewery or in any premises belonging or adjacent thereto, whether the same shall be entered by him or not, any raw or unmalted corn or grain whatsoever, either whole or unground, or ground or bruised, except corn or grain not ground or braised being in premises entered by such brewer for the purpose of making malt, and all raw or unmalted corn or grain which shall be found in such brewery or other premises except as aforesaid, and also all malted corn or grain, whether whole or unground, or ground or bruised, with which such raw or unmalted corn or grain may be mixed, shall be forfeited, and the brewer for every such offence shall forfeit the sum of £200."

Section 37 enacts:—

"That no brewer of beer for sale shall have or use, for the purpose of grinding, crushing, or braising malt, any mill-stones, or any mill constructed otherwise than with metal rollers only, such rollers not being fluted but having plain and smooth surfaces, and no malt which shall be ground by any means or crushed or bruised otherwise than by means of such metal rollers as aforesaid, shall be used by or be received into the possession of any such brewer."

The penalty in this case was a forfeit of £200. The object of this section was to prevent barley or other raw grain being ground with malt, it being known that in such case smooth metal rollers would be unfit for the purpose, and that either fluted or stone mills would be necessary. Precautions were further taken to prevent raw grain passing into the brewery under the style of roasted malt, and according to the instructions given to the Excise officers, it was not deemed malted if the plumule of 95 per cent. of it did not extend one-half the length of the grain. The preparation of roasted malt was also strictly under Excise supervision."
"Food & sanitation, Volume 4", 1894, page 102.

It's worth noting the particular efforts of the authorities to prevent the roasting of unmalted grains. Yet some still persist in the fantasy of Guinness cleverly using roast barley instead of black malt in the early 19th century.



Pale malt

It took between three and a half and four days to kiln pale malt. For the first 24 hours the temperature was kept at 80º to 84º F, the malt being turned once or twice. In the second 24 hours, the temperature rose between 6º and 10º F, up to a maximum of 90º F. During the second day, the malt was turned three or four times. During the third 24 hours the temperature was 95º to 98º F, the malt being turned three or four times again. In the final 24 hours, the temperature was slowly raised to 120º F. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 87-88.)

Great care was taken in the preparation of pale malt for India Ale. The kilns were placed at least 14 feet above the fire. Tubes were run directly from the furnace to pass hot air through the grains. The idea being to have as much control over the temperature as possible. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 88.)


Brown malt

Before the drying process was completed, the grains were sprinkled with a little water in the kiln. Dried beech or other wood was added to the fire for the final stages of drying to generate an intense heat. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 88-89.) The barley used to make brown and blown malt was second in quality with regard to size, but needed to be sound and able to germinate as well as the very best.  (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 208.)

"the corn is laid with great care on the kiln, not exceeding one and a half inch in depth, is turned only once; the entire drying takes from one hour to one hour and ten minutes, and requires eight faggots to each quarter of malt, and the extreme heat is not thrown in until the steam or moisture is off." (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 208.)


Blown Malt

A variety of brown malt made around London was called blown malt. Germinated barley was spread quite wet on the kiln, just half an inch to an inch thick. It was dried quickly by an intense fire, fuelled with either straw, wood or fern. The grains were constantly turned to prevent them burning. The sudden heat caused the grains to swell in size, a bit like popcorn, and gave the malt its name. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 89-90.)


Porter malt

I think this is describing a form of brown malt:

"As porter is made by provincial brewers in the same utensils as those in which they make their ales, it is unnecessary either to repeat a description of them or to notice their dimensions ; but it may not be unacceptable to the reader to notice the method of making porter-malt; as every brewer should have some knowledge of the mode of preparing it,—although it has been nearly displaced, in large establishments, by the more profitable use of pale malt in porter-brewing.

The form of the genuine porter malt-kiln differs from the common description for drying pale malt. The floor of the former is laid with tiles in the usual manner where such are used. The fire-chamber beneath is built with brick, within the square apartment, in the shape of an inverted pyramid, in the apex of which the furnace is placed. The furnace is arched with firebrick, and extends 2.5 feet within the chamber, to disperse the heat equally to the floor above.

The malt to be prepared for porter-brewing is half made in the usual manner for drying pale malt. It is then divided into two or three parts, which are dried and finished on the kiln at such a high temperature as speedily turns it of a brown-colour, but without scorching or charring it; and converts it into porter malt.

It is first dried with coke in the usual manner. Birch-cuttings, or beech, when the former cannot be procured, are prepared to blow it, as it is termed, on the kiln, and give it the brown colour and that bitter principle which is so desirable to the taste in the consumption of porter.

When the malt is spread on the kiln-floor, the furnace is gradually charged with the wood-cuttings until a temperature upwards of 200° is obtained. It is carefully watched by the maltster, until it begins to burst by the escape of the air confined between the kernel and husk of the grain. It is now turned by the maltster and his assistants with shovel and broom, working it quickly, and sweeping each division, as it is proceeded with; and this process is repeated until it is judged sufficiently brown for its purpose.

By this incipient charring its germinating principle is destroyed, and it loses the capacity of yielding sugar, by mashing, in the proportion of twenty per cent to pale malt made from the same description of barley."
"Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, 1849, pages 278-279.



Patent malt

When all forms of colouring were made illegal in 1816, Porter brewers had a big problem. How could they brew a beer of the right colour when using mostly pale malt? The answer was provided by Daniel Wheeler, who, by roasting malt in a way similar to coffee beans, created a malt capable of colouring a large quantity of wort. Pale malt was roasted at 360 to 400º F in metal cylinders, which revolved over a furnace. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 90.) Wheeler acquired a patent for the process, hence the name patent malt. It was also known as black malt or roast malt.

Not everyone was a fan of black malt. Tizard wrote "Allusion has been made in former pages to the improvement which has of late years been made in the metropolitan ales, while on the other hand their beers have, in too many instances, declined in virtue and beauty, which circumstance is not wholly, as we have seen, though in part attributable to the introduction of Wheeler's patent malt, or such as is roasted in imitation of it; the "nappy brown stout" produced from amber malt, having fallen off, and in many houses a black sulky beverage being substituted in its stead, on the taste of which the stranger experiences a shake, as sudden and electrical as that which seizes a spaniel when quitting water." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 495.)

Because of problems it could cause in the mash tun, black malt was sometimes added in the copper, though that wasn't trouble-free, either. Insoluble parts of the malt could stick to the bottom of the copper and burn or even cause the metal to overheat and crack. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 495-496.) Some brewers mashed a portion of the black malt and added the rest to the copper. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 90.) As late as 1933, Barclay Perkins were still boiling an amount of black malt in the copper when brewing their IBSt (Russian Stout).

Black malt varied greatly in quality and colour. Cheaper versions were made from poor-quality barley or had not been properly malted before roasting. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 496.) "The colour is often so black that it resembles mere cinders, and the whole corn is puffed up to an enormous size . . . and it adheres together in bunches, through the bursting of the shells and the exudation and fixation of the gummy matter when in the roasting cylinders." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 496-497.) Such malt, because it was charred into insolubility, yielded poor colour and flavour. Porter brewed from it would lose much of its colour after a couple of months as the colouring matter precipitated out. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 497.)

Properly made black malt had an even chocolate brown colour and its grains did not clump together. Because it had been properly malted, it contained much more sugar than the cheap kind. "it contains a much larger quantity of colouring matter of a superior kind, consisting chiefly of caramel, similar to the colouring matter of former times: being burnt saccharum and mucilage, which impart an agreeable odour to the beer, and maintains its colour with tenacity. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 497.) Tizard went on to add that all the major London and Dublin breweries used good quality black malt in moderate quantities. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 498.)

The roasting of malt was regulated by its own Act of Parliament. Roasting had to take place at least a mile from the malt-house. This led to the trade of Malt Roaster and to a concentration of the trade in the hands of a few specialists, mostly located in London. (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 69.) Properly malted barley gave more colour than unmalted barley, but not as much as partially malted barley. That, along with the duty saved by steeping for as short a period as possible (the volume of the malt was measured for excise purposes at the end of steeping) meant barley for making black malt was rarely properly malted. (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 69.)

"The word malt is greatly libelled in these Roasting house; it being little better than roasted barley. The corn is only steeped for forty hours, being the shortest time the law allows, consequently pays at least 2s. 6d. per quarter less than the produce of malt, and is usually thrown upon the kiln from three to four days after being emptied from the cistern." (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, pages 68-69.)

Due to the problems it could cause in the mash tun, Tizard advised mashing black malt by itself in a special vessel. It could then be mixed with the rest of the wort in the underback. It was mashed repeatedly until all the colour had been extracted. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 498.)


Other grains

"Malting is not confined to barley, but oats, peas, beans, maize, buck-wheat, and common wheat, which are all capable of being malted, and have been experimented upon, but barley is the most prized grain." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 20.)

"Wheat, on account of its weight, has had many trials, to bring it into more general use among brewers; but, from many communications the author has had with those who have brewed with wheat malt, either alone, or mixed, complain of a heaviness of flavour, and not altogether so pleasant as the liquor brewed from barley malt." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 20.)

Let me explain. Malt was taxed per bushel, a measure of volume. A bushel of wheat weighed on average 67 pounds, a bushel of barley 56 pounds, at most. So you got about 20% more weight of grain for the same amount of tax when using wheat.

Wheat, being heavier, took longer to malt than barley. Oats, being lighter, took less time. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 26.) 13 bushels of barley malt were the equivalent of 9 bushels of wheat, 10 of rye or 19 of oats, in terms of extract. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 46.)

At times when barley was expensive, considerable amounts of wheat were malted and used in brewing. Tizard recommended malting wheat mixed with barley, to protect the tender skin of the wheat grains. Likewise in the mash, wheat malt was best mixed with coarser barley grains to avoid wheat flour clogging the mash tun. Wheat malt also required less crushing the barley malt as it was more inclined to turn into flour. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 47.)

Oats were not much used in this period. Oat malt incurred the same duty as barley, but produced not much more than half the extract. Only after 1880, when the malt tax was repealed, were oats an economic proposition and start being used again. Hence the appearance of oatmeal Stout at the end of the 19th century. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 51.)

Big, a type of primitive barley, was malted and used for brewing in Scotland and Ireland. The quantities used were quite modest, about 10% of the amount of barley malted. Big malt was taxed at a lower rate than barley malt - 2 shillings, as opposed to 2 shillngs and seven pence for barley. (Source: "Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, Edinburgh, 1849, page 109.)



Sugar

In 1811 brewing with unmalted grain and sugar was outlawed by act of parliament in response to falling revenue from the malt tax. Sugar, in the form of caramel, was still permitted for colouring Porter. The following year, 1812, sugar was allowed to be used for brewing again. As the amount received through the malt tax was still disappointing, a full Reinheitsgebot was introduced in 1816. Malt and hops were the only ingredients permitted. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 490-491.)

Some claimed sugar could not only be used in conjunction with malt, but to completely repalce it. Professor Donovan wrote  of ale made entirely from sugar "To persons who have acquired an inveterate prediliction for the abominable and varied flavours which the skill of the brewer enables him to communicate, this pure and simple drink may be less pleasing; but it is suingular how quickly the consumer acquires a high relish for it, and prefers it to every other. There is a purity of taste belonging to it quite different from the indescribable jumble of tastes so perseptible in common ales; and a light sharpness, combined with tenuity, which is more agreeable than the glutinous, mucilaginous softness of even the best ales. But it has one advantage which places it above all competition, and that is, its lightness on the stomach; this, when compared with the sickly heaviness of malt ales, is really remarkable." (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 278.)

In 1847 the use of sugar for brewing was made legal. (Source: "Food & sanitation, Volume 4", 1894, page 102.)

Hops

The hop harvest was very inconsistent. The plant was susceptible to damage from cold winds, night frost, pests and disease. Goldings were the most tender. Canterbury and Flemish hops were hardier. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 28.) The price for hops could vary wildly, because of the uncertain nature of the harvest. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 29.) "The produce of the hop grounds are the most precarious of any known agricultural produce - in some seasons all but a total failure, in others so excessive as to reduce the price to little more than the duty." (Source: "An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 44.)

The following tables show just how much hop prices varied. No wonder wise brewers bought in extra in years of surplus.

Price of hops in shilling per cwt:
1815
193
1816
278
1817
445
1818
518
1819
115
1820
85
1821
85
1822
70
1823
186
1824
124
1825
455
1826
80
1827
90
1828
93
1829
119
1830
145
1831
100
1832
140
1833
125
1834
130
1835
80
1836
80
1837
73
1838
87
1839
95
1840
132
1841
136
1842
86
Source:
"An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 233



About two thirds of hops were grown in either Kent or Sussex. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 30.) In 1819, based on the duty charged on hops, the following were the districts producing the largest quantity of hops:

Sussex
32.1%
Rochester (Kent)
30.01%
Canterbury (Kent)
21.19%
Essex
0.96%
Hereford
8.21%
Lincoln
2.03%
Sarum
1.98%
Worcester
1.86%

Kent, Sussex and Hereford & Worcester between them produced 93% of the total crop. (Source: "The Spirit, Wine Dealer's and Publican's Guide", by Edward Palmer, London, 1824 pages 247-249.)

By 1848, hop-growing was even more concentrated in Kent, Sussex and Worcester.

Hop duty, acres of hops by district 1848
district
acres
% of crop
Kent
26.063,00
54,71%
Sussex
11.592,25
30,28%
Worcester
7.915,50
7,81%
Farnham
2.898,00
6,07%
Essex
342,00
0,51%
North Clays
361,75
0,55%
rest of Britain
60,50
0,07%
Total
49.233,00
100,00%
Source:
"An Historical Account of the Malt Trade and Laws" by William Ford, London, 1849, page 229
Notes:
Weight of hops calculated for duty paid, based on a rate of 19s 7.5d per cwt.
                                                                                               


The hops a brewer used were not necessarily local. As very few were grown in most parts of the country, this isn't surprising. In Scotland, the preference was for those from Kent, which accounted for 90% of the hops used in Edinburgh. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 46.)

Yearling hops - those more than 12 month old - were less valuable, selling for 25-30% less than fresh hops. "However carefully they be preserved, this effect will ensue, and, indeed, they will have lost so much of their aroma, as to be unfit to be used for the finer kind of ales." (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 46-47.)

Hops were packaged in two different ways, according to their type. Pale, fine-flavoured hops were packed into sacks called pockets that contained approximately 1.5 cwt (168 pounds). These were mostly purchased by Ale brewers. Strong-flavoured hops came in sacks made of a coarser material called bags, which contained around 3 cwt (336 pounds). Porter and Small Beer brewers were the main buyers of these. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 16.)

To try to prevent hops losing their bitterness, on arrival at the brewery the pockets or bags could be pressed in screw frame, reducing them to two-thirds of their original size. (Source: "Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, Edinburgh, 1849, page 172)

Types of hops:

North Clay Hops, were grown on the heavy clay soils of Nottinghamshire and had a "rank" flavour that was highly-prized by some brewers. As the flavour was slow to fade, they were often used in strong Keeping Beers. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 17.) "A strong and rank hop, fit only for porter-brewing, when mellowed by age." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 29.)

Kent Hops were one of the better, more expensive kinds. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 17.)

Golding hops were the best flavoured, but difficult to grow as they were particularly tender. They were mostly grown around Farnham in Surrey. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 29.)

Farnham Hops, from Surrey, were the most expensive and had a delicate flavour. Not everyone was convinced that they were worth the extra that they cost. "Farnham hops, however deserving the reputation they bear, are by no means worth the difference in price given for them" (Source: "A Treatise on Brewing", Richardson.)

Worcester Hops were the mildest. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 17.)

Flemish hops had a large flower, but a low weight and had a flavour unsuitable for Ales. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 29.)

The Canterbury Grape was another well-flavoured variety grown extemsively in Kent and Sussex. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 29.)

The best way to store hops was somewhere dry, closely packed together to exclude the air, which would evaporate the aromatic oils. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 18.)

Levesque recommends matching the colour of hop to the colour of the beer being brewed: "In hopping your beers, use brown hops for brown beer, and pale coloured hops for all pale beers" (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 32.) He also believed hops should not be used too fresh: "New hops should not be brewed until after Christmas, except with a portion of old." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 32.)

Hop dust was used, too. Costing about a quarter of the price of whole hops, a pound of dust was the equivalent of four pounds of whole hops. A proportion could be used in brown and common beer without adversely affecting flavour. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 33.)


Water

There were quite diverse opinions on the subject of the best brewing water, or liquor as it was called within breweries. "Brewers differ most widely in their opinions of the necessary qualities of water, some preferring hard, others soft, and others again treating the choice indifferently;" (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 105.) Brewing authors were likewise divided, but with a majority having no preference.  (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 106.)

Tizard was a hard water man. "Water that is free from saline matter, or that holds it in scarcity, is not fit for the brewery, being impotent." The softest water came from snow, followed by rain water. The latter picked up some "sulphate of lime" from the mortar betwween roof tiles. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 107-108.) Next came spring water, which was rain water that had passed through the ground. Its composition varied according to the nature of the ground. In the purest spring water there was a quantity of "carbonate of lime and common salt" as well as air and carbon dioxide. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 108.)

Well water was basically the same as spring water, but could become hard due to accumulated deposits. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 108.) River water was a combination of rain and spring water. The addition of rain water made it, in general, softer that spring water. It contained air and CO2, but little salt or carbonate of lime. The composition varied, depending on the amount rainfall. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 108-109.)

According to Tizard, hard water had a restraining effect on fermentation. Worts brewed from hard water needed to be pitched at a higher temperature - between 10º and 15º F higher than worts from very soft water. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 114.) Attenuation was also lower in hard water worts, leaving a fuller-bodied beer with less tendency to turn sour. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 114.)

The effect of the local water on Burton-brewed beers was already understood. "The Burton ales principally owe their superior quality and uniform permanency to the nature of the water there used, and which, according to the best evidence, is strongly impregnated with this hardener or water, gypsum or sulphate of lime;" (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 114.)

In 1830 a group of Burton brewers took the Society for the Diffusing Useful Knowledge to court for libel over allegations in a book they had published, "A Treatise on the Art of Brewing". The author, Booth, claimed that he could duplicate Burton beer by adding a saline solution, mostly gypsum, to a wort. He accused Burton brewers of doing exactly that, which would have been illegal. What Booth hadn't known, was that Burton water naturally contained a large concentration of gypsum. This came out in court and the Society lost. They were forced to print an apology in the next edition of the book. The judge presiding, Lord Tenterden, summed up saying: "the lovers of Burton ale may now drink it without fear." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 114-115.)

Bass, Ratcliffe and Gretton revealed that analysis had shown their well water had the following characteristics:

specific gravity:
1.0013

CO2:
7.5 cubic inches per imperial gallon

Solids:
79 grains per imperial gallon, consisting of:


carbonate of lime (chalk)
9.93 grains

sulphate of lime (gypsum)
54.4 grains

muriate of lime (calcium chloride)
13.28 grains

sulphate of magnesia
0.83 grains

total
78.44 grains
Source:
"The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 116.

Water-treatment was recommended for those with water that was too soft. "When waters run off moors and fens, and the brewers in certain districts are compelled to use them for want of better, it will be found desirable to impregnate them second hand with gypsum, or with such limestones as are easily procurable." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 118.)

Water was filtered before use to remove any suspended particles. Beds of porous material, such as sand, charcoal and limestone, were laid in layers, the coarsest on top, the finest underneath. Water was passed through these beds. The disadvantage of this system was that over time dirt would get stuck in the beds and clog them up. There were various alternative patented machines, with filters which could be more easily cleaned or replaced. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 118-120.)

Tizard maintained that hard water was best for brewing, particularly that containing gypsum. He disagreed that the extract was worse than with soft water, as some other authors claimed. His main reason for preferring hard water was the greater stability of beer brewed from it, especially in the summer. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 122-123.)

Roberts took the opposite view, "Most well waters are very hard, some more so than others, and such water should not be taken except in a case of emergency" (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 251.) He claimed that soft water, if mashed the same way, would produce a wort with a gravity 5º higher than hard water. (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 252.)


Yeast

Brewers and chemists were still struggling to work out the true nature of yeast. Most did not believe that it was a living organism.

It had been observed that fermentation could occur in one of two ways: spontaneously or artificially, that is by the addition of yeast. Yet yeast wasn't seen as an essential part of the process. "But yeast cannot be said to be the fermenting principle. Yeast is a combination of various substances derived from malt which are agglutinated and separate from the pure wort during fermentation. Dr,, Thomson has shewn that none of the substances which compose yeast has the power of fermentation; and comes to the conclusion that can, perhaps, ever possibly arrived at, - that it is sugar in a state of partial decomposition that acts as the fermenting principle, and which is brought over from the wort along with all the other substances contained in yeast." (Source: "Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, Edinburgh, 1849, pages 179-180)

Levesque details a method of spontaneously fermenting Ale. After the boiling wort had broken "discharge the whole together, hops and all, into the cask in which the liquor is intended to be kept, and bung down, for the present, the cask then being quite full: at your leisure fix the safetly-valve, and there let the liquor remain untouched, to ferment and depurate, without any addition of yeast, which will require 12 months for ordinary ale. The vacuum caused in cooling, will furnish room for the expansion occasioned by this mode of spontaneous fermentation. The time required for fermentation and depuration will be from eighteen months to two years, for the strongets ales; or of a gravity of 45º, in a temperate cellar." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, pages 46-47.)


Adulteration

The 1816 Act stipulating the use of just malt and hops in brewing explicity forbade a list of other ingredients:

"No druggist, vender of or dealer in drugs, or chemist, or other person, shall sell or deliver to any licenced brewer, dealer in or retailer of beer, knowing him to be such, or shall sell or deliver to any person on account of or in trust for any such brewer, dealer or retailer, any liquor called by the name of or sold as colouring, from whatever material the same may be made, or any preparation other than unground brown malt for darkening the colour of worts, or beer, or any liquor or preparation made use of for darkening the colour of worts or beer, or any molasses, honey, vitriol, quassia, cocculus Indian, grains of paradise, Guinea pepper or opium, or any extract or preparation of molasses, or any article or preparation to be used in worts or beer for or as a substitute for malt or hops; and if any druggist shall offend in any of these particulars, such liquor preparation, molasses, &c. shall be forfeited and may be seized by any officer of Excise, and the person so offending shall for each offence forfeit £500."

There are some pretty scary items included, such as vitriol and opium. That they are mentioned by name implies that they were in reasonably common use.

The penalties for those caught using illegal ingredients were severe. Using sugar, molasses or honey - 100 pound fine. Using hop substitutes - 20 pound fine. Using drugs - one hundred pound fine and confiscation of utensils. (Source: "The Spirit, Wine Dealer's and Publican's Guide", by Edward Palmer, London, 1824 page 17.)


Brewing equipment

New developments such as mashing machines and refrigerators were starting to give larger breweries a distinct advantage over their smaller competitors and domestic brewers. They enabled big brewers to brew more quickly, more efficiently, in any weather and to have a much greater degree of control over the fermentation process.

That they weren't keen on a wood taste getting into the beer is clear. This is how wood used in the construction of vessels was treated:

"English or Hamburgh oak, and Dantzic deal, ought to be seasoned twelve months at least previous to manufacture; subsequently undergo a thorough seasoning of salt, quick lime, and boiling liquor; and, finally, of malt dust, spent hops, and boiling liquor, that it may imbibe as little of the taste of the new timber as possible." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 9.)

The following equipment could be found in a modern brewery of the period.

Liquor-back. Made of cast-iron and situated in the roof of the brewery. A capacity of at least 10 barrels per quarter of malt used in a brew was recommended. An exposed position was not a disadvantage: "let the liquor come from whatever source it may, it will certainly be much improved by being exposed to the sun and air"(Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 7.)

Copper. There were two basic types: open and domed. They were made from thick copper and were twice as wide as they were deep. Often breweries had two coppers: the liquor copper, used to heat the water for mashing and the boiling-off which was used for boiling wort. The liquor copper needed a capacity of 3 barrels for every quarter of malt mashed, the boiling-off copper two barrels per quarter. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 8.)

Mash tun. It was constructed, like a barrel, from wooden staves bound by iron hoops. The staves were two inches thick and made of oak, the bottom of two inch Dantzic deal. Oak was not suitable for the bottom of the tun as it would be warped by the hot water used for mashing. There was false bottom made of cast-iron and four or five taps with a two-inch bore above the underback. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 9.)

Sparger. This was in common use in Scottish breweries and had already spread to England. It consisted of a horizontal tube with holes along its whole length. It was suspended above the mash tun and rotated about a central axis. A tube, connected to the water supply, was fastened to it. The holes were positioned so that the water came out of them horizontally and propelled the tube around its axis. In this way it automatically distributed the water equally over the whole surface of the grains. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 184-185.)

Underback. This was also made of oak with a Dantzic deal bottom. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 9.)

Hop-back. Square and constructed of Dantzic deal with a cast-iron bottom. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 10.)

Coolers. Made from Dantzic deal, with 6-inch deep sides and placed at a slight angle to help drain off the wort. The wood was given a smooth finish to minimise places for dirt to accumulate. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 10.)

Refrigerator. If used, only half the number of coolers were needed. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 10.)

Gyle tuns. Made from 3-inch English oak. One type was square. Another was round, airtight and fitted with a safety valve to allow excess CO2 to escape. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 10.) According to Levesque, until around 1795 gyle tuns had been embedded in the ground, with just the top metre or so above ground level. This had the great advantage of helping keep the wort at a constant temperature. These were replaced with raised gyle tuns, which were easier draw wort from. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 54.) Levesque recommended that underground gyle tuns were much better for small breweries, where the volumes of wort were relatively small. He suggested sealed tuns in the form of a cube, fitted with a safety valve. He claimed worts could be cooled as low as 45º F in such tuns.  (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 56.)

Attemperators. Pipes fitted inside gyle tuns through which cold water was passed to control the temperature of the wort. It was attemperator and refrigerators that allowed large breweries to brew all year.

Cleansing casks. Rather than putting retail casks on stillions for cleansing, special cleansing casks, holding around six barrels were sometimes used. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 11.)

Stillions. "Stillions are to be built three inch Dantzic deal, a whole plank in depth, bottom one inch and half, and about two inches wider at the top than at bottom, which ought to be for barrels 18 inches wide, 21 inches for hogsheads, 24 inches for puncheons, and so on in proportion for larger or smaller casks: the widths here recommended ar favourable to filling up witth clean beer, and to contain the yeast; a side plug-hole is necessary to draw off the beer, bored with a taper bit; the hole inside to be within about three quarters of an inch of the sole edge or bottom, to keep back the yeast; another hole of 3 inches in the bottom, to get the yeast out; and the stillion laid to a current of one inch to ten feet." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 11.)

Settling back. A shallow vessel, six inches deep, in which beer from the stillions was left to clear before being used to top up the cleansing casks. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 11.)

Vats. Made from 1.5 to 2 inch English oak. Vats of various sizes were needed for a variety of purposes: ageing strong Ale and Stout, blending worts from different brews, or mixing worts of different quality. They varied in size between the volume of one and three brews. Vats could be filled several times without cleaning out the lees, especially with Porter or Stout. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, pages 11-12.)

Casks were cleaned by filling with boiling water and being left to stand for 15 minutes, rolling occasionally. At the end of the process they were rinsed with cold water and left, without bungs, to dry. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, pages 12-13.)

British brewers did not use pitch-lined casks:

"The German brewers, who have the repute of being far our superiors, have doubtlessly seen the inconvenience arising from the casks absorbing the beer, and inflicting injury by admitting the atmospheric air through their pores, both casks and contents suffering upon the decomposition of the imbibed fluids, and the consequent acidity of the wood. Hence their precaution of lining their casks with pitch. No such protection is taken by other brewers; but notwithstanding that such or any similar " new-fangled notion " may be jeered at by the anti-innovators of the British brewery, the subject assuredly deserves a little thought; and the author suggests that brewers' casks may be rendered more durable, and their pores may be effectually stopped, by subjecting all casks, whether old or new, to the following process."
"The theory and practice of brewing illustrated", by William Tizard, 1850, page 489.


Rake mashing machine

The first type of mashing machine, invented 1807, was the rake masher. It replaced men working with oars to mix the malt and water. Not only did it save on labours costs, it also mixed more quickly and more thoroughly, helping increase the efficiency of the mash. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, pages 39.)


Brewing techniques


Grinding malt

Malt was ground a day before rtequired to allow it to cool. When more than one type of malt was being used, the pale malt was ground before the darker malts. Patent malt was ground last of all and ground finer than other malts. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 34.)


Hygiene

Brewing texts of the period were very clear about the need for absolute cleanliness. "Without care and cleanliness, the brewer may soon go to ruin." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 35.)

Chadwick warned of the necessity for cleaning caks well. The only satisfactory method was to remove the heads and brush the inside with a stiff birch broom. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 58-59.)

In hot weather wort could easily be tainted or "foxed" in wooden coolers. Quick lime, mixed with boiling water, was put into the coolers to a depth a little greater than was usual for worts. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 36.) Coolers could also be filled, while not in use, with a solution of lime as a a preventative measure.

Levesque recommended lime for cleaning wooden vessels. "limed liquor ought to be used for washing the brewhouse or utensils; and all false bottoms should be scraped cleanly and laid under liquor, as well as the utensils, in the intervals of brewing." (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 36.)  One bushel of lime was dissolved in 20 barrels of water to make an "anti-putrescent" solution for cleaning purposes. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 36.)

The copper was scoured after every third brewing. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 37.) Spent grains were removed from the mash tun immediately after the end of the last mash, to prevent the wood becoming tainted. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 38.)


Adulteration

Adulteration was still rife.

"Porter And Stout, And Their Adulterations.

The following are the conclusions arrived at from the analyses instituted of samples of London Stout and Porter obtained from the taps of the several London porter-brewers, and from publicans : —

That the samples of Stout either obtained from agents, or purchased at the taps of several of the principal London porter-brewers, were considerably stronger than those procured from publicans: the alcohol, of specific gravity .796, temperature 60° Fahr., contained in the former samples, ranged from 7.15 per cent, the highest, to 4.53 the lowest; whereas that of the stouts procured from publicans varied, with one exception, from 4.87 per cent, to 3.25 per cent.

That the same difference of strength also characterised the various samples of Porter procured from the two different sources ; the amount of alcohol in the porters obtained from the taps varying from 4.51 per cent, to 2.42 per cent. ; whereas those purchased of publicans ranged from 3.97 per cent, to 1.81 per cent.

That in nearly all the stouts and porters salt was present, often in considerable amount.

That in some of the samples cane-sugar and treacle were likewise present.

There is reason to believe that the variation of strength would have been still more considerable had the samples been procured direct from the several breweries, instead of, as in most cases, from the brewers' taps.

This diminution of strength in the beer purchased of publicans is only to be satisfactorily explained by the addition in many cases of water, this addition being no doubt sometimes practised by the publicans and other retailers of malt liquors.

The addition of water constitutes the principal, but not the only, adulteration to which these beverages are subjected.

Thus the addition of water reduces the strength, flavour, and colour, to such an extent as to necessitate in some cases the further adulteration of the beer, and this is usually effected by means of a very coarse description of brown sugar, containing much treacle, and known as Foots, and salt.

Since the use of cane-sugar is permitted in the brewery, we did not attempt to ascertain which of the samples subjected to analysis contained that substance, because, had we found it in any of the samples, we should still have been unable to have declared whether the brewers or the publicans were the parties who made use of it. We believe, however, that the brewers do not often employ sugar, since it is alleged that beer made with any considerable proportion of cane-sugar does not keep so well as that prepared from malt only. Moreover, the price of sugar forms an obstacle to its use in breweries.

It appears, from the analyses, that salt is almost constantly present in porter. This addition we know is made in the first instance by the brewers themselves; but there is also no doubt that a further quantity of it is frequently used by the publican to assist in bringing up the flavour of beer which has been reduced in strength by the addition of water. The quantity of salt contained in porter is often sufficiently large to communicate a perceptibly saline taste to the mouth. The salt is used by the brewers in the following manner : — It is first mixed up in a tub with flour, usually wheat-flour, and the mixture is cast by handfuls over the surface of the wort in the cooling vat It is said to assist in the preservation and fining of the wort, and it is alleged that these are the only purposes for which it is employed by the brewer.

The three usual and principal adulterations of porter consist, then, of water, by which its strength is reduced and its bulk increased, and sugar and salt, whereby its colour and flavour are in a measure restored. But there is good reason for believing, from evidence given before a recent Committee of the House of Commons on Public Houses, of which Mr. Villiers was the chairman, that other adulterations are practised, and that sulphuric acid, or oil of vitriol, salt of steel. or sulphate of iron, and cocculus indicus, are likewise not unfrequently used, and this both by the publican and the brewer.

Not only is the fact of the addition of water proved by the present analyses, but evidence of another character has been supplied by different parties to the Committee above referred to, showing the same fact. In particular, it has been proved that a publican could not afford to sell porter at the price which he pays for it, in the state in which it is supplied to him by the brewers, and realise a profit upon it, unless he had recourse to adulteration."
Source: "Food and its adulterations" by Arthur Hill Hassall, 1855, pages xxvii - xxviii


The 1830 Beer Act was very specific as to what would happen to anyone selling watered or adulterated beer.

". . . and if any person so licensed as aforesaid shall knowingly sell any beer, ale, or porter made otherwise than from malt and hops, or shall mix or cause to be mixed any drugs or other pernicious ingredients with any beer sold in his house or premises, or shall fraudulently dilute or in any way adulterate any such beer, such offender shall for the first offence forfeit any sum not less than ten pounds nor more than twenty pounds, as the justices before whom such offender shall be convicted of such offence shall adjudge ; and for the second such offence such offender shall be adjudged to be disqualified from selling beer, ale, or porter by retail for the term of two years, or to forfeit any sum of money not less than twenty pounds nor more than fifty pounds, at the discretion of the justices before whom such offender shall be adjudged guilty of such second offence ; and if any offender convicted of such offence as last aforesaid shall during such term of two years sell any beer, ale, or porter by retail, either in the house and premises mentioned in the licence of such offender, or in any other place, he shall forfeit any sum not less twenty-five pounds nor more than fifty pounds, and shall be subject to a like penalty at any and every house or place where he shall commit such offence ; and if any person shall at any time, during any term in which it shall not be lawful for beer to be sold by retail on the premises of any offender, sell any beer by retail on such premises, knowing that it was not lawful to be sold, such offender shall forfeit any sum not less than ten pounds nor more than twenty pounds, as the convicting justices shall adjudge."
 "A collection of statutes connected with the general administration of the law", 1836, pages 910-911

To put the minimum 10 quid fine into context, remember that a pint of beer only cost 3d to 4d at the annual rent of a beerhouse was just 2 pounds. Ten pounds was a substantial sum. Anyone caught twice, risked losing his licence for two years. Yet despite these harsh punishments, adulteration was still commonplace. There must have been an awful lot of money in it.


Ale Brewing


Mashing

The amount water required to obtain a specific quantity of beer was carefully calculated. Each quarter of malt absorbed 48 gallons of water. Another 20% was lost through evaporation during boiling, cooling and fermentation. So to brew 2 hogsheads (108 gallons) from 1 quarter of malt:

absorbed by malt             48 gallons
beer                                      108 gallons
evaporation                       20% of 108 = 22 gallons
total water required       178 gallons

(Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 23-24.)


The mash tun was filled with water at 174º F and the malt then added and stirred until all the grains are wet. Any remaining hot water was then poured in and the mixture mashed, or stirred, for 20 to 30 minutes. The tun was then covered with empty sacks to retain the heat and left to stand for 90 minutes. About half the total amount of water was used for the first mash.

The tap was opened and the first runnings returned to the mash until they run clear. The wort was between 145º and 150º when run off. There followed a second mash with a striking heat of 184º F and a third at 194º F. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 24-25.)

To help prevent the wort spoiling, hops, sealed in a bag, were put into the underback. These hops were later re-used during the boil. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 27.)

A third mash was performed while the first two worts were boiling with the hops. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 31.)


Mashing schema Table Ale 1834
pale malt
20 bushels






Kent hops
20 pounds






mash
water, gallons
water heat
minutes mashed
stood minutes
wort gallons
gravity
boiled minutes
1
190
174º
40
110
70
1099.72
} 70
2
65
184º
18
90
65
1094.18
} (with wort 1)
3
108
194º
20
120
120
1049.86
}
4
40
cold sparged


40
1038.78
} 90
5
22
cold sparged


22
1016.62
}
total
425
0


317
1066.48

Source:
Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835.
                                                               




                                                                                                                               
Mashing schema Table Beer 1834
pale malt
20 bushels









Kent hops
20 pounds









mash
water, gallons
water heat
minutes mashed
stood minutes
wort gallons
gravity
boiled minutes
wort gallons
wort gravity
produce per quarter
1
152
174º
30
120
80
1066.48
} 80



2
65
184º
20
90
65
1049.86
} (with wort 1)



3
125
194º
20
98
125
1020.775
}
250
1047.367
79 lb
4
25
cold sparged


25
1013.85
} 120



total
367
0


295
1038.78

250
1047.367
79 lb
Source:
Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835




Party-gyling

The hydrometer (or saccharometer as it was then usually called in breweries) was an essential tool for this process. "The saccharometer will thus inform you what strength beer you may expect from your malt, and will enable you in brewing to make two sorts of beer, of different strengths, by mixing the worts of different gravities according to taste or fancy." (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 30.) This method of party-gyling was common amongst London breweries. Whitbread almost never made just one beer from a brew. They usually made either a Porter and a Stout or two different strength Stouts.

This was quite different from the 18th century method of party-gyling, where the wort from each mash was used to make a different beer. The first wort was used for a Strong Ale, the second for a Common Ale and the third for Small Beer. In the 19th century system, each of the beers contained a portion of each strength wort, blended together to obtain the target gravity.

Whitbread were still using this method for most of their brews in the 1950's. It's not uncommon amongst traditional British breweries today. A good example is Fuller's, where Chiswick Bitter, London Pride and ESB are party-gyled in this way.

"Every brewer is sensible of the inferiority of weak worts from party gyles" Tizard warns. Which was why brewers usually increased by 3º to 5º the gravity of standard-strength Ales party-gyled with a stronger brew. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 187.)



Sparging

Chadwick describes the method employed by brewers in Edinburgh. They made just one mash and, once the first wort had been run off, sprinkled water carefully over the grains whilst the tap was still open. This sparge was performed by pouring water onto a board suspended above the mash tun. The board was perforated with holes which spread the water evenly over the surface of the mash, much like the rose of a watering can. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 25-26.)

Despite it's description as a Scottish process, the example brewing logs Chadwick provided list sparges. The difference is that in the Scottish method there was a single mash before the sparging started. The English logs show three mashes followed by sparges with quite modest volumes of water. For the Table Beer 25 out of the 367 gallons of water used, for the Table Ale 62 out of 425 gallons.

"Fly Mashing, which is modernly called Sparging, is to pass the succeeding liquors over the goods, while the tap is spending"
Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 44.

According to Tizard, there were several variations on sparging. The most time-consuming was to begin sparging as soon as the tap had been opened to draw off the wort. The idea was to add fresh water to the mash at the same rate as the wort was running off. Other brewers waited until half or three-quarters of the malt had been drawn off before beginning to sparge. However, most brewers still mashed ay least twice before sparging as they believed that this was necessaary for a complete extraction of sugars. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 181.) Some breweries mashed as many as four or five times.  (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 183.)

Roberts contended that it was best to start sparging when about two-thirds of the wort had been run off, using water at between 190º and 195º F. After the first sparge the tap was left open and wort continually run off. (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 pages 259-260.)

Tizard maintained that a single mash, as in the Scottish method of brewing, was sufficient if carried out properly. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 183.) It was important that the sparging water be at least as warm as that used in the first mash. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 193.)



Boiling

As soon as the second mash was completed, the first two worts were transferred to the copper to be boiled. The quantity of hops used depended upon a number of factors: the season (more hops were required in summer), the length of time the beer was to be kept before consumption and the taste of the brewer.

The usual way for indicating hopping rates in the 18th and 19th centuries was pounds of hops per quarter of malt. It's a system that allows recipes to be easily scaled for different gravity beers. Chadwick recommended 6 pounds per quarter in cold weather, 8 to 10 pounds in warm. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 32.)

The hops were first infused with boiling water before being added to the wort. Water was thought to extract the flavour components from hops better than wort. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 33.) Though not all authors agreed on this. Levesque was very much against steeping: "The author does not, under any circumstances, approve of the erroneous and anti-chemical method of steeping hops, either in hot or cold liquor" (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 49.) A gently rolling boil was preferred to prevent too many volatile hop oils evaporating. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 32.) To stop caramelisation or burning, the wort was stirred during the boil using a mashing oar. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 33-34.)

Worts were boiled until they broke, that is when sediment they contained precipitated out. It was essential that this occurred if the finished beer were to be of good quality. As the time before this happened varied, it was impossible to give a fixed length for the boil. Continuing after the wort had broken was inadvisable as further boiling would only damage the wort. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 34-35.)

The first two (strong) worts were boiled for 30 to 45 minutes. The later, weak runnings two to two and a half hours in order to concentrate the wort. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 35.) Levesque suggested boiling the first wort for 1 hour and the second for two hours. If there were three worts, the boil times were 1, 1.5 and 2 hours. (Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 46.)

Chadwick had some unusual ideas about hop additions. His system was add a little more than half the hops at the beginning of the boil. The remainder was used to dry-hop when the beer was filled into casks after cleansing. The hops helped to prevent too rigorous a secondary fermentation and to clear the beer. It also helped the flavour: "the spirit already generated by the fermentation, extracts from the hop the volatile and aromatic oils which are often lost in boiling." (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 32-33.)

For private brewers, Chadwick recommended adding sugar 20 minutes before the end of the boil. "The public brewer is not allowed to make use of this material, but it is not prohibited in private brewing, and it gives both strength and flavour to the beer." (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 57-58.) One pound of sugar was added for every bushel (approx 40 pounds) of malt, or, in the case of Table Beer, two pounds. Roberts agreed "I stand not alone in opinion, that a portion of sugar improves the flavour of ale."  (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 278.)

According to Roberts, a 70 minute boil was sufficient, with half the hops added at the start of the boil, the second half after 40 minutes. He recommended 8 pounds of best East Kent hops per quarter of malt. (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 261.) Adding all the hops at the start of the boil "I have found to be a bad plan, for by boilng long, they lose a great part of their fine aromatic flavour, a flavour which ought to incorporate itself with the wort." (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 274.) By splitting the hops, he wrote "I have found the flavour of the ale to be much more delicate than when all the hops are put in at first and boiled the whole time; for in this case they impart to a coarse and disagreeably bitter flavour."  (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 274.) He was in favour of a vigourous boil "the quicker the worts boil, the sooner they wil break." (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 274.)


(Source: "The Art of Brewing and Fermenting" by John Levesque, 1836, page 44.)



Cooling

When boiling was complete, the wort was moved to the coolers. To hold back the hops, a birch broom was fixed in front of the tap opening in the copper. A bag of horsehair placed just before the cooler trapped any remaining hops. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 36-37.)

Coolers were large and very shallow, the wort being no more than two or three inches deep. In large breweries, pipes, through which cold spring water was pumped, were placed inside the coolers. These helped cool the wort more quickly. Brewers were only too aware that the longer the wort took to cool, the greater the risk of infection. The maximum safe length of time for cooling was about 12 hours. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 42.)

As private brewers lacked the equipment to cool worts quickly, they were advised not to brew in the summer. Commercial brewers, with coolers capable of operating in warmer weather, were able to brew all year. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 43.)

In temperate weather, when the air temperature was aroung 50º F, worts were cooled to 68º-70º F. The final temperature could be lower in warm weather. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 43.)



Fermentation

After cooling, the wort was moved to the gyle tuns, where fermentation took place. The gyle tuns were not filled to the top to leave plenty of room for the head of yeast that would be formed. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 45.)

The pitching temperature depended on the volume being fermented. The aim was to prevent the temperature of the wort rising above 80º F and ideally keep it below 74º F. As a larger volume would heat up more, the larger the gyle-tun, the lower the pitching temperature. For a brew of three to four barrels, yeast could be pitched at up to 70º F. If the temperature rose above 80º F there was a chance of vinegar forming. On the other hand, if the temperature was too low, the wort would not properly attenuate. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 46-47.) Roberts gives a higher pitching temperature, 72º to 75º F. (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 265.)

Though worts would ferment without the addition of yeast, adding sufficient, good quality yeast was preferred. A yeast which left no nasty flavours in the beer should be selected. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 47.)

"Worts when left at these temperatures will soon begin to ferment without the addition of yeast;" (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 45.)

For strong worts, 1.75 to 2 pounds of yeast per barrel was recommended. Slightly less, 1.5 to 1.75 pounds per barrel was enough for weaker worts. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 47.) Roberts wrote that 2 pounds of yeast per barrel was ample. he suggested only intially pitching two thirds of the yeast, keeping back the rest to add should the fermentation be sluggish. (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 265.)

Between 7 and 10 hours after pitching, a head began to form around the edges of the tun, gradually expanding towards the middle until the whole surface of the wort was covered. As fermentation continued a uneven, rocky head developed. The yeast was skimmed off when the head began to collapse. This was repeated every 8 to 10 hours. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 47-48.)

Chadwick recommended feeding the yeast after the first skimming with a combination of wheat flour and salt. For every four barrels of wort, two pounds of flour and half a pound of salt were mixed with a little wort and then added to the gyle-tun. The flour helped the fermentation and the salt clarification. It's worth noting that this preparation would have been illegal in a commercial brewery. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 48-49.)

During fermentation the gravity and temperature of the wort was checked every 12 hours. You can see these noted down in many brewing logs. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 49.) Depending on the air temperature, primary fermentation could take between 3 and 12 days. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 53.)

The degree of attenuation depended on the gravity and the length of time I beer was intended to be kept. A wort of 1055 meant to be drunk young could be fermented down to between 1008 and 1011. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 50.) The correct degree of attenuation was imporatant if the beer were to taste neither too thin nor too heavy. Chadwick recommended a finishing gravity of between a third and a quarter of the starting gravity. That is, an apparent degree of attenuation of between 67% and 75%. The former being for keeping beers, the latter for ones to be drunk immediately. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 51-52.)



Fermentation schema Table Ale 1834
pitched at 68º, 17 pounds of yeast
date
time
heat
gravity
air temp.
Oct 23
8:00 PM
68º
1085,9
47º
Oct 24
8:00 PM
73º
1072,0
44º
Oct 25
8:00 PM
74º
1063,7
44º
Oct 26
8:00 PM
71º
1056,8
47º
Oct 27
8:00 PM
68º
1050,4
45º
Oct 28
8:00 PM
63º
1047,1
45º
Oct 30
8:00 PM
58º
1040,7
44º
Nov 1
8:00 PM
57º
1036,0
48º
Nov 3
4:00 AM
54º
1034,6
41º
Cleansed at 1034.6
Fermentation too slow 
Source:
"A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835
                                                               

                                               
Fermentation schema Table Beer 1834
pitched at 68º, 17 pounds of yeast
date
time
heat
gravity
air temp.
Sept 3
10:00 PM
67º
1055,4
44º
Sept 4
8:00 PM
71º
1040,2
48º
Sept 5
8:00 PM
74º
1026,3
47º
Sept 6
8:00 PM
72º
1016,6
47º
Sept 7
4:00 AM
64º
1013,0
41º
Cleansed at 1013 having skimmed twice
added 2 lbs flour and 8 oz. Salt
Source:
"A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835





Cleansing

When the beer was sufficiently attenuated, it was transferred into casks in the cellar. Care was taken when removing the beer from the gyle-tun to leave any sediment behind. The casks were unbunged to allow yeast to escape through the bung hole, being topped up when necessary. The idea was to remove any remaining yeast from the beer. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 54.) The perfect cellar had a constant temperature of between 50º and 60º F. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 57.)

To more efficiently promote the expulsion of yeast a device made of tin was fitted to the bung hole. It was a three-inch diameter tube with another horizontal tube sticking out from its side. The tube was kept full of beer. Any yeast was forced through the horizontal tube, past the edge of the cask and into a vessel placed to catch it. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 55.)

When activity in the cask had ceased, dry hops were added and the bung fitted. Chadwick sings the praises of hops added at this stage: "They will be found to contribute the delightful smell, and fine flavour of the hop, much more perfectly than those hops which have undergone a long boiling, and they will equally contribute to the preservation of the beer, and prevent any after-fretting that might arise." The vent peg wasn't initially made totally tight, so excess CO2 could still escape. When no more CO2 was being generated, the vent peg was hammered in to totally seal the cask. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 55-56.)

For Ale brewed in March to be kept all summer, Roberts suggested mixing some old Ale with hops and adding it to the cask after cleansing. About half a pound of hops per barrel was the right amount of hops.  (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 269.)

The system of cleansing was different in Scotland. Rather than run the beer directly into casks, it was first transferred to a square of about the same size as the fermenter, taking care to leave behind most of the yeast. The beer remained in the square between 12 and 36 hours. At the end of this time fermentation had finished and the beer was fairly clear. It was then run into barrels, but these were not placed on stillions, as in England, as no yeast was rising to the surface. They were just left on the brewery floor for a few days then bunged shut. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 143-144.)



Fining

According to Chadwick, there was no need to use finings if you brewed properly. In addition "fining by isinglass or any other artificial means, always produces flatness in the beer, and a tendency to become hard, unless it is drunk almost immediately." (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, page 61.)

Roberts was equally unhappy about using finings. "Fining ale is a very bad practice, and should not be adopted without an absolute necessity, as it always tends to flatten it, and rather promotes acidity" (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 270.)



Porter Brewing

Hitchcock suggested beginning with a relatively low temperature for the first mash, 160 to 163º F, "the object being to go so low as to prevent acidity in the wort". The mash was left to stand between 1.5 to two hours, depending on the weather. The hotter it was, the shorter the time stood. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, London, 1842, page 47.)

The second mash was at 170 to 178º F, again left to stand for 1.5 to 2 hours. The third mash was at 184 to 186º F, left to stand for 45 minutes. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, London, 1842, page 47.)

Barclay Perkins were still mashing their Porters three times in 1850, though the process varied for different beers. TT, their standard Porter was mashed twice, then sparged once. The strong Stouts BSt and IBSt were mashed 3 times and sparge 3 times. The others, EI, Hhd and FSt were mashed three times and sparged once or twice for a return wort.

Barclay Perkins TT mashing schema, for 240 quarters of malt                                                                                       brls         mash rate                water temp        tap temp.            gravity  brls         grv. Points           OG of beer
mash 1  578         2,41        158         146,5     1090,8006            309,5     28.102,79            
mash 2  368         1,53        178         161         1060,5522            331,5     20.073,05            
sparge  432         1,80        158         157         1033,2954            341,75   11.378,70            
total       1378                                                                       982,75   59.554,54             1.060,60
Source:                                                                                                                
Brewing logs from the Courage archive in the London Metropolitan Archive.                                                                                                                      
Their practice confirms Hitchock's recommendation of a low temperature for the first mash, folowed by a significantly warmer second mash.


1850 Barclay Perkins BSt mashing schema, for 290 quarters of malt                                                                           brls         mash rate                water temp        tap temp.            gravity  brls         grv. Points           OG of beer
mash 1  508         1,75        164         148,5     1113,5146            184,75   20971,82235      
sparge  180         0,62        142         141                                                        
mash 2  250         0,86        185         160         1096,8669            244,25   23659,74033      
sparge  160         0,55        149         143                                                        
mash 3  354         1,22        198         173         1063,6546            229,25   14592,81705      
sparge  160         0,55        149         143                                                        
                1612                                                                       658,25   59224,37973       1089,972472
Source:                                                                                                                
Brewing logs from the Courage archive in the London Metropolitan Archive.                                                                                                                      
The Brown Stout had higher mashing temperatures, starting at 164º F for the first mash, rising to 1908º F for the third. The sparges were relatively cool.



The first two worts were boiled with between 6 and 8 pounds of hops per quarter of malt. Hitchcock recommends a long boil - between two and three hours - "in order that the rank bitter of the hops may be extracted and a fine empyreumatic flavour produced" (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, London, 1842, page 47.)

Primary fermentation took the gravity down to at least of 1022º - 1025º before cleansing. (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, London, 1842, page 47.)



Mashing

The techniques for mashing Porter were different to those used when brewing from just pale malt. With a pure pale malt grist, mashes were kept to a minimum and there were mutiple sparges. Darker malts needed more mashes to extract its insoluble parts. In addition, black malt was apt to clog the false bottom and the grains needed to be remixed to allow the wort to drain freely. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 494.)

Roberts suggests a grist of 70% pale, 24% brown and 6% black malt. The method he desribed had a single mash, with a striking heat of 180º to 182º F. The grains were mashed for 20 minutes, then covered and left to stand for 90 minutes. The wort was then drawn off, being returned to the tun until it ran clear. When all the wort had run off, the tap was closed and the same volume of water as the first wort used to sparge. This water was at 190º F. It was left to stand for 15 minutes, then the wort run off.  (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 pages 280-281.)


Boiling

There was a belief amongst some Porter brewers in London that a long boil was required - 8 or 9 hours - to darken the wort. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 503.)

Roberts recommended splitting the hops into two equal halves, adding the first to the wort at the start of the boil, the second after forty minutes. In total, the wort was boiled briskly for 65 minutes. (Source: "The British Wine-Maker and Domestic Brewer" by WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1835 page 281.)


Fermentation

Worts were cooled to between 60º and 63º F before pitching. They were fermented in rounds or squares fitted with attemperators to control the temperature. The wort was not allowed to heat above 70º to 75º F. When the gravity had dropped to between 1030 and 1033, the wort was transferred to pontoes, with a capacity of 10 to 20 barrels, where it was cleansed. The yeast was expelled into stillions. To save on labour, the pontoes were kept filled automatically by "a self-acting apparatus consisting of parachute, tank, ball-cock, pipes, etc." (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 504.)

The final gravity was between 1014º and 1020º. At this point it could be vatted. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 503.)

Though the vast majority of beer was produced using top-fermentation, spontaneous fermentation was practised by private brewers in some counties.

"The Spontaneous fermentation is never employed, except for strong Ale. Weak worts would probably run into acidity before the vinous fermentation could take place. In this country, the strongest wort (that of the first mash) is well boiled with a very large proportion of hops, which are judged necessary for the preservation of beer that is to be so long kept. When sufficiently boiled (which is judged by its breaking pure, as described at p. 40, Part II.), the wort is turned boiling-hot into the casks, without separating it very nicely from the hops. The casks that we saw were butts, standing on end, and containing about three barrels each; and the bung-hole in the top was, in the first instance, either left open, or slightly covered, at pleasure. In about forty-eight hours, less or more according to circumstances that are indeterminate, a froth is seen to issue at the bung-hole; and this working, which never carries a head of yeast, continues during eight or ten days, when it gradually subsides, leaving the surface of the liquor covered with a white crust. At this period, the beer will usually be found, owing to the diminution of heat, to have shrunk into less space, and to have left six or eight inches of a vacuity in the cask. The cask ought properly to be filled up; but for want of spare beer this is often neglected: and it is said that the liquor keeps equally well, being defended from the atmospheric air by its crust. For the first three months, the ale, though pure, is not reckoned fit for drinking. It has a rank bitter flavour, which our informant ascribed to the seeds of the hops which lay steeped in the cask: but in five or six months that flavour goes off; and it becomes fit for drinking, though it is usually kept untapped for a twelvemonth."
Source: "The Art of Brewing", by David Booth, 1834, Part III  page 14.


Vatting

Ageing in vats, especially vats with a large capacity, improved the flavour of Porter. "The spontaneous and gradual decomposition which takes place in a large vat creates a peculiarly grateful kind of acerbity and fulness on the palate; which is not to be found in new or unvatted porter;" (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 503.)



Domestic brewing


"Our readers may naturally wish to learn this gentleman's method of brewing; and we are happy to have it in our power to gratify them, by giving his own details for making Economical Home-brewed.

"To brew three bushels of malt, which should be rather of the brown dried kind, or if pale, two and a half bushels, and half a bushel of porter malt, the latter will give colour and more richness, or fulness, than is generally imagined. The Excise laws do not allow sufficient time for the barley to grow, or acrospire, as it is called, in cold weather, and the number of wettings must be the same, unless done by stealth; hence it frequently happens, that strong barley, when malted in cold weather, does not vegetate or grow sufficiently; therefore the smal} private brewer should always have the best that can be bought, and brown dried rather than pale, or two and a half bushels pale, and a half bushel of porter malt, as above. The three bushels of malt will require three pounds of good hops, and take the chance whether Kent or Sussex, but Mathon hops are the best. "The utensils necessary are, an eighteen gallon copper, a mashing tub, 55 to 60 gallops; two coolers, 24 gallons each; and one tub, 36 to 40 gallons; two pails, one bowl, one sieve, one mashing stick, one wooden tap and basket, one funnel, two casks, 12 gallons each, and one cask 18 gallons, beer measure, and all sweet and clean. Boil 18 gallons of water, and put into the mash tub, which must stand 15 or 18 inches from the floor, and fill the copper again ; then, a quarter of an hour before boiling, the malt may be put into the water already in the tub, taking care that it is all wetted and separated; by this time the copper will boil, and the 18 gallons of water may be put to the former water and malt, stirring the mass till a thick froth be produced, say 15 minutes; then cover the tub with sacks, and let it stand full three hours from the boiling of the second copper, in cold weather; but in warm weather, a half or three-quarters of an hour less; the mass should be well stirred twice previous to the last hour, one hour being necessary for it to settle before drawing off the wort; during the mash standing and drawing off, there must be 24 gallons more water boiled, to put on the grains for the second mashing, to stand two hours and a half, and be well stirred as before.

"The wort is to run into one of the 24 gallon coolers, which will be nearly full; then put 16 gallons of the wort into the copper, and a pound and a half of hops, and by keeping up a good fire it will boil in 30 or 40 minutes, and the boiling briskly must be continued fully an hour; if there is much waste, you may put in occasionally a pint or a quart of wort, out of that remaining in the cooler, to keep the copper as full as possible, but take care not to check the boiling too much; ten minutes previous to the expiration of this boiling hour, some more wort must be running off, in order to make up 16 gallons for a second boiling with the remainder of the hops.

"The beer in the copper is to be strained through the sieve into the other cooler, and the second boiling is then to be performed like the first. The remainder of the wort is to continue running off, having the tub raised up three or four inches behind, so that all the liquor may run from the grains, on which throw 10 gallons of cold water, stir up the mass again, and let it stand till the second boiling has continued the hour, then run off to make a third boiling, with all the hops over again, for one hour as before. The two first boilings may then be put into the 36 gallon tub, and the last into one of the coolers; and when not more than milk warm, stir into each half a pint of yeast, as good as can be had. The beer must be within doors, and if a cold night covered up close, but only half covered if warm. By the middle of the next day the yeast is to be taken off again at three o'clock, and again before barrelling it in the evening, or it will work too much in the barrels.

"It may be mixed as you think proper, but always taking care to tap the weakest first, namely, one of the 12 gallons, and the 18 gallons next, and then with another 12 gallons you may brew again, leaving one 12 gallons on hand.

"By the above plan, which I have followed for seven years, Al to 45 gallons of really good beer can be had from three bushels of malt and three pounds hops. The barrels will require filling up gently two or three times before the beer will be done fermenting; when done, put the bungs in tight, leaving out the pegs for a few more days, from the day of brewing.

"The cow-keepers will buy the grains, and probably the baker would buy the yeast, some of which should be used in making one or two batches of home-made bread and cakes for the family; seven pounds of good flour will make nearly nine pounds of bread, better than twelve pounds of baker's bread. Of this we have had abundant proofs.

"We cannot drink London brewers' ale nor porter, but we like the Edinburgh and Alloa very well—a proof, perhaps, that these are genuine." See page 308, above."
"The Family oracle of health: economy, medicine, and good living" by A.F. Crell and W.M. Wallace, 1824, pages 378 - 379.






Styles



Beer gravites in the 1830's                          
beer type                            lbs/barrel            OG
Burton                                  40           1110.8
Edinburgh                           36           1099.72
Ale                                         30           1083.1
Ale                                         28           1077.56
London Porter                   22           1060,94
Brown Stout                       24           1066.48
Family Table Beer            18           1049.86
London Table Beer          15           1041.55
Workhouse Small Beer  6              1016.62
Source:                
"A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by William Chadwick, 1835, pages 38-39.                            






"Of Burton Ale.

We have formerly given Mr. Richardson's instructions for the brewing of this liquor; but we acknowledge that we have never been able to produce the flavour and permanent sweetness of Burton ale by following that gentleman's directions. The indiscriminate prohibitions of the Excise rise up before us, as they probably did before Mr. Richardson. They may have arrested his pen; but they shall not ours. We write not for the common brewer, but for the private gentleman, whose operations are unfettered. We will not say that the plan which we shall here point out is followed by the brewers at Burton, but we know that ale very like to theirs, in all respects, has been the result of this process.

Two ounces of salt of steel, dried until it becomes white, is infused into twenty barrels of liquor before mashing, that quantity of liquor being usually allowed for the first mash of ten quarters of malt. The use of this small portion of salt of steel is supposed to assist the extract; but we think that it has, more probably, been introduced to catch any incipient dose of oxygen which might favour the production of acidity. Its value may be questioned; but this small proportion, at any rate, is harmless.

Twenty barrels of this liquor is then turned upon the ten quarters of malt, in the ordinary way, upwards, through the false bottom. The heat is between 165° and 170°,—generally nearer the former. The mashing is continued about an hour, after which it is allowed to infuse about an hour and a half longer; the goods being covered with a sack of dry malt to preserve the heat.

When the first mash is run off, from ten to fifteen barrels of liquor (according to the proposed strength) is run over the goods at the heat of 185°. This is allowed to infuse two hours, when it will have sunk and mixed with the goods, without having been mashed. This differs from the Scotch practice by making up the length with one, in place of many sparges. Practice enables the brewer to fix the quantity of this second liquor; but he runs some risk of error in untried malts, while the Scotch brewer is always safe by weighing the wort in separate and successive portions.

This second liquor being run off, the strong ale worts are all extracted; and table beer, or a return, is made to exhaust the goods. It is usual, in the case of table beer, to cap the goods with a quantity of dry malt, which is understood to be necessary in order to procure the requisite strength. We believe that this practice (of which we do not approve) originated from a different cause. There was a time when the Excise objected to party'gyles, that is, tomaking two kinds of beer from the same malt; the capping was introduced to make (formally) a separate brewing, and was continued from the influence of custom. The least quantity of capping answered the purpose, so that it covered the goods, the strength being regulated by the quantity of liquor in the table-beer mash. This mash is generally made at 150° of heat, and allowed to stand about an hour:—but we return to the strong ale.

The quantity of hops is usually about six pounds to the quarter of malt, and the time of boiling from two to two and a half hours. From ten to fifteen minutes before turning off, a quantity of honey, at least equivalent to a pound per barrel, is put into the copper The honey is previously dissolved in scaldinghot liquor.

With respect to the fermentation, the tun is pitched at sixty-four or sixty-five degrees, with a pound of solid yeast per barrel. The first head is skimmed to rid the wort of the impurities which usually float upon the surface. After this the tun is generally kept covered, except when it is roused, which it is, twice or thrice a day. In from fortyeight to sixty hours it ought to rise to eighty degrees, or more; and when the gravity is about twelve pounds, it is usual to put half a gallon of bean flour and four ounces of sal prunella, previously well roused together in a portion of the worts, to every twenty barrels. The whole is then cleansed into barrels, which are filled up every two hours until they cease to discharge any yeast. Should the fermenting tun fall in heat, some recommend that two ounces and a half of jalap should be added for every twenty barrels of the wort.

Immediately after the casks have ceased working, six ounces of unburnt, but bruised, sulphate of lime, mixed up with an ounce of powdered black rosin, (both previously whisked in a small quantity of the ale,) are put into each barrel. Over this a small handful of half-boiled hops is also inserted; and the cask, being then quite full, is closely bunged up, having a gimlet hole, closed with a peg, at the side of the bung-hole, as an occasional vent for the escape of the carbonic acid which may afterwards be generated. The rosin and hops preclude the access of atmospheric air; and the sulphate of lime, which in a short time disappears, is said to prevent any secondary fermentation,—the usual forerunner of acidity. The honey is also understood to ward off the acid fermentation. Honey and water, especially when boiled, does not readily complete its attenuation, and hence it is supposed to answer all the preservative purposes of hops in the beer of Louvain.

The strength of the Burton, like that of every other species of ale, varies with the price. The qualities are seldom more than two; the one weighing from 30 to 32 pounds per barrel, and the other somewhere between 35 and 40, differing in the several brewhouses and with the demands of their customers. The latter, however, is accounted a maximum strength, and exceeded only in rare instances. Below 28 pounds the preservative quality, so peculiar to this sort of ale, is not to be depended on. The charge is usually by the gallon, because the sizes of their casks are various.

The following are notes of a brewing conducted according to the preceding directions:—


>>>>>>>>> TABLE <<<<<<<<<<<< Art_of_Brewing_Booth_1829_table_page_60.jpg


In two days the ale had ceased throwing off yeast: and when it had stood two days more with occasional fillings, it was bunged up, after receiving a handful of half-spent hops, &c. as in the directions. This ale was kept through the summer; and, in the following September, it had become quite pure, and was bottled at a gravity of six pounds. In a month afterwards it became pretty ripe, and was well liked."
"The art of brewing" by David Booth, 1829, pages 58 - 60.
http://books.google.nl/books?id=9rUrAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA43&dq=%22mild+ale%22&hl=en&ei=ji7RTaa6GMOVOri-3f8M&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22mild%20ale%22&f=false






Style overview 1815-1850                                            
                                OG                         hops/brl               hops/qtr
Table                     1030-40º                              ?                              ?
X                             1070-75º              2 - 2.5                    6 - 7.5
XX                           1085-95º              2.5 - 3.5                    6 - 9
XXX                        1095-1110º          3 - 4                        6 - 11
XXXX                     1100-1110º           3.5 - 4.5                 7 - 11
KK                           1085-95º              3.5 - 4.5                9 - 11
KKK                       1095-1110º          4.5 - 5.5                10 - 11
KKKK                     1100-1110º            5-6                      10 - 11
Porter                   1056-60º              2.75 - 3.25            11 - 13
Stout                     1070-75º              3.5 - 4                    11 - 13
Double Stout     1085-90º              4 - 5                        11 - 13
Triple Stout         1095-1100º          5.5 - 6.5                12 - 14
PA                          1057-1065º          5 - 6                        25 - 30
IPA                         1057-1065º          5.5 - 6.5                22 - 25
Scotch Ale           1090-1120º          2.5 - 5                    4 - 8
Burton Ale          1100-1115º          4                              6

Sources:
Whitbread, Reid, Truman and Barclay Perkins brewing logs
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 40-43.
"A Cyclopaedia of Six Thousand Practical Receipts, and Collateral Information" by Arnold James Cooley, 1854, pages 44 - 45.


W. Boler, Victoria Brewery, Newark 1840 price list                           
                                price gallon         price barrel
Harvest Ale         1s                            36s
Ale                         1s 2d                      42s
Ale                         1s 6d                      54s
Porter                   1s 2d                      42s
Porter                   1s 6d                      54s






There was still a differentiation made between Ale and Beer, though the definitions of the two had changed. "Ale is light-coloured, brisk and sweetish, or at least free from bitter; while beer is dark-coloured, bitter, and much less brisk. What is called porter in England is a species of beer, and the term porter at present signifies what was formerly called strong beer." (Source: "Brewing and Distilling" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, Edinburgh, 1849, page 103.)

Pale Ale didn't sit easily in either category, being pale and bitter. The disappearance of Ales made from darker malts such as Common Brown Ale or Stitch, must have helped cement the association of pale with Ale and dark with Beer.


Regional variation

Tizard tells us of the great diversity in the ales brewed in different parts of Britain.

"How different, for instance, is the ale brewed in Scotland from that brewed in the South and West of England! . . Who that has travelled would expect to find the London taste in Newcastle ale, or either of these in the ales prepared at Liverpool, Lincoln, Nottinghame, Derby, the Staffordshire potteries, Maidstone, Dorchester, Devonport, Alton, or North or South Wales? The eighty-seven brewers of Manchester supply as many varieties of flavour and excellence, but still it is all Manchester ale."
Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 133.

Around Wrekin, good barley country, drinkers expected their ale to be a pale straw colour, whereas in the Potteries it was nearly "as red as blood".(Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 133.) And, ultimately, it was the customers who decided the nature of beer sold in their district. "the brewer is in great measure bound to conform to the will and taste of his customers" (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 133-134.)



Porter

Porter was still the archetypal London beer, though Pale Ale was gaining popularity.

"The genuine London beer (although we learn from the ' Brewers' Annual' that there are only three brewers in London — Reid, Meux, and Courage — who do not brew pale ale, and that there are a few who brew nothing else) is the brown stout. It is the perfection—the ideal of the "berry-brown ale" and the "nut-brown ale" of the old songs."
"London" by Charles Knight, 1842, page 13

More than 50 years later, during WW I, Courage still weren't brewing a Pale Ale. Very unusual. Reid, on the other hand, did brew Pale Ale in 1839. Maybe they discontinued it.

The nature of Porter was still very dynamic and diverse. The move away from brown malt had changed its character. "This liquor is different both in colour and flavour from all other extracts of malt and hops, yet, like them, has been subject to a variety of changes, owing to the capriciousness of the public taste;" (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, London, 1842, page 46.) The Napolenic Wars had also taken their toll. "It was the French war, and the enormous tax upon malt, that was the real cause in the deterioration of the quality of London porter" (Source: "Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, Edinburgh, 1849, page 106.)

Hitchcock gives one of the few precise descriptions of Porter found in old brewing texts:
"The qualities of the porter at present admired are, perfect brilliancy, a dark brown colour approaching to black, considerable bitterness, with a fine empyreumatic flavour, and a close creamy head. Without these requisites, porter is little valued." (Source: "A Practical Treatise on Brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, London, 1842, page 46.)

It seems some Porter was even deliberately oaked:

"One brewer (Thrale), imagining it [Porter] had the smell of oak, in which he was not mistaken, and knowing that newly manufactured oak timber imparted a brown tinge from the tannin which it contained, had his store vats made of this material"
Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 484.

Early London Porters were strong beers by modern standards. Early trials with the hydrometer in the 1770's recorded Porter as having an OG of 1071° and 6.6% ABV. Increased taxation during the Napoleonic War pushed its gravity down to around 1050-55°. For the rest of the 19th century it remained in the range 1055-60º.

The huge popularity of the style prompted brewers to produce Porters in a wide variety of strengths. These started with Single Stout Porter at around 1070°, Double Stout Porter at 1085°, Triple Stout Porter at 1095° and Imperial Stout Porter at 1100° and more. As the 19th century progressed the Porter suffix was gradually dropped. British brewers, however, continued to use Porter as the generic term for both Porters and Stouts.

The move from brown to pale malt continued. London Porter grists of this period contained between 70 and 85% pale malt and just 10 or 15% brown malt. The small proportion of brown malt was possible because of the introduction of black patent malt. Though the speed of its adoption had varied from brewery to brewery, by the second half of the 19th century all large Porter brewers in London were using it. Some also used a portion of amber malt, especially in stronger Stouts.

Tizard espoused on the diverse nature of Porter:

"even in London a practised connoisseur can truly discover, without hesitation and by mere taste, the characteristic flavour that distinguishes the management of each of the principal or neighbouring breweries; and a more striking difference is still discernible amongst some of the Dublin houses, none of which yield a flavour like country-brewed porters, many of which are shockingly bad, being sometimes blinked, often tasting of empyreum, some black, some musty, some muddy, some barmy, and some having the predominant taste of Spanish juice, which is a not uncommon ingredient, and generally speaks for itself when taken upon a delicate stomach. This diversity is caused by a variety of circumstances, known and unknown, as some of them are profoundly veiled in secrecy; but at present as much from the colours and proportions of the grists brewed, as from any other cause."
Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 484.

Here are some example grists provided by Tizard:

Porter grists according to Tizard 1846
                                                                               

black
brown
amber
pale
total
grist 1
9
0
0
91
100
grist 2
6
34
0
60
100
grist 3
2
30
10
58
100
grist 4
3
25
15
57
100
grist 5
4
24
24
48
100
grist 6
5
0
95
0
100
Source:                                                                
"The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 499.              
                                                               
Variations in colour of, in particular, amber and black malt meant that brewers often had to adjust the proportions of each used to maintain a constant colour and flavour in the finished beer. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 499.)

Grist 1 was the cheapskate's favourite and produced a beer with the taste of liquorice. Grist 2 made an ordinary Porter, though better in quality than from grist 1. Grist 3, with a portion of amber, was better. Grist 4 was better still and in common use outside London. Grist 5 was excellent, but best of all was grist 6. (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, pages 499-501.) As you'll see from the examples of grists from London breweries below, by when Tizard was writing in the 1840's, London Porter breweries were mostly using around 80% pale malt in their grists.

                                                                                                               
Griffin Brewery (Reid) Porter and Stout grists 1844/45

Rg
Crs
Com. Sea
S
S Crs
SS
SS Crs
SSS
pale malt
83.14
80.55
81.02
82
81.29
85.88
85.73
83.07
amber malt
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
brown malt
13.86
14.99
14.73
14.06
14.52
10.81
10.92
13.52
black malt
4
4.46
4.25
3.94
4.19
3.31
3.34
3.41
hops (lbs/brl)
2.83
3.76
3.03
3.76
4.92
4.55
6.15
5.83
hops (lbs/qtr)
11.61
15.67
12.96
12.05
15.77
11.62
14.92
12.66
gravity (OG)
1060
1058
1061
1073
1075
1087
1087
1094
Source:                                                                                                                
Brewing books of the Griffin Brewery, held at the City of Westminster archive. 
Notes:                                                                                                                 
Rg = Regular Porter                                                                                                                        
Crs = Keeping Porter                                                                                                                     
S = Single Stout                                                                                                                
SS = Double Stout                                                                                                                           
SSS - Triple Stout                                                                                                                             
% of each malt calculated from weight (pounds) not volume (quarters). As a quarter of dark malt is lighter (approx 250 pounds) than pale malt (approx 320 pounds) the ratio would be different if calculated from the number of quarters.      


As for the idea that Stout was roastier than Porter, you can see that the Stronger Reid Stouts, SS and SSS, used a smaller porportion of black malt than their Porters. That theory can be crumpled into a ball and lobbed nonchalantly into the wastepaper basket of history. It just doesn't stand up to the evidence.

In general, there was little difference between the Porter and Stout grists in any particular brewery. At Whitbread, which party-gyled its Porter and Stouts, they were identical. Barclay Perkins had basically two grists. One for the standard strength Porter that was 12% brown, 3% black and the rest pale malt. Their Stouts had rather more brown malt - 18% - and 10% amber malt.


Barclay Perkins Porter and Stout grists 1848 - 1850
30th May 1848 TT
4th August 1848 Hhd
10th April 1849 FSt
6th December 1849 EI
HP (pale)
39%
HP (pale)
44%
NHP (pale)
41%
HP (pale)
57%
SP (pale)
48%
SP (pale)
40%
SP (pale)
17%
SP (pale)
15%
HB (brown)
10%
HB (brown)
13%
NSP (pale)
21%


black malt
3%
black malt
3%
HB (brown)
18%
HB (brown)
20%




black malt
3%
HA (amber)
5%






black malt
3%








1844 MK
36%
1846 MK
47%
1848 MK
100%
1849 MK
100%
1846 MK
38%
1847 MK
53%




1846 American
14%






1847 MK
12%






hops (lbs/barrel)
2.99

4.4

6.48

4.34
hops (lbs/qtr)
12.25

16.95

17.06

19.09
gravity (OG)
1060.11

1060.97

1061.49

1062.66
Source:
Brewing logs from the Courage archive in the London Metropolitan Archive.


                                                               
Barclay Perkins Porter and Stout grists 1851

TT
EI
Hhd
BSt
IBSt
pale malt %
85
73.8
85
68.05
63.58
amber malt %
0
4.45
0
10.66
10.8
brown malt %
12.12
18.41
12.12
18.74
23.05
black malt %
2.88
3.35
2.88
2.54
2.58
hops (lbs/brl)
3.25
4.47
4.29
6.22
9.04
hops (lbs/qtr)
13
16.88
16.38
13.44
15.75
gravity (OG)
1057
1060
1061
1079
1085
Source:
Brewing logs from the Courage archive in the London Metropolitan Archive.

You can see that Barclay Perkins Porters (TT, EI, Hhd) contained a higher proportion of black malt than their Stouts (BSt, IBSt).

                                                                               
Whitbread Porter & Stout grists 1844

Porter
KP
S
S Exp
SS
SSS

pale malt
81.21
81.21
81.21
81.21
81.21
81.21

amber malt
0
0
0
0
0
0

brown malt
18.79
18.79
18.79
18.79
18.79
18.79

black malt
0
0
0
0
0
0

hops (lbs/brl)
2.94
2.94
4.06
6.89
5.41


hops (lbs/qtr)
11.55
11.46
11.56
21.81
11.46
11.49

gravity (OG)
1064
1061
1078
1076
1089
1100

Source:                                                                                
Brewing logs from the Whitbread archive in the London Metropolitan Archive.
                                                                               
One of the last London brewers to adopt the use of black malt was Whitbread. As you can see in the table above, they were still using just pale and brown malt in 1844.



                                                                                                                               
Truman Porter and Stout grists 1850

Runner
Export Keeping
Bottling Keeping
Country Runner
M Keeping Stout
Running Stout
Double Stout
Imperial
pale malt
90,53
77,45
77,38
86,68
78,19
90,09
80,22
80,22
brown malt
6,16
19,32
19,31
10,24
19,51
6,88
17,66
17,66
black malt
3,31
3,22
3,31
3,07
2,3
3,03
2,12
2,12
hops (lbs/brl)
2,71
5,02
5,39
4,18
4,31
4,26
6,62
8,20
hops (lbs/qtr)
10,78
21,39
18,34
14,52
13,55
12,65
13,82
13,42
gravity (OG)
1065,1
1056,79
1065,93
1070,91
1077,01
1081,72
1095,57
1099,17
gravity (FG)
1018
1016
1020
1021
1020
1020
1027
1028
ABV
6,23
5,40
6,08
6,60
7,54
8,17
9,07
9,42
apparent attenuation
72,35%
71,83%
69,66%
70,38%
74,03%
75,53%
71,75%
71,77%
Source:
Truman brewing logs held at the London Metropolitan Archives
Notes: 
FG my estimation, ABV and attenuation my calculation
                                               

Thomson had some funny ideas about Porter brewing. He claimed that London brewers used three types of malt, pale, amber and dark, but mashed them separately. Barclay Perkins, he wrote, had three mash tuns and mixed the resulting worts from each for their Porter. Other brewers, with just one mash tun, mashed pale malt one day, amber the next and brown the day after that. The first wort was put into the fermenter and yeast added. The succeeding days, the other worts were added to the fermenter. (Source: "Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, Edinburgh, 1849, pages 113-114) I am fairly certain that this is total fantasy. It certainly doesn't tally with the brewing records of Barclay Perkins, Whitbread, Reid or Truman.


                                                                                               
6th December 1849 Barclay Perkins EI recipe for 5 gallons
malt
type
pounds




pale malt
HP
7




brown malt
HB
2




amber malt
HA
0.5




black malt

0.33




total

9.83





gals
water temp
init. Temp
mashed
stood
tap temp.
mash 1
2
159

20 min
90 min
148.5
mash 2
1.25
178

10 min
90 min
160
sparge
0.66
149




mash 3
1.5
162

10 min
45 min
173
sparge
0.75
149




total
6.16





MK (Goldings)
10oz





Boil time
90 mins





5oz MK
start of boil





5oz MK
after 60 mins





pitching temp (ºF)
69





gravity (OG)
1062.26





gravity (FG)
1024.22





ABV
5.08





apparent attenuation
61.35%





Source:
Barclay Perkins brewing records.
               

Mild Porter - means unaged Porter:

"My half a pint of porter fully satisfies; perwisin', Mrs. Harris, that it is brought reg'lar, and draw'd mild. Whether I sicks or monthlies, ma'am, I hope I does my duty, but I am but a poor woman, and I earns my living hard; therefore I do require it, which I makes confession, to be brought reg'lar and draw'd mild"
Mrs Gamp in chapter 25 of Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit, published in 1844.

Here's a rare mention of the actual taste of Stout. If I read it correctly, it says Guinness was pretty tart and highly conditioned:

"Guinness is a respectable enough drink, but we must say that the ascendancy it has gained in many coffeehouses and taverns of London is anything but creditable to the taste of their frequenters. Its sub-acidity and soda-water briskness, when compared with the balmy character of London bottled stout from a crack brewery, are like the strained and shallow efforts of a professed joker compared with the unctuous, full-bodied wit of Shakspere. As for the mum of Brunswick, which enjoys a traditional reputation on this side of the water, because it has had the good luck to be shut out by high duties, and has thus escaped detection, it is a villanous compound, somewhat of the colour and consistence of tar — a thing to be eaten with a knife and fork."
"London" by Charles Knight, 1842, page 14

It should be remembered that Pale Ale wasn't the only beer exported to India:

"It is among the Osmanli, and the Arabs, and the multiform sects of Hindustan, that we are to look for the real triumph of London beer. In the country last mentioned it is true the high-hopped pale ale of Hodgson, Bass, and others famous in that line, appears to be in greater demand; yet the genuine brown stout will be found in a respectable minority. Probably, too, a minute examination would show that it is only at the tiffins of the Europeans that Hodgson's beer is most run upon, and that the dusky natives do more affect the generous liquor that comes nearer to their own complexion. In the tropical climates of the West, among the fiery aristocracy of Barbadoes, the shrewd hard-headed book-keepers of Jamaica, the alternate votaries of the gaming-table and the languishing Quadroons of New Orleans, bottled porter reigns supreme."
"London" by Charles Knight, 1842, page 15



Porter cocktails

Crank: "Make a good fourpenny glass-full of warm gin with sugar, add a slice of lemon and half a wine glass-full of fine porter."(Source: "The Spirit, Wine Dealer's and Publican's Guide", by Edward Palmer, London, 1824 page 43.)
                                               
                                                                                                               

Irish Porter

The Porter brewed in Ireland was acquiring its own identity. Irish brewers were quick to embrace the use of black malt and abandon brown malt altogether. "Some portion of Irish brewers, and those who rank amongst them the most celebrated, form their grist of pale and best black malt only" (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 502.) Let's be clear who he's talking about: Guinness.

In the 1880's Guinness grists were 85% pale malt, 10% amber malt and 5% roast malt. (Source: “A bottle of Guinness please” by David Hughes, page 71.)

"Who is there in Britain who cannot discover a difference in flavour and gust between the London and Dublin porter?"
Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 133.

For the next century, the difference between Irish and London Porter remained the same. Irish Porter had a grist of black and pale malt alone, London Porter used a combination of pale, brown, black and, sometimes, amber malt.


Provincial Porter

Brewers in most of Britain were now brewing Porter. Though they were usually unable to match the large London breweries for quality.

"From the accumulation of advantages possessed by the London porter-brewers,—of immense capital, scientific arrangements, improved utensils, select materials, brewing on the largest possible scale, with constant and regular demand by customers, to suit their equally constant and regular consumpt,—the superiority of their porter may, in some measure, be accounted for. But the true cause lies, in all probability, in the long-established, uniform methods of working up their materials, prepared by judicious previous steps to produce a certain result; which, in the production of this species of malt liquor, bestows on it a particular flavour and quality; ultimately confirming its distinctive character,—which no other district can either rival, or even attempt to imitate, with any chance of success.

But, notwithstanding, very good porter has been made in many provincial towns; and in Scotland and Ireland efforts have been made to establish porter breweries, which have more or less succeeded, according to the skill and capital employed. Dublin porter, although inferior to that made in London, has obtained a considerable celebrity; and the porter of Aberdeen is not considered behind it in quality. But all this is only comparative. Two or three of the principal London houses brew as much or more malt liquor than all the brewers of Scotland and Ireland put together.

In Scotland, the business of brewing porter has rather declined, in consequence of the increased demand for draught ale. In Glasgow, better porter is produced than at Edinburgh ; but their ale is generally considered inferior to that made at the latter city. There cannot be any doubt whatever, that in such a flourishing commercial district as Glasgow, the brewing of ale and porter might be carried to great perfection, were judicious steps previously taken, in selecting proper localities, for malting the finest samples of barley.

The brewers of London obtain their supplies of malt from Norfolk,—and other districts where fine barley is produced; for in England, wherever it is abundant, a malt-house is established.

The climate of the west coast is too humid for making fine barley into fine malt, and for keeping it any length of time ; but the drier climate of the Lothians is at hand, and were the brewers of Glasgow to establish maltings on the eastern coasts, they could supply themselves constantly with fresh made malt, the production from which might stand competition with the ales of Edinburgh or the porter of London. It has been urged, however, that their water is defective for the purposes of brewing. It may be so; but where a great commercial advantage is to be obtained, skill and capital overcome many difficulties.

The question has often been asked, Can porter be made on a small scale, to approach near in quality to that made in London ? The question cannot be easily decided. In many provincial towns, it is very useful to make two or three brewings of porter to take up hard ale, which answers excellently, when it has been properly treated with hops; and although the quality of such a production is not equal to porter made in London, it may be equal to the purpose for which it is intended. In many districts, during the summer months, this description of malt liquor, when mixed half-and-half with mild ale, forms a very refreshing beverage, and is in much demand where it can be produced."
"Brewing and Distillation" by Thomas Thomson and William Stewart, 1849, pages 275-277.





X Ales


X Ales, the precursors of Mild, were still brewed to a wide range of strengths. Like most other Beers and Ales of the period, Porter and Stout excepted, they were brewed from 100% pale malt. Though in the example below from Reid, you will notice a tiny amount of black malt in the weakest two Ales.

Griffin Brewery Ale grists                                                                                            


1839 X
1839 XL
1838 XX
1839 XXX
1839 KK
1839 KKK
pale malt
99.75
99.76
100
100

100
100
amber malt
0
0
0
0

0
0
brown malt
0
0
0
0

0
0
black malt
0.25
0.24
0
0

0
0
hops (lbs/brl)
2.08
2.19
3.12
3.75

3.97
5.12
hops (lbs/qtr)
6.97
6.85
8.8
8

10
10.67
gravity (OG)
1073
1079
1089
1105

1089
1105
Source:
Brewing books of the Reid Brewery, held at the City of Westminster archive.
Notes:
% of each malt calculated from weight (pounds) not volume (quarters). As darker malt is lighter per quarter (approx 250 pounds per quarter) than pale malt ( approx 320 pounds) the ratio would be different if calculated from the number of quarters.

What did the X's mean?

“Common London porter ranges from 20 to 22Ibs. per barrel [1055º to 1061º], and the ordinary stout for town consumption about 26 Ibs.; [1072º] and stronger than this is mostly sent into the provinces, or consigned to exportation. The different qualities of beers, whether porter or not, are generally marked upon the casks in which they are sent out, and it is now common to stamp X, XX, or XXX, to designate such gravities as at the option of the proprietary may be determined upon, as a guide to the servants, and as a scale of charges. X was at first stamped by the Excise, or with their authority, on all casks and stores containing beer, which was deemed to be worth ten shillings per barrel, to denote that it was strong, and chargeable with duty accordingly; but as this was determined by the consciences of the trader and his surveying officer, the latter of which was sure to predominate, the course gave rise to an infinity of disputes. Ten shillings afterwards became the duty per barrel on malt liquors not accounted small, and the letters X and T were introduced into the officers' books to represent EXciseable and table beer respectively, till the total repeal of the beer duties in 1830 rendered all further notice unnecessary."
"The Theory and Practice of Brewing Illustrated" by William Littell Tizard - Brewing - 1846, pages 503-504.


I've spent years wondering what all those X's meant. I'd found a reference to "T" being marked on table beer barrels, but frustratingly it hadn't said what was put on those filled with strong beer. Now I know.

Is he right? The system of tax mentioned ended in 1830. There's a good chance he was working in the brewing industry at the time. The book was published just 16 years later. I'm inclined to believe him. Though reading it again, doesn't he give two different explanations?

What do you think?

I've just found this. It's from even closer to the period of 10/- a barrel tax:

 "Why are certain ales called XX (double X) and XXX (treble X)?
Because, originally, all ale or beer, sold at or above ten shillings per barrel, was reckoned to be strong, and was therefore subject to a higher duty. The cask which contained this strong beer was then first marked with an X, signifying ten; hence the present quack-like denominations of XX and XXX. "
"Knowledge for the People, Or, The Plain why & Because: Part I. - Domestic Science"
    by John Timbs, 1832, page 26


"X, or strong beer, must be kept separate from table beer; if found in the same cellar or stor-room,- penalty fifty pounds for each barrel. Table beer to be marked T on the cask, onn pain of having it charged X beer and forfeiting fifty pounds. Fifty ponds penalty for mixing TB with X beer."
Source: "The Spirit, Wine Dealer's and Publican's Guide", by Edward Palmer, London, 1824 pages 16-17.



Stock Ales

These were also brewed from 100% pale malt. They usually had the same gravity as the equivalent X Ale, but were hopped more heavily. Instead of X's, the relative strength of Stock or Keeping Ales was indicated by K's.

"OF STOCK ALE.
For this kind of ale when rich, i. e. of from 36 to 401bs. density per barrel, the slow fermentation is preferable. If intended to be kept twelve months it should be attenuated down from 20 to 161bs. density at the time of cleansing, and kept well filled up as before directed. Rack it once and as soon as it is stored away put to each barrel half a pound of the best hops you can procure, after having first scalded them with beer or first wort at 160 F. Then bung up tight, leaving the vent peg lightly in and cover the head of the cask with clean sand."
"The Secrets of the Mash Tun", by A Brewer of 25 years' standing, 1847, pages 37-38.


"The age at which ale is drank, will depend upon a private person's stock; the size of his cellar, &c. but more frequently upon his family habits, and the pecuniary means he chooses to devote to this beverage. Good mellow ale, soft and fine, may be had at a year old; and it is, perhaps, never better than from one year old to two. Some persons never reckon ale to be old, unless it drinks a little hard, or with some, approaches to sharpness, or acidity; but this is a false taste: old ale in this sense, it has been well said, is old ale spoiled.

After all, a hogshead or pipe of ale, that has. been properly brewed and carefully managed, will not always be fine when tapped. Suppose it be a year old, or what is more common, suppose it to be brewed in October (the best month in which to brew good ale for keeping), and tapped at the Christmas twelve-month following; if when tapped it be not fine, it may be corked up again, and stand another twelve-month, when it will probably be found not only fine, but greatly improved in flavour; but if it be wanted, it may be fined as follows: draw off a gallon or two, if the cask be a pipe, and take a quarter of a pound of isinglass, and some fresh hops, and scald them in a clean copper pan, dissolving the isinglass therewith; pour the quantity into a dry pail, and when cool put it into the barrel, and stir the whole together well with a long stick, or such an one as you have head-way to introduce; bung down the cask a few hours afterwards, and in a fortnight the ale will become fine. If the ale drink thin, and incline to be hard, let a pound or two, or more if required, of sugar-candy, bruised, be put into the pan with the hops, &c.

The method called marrying ale, we have often seen tried upon a private person's stock with success. It seems to increase its strength, but especially its mellowness and the fulness of its flavour, and consists in tapping a pipe or hogshead of ale in the middle, and when it is drawn as low as the tap, to fill up the cask with another brewing of wort. The particulars to be observed are: to begin upon a sound stock, such as is approved as to colour and flavour; for if there be any approach to acidity it will not do. The next point is to tun the newly-fermented wort upon the old stock, when it has fermented about twelve hours. The third particular, of great importance, seems to be, not to marry your ale in winter, but in autumn (October), for if your cellar be not a vault,the old stock is too chill, and the fermentation may suddenly stop: if this should happen, as in cellars that are not vaults, the heat may increase considerably in spring, the fermentation may be renewed, and the ale may spoil, or mischief happen to the cask by bursting. Ale that is brewed in the usual way will sometimes ferment in summer, and throw up the bungs of the barrels; especially if the fermentation have been hastily conducted, and little or no cleansing have taken place in the barrels after tunning (which is likely to be the case when brewing is performed in frosty weather); where this happens, the danger is that acidity will follow, and therefore the beer should be speedily used. When ale is married, the fermentation will bring away all the old hops, and it is not to be overlooked that the cork will rise that had been driven in with the tap. It is, therefore, requisite to work it out at the bunghole, skimming away the hops, &c. till they and the cork are discharged; then fill up the cask, and take out the top cork for cleansing, as before. It may be filled up several times with fresh wort, as in other cases, until the fermentation stops, and then the cork and bung put in (the latter very lightly) and left so until it is necessary to hop it down. The writer has refilled a cask in this manner five years successively, and had the ale always superior, and always alike in colour and flavour; in continuing this practice for a long period it is necessary to remove the casks for fear of accidents. The excellence of this ale is, that you can never guess at its age; it drinks always soft and mild, without any resemblance to ale recently brewed, and is equally remote from hardness or acidity."
"The London encyclopaedia Volume 1", 1829, pages 503 - 504.



PA



IPA

There was probably more diversity amongst IPA's that is generally reckoned today. A look at the IPA's analysed in the 1840's, shows that they had a wide range of gravities, both for the home and export markets. The beers tested were brewed in London, Scotland, Burton and other English towns.

                                                                                                               
India Ales
When brewed
Package
Export/Home
Price/hogshead (in shillings)
Price/gallon (in pence)
OG
FG
ABV
1844
Bottle
Home
60
13.33
1044.69
1005
5.04
Not known.
Bottle
Export, India
60
13.33
1054.18
1013
5.23
Not known.
Bottle
Home
60
13.33
1047.18
1006
5.23
April 1845
Bottle
Export
60
13.33
1048.35
1004.25
5.6
1845
Cask
Export
60
13.33
1048.35
1004.25
5.6
Not known.
Bottle
Home
60
13.33
1049.93
1004.25
5.8
1844
Bottle
Export, India
60
13.33
1053.75
1006.5
6
1844
Bottle
Export, India
60
13.33
1053.82
1005
6.2
1845
Cask
Export
63
14
1049.6
1005.5
5.6
April 1845
Bottle
Export
63
14
1055.23
1003.25
6.6
Jan 1846
Bottle
Export
65
14.44
1061.95
1005.25
7.2
Not known.
Bottle
Export
66
14.67
1054.4
1004
6.4
Not known.
Cask
Home
81
18
1059.25
1012
6
April 1845
Cask
Home
81
18
1053.75
1006.5
6
March 1845
Bottle
Home
81
18
1054.83
1006
6.2
March 1845
Bottle
Home
81
18
1058.8
1005.25
6.8
March 1845
Bottle
Home
81
18
1058.55
1005
6.8
March 1845
Bottle
Home
81
18
1060.13
1005
7
Not known.
Bottle
Export
81
18
1058.38
1003.25
7
April 1845
Bottle
Export
81
18
1058.88
1003.75
7
Not known.
Bottle
Export
81
18
1061.28
1003
7.4
Not known.
Cask
Export, India
84
18.67
1061.98
1010
6.6
Dec. 1844
Cask
Export
84
18.67
1060.38
1005.25
7
Mar 1846
Bottle
Export
90
20
1052.25
1005
6
Jan 1846
Cask
Export
90
20
1054.83
1006
6.2
Jan 1846
Cask
Home
90
20
1055.33
1006.5
6.2
1845
Cask
Export
90
20
1062.4
1012
6.4
1845
Cask
Export
90
20
1062.65
1012.25
6.4
1845
Cask
Export
90
20
1064.23
1012.25
6.6
Not known.
Bottle
Export, India
90
20
1065.55
1012
6.8
1844
Bottle
Export
90
20
1067.28
1009
7.4
Not known.
Cask
Export, India
90
20
1066.28
1008
7.4
Feb 1845
Bottle
Export, India
90
20
1068.53
1010.5
7.4
1844
Bottle
Export, India
90
20
1070.1
1010.25
7.6
Jan 1844
Bottle
Export, India
90
20
1067.61
1007.75
7.6
Not known.
Bottle
Export
90
20
1068.93
1007.5
7.8
1845
Cask
Export
90
20
1069.18
1007.75
7.8
1845
Cask
Export
90
20
1068.93
1007.5
7.8
Not known.
Bottle
Export, India
95
21.11
1067.1
1007.25
7.6
Not known.
Cask
Export
95
21.11
1069.43
1008
7.8
Source:
“Scottish Ale Brewer”, by W.H. Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 171 and 173
Notes:
1 hogshead = 54 gallons
1 shilling = 12 pence


The weakest had a gravity of just 1045º, not that much different from some modern British IPA's. That's the same strength as a Table Beer of the time. One India export version had a gravity of just 1054º, much lower than you would expect. Just to be very clear about this point: IPA was not strong compared to other Beers and Ales of the period. The strongest one analysed had a gravity of 1070º, lower than the Griffin Brewery X Ale, which was 1073º. Roberts actually stated "As the worts for the production of India beer are of low gravity . . ." (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 161.)

Not all the beer exported to India arrived in a good state. Some was just poured into the harbour on arrival. Roberts remarks of "miserably low" gravities of some of the export IPA's he analysed:

"Even keeping beers for home consumption, were they made from such low gravities as some to be found in this table, would certainly not stand over the summer."
Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 157.

The average gravity of export IPA's from noted breweries Roberts analysed was 1068º, those for home consumption from the same breweries 1062º. There were cheaper, weaker beers from other breweries which averaged just 1055º. Surprisingly, some of these survived not just the trip to India, but back to Britain again and were, at 18 months old, still perfectly sound. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 169-170.)

The demand for this type of beer had increased enormously. Tizard mentioned "the great demand for bitter ale, particularly for the Indian possessions" (Source: "The Theory and Practice of Brewing" by W.L. Tizard, London, 1846, page 104.) The big Burton brewers, Bass and Allsopp, placed advertisements in newspapers boasting of the size of their India trade.

This is Allsopp's:

From Oct 1, 1842 to Oct 1843
Allsopp
9,499 hogsheads
Bass
4,800 hogsheads

This is Bass's:

From Oct 1843 to Feb 1 1844
Allsopp
6,868 hogsheads
Bass
5,786 hogsheads
Hodgson
606 hogsheads

(Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 156-157.)

To put these figures into perspective, 9,499 hogsheads is 14,248.5 barrels. In 1843, Barclay Perkins brewed 389,835 barrels and Truman 344,342, put another way, around 1,000 barrels a day. The India trade was pretty modest compared to the business to be had in London. Allsopp and Bass's annual sales in India combined were less than a week's production of the 5 largest London Porter breweries. (Source: "The British Brewing Industry, 1830-1980" T. R. Gourvish & R.G. Wilson, pages 610-611.)

But IPA wasn't just exported to India. "What is called India beer is now very generally used in Great Britain. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 158.) Roberts believed that it was demand from expats returning from India that prompted brewers to make IPA available in Britain. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 158.)

IPA was recommended by doctors for its tonic properties: Äs a strengthening, exhilirating and wholesome beverage." (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 158.)

The following passage gives a very different reason for IPA being the strength it was:

"ALE, PALE OR BITTER; brewed chiefly for the Indian market and for other
tropical countries.—It is a light beverage, with much aroma, and, in consequence of the regulations regarding the malt duty, is commonly brewed from a wort of specific gravity 1055 or upwards; for no drawback is allowed by the Excise on the exportation of beer brewed from worts of a lower gravity than 1054. This impolitic interference with the operations of trade compels the manufacturer of bitter beer to employ wort of a much greater density than he otherwise would do; for beer made from wort of the specific gravity 1042 is not only better calculated to resist secondary fermentation and the other effects of a hot climate, but is also more pleasant and salubrious to the consumer. Under present circumstances the law expects the brewer of bitter beer to obtain four barrels of marketable beer from every quarter of malt he uses, which is just barely possible when the best malt of a good barley year is employed. . With every quarter of such malt 16lbs. of the best hops are used ; so that, if we assume the cost of malt at 60s. per quarter, and the best hops at 2s. per lb., we shall have, for the prime cost of each barrel of bitter beer—in malt, 15s.; in hops, 8s. ; together, 23s ; from which, on exportation, we must deduct the drawback of 5s. per barrel allowed by the Excise, which brings the prime cost down to 18s. per barrel, exclusive of the expense of manufacture, wear and tear of apparatus, capital invested in barrels, cooperage, &c., which constitute altogether a very formidable outlay. As, however, (his ale is sold as high as from 50s. to 65s. per barrel, there can be no doubt that the bitter ale trade has long been, and still continues, an exceedingly profitable speculation, though somewhat hazardous, from the liability of the article to undergo decomposition ere it finds a market."
"Ures' Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines" by Andrew Ure & Robert Hunt, 1867, Page 306


A word of explanation. "Drawback" was the money refunded to a brewer when beer was exported. The idea being that excise duty was only payable on beer consumed in the UK. It was a bit complicated in the period 1830-1880 because there was no tax as such on beer. It was the raw materials, malt and hops, which were taxed. Hence working out how much tax had been paid on a particular barrel of beer wasn't easy. So instead there was a simple flat-rate refund.

Anyway, what Ure is saying is that it made no financial sense for a brewer to export an IPA with a gravity lower than 1055, as he wouldn't get his 5 shillings a barrel back from the taxman. He implies that without this rule, the gravity of export IPA would have been lower.

I'm intrigued by his assertions that a Pale Ale with an OG of 1042 would survive the journey better and be more suited to the tropics.

Let's recap:

IPA, at around 1060, was an ordinary strength beer
1. it would have been weaker, but for the tax regime
2. its gravity didn't help it survive the voyage
3. As I'm having trouble getting some people to listen, I'm going to continue shouting at you about the strength of IPA for some time yet.


Brewing IPA

Roberts was convinced that the problems some brewers had with over-attenuation of their IPA's were the result of mashing at too high a temperature. When the air temperature was 40º to 45º F, he recommended a striking heat of 168º to 170º F. For an air temperature of 35º to 40º F, the striking heat was 170º to 172º F. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 161-162.) When run down into the underback, the temperature of the wort should be 145º to 150º F. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 161.)

The idea was to mash as quickly as possible, about 20 to 25 minutes if using a mashing machine. The temperature was immediately taken at various points in the mash and if the temperature was much below 145º F, hot water was added until the temperature was raised to 150º F. The mash was left to stand for between 100 and 120 minutes. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 162-163.)

Sparging should begin, according to Roberts, a minute or two before the taps were opened to draw off the wort. The water for sparging was at between 185º to 190º F. When all of the first wort had been run off, the taps were closed, but sparging continued until the surface of grains were covered "it being highly detrimental to let the surface of the goods to be dry. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 163.)

Burton brewers hopped at a rate of 20 to 22 pounds of East Kent hops per quarter of malt. Brewers elsewhere used rather fewer hops, 16 to 18 pounds per quarter. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 164.) That's considerably more than for other styles of the period - the weaker Ales had around 8 pounds per quarter, Porter about 12 pounds.

If 22 pounds per quarter were being used, 6 pounds of hops were added to the first wort at the beginning of the boil. After 20 minutes, another 8 pounds were added and the boil continued for another 50 minutes. The first wort was transferred to the hop back and the second wort boiled with the remaining 8 pounds of hops for two hours. The hops from the first wort were left in the hop back and the second wort drained through them to drive out the first wort that had been soaked up by the them. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 164-165.)

Roberts reckoned 22 pounds per quarter was too much. He claimed to have brewed beers with far fewer hops that were still good after 5 years. He even heated them up to 90º F to see how well they withstood high temperatures.(Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 165.)

"Reducing the temperature of worts in the coolers is now generally accomplished by artificial means, and with great rapidity, it being important that they should be reduced to the pitching temperature, with as little delay as possible."
Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 165-166.

Yeast was pitched at when the wort was between 58º and 60º F, depending on the air temperature. The fermentation was swift and vigorous, with the wort remaining in the tuns just 24 to 30 hours before being cleansed. During this time the temperature of the wort rose about 7º F. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 166-167.)

Cleansing took place in puncheons, which were filled up with ejected wort every two or three hours. Roberts warns of the dangers of filling up with wort that is cloudy, as it will just extend the cleansing period and create more work. Fermentation in the puncheons continued for 14 to 20 days, after which time the beer, which was already quite clear, was racked into hogsheads. When any head had subsided, a pound of hops was put into each hogshead which was then bunged down. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 167-168.)

Roberts mixed the hops with a little boiling strong Ale wort, which was left to cool and then added to the hogsheads. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 168.)

While Roberts preferred racking when the beer was relativley clear, some other brewers deliberately racked some of the dregs with the beer. They argued that this helped the preserve the beer during the long voyage to India. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 168-169.)


Burton Ale

Burton Ale was one of the strongest, and also most renowned, Ales of the period. It should not be confused with Burton Pale Ale, which is a totally different style. It was typified by a massive starting gravity, an extremely pale colour, relatively light hopping and a low degree of attenuation.

"The characteristics of Burton Ale are, great strength, paleness of colour, and fulness of flavour. It must be as pale as a straw, or it will not pass as genuine with connoisseurs of that article; consequently the palest malt and hops must be used.'
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, page 40.

To get the extremely high gravity of 1100º and more, only the first runnings were used. The later worts were used to make weaker Ales.

"This ale is of great gravity, from one mash chiefly. The wort from the first mash is seldom or never mixed with the subsequent. These are generally used for a return or inferior ales. Therefore the liquor of the first mash must be in such proportions as to make the gravity of the wort, when boiled, from thirty-six [1100] to forty-one pounds per barrel [1114]. "
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 40-43.

Not only was it brewed from pale malt, but care was taken to avoid any caramelisation of the wort which might darken it. Hence the boil was kept as short as possible, between 45 and 75 minutes. Should the malt by accident become too dark, powdered charcoal was added to lighten it again. A securer method of avoiding caramelisation was to use a double-bottomed copper, with a 15cm gap between the inner and outer skin.

"The best heat to produce such a mucilaginous wort as Burton ale requires, is one hundred and sixty-six degrees, infused from two and a half to three hours The heat of the grist should be maintained at one hundred and fifty-seven degrees. Sparge for the subsequent mashes at two hundred degrees. As long boiling is prejudicial to colour, the worts should not be boiled much longer than until they break pure. Three-quarters of an hour is generally sufficient for that purpose; but that is scarcely long enough to concentrate them sufficiently. We recommend them to be boiled one hour and a quarter; and, should they become high coloured, a little powdered charcoal may be thrown in the worts when boiling. This will destroy the colour, and impart no unpleasant flavour. Or, a double copper may be substituted for the ordinary one, the inner one made rather thin. Six or eight inches space may be left between the inner and outer coppers, at the bottom and sides: this space being filled with liquor, and made to boil, causes the wort in the inner copper to boil; it acts on the same principle as a glue pot. The inner copper may be supported by straps of iron running under the bottom and up the sides.”
“A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 40-43.

The effort put into to stopping the wort caramelising and darkening is striking. Clearly at this point a pale colour was very highly prized. Contrast this with Bass No. 1 around 1900 which, though brewed from 100% pale malt, was deliberately caramelised in the boil to produce a dark beer.

"Burton ales are not attenuated so low as ales generally are; but, as the gravity is so great, more unattenuated saccharine may, with greater safety, be left in this ale, than would be prudent to leave in ales of low gravity. There is not much risk of souring, if the cooling of the worts have been quick, and the fermentation properly managed. The great quantity of alcohol will prevent acidity, and the saccharine left will create fulness of flavour. Most generally, a quarter of an ounce of powdered orange-pea per barrel, is added in the copper, a quarter of an hour before drawing off, to heighten the flavour."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 40-43.

If Burton Ales were attenuated in a similar way to Scotch Ales as is suggested in this passage, the the final gravity would be in the range 1035 to 1045. (Based on the FGs listed in "Scottish Ale Brewer".)

"The fermentation will be best conducted, as before stated under that head. Owing to the great gravity of this ale, not less than two or three pounds of yeast must be used. The heat during fermentation may be allowed to reach sixty-eight degrees, but not more: the attenuation not reduced so low, by three pounds, as is stated under the head of attenuation. The fermentation in some breweries is allowed to be rather rapid: such may be permitted, if the ale is for immediate consumption; but if it is to be kept, the attenuation must be slow. Four pounds decrease in gravity every twenty-four hours, produces the richest flavoured, most potent, brilliant, and sparkling article. In fact. the slower the fermentation of ales is, the more superior the article will be, in every respect. When the article is intended for long keeping, the air must be sedulously kept from it during fermentation. A small tap should be inserted about the middle of the gyle-tun, to fill the essay jar.

The pitching heat of this ale is about fifty-four degrees, or even less in summer, unless the gyle-tuns are beneath the surface of the ground."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 40-43.

The fermentation method for keeping beer is similar to that for Scotch Ale - slow and relatively cool. Assuming a total gravity drop of 24 to 29 pounds during fermentation, at the rate of 4 pounds per day the fermentation would last around 7 days. Not quite the three weeks Scotch Ale could take, but considerably more than the usual 3 or 4 day fermentation of most Ales.


Scotch Ale


Scotch Ales in the 1820's
Price
OG
FG
ABV
 £4
1080-86
1032-35
6,625
 £5
1090-95
1036-39
7
 £6
1100-1108
1040-44
7,75
 £7
1110-1116
1045-47
8,375
 £8
1120-1125
1048-50
9,25
Source:
"Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 117


Scotch Ales in the 1840's
Price
OG
FG
ABV
 £3
1080-86
1032-35
6,625
 £4
1090-95
1036-39
7
 £5
1100-1108
1040-44
7,75
 £6
1110-1116
1045-47
8,375
 £7
1120-1125
1048-50
9,25
Source:
"Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 117


The Scottish system of brewing

The main difference with England was that Scottish brewers mashed just once. One and a half to one and three quarter barrels of water were used per quarter of malt. The striking heat was between 175º and 185º F. Mashing took about 45 minutes, followed by a period of standing between 2 and 3 hours. After this time the first wort was run off and the goods sparged with hot water.

For strong Ales, of over 1100, between 4 and 10 pounds of hops per quarter were used. In winter the average was about 6 pounds, in summer 8 pounds. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 149.) That's a little less than in England, where stronger Ales had 8 to 10 pounds of hops per quarter.

Roberts described how he hopped Ales when brewing.

OG
season
hops/qtr
1st addition
2nd addition
length of boil
1095-1100
Jan-Mar
10 lbs
4 lbs, 0 mins
6 lbs, 20 mins
60 mins
1085-1090
Jan-Mar
8 lbs
4 lbs, 0 mins
4 lbs, 15 mins
60 mins
1070-1080
Jan-Mar
7 lbs
2 lbs, 0 mins
5 lbs, 15 mins
60 mins
Source:
"Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 89-90

When a Table Beer was made with the weaker runnings, the hops from the strong Ale were re-used, being boiled 2 to 3 hours. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 91.)

Yeast was pitched 53º F in winter, 51º F in summer. Around 2 pounds of yeast per barrel was pitched. During fermentation, the temperature of the wort increased by 12º  to 15º F. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 149.)

"Scottish brewers make no use of isinglass for finings; nor do I believe they have any occasion to employ such agents as flour and salt in order to stimulate fermentation ."
Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 150.

Roberts gives an example of a £5 (100/-) Ale. Twenty quarters of malt were added to 32 barrels of water at 180º F. It was mashed with oars for 45 minutes then covered and left to stand for 2 hours 45 minutes. The tap was opened to run off the wort and at the same time sparging began with 32 barrels of water at 190º F. The wort run off was at 148º F. After 3.5 hours 48 barrels of wort at 1083º had been collected and the tap was closed. Another 15 barrels of water were sparged to make Table Beer. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, pages 149-150.)

160 pounds of East Kent hops were added to the wort in the copper and boiled briskly for 90 minutes. After cooling, 36 barrels of wort at 1103.5 were put into the gyle tun. It was pitched at a temperature of 50º F with 8.5 gallons of yeast. The wort remained in the tun for 13 days, the temperature rising to 63º F. It was then let down into the square at a gravity of 1043 and left there for 24 hours before cleansing into hogsheads. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 150.) By my calculation, that's about 8% ABV and 58% apparent attenuation.

10 barrels of Table Beer with a gravity of 1040º were also produced. (Source: "Scottish Ale Brewer", WH Roberts, Edinburgh, 1847, page 151.)

There are a couple of major differences between the method Roberts describes and the practice in English breweries. There was just a single mash, as opposed to three or four. The volume of the water used to sparge was much greater. The yeast was pitched colder, 50º F rather than 60º F, which was more typical in England. The fermentation, at two weeks, was much longer. In England it rarely lasted even as long as seven days. From the mention of moving the wort from a tun to a square, it sounds as if Roberts was employing the dropping system of fermentation.

There were some similarities between the Scottish and Bavarian ways of brewing:

"The Scotch and the Bavarian Brewers have certain points of similarity in their systems of fermentation. Both enter their worts to the yeast at a very low temperature; and both finish the tumultuary fermentation in the gyle-tun; so that in neither is any yeast thrown off after cleansing. The chief difference, however, (and it is a marked one) is, that the resulting leaven of the former gradually makes its way to the surface, while that of. the latter sinks to the bottom of the liquid, where they respectively, at last, remain stationary. The yeasty head, created by the upper-fermentation, if suffered to remain long, would, indeed, also sink. The particles of carbonic acid gas, which buoy up the glutinous covercles that compose the yeast, would gradually escape; and the head, after imbibing atmospheric air, would slowly sink through the beer; not only impregnating it with that disagreeable flavour called yeast-bitten, but leaving portions of its substance intermixed through the liquid, which would render it foul and stubborn, or difficult to be acted upon by finings." Source: "The Art of Brewing", by David Booth, 1834, Part III page 16.



David Booth's description of Scotch Ale

"The distinguishing characteristics of Scotch ale, are paleness of colour, and mildness of flavour. The taste of the hop never predominates, neither in its stead do we discover that of any other ingredient. It is perhaps more near to the French pale wines, than any of the other ales that are brewed in this country. Like them, too, it is the result of a lengthened fermentation.

The low heat at which the tun is pitched, confines the brewing of Scotch ale to the colder part of the year. During four or five of the summer months, the work (except perhaps in some houses for table beer) is completely at a stand, the utensils are limed down, and the greater part of the workmen discharged. No strong ale is either brewed or delivered.

The Edinburgh brewer is particularly nice in the choice of his malt and hops. The former is generally either English, or of his own making from English barley; and the latter Farnham, the finest East Kent, or a mixture of both. The yeast (or store, as it is termed) is carefully preserved, and measured into the gyle-tun, in the proportion of about three gallons to twenty barrels of wort.

The Scotch practice is to take only one mash, and that pretty stiff for strong ale, making up the quantity of wort (length) by eight or ten subsequent sprinklings of liquor over the goods, which are termed Sparges. These sparges trickle successively through the goods, and wash out as much more of the saccharine from the mash, as may suffice for the intended strength of the ale. In this manner, specific gravities may be obtained much higher than could be done by a second mash, which always requires a certain portion of liquor before the goods can be made sufficiently fluid. If we suppose this necessary portion of liquid in a particular mash to be fifteen barrels, it would be found, on trial, that these fifteen barrels, when drawn from the mash- tun, would not contain nearly so much saccharine matter as might have been extracted by ten successive sparges of a barrel each. The reason of this will be obvious, if we recollect that the grains always remain wetted with wort equivalent in strength to that of the wort last drawn off, and that the quantity remaining on the goods is about three- fourths of a barrel to a quarter of malt. The gravity of this imbibed wort will, in the one case, be equal to that of the second mash; but in the other, will be reduced to that of the tenth sparge, or washing. Mr. Richardson, so often quoted, condemns this practice ; but, in doing so, we know that he labours under a mistake. " What power," says he, " or what time, has a fluid to extract, which is sprinkled over the surface of the materials, and immediately trickles out below, without being allowed a stationary moment for infusion ?" We answer, that in malt (and it is only of malt brewings that we now speak) the infusion, if properly conducted, is. finished with the first mash,; and that nothing more is necessary than to-draw out from the goods, in a pure state, that saccharine matter which the first infusion has set free. But the question with us does not depend on theory. We have brewed strong ale for years, without following it either with table beer or returns, and we have, in all cases, drawn as much from the malt as we could have done by repeated mashings. The only objection to the sparging system is the loss of time.

The first part of the process is to mash with liquor heated to 180° at least, and generally to 190°, varying with the dampness of the malt. According to Dr. Thomson, the best brewers take the lower heats, but this is doubtful. After mashing from twenty minutes to half an hour, that is, until every particle of the malt is in contact with the liquor, -the tun is covered, and the whole allowed to infuse about three hours, when it is drained off into the under back, or (what is far better) into the wort copper.

After the first wort is run off, a quantity of liquor (generally a barrel), at the heat of 180°, is sprinkled equally over the surface of the goods. To prevent the liquor from dashing on one part, it is usually received upon a circular board, about three feet diameter, which is swung over the centre of the mash-tun; and, being perforated with small holes, allows the water to descend in a shower. The board being hung on cords, is moveable by the hand over every part of the surface of the tun. When, as generally happens, the cock of the liquor-copper is not high enough to carry the liquor to the board, a separate cock is inserted in the side for that use only. Other means may be adopted to answer this purpose of sprinkling, the object being to spread the liquor, equably, in a shower over the whole surface of the goods, as if from the rose of a watering-pan.

When the barrel (or other quantity) of liquor is thus let in upon the goods, the cock of the mash-tun is opened, so as to let it off, as in the case of an ordinary mash. Some brewers, instead of the common outlet of the mash-tun, have three or four small cocks inserted in different parts of the bottom, from the fear that a single cock might draw the filtrating liquor to one point, and thereby create a crack in the goods, instead of leaving the whole of the liquor to descend in one horizontal stratum.

When the first sparge is run off, or nearly so, which may be in twenty or five and twenty minutes, another of equal quantity is put on the goods, in the same manner, and thus, successively, until the whole of the sparges, when mixed with the first mash worts, show that gravity which is desired. The strong ale worts are then completed, and a mash is made to search the goods either for table beer, or a return, as the trade requires. This mash, however, is not necessary as a saving of extract; for the whole of the saccharine matter of the malt may be exhausted, as well as any required gravity of wort produced, by means of sparges alone; but there is an opinion, probably not ill founded, that the last weak extracts are less fitted for fine ale. The making up of strengths from the coolers formerly explained, is here anticipated, being regulated by the saccharometer in the under back, or wort-copper; for practice soon teaches the increase that, is produced by the boiling. It may be here noticed, that after the first sparge at 180°, it is customary with some brewers to reduce the others gradually, so that the last is perhaps 175° or 170°.

All rankness of flavour being carefully avoided in this species of ale, the quantity of hops seldom exceeds four pounds to the quarter of malt; and the bitter thus created being too slight to cover the taste of ruder ingredients, we believe that the Edinburgh brewers have been less the prey of travelling druggists than their brethren of the south. A little honey to add to the sweet, and a few coriander seeds or other aromatics to assist the flavour, are, as far as we have learnt, the amount of the sins of which they have been accused.

The manner of boiling the worts does not differ from the directions of Mr. Richardson; but when they arrive at the gyle-tun, the process of brewing is no longer the same. The first heat of fermentation, in the Scotch method, is as low as possible, consistent with the action. The favourite heat is 50°, a point at which chemists have generally asserted that the vinous fermentation could not exist, but 45° and 46° are by no means uncommon in the manuscript brewing-books that now lie before us. Even in the coldest weather, the lowness of heat is not to be feared, provided the brewery be in full work. The fermentation sometimes continues for three weeks, and a fortnight would be a pretty fair average. Were the brewings made three times a week, seven or eight working-tuns would thus be generally in play; and these being in the same room, some of them at 12 or 15° of increased heat, would create an atmosphere for themselves.

The quantity of yeast formerly mentioned is generally sufficient, but, in some cases, an addition is made a day or two after, if, in the judgment of the brewer, it appears necessary. The least quantity that will carry forward the fermentation to the required point is always preferred; and, to assure that purpose, the tun is roused twice a day (morning and evening) to prevent its becoming too languid. This rousing is continued until the ale is nearly ready for cleansing.

The rule for cleansing differs from that given by Mr. Richardson. It is an application of his saccharometer, of which he himself was not aware. The attenuation is attended to daily, and, towards the close of the operation, twice a day. While the heat is increasing, the attenuation proceeds; that is, the weight of the worts continues to diminish. After a certain time, the heat has reached its highest point, and begins to lessen. It is here that we are directed by Mr. Richardson to trust* to the smell; but this smell merely informs us that carbonic acid continues to be evolved, and the same circumstance is, in consequence, indicated by the saccharometer: for as long as any such evolution of gas exists, so long will the weight of the worts continue to diminish. When the progress of the attenuation is so slow as not to exceed half a pound in twenty-four hours, it is prudent to cleanse, especially if the attenuation is already low; for it might otherwise happen, that the gas being too weak to buoy up the now close head of the tun, the yeast might partially or wholly subside, and the ale would become yeast- bitten : it would receive that disagreeable taste which the head had acquired by too long exposure to the atmospheric air.

When the ale is cleansed, the head, which has not been disturbed for two or three days, continues to float on the surface, till the whole of the then nearly pure liquid is drawn off into the casks ; and this is considered as a preservative against the admission of the atmospheric air: for (he Scotch do not skim their tuns as the London ale brewers so generally do. The ale thus cleansed does not require to be placed on close stillions. It throws off' little or no yeast, and a tub placed so as to catch any little overflow of the scum that arises is quite sufficient. The fermentation is almost finished in the tun ; and it is not the wish of the brewer that it should proceed much farther.

The strength of Scotch ale, when it deserves the name, ranges between thirty-two and forty-four pounds weight to the imperial barrel, that is, of a specific gravity between 1089 and 1122, according to the price at which it is meant to be sold. The general mode of charge is by the hogshead (about a barrel and a half, for which five pounds, six pounds, seven pounds, or eight pounds are paid, as the quality may warrant; the strength for every additional pound of price being increased by about four pounds per barrel of weight.

In a good fermentation, there seldom remains above & fourth of the original weight of the wort at the period of cleansing. Between that and a third is the usual attenuation. If above a third remains, the taste is generally mawkish, and it is to be feared that the acetous fermentation will commence, before the time in which the ale might be expected to improve. Of the less sensible process of attenuation which goes on afterwards in the casks, we have already spoken when treating generally of the "Vinous fermentation." Scotch ale soon becomes fine, and is seldom, racked, at least for the home market."
"The Art of Brewing", by David Booth, 1834, pages 52-55.

Example brews:


Examples of Scotch Ale brewing in the 1820's

Strong Ale
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
pale malt (qtrs)
10
10
12
East Kent hops (lbs)
42
44
58
hops (lb/qtr)
4.2
4.4
4.83
hops (lb/barrel)
2.27
2.59
2.86
Striking heat
190º F
185º F
180º F
Sparge temp
180 - 173º F
180 - 172º F
180 - 170º F
barrels wort
18.5
17
20.25
pitching temp
50º F
48º F
52º F
OG
1099.72
1110.8
1117.725
FG
1026.315
1032.409
1040.165
ABV
9.71
10.37
10.26
app.attenuation
73.61%
70.75%
65.88%
Source:
The Art of Brewing, by David Booth, 1834, pages 55-56.





Let's start with Scottish Ales and their lack of hopping. What's often overlooked is that Edinburgh was a major producer and exporter of IPA, second only to Burton. So was Scottish IPA heavily hopped? Because aren't Scottish Ales supposed to be lightly hopped? I suppose it depends what you mean by Scottish Ales.

The lightly-hopped bit refers, I assume, to Scotch Ale. A type of very strong beer, fermented at low temperatures and with quite poor attenuation. But that wasn't the only type of beer being brewed North of the border. Porter, Stout and IPA were also brewed in Scotland. To extend the lightly hopped assertion to these styles is much more dubious. And, as I've shown in a previous post, the hopping levels of the strongest Mild Ales in London weren't much different from those in Scotch Ales.

The post-war convention of 60/- for Light (Mild), 70/- for Heavy , 80/- for Export and 90/- for Wee Heavy doesn't apply further back in history. In the 19th century, 90/-, for example, meant nothing more than the wholesale price per hogshead (54 gallon barrel). You could have a 90/- Scotch Ale, but you could also have a 90/- IPA. As you can see in the tables. The number of shillings tells you the price and thus a general indication of the strength, but nothing else.


 "SCOTCH ALE.
This ale, like that of Burton, is made from pale malt and hops. The brewing of Scotch ale is generally confined to the winter months. This is on account of the extremely low heat at which the worts are pitched, and their lengthened fermentation. The method of making Scotch ale is very similar to that of Burton, the principal difference being a higher heat in the first mash. which is about one hundred and seventy or one hundred and seventy-five degrees.

The mashing is continued until the malt is well mixed, and is very stiff. The tun is then covered close. The time of infusion is three hours or more. The heat of the grist should be kept at one hundred and fifty-seven degrees.

When the first wort has run from the grist, it is sparged on at intervals of twenty minutes with liquor, (about a barrel,) at two hundred degrees or more, until the length of the first wort is obtained, the gravity of which varies from thirty-five to forty pounds per barrel. The latter sparges are used for a return."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 43 - 44.

I'm sure you homebrewers will appreciate the details of the mashing regime. It's very different from that used in English breweries at the same time. In England there were usually three or four mashes. In Scotland the more modern method of a single mash followed by multiple sparges was employed.

Once again, the fermentation is described as long and cold. I'm starting to be convinced that this is true.

I'm always on the lookout for Burton references. Here, Burton is described as a beer brewed from all pale malt. Only later did it become the dark beer that was so popular in the early 20th century London.

"The boiling of Scotch ale is little different from that of other ales; one hour is the maximum of time. One pound of honey per barrel of wort is added in the copper, twenty minutes before drawing off. The pitching heat is generally fifty degrees, but is sometimes as low as forty-three."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 43 - 44.

A short boil - London breweries boiled for at least 90 minutes - with honey added. I'm not sure I follow the last bit. In a commercial brewery that would have been illegal. From the later text it becomes clear that this method is for private brewers. I suspect that one of the reasons private brewing continued for so long was freedom to use whatever ingredients you wanted. It gave private brewers an advantage over their commercial counterparts. When this advantage disappeared after the 1880 Free Mash Tun Act, private brewing all but disappeared within a decade or two.

"From two to three pounds of yeast per barrel, will mostly be sufficient to bring the fermentation to a successful issue If the fermentation should become languid, a little more is then added, and the gyle well roused.

The attenuation continues from twelve to twenty days, and is reduced to about one-quarter or one-third of its original gravity. A quarter of an ounce of pulverized carraway or coriander seeds are added, to heighten the flavour: these are used in the gyle-tun an hour before cleansing. The yeast is seldom removed from the wort which is drawn from the gyle-tun, leaving the yeast therein until the whole wort is drawn out. It is then swept into a shallow vessel, and allowed to settle, when the settled ale is removed, and put into the next gyle of wort."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 43 - 44.

A long fermentation again, but in this case the beer is being "cleansed". Allbeit in an ususual way. The addition of carraway and coriander seeds would again have been illegal in beer for sale. Note that the yeast is being reused.

"These observations will be sufficient to enable a person with little practice to produce Scotch ale."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by Thomas Hitchcock, 1842, pages 43 - 44.

This is what gives away that the instructions are designed for the amateur and not the professional.


Scotch Ale - lightly-hopped?

I've become very wary of stories without any hard facts to back them up. Too many have been demonstrated to be just that: stories. I'm addressing one today. That Scotch Ale was lightly hopped because hops don't grow in Scotland.

I've doubted this tale for some time, but hadn't come across any conclusive evidence. I won't get your hopes up. I still haven't. But I have found a couple of quotes that at least cast doubt upon the theory.

Hop-growing has been concentrated in a few regions of the British Isles for centuries. They weren't grown to any noticeable extent in the North of England, Scotland, Wales, the Southwest of England or Ireland. Though plenty of brewing went on in all those regions. Guinness is a good example of a brewery than brewed beers using plenty of hops, while situated far from the nearest hop field.

Consider this: hops aren't exactly a heavy cargo compared to, say, barley or barrels of beer. And there was already a large export trade in beer in the 18th century. Initially mostly Porter issuing from London. But by 1800, Edinburgh brewers were sending beer in the opposite direction:

"As we should expect, these architectural additions had their counterpart in the growth of his [William Younger II] sales. These had been making such phenomenal progress that even in London, where competition was fierce, he was well-established by 1830, thanks not only to his own excellent product but to the fleet of fast Leith smacks, which, in half the time taken by his father's old brig the William were conveying his hogsheads south and bringing back in return hops from Robert Tooth of Cranbrook and other Kent growers."
"The Younger Centuries" by David Keir, 1951, page 39.


It seems only logical that, as Scottish brewers had a liking for Kent hops, that these were carried on the return journey back to Scotland.

On to my second piece of evidence. Quite a good one, as it talks specifically about the flavour and hopping of Edinburgh Ale:

"From this pernicious though ingenious manufactory [distilling] willingly turn to one of a more advantageous nature, which for the welfare of the community, it were much to be wished could supersede the former; that is to say, the trade of brewing ale, which has of late years been carried to great perfection in Edinburgh. Formerly a brewer, who had established his works in the southern district at the Pleasance, Mr Bell, was more celebrated than any other in Scotland for the preparation of malt liquor ; but his ale had the fault of being extremely intoxicating. Mr Giles of Leith afterwards acquired great reputation for preparing ale of uncommon beauty, capable of being preserved for a long period. It is understood, however, to be chiefly acceptable to persons of a peculiar taste, on account of its bitterness, arising it is supposed from the large quantity and strong boiling of the hops used in its preparation. But the ale which has acquired the highest reputation, and is now bought up with great avidity in London and other distant markets, is that prepared by two brothers who carry on business separately, Messrs Younger. When properly managed, this ale is as transparent as Sherry, without froth or sediment, and of such a moderate degree of astringency or bitterness as to be universally acceptable. It were well that, in consequence of its growing celebrity and popularity, it could find its way into general use among the lower class of people to the exclusion of ardent spirits."
"The Beauties of Scotland Vol I", by Robert Forsyth, 1805, pages 159-160.


This passage describes two very different types of Edinburgh Ale. One,  brewed by Mr Giles of Leith, was extremely bitter. The other, brewed by the Younger brothers, was more mellow and less bitter.

Looks like the reality was a good deal more complicated than the tale. But isn't that always the case?




October Ale


"Properties Of October Beer.

Practical brewers are well aware that the peculiar flavour, and other qualities of malt liquor, depend very much on the water used, the temperature of the air, and the particular exposure of the malthouse as well as the brewhouse. London porter, therefore, can only be brewed in London; for though a London brewer were to go to Calcutta, or St. Petersburgh, and use what he imagines to be the same ingredients, and the same process, he will be altogether disappointed in the result. Hence the impracticability of following the receipts given in books for making Edinburgh, Burton, or Windsor Ale; for without the same water, and the same exposure, as the famous breweries in those particular places, the thing is impossible.

It is these several circumstances which influence the qualities of beer brewed in October, which has for ages acquired a high character. The state of the air, except so far as regards its temperature, we cannot so particularly appreciate; but we know some of the changes which take place in water during the month of October. The decay of vegetables, in immense quantities, must tend to impregnate both rivers and springs with putrid matter, which, if not in great excess, may be rendered inoffensive, by combining with the earthy salts of the water; and at the same time these salts will be in some degree neutralized, and the water rendered softer than before; and nobody needs to be told, that the softer water is, the more fitted it is for brewing. A late author is therefore decidedly wrong, who says it is to an erroneous prejudice that October beer owes its fame, and that what is brewed in February and March must be better. We doubt not that some summer malts may be slack, and even run over the kiln again j but that is not the fault of October. The bad effects of the putrid water, after it has undergone the heat and fermentation of the brewing process, must be wholly imaginary."

"The Family oracle of health: economy, medicine, and good living" by A.F. Crell and W.M. Wallace, 1824, page 114.

3 comments:

Ed said...

Saccharometers still are called saccharometers in breweries. I'm not sure why they're hydrometers to home brewers, perhaps because home brewing re-emerged separate from the brewing industry?

Ron Pattinson said...

Ed,

what do distillers call them, I wonder?

Saccharometer sounds so 19th century to my ears. Maybe the word hydrometer is the one used for an instrument that measures specific gravity. Early brewing versions didn't measure specific gravity as such, but brewer's pounds.

Ed said...

This is an odd one. Looking at the Stevenson Reeves catalogue: http://www.stevenson-reeves.co.uk/reeves/ReevesCatalogue.pdf

it seems distillers use both saccharometers and hydrometers, the former for the wash and the latter in the spirit safe.