Saturday, 30 November 2013

1880 - 1915 Adjuncts Arrive (part two)



Boiling

There were several reasons for boiling:
- sterilising the wort
- destroying diastase
- coagulating and precipitating out proteins (the "break")
- concentrating the wort
- extracting flavour and tannins from the hops
 (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 522.)


The wort was brought to the boil as quickly as possible to destroy any remaining diastase which would cause the creation of more maltose if left unchecked. The boil was vigorous and varied in length between one hour and more than two. Around 2 hours was commonest. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 524.)

Whitbread boiled their strong worts for 80 to 105 minutes and their weak worts for 2 hours. Fullers boiled their worts for between 80 and 120 minutes.

Dome coppers had the advantages of aerating the wort and preventing it from boiling over. The disadvantage was that the hops could disintegrate to such an extent that they no longer operated as a filter for the wort. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 524.)

There were many different opinions about the best time to add hops to the wort. Some brewers added them as soon as the wort was put into the copper. Others waited until the wort had begun to boil. Sykes & Ling reckoned that it was best to wait until 15 to to 20 minutes into the boil before adding any hops. Their reasoning was that, some proteins already having been precipitated, this helped the precipitative action of tannins in the hops. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 522.)

They were also proponents of two hop additions: one 15 or 20 minutes after the start, the second 20 to 30 minutes before the end. In this way not all of the volatile oils would be boiled off. The coarser hops were added first and the finer hops, whose flavour would be better preserved, last. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 522.) A system of three hop additions was also practised, again with the best-flavoured hops added last.  (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 523.)

The brewing logs, unfortunately, only give details about the total length of the boil and do not specify when hop additions took place. Based on what appears in brewing manuals, it's probably safe to assume that two additions were commonplace. When hops of different ages were being used, which was usually the case, it would make sense to have used the freshest hops last, as these would contain the greatest quantity of volatile oils. The older hops would have been used as a source of hop resins and tannins, which would not have been lost to such a great extent as the volatile oils during storage.

Though long boiling also extracted some of the less desirable elements of the hops, it was necessary to dissolve hop resins, which acted as a preservative. "The preservative power of hops is dependent on the soft resins they contain, and these, on excessive boiling, undergo a chemical change and are converted into bodies of a less soluble nature; hence hops should never be boiled a second time. It is highly probable that the long periods which hops are often boiled at the present time might be shortened with advantage." (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 523.)

When worts were boiled separately, each was hopped in proportion to its volume and gravity. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 523.) Let's take as an example a brew of 100 barrels of beer, with a gravity of 21 pounds per barrel (1058º) and 250 pounds of were to be used in the whole batch. The total extract would be 100 * 21, or 2100. A first wort of 67 barrels at 24 pounds per barrel, would have an extract of 67 * 24, or 1608. So the amount of hops to be boiled in it would be 250 (total hops) * 1608/2100, or 191.4. The second wort would have the remainder of the hops: 58.6 pounds. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 525.)

A patented device called a "hop separator", divided hops into leaves, stalks and lupulin. The leaves were added at the start of the boil, the stalks 15 minutes before the end and the lupulin 10 minutes before the end. The inventor claimed between 10 and 25% fewer hops were needed when using this method. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, pages 523-524.)

At the end of the boil, the wort was "turned out", that is run into the hop back. The hops settled onto the false bottom and formed a natural filter so that the wort was drawn off perfectly clear. The spent hops were sparged to release any wort retained in them. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 527.)

London Porter brewers had been famous for their long boils. Most had given up the practice by this time, but Truman were still boiling their worts for at least 2 hours and sometimes for as long as four hours. For their weaker beers, 2.5 hours for the first wort and 3 for the second was typical. When brewing stronger beers, where the wort needed to be concentrated, the first wort had 2.5 hours and the second wort 4 hours in the copper. In contrast, Whitbread boiled the first wort for 1.5 hours and the second for 2 to 2.5 hours. After WW I the boil times dropped even more as, since they were brewing weaker beers, there was seldom need to concentrate the wort much.



Cooling

Form the hop back, the wort moved on to the coolers. Whilst spread thinly in the shallow coolers, the wort not only rapidly lost heat, but also absorbed oxygen. This oxygen combined chemically with some of the contents of the wort. This aeration was vital for the later clarity of the beer. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 527.)

Whilst in the cooler, the wort deposited a sediment known as "cooler sludge", which was not allowed to get into the fermenting tun. The wort was not allowed to drop below 140º F in the coolers as this would damage the finished beer and make it less stable. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 527.)

As soon as the wort had dropped in temperature to 140º F, it was run through the refrigerator. Here more oxygen was absorbed, though only in solution, not chemical combination. The wort was cooled to the required pitching temperature, usually 58 to 60º F. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 528.)


Fermentation

The amount of yeast for pitching was calculated based on the volume of wort to be fermented and its gravity, stronger beers requiring more. For a wort with a gravity of 1050 - 1055º, 1.5 - 2 lbs per barrel of yeast was needed; for a wort of 1066º, 2.5 to 3.5 lbs; and for worts over 1066º 3 to 4 lbs. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 532.)

In 1910, according to their brewing logs, Fullers used much smaller quantities of yeast than those just quoted:

AK
0.65 lbs yeast per barrel
Brown Stout
0.94
Porter
0.44
PA
0.67
X
0.74

The yeast used had mostly been harvested from X, though in one case "Mann's Yeast" is specified.

Yeast was either added directly to the wort or first mixed with a quantity of wort at between 65 and 75º F to form a starter. The latter method was a better way of ensuring that a vigorous fermentation started as quickly as possible. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, pages 530-531.)

Weaker beers - those with an gravity in the range 1050 to 1055º - were pitched at 58-60º F and ideally not allowed to heat up past 66º F, 70º F ant an absolute maximum. Temperatures any higher were too likely to lead to an infection. Strong beers were pitched a couple of degrees cooler and, protected by their higher alcohol content, could be allowed to ise to a maximum of 75º F. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 534.) 

The Fuller's logs from 1910 confirm these pitching and fermentation temperatures. All the worts were pitched at either 59 or 60º F and the maximum temperature reached during fermentation between 66 and 69º F.

If a fermentation were not vigorous enough and the yeast head discoloured, the solution was to "dress" the wort. The old method was to mix 1 lb of wheat flour and 4 ounces of salt per barrel into the wort and then rouse it thoroughly. When the problem was caused by too many unfermentable carbohydrates in the wort, this "dressing" could be effective. The diastase in the malt acted on the carbohydrates, making them more fermentable. The new method was to use just malt flour, without any salt. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, pages 534-535.)

The appearance of the head when through a series phases during fermentation:

- after 2-3 hours, bubbles of CO2 began to appear
- after 4-6 hours, a head formed around the edges of the vessel and gradually covered the whole surface
- as the head thickened, it entered the "cauliflower" stage
- next was the "rocky head" stage, when it reached a height of three or four feet
- after about 48 hours the had began to collapse and the "yeasty head" stage began, also known as the "skimming point" as this was when skimming bega. It was also when yeast was harvested. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 535.)

The appearance of the "yeasty head" was an indication that it was time to start cleansing or skimming, if either of these systems of fermentation were being used. The gravity had by now dropped to between a third and a half of the starting gravity. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 535.)

There were three systems of fermentation:

- the cleansing system
- the skimming system
- Yorkshire squares
(Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 535.)


The cleansing system

Probably having its origins in domestic brewing, this was the oldest method of fermentation. Originally, trade casks, that is the casks in which the beer was sent out to customers, were used for cleansing. After about 48 hours in the fermenting tun, the process of separating out the yeast began and the wort was transferred to trade casks. A few breweries still used this old-fashioned method in the early 20th century. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 535.)

By the late 1800's, it was more usual to use large casks - butts, puncheons or pontos, each holding several barrels - for cleansing. These were known as "loose pieces" because, unlike the more sophisticated Burton Union method of cleansing, the barrels were not permanently fixed to a frame, but could be removed for cleaning. Yeast was pitched at 56º to 60º F and after 36 to 40 hours, when the temperature had risen to about 70º F and the gravity reduced by half, the wort was transferred to the cleansing casks. Splitting the wort into smaller volumes helped to keep down the temperature. If the temperature in the fermenting room was 45º to 50º F, the wort in the casks could get no warmer than 70º F. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 535.)

In the summer, it was possible that the wort could become too hot so, as a precaution, it was moved to the cleansing casks earlier in the fermentation, when it was cooler. Burton Unions were fitted with attemperators so this was not necessary. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 536.)

Some beer was expelled along with the yeast and it was important to top up the cleansing casks with clear wort. If they were not keep totally full, yeast would fall back into the beer and defeat the object of the operation. In some arrangements, such as Burton unions, topping up occurred automatically. In other cases, it was performed by hand, usually at intervals of around 3 hours. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 536.)

As far as I am aware, the unions at Marston in Burton are the only remaining example of this form of fermentation.


The skimming system

This began exactly the same as the cleansing method. When the skimming point was reached, the wort was left in the fermenting tun but thoroughly roused. The yeast head was skimmed off every 6 hours. Temperature was controlled by means of attemperators. These were switched on when the temperature of the wort had reached 59º F and so regulated as to allow the wort to rise 1º F every 6 hours. The flow of water through the attemperators was increased when the wort hit 65º or 66º F to stop the wort warming any more. When the fermentation was nearly finished, the water flow in the attemperators was increased even more to cool the wort down to 60º F. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 536.)

Skimming stopped when it was estimated there was just enough yeast left to throw up one more head. This was checked by moving aside the head to look at the wort.         If it was black and clear, it was ready and no more skimming was needed. If it was brown and opaque, it still contained too much yeast. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, pages 536-537.)


The dropping system

This was a variation on the skimming system developed by William Garton. When the wort had almost reached the skimming point, it was let down from the fermenting tun to a shallow settling square. The process of "dropping" both aerated and roused the wort. Much of the sediment was left behind in the fermenting tun. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 537.)

Once in the settling square, the wort was skimmed and its temperature controlled by attemperators as in the skimming system. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 537.)

Fullers were using the dropping system in 1910. They usually dropped the wort after just 12 to 18 hours in the fermenting tun. This is the record of a typical fermentation:

Fuller's 1910 Porter
hours
temp.
gravity
0
60
1048.6
12
Dropped into square

30.5
64
1042.1
36.5
66
1037.7
42
66
1031.6
47
66
1026.9
50
Lowered sluices

54
66.5
1021.6
56
Collected

60.5
66
1018.6
62
Skimmed

68.5
66
1015.8
73.5
66
1014.4
77
66
1013.9
93
Liquor on

99


134
60
1011.9

Racked

Source:
Fullers brewing records

The temperatures match pretty much exactly those given by Sykes and Ling in their description of the skimming system.

Most London breweries employed either the cleansing system or skimming system. I am unaware of any brewery that still uses the cleansing system. There is at least one brewery (Refresh for the Brakspears beers) that continues to use the dropping system.


The stone square system


This method, as its alternate name "Yorkshire square" implies, was common in the north of England. It produced beers that were full-bodied and with a high CO2 content. A special type of slow-acting yeast, which needed a great deal of rousing, was used. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 537.)

A small amount of yeast, just 1 to 1.5 pounds per barrel, was pitched at a temperature of 58º to 59º F. The yeast was mixed with a little wort in the upper chamber, thoroughly roused and then let down into the main chamber through the "organ pipe". The wort was then left undisturbed for 36 hours during which time the temperature rose to 62º F. For the next 12 hours, the wort was roused every two hours. Yeast rose through the central manhole and settled in the upper chamber. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 537.)

The next stage was pumping. Wort was pumped into the upper chamber and mixed with the yeast that had settled there. The valve in the organ pipe was then opened to allow the wort and yeast mixture to run back into the main chamber. This process was repeated every two hours, starting with 15 strokes of the pump. On each subsequent repetition, the number of strokes was increased by 10. The wort was kept cool by the attemperating "jacket" formed bt the double walls of the square. Pumping ceased when the wort was within 1 or 1.5º of its finishing gravity. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 537.)

After pumping was over, the yeast which rose into the upper chamber was removed any four hours. Any beer which had risen with the yeast was let back down into the main chamber through the "organ pipe". When all the yeast had been removed, the temperature of the beer was gradually reduced to 60º F. The manhole was then closed and the beer left to settle for 48 hours before being racked. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 538.)

Yorkshire squares are the only one of the three fermentation systems still in widespread use. Breweries using them include Sam Smith's and Tetley's.


Settling and racking


After fermentation had finished, the beer was left to settle for 24 hours either in the fermenting vessel or a settling back. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 538.)

When the beer was bright, it was racked into trade casks. A rubber pipe, fitted with a metal nozzle was used to fill the casks. The nozzle's function was to ensure that the tube reached almost to the bottom of the cask so the beer didn't get too agitated and begin to froth over. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 538.)


Dry hopping

Before being filled with beer, a quantity of whole hops was added to the trade casks. Standard-strength beers received between 1 and 1.5 pounds per barrel, stronger beers more. The best quality hops were used, usually Goldings or Worcesters. Only whole flowers, free from disease of fungus, were suitable. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 538.)

The volatile oils present in the hops added flavour and aroma to the beer. The hops also helped conditioning, as they contained a diastatic enzymes that broke down lower malto-dextrins into more fermentable sugars, which would be consumed by the yeast during secondary fermentation. By attracting suspended particles, the hops aided clarification, too. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 539.)


Secondary fermentation

When in trade or storage casks, beer began a slow secondary fermentation. Maltodextrins were gradually broken down and consumed through the hydrolic action of the yeast, helped by the diastatic enzymes in the dry hops. The fermentable material created in this way was enough to keep the beer saturated with CO2, which helped protect it from bacterial attack. Some of the CO2 combined with water to form carbonic acid. During long storage, esters were formed, which contributed to the character of aged beers. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 539.)

Standard pitching yeast, a type of Saccharomyces cervesiae, was not capable of performing this type of secondary fermentation. Brettanomyces was the yeast responsible. This gave beers that were matured for long periods the typical "aged taste". Until 1904, when N. H. Clausen isolated Brettanomyces at the Carlsberg laboratory in Copenhagen, the process had been a mystery. Brettanomyces was either a component in a multi-strain yeast, which only really became active during secondary fermentation, or was picked up from wooden equipment. Its discovery explained why single-strain pitching yeasts often struggled to successfully carry out secondary fermentation.

Aged beers were going out of fashion and beers were rarely stored more than a few weeks before shipping. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 539.) The age of tun rooms, filled with Porter maturing for 12 months or more, had passed. The London breweries had dismantled their massive vats and converted their tun rooms to other uses.

Many beers were not left to mature in the brewery at all, but shipped immediately after racking. In this case any secondary fermentation took place in the pub cellar. Today most cask-conditioned beer is handled this way. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, pages 539-540.) Sykes & Ling did not think this a true secondary fermentation, but an extension of primary fermentation, as only the easily-fermentable sugars were being consumed. They only considered the slow fermentation of maltodextrins over a period of many months as a true secondary fermentation.


Priming

Beers which were shipped immediately after racking were "primed" in the cask with a sugar solution that had a gravity of about 1150º. The primings promoted an artificial and rapid secondary fermentation that conditioned the beer sufficiently for sale. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 540.)

Sykes & Ling weren't wildly enthusiastic: "Priming is exceedingly useful in many cases, but the condition which it induces is of a far more transitory character than that obtained by allowing a beer which has been brewed on correct lines to mature slowly by the natural process." (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 540.)


Fining

Drinkers were used to their beer being sparkling clear: "Owing to the taste now prevailing for an absolutely bright article, ales which do not fulfil these conditions are hArdly saleable." (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 542.)

well-made beer would, if left long enough, spontaneously clear without any external help. The problem was, with beer being sent out straight after racking, it wasn't normally given sufficient time to clear naturally before being served. The solution was to add finings, usually isinglass, at racking time. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 542.)

Isinglass was prepared by dissolving it in a mixture of water and acid. The old method had been to use sour beer as the source of acid, but, as this was likely to be infected with bacteria, it wasn't perfect. By 1900, sour beer had been replaced by acetic, tartaric or sulpuric acid. Acetic acid had the disadvantage of a nasty taste and finings made with tartaric acid soon went mouldy. Hence sulphuric acid, no matter how scary that might sound, was the most widely used. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 543.)

Finings could successfully remove "cooler sludge", powdered glass, asbestos and yeast, but were useless in the face of cloudiness caused by a bacterial infection or a nitrogen haze. They also removed much of the colouring material derived from caramel. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 544.)

There were two methods of fining in the cask: "fining in" and "fining out". When "fining in", the finings were mixed with some beer and poured into the cask through the bung-hole, the cask sealed and the rolled to distribute the finings evenly. When "fining out" the beer finings mixture was stirred in with a stick and the bung-hole left open. After a short time the finings were ejected through the bung hole. Beer fined this way could clear in just a few hours. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 544.)


Discovery of brettanomyces and the process behind the creation of the "aged" taste in beer.


Brewery mechanisation.



Bottling

Small amounts of beer had been bottled for centuries. But bottling on a industrial scale only really took off at the end of the 1800's. For the first time, beers were brewed specifically to be bottled and without any direct draught equivalent. Brown Ale and Luncheon Ales are good examples of new bottled-only styles.

New technology allowed the creation of "sparkling" bottled beers without sediment. Filtered and artificially carbonated, such beers soon began to dominate the bottled beer market. These were mostly relatively light and weak beers which were stored for as short a period as possible, usually just a few weeks, before and after bottling.

Some bottled beers were still made the old way. These were mostly strong, bitter or Pale Ales. They were stored in casks for several months before bottling. Bottle-conditioned, they were left to ripen for months after bottling, too. These were rapidly going out of fashion and being replaced by the new, lighter, carbonated varieties. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 545.)

Not all breweries were keen on the new type of bottled beers. When Sydney Nevile joined Whitbread just after WW I, the directors made him promise never to carbonate their bottled beers. Adverts of the period for Whitbread's bottled Stout proudly proclaim "naturally matured in the bottle".




Styles

X, KK, KKK, PA, IPA, Porter, Stout, Strong


Style overview 1880 - 1900

OG
FG
ABV
app. Attenuation
hops/brl
hops/qtr
X
1055-60º
1013-16º
5.3-6.1%
70-80%
1.3 - 2
5 - 6
XX
1075-80º
1020-25º
7-7.5%
65-70%
4 - 5.5
10 - 14
XXX
1090-95º



5 - 6
11 - 13
XXXX
1100 - 1105º



?
?
KK
1070-75º
1019-22º
6.5-7.1%
68-75%
4 - 5
11 - 12
KKK
1075-85º
1025-30º
7-8%
65-70%
5 - 6
12 - 13
KKKK
1110-1105º



10 - 11
18 - 20
Porter
1050-55º
1014-16º
4.8-5.2%
70-75%
1.5 - 2
6 - 8
Stout
1070-75º



3.5 - 4
11 - 13
Double Stout
1080-85º



4 - 6
13 - 20
Triple Stout
1090-95º



6 - 10
13 - 14
PA
1057-1065º
1012-17º
5.3-6.3%
70-80%
3 - 4.5
11 - 14
IPA (Burton)
1057-1065º



?
?
IPA (London)






Light Bitter
1047-49º
1011-14º
4.3-4.7%
70-77%
2.5 - 3
10 - 11
Scotch Ale
1090-1120º



2.5
4
Burton Ale
1100-1115º



4
6
Sources:
Whitbread, Reid, Truman and Barclay Perkins brewing logs
“Zeitschrift für das gesammte Brauwesen” 1899, p.344 (Taken from the Journal of the Institute of Brewing volume 21)
           



Major Lucas & Co, Northampton 1893 price list

price gallon
price barrel
AK Light Amber Ale
1s
36s
PA Pale Ale
1s 2d
42s
IPA India Pale Ale
1s 4d
48s
X Mild Ale
10d
30s
XX Mild Ale
1s
36s
XXX Light Mild Ale
1s 2d
42s
XXXX Extra Light Mild Ale
1s 4d
48s
XXXX  Mild Ale
1s 4d
48s
SA Strong Ale
1s 6d
54s
VA Victoria Ale
2s
72s
P Porter
1s
36s
SS Single Stout
1s 2d
42s
DS Double Stout
1s 4d
48s
EDS Extra Double Stout
1s 6d
54s
Source:
Northampton Directory, 1893-4


Godsell & Sons, Stroud, Gloucs 1909 price list
Beer
price gallon
price barrel
price pint bottle
X Mild Ale
10d
30s

XX Mild Ale
1s
36s

XXXX Mild Ale
1s 4d
48s

XXX Old Ale
1s 4d
48s

IPA India Pale Ale
1s 6d
54s

AK Light Dinner Ale
1s
36s

AKK Bitter Ale
1s 2d
42s

AB Pale Ale
1s 4d
48s

A1 Strong Ale
1s 6d
54s

XXX Extra Stout
1s 4d
48s

Pale Ale


3.5d
Imperial


2.5d
Nourishing Stout


3.4d



X Ales

X Ale, a Mild Ale, had replaced Porter as the most popular type of beer. It formed over 50% of output, even of some of the large London Porter breweries like Whitbread and Truman.

Amongst the London brewers there was a trend to brew a much reduced range of X and K Ales. XX and XXX were dropped. Mostly just the weakest remained, X. The stronger slots were left to Stock Ales, KK and KKK. Increasingly, the Stock Ales were referred to as Strong Ales and X Ales as Mild Ales. This relationship would last little changed until the 1950's.

For example, in 1881, Whitbread brewed X, XL and XX. By 1910, only X remained. The gravity of X was starting to move downwards, too. Whitbread's was 1061º in 1881, but was down to 1057º in 1910. Much worse was to happen after 1914, when Mild Ales bore the brunt of gravity cuts.

X Ales had pretty simple recipes: pale malt and sugar. Though some brewers had taken advantage of the 1880 Free Mash Tun Act to use adjuncts like maize or rice. No modern Mild bears much resemblance to such Ales. What differentiated them from Pale Ale wasn't colour or gravity, but a lower hopping rate and higher FG which made them maltier, sweeter and fuller-bodied.

X Ales were hopped at a rate of 7 to 8 pounds per quarter in the 1880's, falling to 5 to 6 pounds per barrel by 1910. PA and IPA were hopped at about double that rate.

Surprisingly, Bitters like PA and IPA generally had a lower percentage of malt in the grist than X Ales. Whitbread's X had 10% sugar in the grist, their PA and IPA 20%. This, too, must have helped Mild Ales to taste more full-bodied than the Bitters.

Here are the details of Whitbread's X Ales over the period 1881-1910:

Whitbread X Ales 1881-1910

1881
1891
1901
1910

X
XL
XX
X
XK
X
XK
X
OG
1061
1068.4
1078.4
1059.8
1069
1052.6
1058.7
1056.7
FG
1015.5
1019.7
1024.9
1016
1018
1011
1013
1016
ABV
6.02
6.44
7.08
5.79
6.75
5.50
6.05
5.38
Apparent attenuation
74.59%
71.20%
68.24%
73.24%
73.91%
79.09%
77.85%
71.78%
pale malt
92.91%
94.39%
83.75%
90.42%
88.99%
90.42%
90.66%
89.19%
sugar
7.09%
5.61%
16.25%
9.58%
11.01%
9.58%
9.34%
10.81%
hops lbs/barrel
2.09
2.35
5.44
2.17
2.46
1.34
1.58
1.29
hops (lbs/qtr)
7.53
7.35
14.86
8.04
8.02
5.98
6.03
5.38
barrels brewed
148,350
9,398
11,663
228,259
3,685
316,128
5,768
290,955
hl brewed
242,784
15,380
19,087
373,560
6,031
517,362
9,440
476,165
%age of total
80.08%
5.07%
6.30%
85.22%
1.38%
65.76%
1.20%
54.06%
Total barrels Ale brewed
185,242


267,850

480,763

538,220
Source:
Whitbread brewing records
                                                                       


Here's a more detailed example of a late-Victorian X Ale:

July 14th 1890 Whitbread X
pale malt
90%






sugar
10%






1889 Bavarian
25%






1889 Burley
44%






1889 American
14%






1887 American
17%







brls
water temp
mashed (mins)
stood (mins)
tap temp.
gravity
brls
mash
1140
156
30
10
143
1068
819
underlet
399
165

120



sparge
600
185


155
1032
701

2139





1520
hops (lbs/barrel)
2.17






hops (lbs/qtr)
8






boil time (hours)
1.5
2.5





gravity (OG)
1058.8






gravity (FG)
1016






ABV
5.8%






apparent attenuation
73%






Source:
Whitbread brewing records
                                                                       

You'll see that most of the hops used were foreign, some North American, some continental. The mashing scheme is fairly typical for the period: a short mash at a relatively cool temperature then hotter water added via the underlet to raise the temperature of the mash. Only about a third as much water was used for sparging (600 barrels) as for mashing (1539 barrels).


Only after 1900 did X Ale start becoming darker. At first it was the use of crystal and amber malts. Such beers would have been dark amber, noticeably darker than Pale Ales of the period but not as dark as modern Dark Mild. Pales were about 28º Lovibond (on the 1 inch scale), X Ale 42º. A modern Dark Mild would be 80-120º.


Schönfeld's description of Mild Ale from "Die Herstellung Obergähriger Bier".

The book has a big section on British Ales (as opposed to German Ales - you must be getting well fed up of me banging on about this - don't worry, I'll be continuing for several more years). I hadn't looked at it until today. On the positive site, the author seems to quite like Mild. Pale Ale he absolutely hates and writes it's impossible for a German to drink more than two glasses of it.

I was interested in his description of the colour of Mild. Remember that the book was published in 1902. It's sometimes difficult to know what an author means with colour descriptions, but "deep gold" does not mean dark in my book.

Apologies for the translation. The sentence structure in the original is almost as bad as Marcel Proust. Sentences that fill a whole paragraph. You can't accuse me of that.

"In the group Ales, there's another beer, which in contrast to the heavily-hopped, light Pale Ale is characterised by a mild and very malty flavour and a darker, deep gold to brownish-yellow colour, called Mild Ale and forms a special type of beer, which as a result of the low degree of attenuation, the soft, sweet taste, the low level of hopping and a colour resembling our Lagerbier, forms an intermediary step between Pale Ales and Stouts. It is a draught beer and is especially well brewed in London.

It doesn't keep anything like as well as Pale and Bitter Ales, since it does not have a high degree of attenuation, nor is heavily hopped, nor dry-hopped it doesn't have such a good protection against bacterial infection as these, which are stored for months in unpressurised barrels without falling prey to light bacterial sicknesses and also can be stored long, in some circumstances months longer, in bottles, where in the beginning they also sit for quite a long time without the protection of CO2, but are still so resistant to bacterial infections that they can be kept for an unusually long time."



K Ales

The K, presumably, originally stood for "Keeping", that is Ale that had been matured in vats. As long maturation went out of fashion, K Ales became just Strong Ales, that may or may not have had a long secondary conditioning. Though, even when not vatted, they would have spent a couple of weeks in the brewery in trade casks before being delivered to pubs.

Whitbread K Ales 1881-1910

1881
1891
1901
1910

KK
KKK
KK
KKK
2KKK
KK
KKK
2KKK
KK
KKK
2KKK
OG
1076.2
1084.2
1075.3
1085.6
1079
1073.8
1085.2
1082.8
1071.1
1075.3
1076.6
FG
1025.5
1028
1026
1030
1026
1015
1018
1032
1027

1030
ABV
6.71
7.43
6.52
7.36
7.01
7.78
8.89
6.72
5.83

6.16
Apparent attenuation
66.54%
66.75%
65.47%
64.95%
67.09%
79.67%
78.87%
61.35%
62.03%

60.84%
pale malt
84.91%
85.03%
84.61%
83.96%
85.84%
84.61%
83.96%
85.13%
81.97%
83.96%
81.97%
brown malt


1.39%
1.24%

1.39%
1.24%
1.24%
1.41%
1.24%
1.41%
sugar
15.09%
14.97%
14.00%
14.80%
14.16%
14.00%
14.80%
13.63%
16.62%
14.80%
16.62%
hops lbs/barrel
4.36
4.97
4.88
5.76
4.92
3.99
4.61
4.55
3.75
4.61
4.04
hops (lbs/qtr)
12.43
13.13
14.27
14.16
14.07
11.98
11.98
11.98
11.97
11.98
11.97
barrels brewed

6,743
5,592
2,530
1,041
7,244
2,590
5,239
7,226
2,452
3,382
hl brewed

11,035
9,152
4,140
1,704
11,855
4,239
8,574
11,826
4,013
5,535
%age of total

3.64%
2.09%
0.94%
0.39%
1.51%
0.54%
1.09%
1.34%
0.46%
0.63%
Source:
Whitbread brewing records


They were considerably more heavily hopped than Mild X Ales, at about 5 pounds per barrel or 12 pounds per quarter of malt. Around 1890, a small amount of brown malt was added to the grist, somewhere between 1 and 2%. The proportion of sugar at 15%, was between that in Mild Ales and Pale Ales. The degree of attenuation, at around 65%, was relatively low. High final gravities - usually over 1025º - must have left them with a considerable amount of residual sweetness, though this may have been concealed by the heavy hopping.

The volumes brewed were quite modest compared to X Ale. Whitbread brewed just 20,000 to 25,000 barrels a year of KK and KKK combined, whilst churning out 200,000 to 300,000 barrels of X.

By the early 20th century, draught KK was almost certainly being called "Burton" in London pubs, where it was one of the strongest draught beers, along with Stout.




PA

--
Pale Ale was still very much a minority drink. Whitbread's two output of Pale Ale was, at most, 12% of its total Ale output. And the majority of that was the weaker 2PA, a beer with a lower gravity than their standard X Mild.


Whitbread Pale Ales 1881-1910

1881
1891
1901
1910

PA
PA
2PA
PA
2PA
PA
2PA
OG
1065.4
1059.6
1053.2
1060.9
1053.2
1061
1054
FG
1014.4
1015
1011
1017
1011
1020
1017
ABV
6.75
5.90
5.58
5.81
5.58
5.42
4.89
Apparent attenuation
77.98%
74.83%
79.32%
72.09%
79.32%
67.21%
68.52%
pale malt
73.62%
76.20%
79.87%
79.76%
79.87%
80.17%
79.88%
sugar
26.38%
23.80%
20.13%
20.24%
20.13%
19.83%
20.12%
hops lbs/barrel
4.3
3
2.43
2.77
2.43
2.43
2.12
hops (lbs/qtr)
13.8
10.81
9.73
10.08
9.73
9.15
8.96
barrels brewed
9,088
8,196
6,984
12,714
44,122
6,962
38,225
hl brewed
14,873
13,413
11,430
20,807
72,208
11,394
62,558
%age of total
4.91%
3.06%
2.61%
2.64%
9.18%
1.29%
7.10%
Source:
Whitbread brewing records
                                                                       



IPA




Light Bitter

Public taste was moving towards lighter, less-alcoholic beers. One example of this trend were Light Bitters. They were called a variety of names, but one of the most common was AK. With gravities in the range 1047º to 1050º, they were amongst the weakest regular beers. On some price lists, such beers have their own category "Intermediate Ales", usually sandwiched between Mild Ales and Pale Ales.


"People generally drink much more beer now than ever they did but the proportion of alcohol consumed is not any greater. Statistics of all countries show this, even in spirit drinking countries, ie that the amount of alcohol consumed per head is a steady quantity. The beer brewed now is much lighter than the beer of former days. Men will have beer. Coalheavers and all who want a quantity of drink don´t care for water but on the other hand they don´t want to get drunk. they are insisting more and more on a light beer. Brewers are now recognizing this demand. The great bulk of beer drunk is "four ale". Those higher in the social scale who have no extraordinary thirst to quench prefer something heavier. They drink less in quantity but as far as alcohol is concerned there is not much to choose between the two."
Interview with Mr Reeve, manager of Truman, Hanbury and Buxton's
Brewery, Brick Lane, 22 October [1897] (Booth B348, pp62-69)
http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b348/jpg/62.html


I had to begin with AK. I've been dreaming of getting my hands on an AK log for so long. Just couldn't resist it.

Let's start with the ingredients:

malt:
75% pale malt
6% "Flaked"
19% sugar

Hops:
Darziel?           1908    6.67%
Oregon                        1907    6.67%
Arnold MK     1909    43.33%
de Laune? EK 1909    43.33%
hopping rate: 7.5 pounds per quarter, 1.43 pounds per barrel.

It was mashed at 150º F for 60 minutes, then stood for 25 minutes. It was sparged at 168º F. The strong wort was boiled for 105 minutes, the second wort for 2 hours.

The OG was 1045º and it was pitched at 60º F. The fermentation took 1 week, with the temperature of the wort reaching a maximum of 68.5º F. The wort was dropped into the settling square after 42 hours. The FG was 1008.9º, the ABV 4.8% and apparent attenuation 80%.

For purposes of comparison here are some other Fuller's beers from the same year:

Beer
OG
FG
ABV
lbs hops per quarter
X Mild
1052.5º
1014.7º
5%
5.5
PA
1054º
1012º
5.60%
9.5
Porter
1049º
1011º
5.11%
7
Brown Stout
1069º
1022º
6.50%
7
Source:
Fullers brewing records

The AK was the weakest beer I've found for that year, 1910. So what have we found out, other than that it was pretty weak? Well it was quite highly hopped. Only the PA had a greater hopping rate. And it was highly attenuated.



Dinner/Luncheon Ale

These were the names given to Light Bitters in bottled form.



Lager

Though there had been several earlier attempts, the first successful British Lagers appeared in the 1880's.



Porter

Porter was in decline. Public taste was moving away from Porter, especially aged Porter, towards X Ales, the precursors of modern Mild. Porter was now almost all sold Mild, or unaged. Though care must be taken not to confuse Mild Ale and Mild Porter. They were two totally different beers, one pale, the other dark.


A look at what was happening at Truman, is very revealing.

Trumans Overview beer brewed and malt used 1880 - 1881

1880
1881


barrels
%
barrels
%
% change
Runner
59,406
24.91%
56,144
23.84%
-5.49%
Keeper
3,177
1.33%
724
0.31%
-77.21%
Export Porter
139
0.06%
170
0.07%
22.30%
Running Stout
25,289
10.61%
24,834
10.55%
-1.80%
Double Export Stout
952
0.40%
522
0.22%
-45.17%
Double Stout
12,475
5.23%
12,138
5.15%
-2.70%
Imperial Stout
2,502
1.05%
2,610
1.11%
4.32%
Total Porter/Stout
103,940
43.59%
97,142
41.25%
-6.54%
A
843
0.35%
0
0.00%
-100.00%
X
126,402
53.01%
131,929
56.03%
4.37%
40/-
7,052
2.96%
6,405
2.72%
-9.17%
KXX
200
0.08%
0
0.00%
-100.00%
Total Ales
134,497
56.41%
138,334
58.75%
2.85%
Total Ale & Porter
238,437

235,476

-1.24%

qtrs
%
qtrs
%

pale malt
16,100
21.84%
16,497
22.42%
2.47%
brown malt
4,295
5.83%
3,189
4.33%
-25.75%
total pale/brown
20,395
27.67%
19,686
26.75%
-3.48%
ale malt
21,965
29.80%
25,722
34.95%
17.10%
sugar
29,130
39.52%
26,314
35.75%
-9.67%
black malt
2,217
3.01%
1,875
2.55%
-15.43%
Total
73,707

73,597

-0.15%
Source:
Trumans brewing records
                                               

Overall, the amount of beer Trumans produced in 1881 was 1.24% less than in 1880. Seven Porters and Stouts are listed. Less was brewed of all but two in 1881. The only ones to show any growth, Export Porter and Imperial Stout, were both brewed in tiny quantities. Output of all Porter and Stout fell 6.54%. Ale output, on the other hand, rose 2.85%.

Biggest seller by quite a long way was X Ale, 53% in 1880 and 56% in 1881. Next came Runner, or Mild Porter as we would call it, 25% in 1880, 24% in 1881. In third place was Running Stout, at around 10.5% in both years. These three beers accounted for more than 90% of the Brick Lane brewery's output.

Most revealing are the numbers of Keeper, or Porter for ageing. Output of this fell 77% between 1880 and 1881. Just 724 barrels were brewed in 1881. That's less than 0.5% of total output. It has all the signs of a beer on its last legs. Which is what it was. It doesn't appear in the 1890 logs.

There had already been a fair amount of rationalisation amongst Trumans Porters. In 1850 they brewed:

Bottling Keeping
Country Runner
Double Stout
Export Keeping
Imperial Stout
M Keeping Stout
Runner
Running Stout
Stout

In 1880 it was:

Runner
Keeper
Export Porter
Running Stout
Double Export Stout
Double Stout
Imperial Stout

And in 1890:

Runner
Country Runner
Stout
Export Stout

All of the Keeping, or aged Porters and Stouts had been discontinued by 1890. It's a good illustration of the collapse in popularity of aged beers. Of course, having to pay beer duty before the beer had even been fermented probably discouraged brewers from keeping too much beer hanging around the brewery ageing as well.

The significance of Porter was declining at Whitbread, too.

Whitbread Porter and Stout Output Summary

P
S
Exp S
C
CS
LS
SS
SSS
Total Port
Whitbread 1881









barrels brewed
75,423
217




9,143
14,366
99,149
%age of total Ale or Porter
76.07%
0.22%




9.22%
14.49%

Whitbread 1892









barrels brewed
94,027


29,124


17,887
15,029
156,067
%age of total Ale or Porter
60.25%


18.66%


11.46%
9.63%

Whitbread 1902









barrels brewed
81,926
8,315

35,700
82,752

41,017
11,333
261,043
%age of total Ale or Porter
31.38%
3.19%

13.68%
31.70%

15.71%
4.34%

Whitbread 1912









barrels brewed
111,239

1,341


219,543
43,424
11,187
386,734
%age of total Ale or Porter
28.76%

0.35%


56.77%
11.23%
2.89%

Source:
Whitbread brewing records
                                                                                               

In 1881, Porter was three quarters the Porter and Stout they brewed. By 1912, it was less than 30%. Ales were had taken over as the mainstay of the brewery. In 1881 they accounted for two thirds of Whitbread's output. X Ale alone made up more than half the beer they brewed. Stout was replacing Porter as the most popular black beer. In 1902 Whitbread sold more than twice as much Stout as Porter.

Which isn't to say that Porter had been totally marginalised. Whitbread brewed more than 100,000 barrels of it in 1912, a considerable amount by anyone's standards. But it was no longer drinkers' favourite, not even in its London heartland.



Did Porter become Mild?

Some writers maintain that, rather than disappearing, Porter was transformed into Dark Mild. Is this true? Is there any evidence to support the theory?

I'll lay my cards on the table at the start. The theory is bollocks. OK, I guess you'll need a little more than just that simple assertion to convince you. Here goes.


What did "mild" mean?

In the 19th century "mild" meant young or unaged. It was used in subtly different ways and I believe this is responsible for some of the confusion over the relationship between Mild Ale and Porter.

In 19th century texts "mild" is used in two different senses. The first is to refer to a specific type of beer, Mild Ale. The second is to just young beer in general. So if you read a sentence like "Most of the new trade is for mild." it doesn't mean specifically Mild Ale was the greater part of new trade, but young beer. It's an important distinction.

Towards the middle of the 19th century there was a switch in public taste away from Entire (aged Porter) to Ale and mild. Not necessarily to Mild Ale. Increasingly, Porter was sold mild, that is unaged. Simultaneously Ale was becoming more popular. Specifically X-Ales. These were usually sold young as Mild Ales, though Old Ale existed, too.


Did Porter and Mild merge?

I can say this with certainty: not in the London brewers' logs I've looked at.

Let's look at Barclay Perkins. For a couple of decades at the beginning of the 1800's they only brewed Porter and Stout. No Ales of any description. Around 1850-ish they reintroduced Ales and built a new brewhouse to produce them. The brewery was divided into "Porter side" and "Ale side". They operated independently of each other and had separate brewing logs. It's hard to imagine a greater distinction than that between their Mild Ale and Porter.

For reasons I've still not worked out, Barclay Perkin's Porter was always called TT within the brewery. Their Mild Ales had the inspiring names of X, XX and XXX. My last sighting of TT in their logs was in 1937, when it was a poor shadow of it's former self with an on OG of just 1027. In that same year, they were brewing two Mild Ales, X and XX at 1035 and 1043 respectively. I can see no merging there.

What about the grists? In the 19th century the Barclay Perkins Milds were 100% pale malt. Their Porter was pale malt, brown malt and black malt. Not much similarity there. As their X Ale grew darker it started to include amber malt, dark sugar and caramel. But no brown malt (with the exception of during WW I), the defining element of London Porter. These are the malts used in the late 1930's:

Porter: Oats, amber malt, brown malt, crystal malt, roast barley, mild malt.
X: Amber malt, crystal malt, mild malt, pale malt.

To conclude

Dark Mild and Porter existed alongside each other for decades and were brewed from very different grists. I think that torpedoes the Porter becomes Dark Mild theory and send it to a watery grave. (Which is coincidentally what Porter had, a watery end.)


Stout

Beer, especially Stout, was seen as a tonic. Hence the proliferation of Invalid Stouts. It was also common for nursing mothers to drink Stout.

"Children do sip the beer they are sent to fetch; but this is not the origin of their liking for beer. This dates back to early infancy while they were yet in their mother´s arms. Mothers drink stout in order to increase the supply of milk in the breast but often help the baby straight from the pintpot from which they help themselves."
Interview with Inspector Thresher
Nov 11th.
/Interview with Inspector Thresher, retired after 26 years service in the London police corps. of which 12 years were spent in Whitechapel. He keeps a sweet stuff shop in the Upper Clapton Road. Address Swanley House, The Pond, Upper Clapton Road. /(Booth B348, p189-193)
http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b348/jpg/189.html


London Stout and Irish Stout were evolving into two different substyles. Whilst London brewers stuck with brown malt, Guinness had gone over to a grist that was just pale, amber and black malt.

These are the grists of Guinness's Porter and Stouts in 1883:

Guinness grists in 1883

OG
pale malt
amber malt
roast malt
stand in minutes
lbs hops per barrel
FES
1076
85 %
10 %
5 %
70
6.2
Export
1082
85 %
10 %
5 %
70
3.6
DS Store
1076
85 %
10 %
5 %
70
4.4
DS Current
1076
85 %
10 %
5 %
70
3.8
SS
1060
86-7 %
10 %
5 %
70
2
Source:
“A bottle of Guinness please” by David Hughes page 71
                                                           


Below are the grists for Whitbread Porter and Stout from around the same time. They are a combination of pale, brown and black malts.

Whitbread Porter and Stout grists in 1880
November 25th 1880 P
December 10th 1880 SS
December 10th 1880 SSS
December 8th 1880 XP S
Dere old
40%
Dereham old
39%
Dereham old
39%
Dereham SA old
51%
Norwich new
42%
Dowson new
31%
Dowson new
31%
Dereham SA new
18%
brown malt
14%
brown malt
16%
brown malt
16%
brown malt
15%
black malt
6%
black malt
4%
black malt
4%
black malt
6%


sugar
10%
sugar
10%
sugar
10%
1880 Bavarian
28%
1878 Grant
28%
1878 Grant
28%
1880 Kingsford
25%
1880 Hussey
36%
1880 Bavarian
23%
1880 Bavarian
23%
1880 Bavarian
44%
1877 American
19%
1880 Hussey
41%
1880 Hussey
41%
1879 Tomkin
31%
1878 American
16%
1877 American
8%
1877 American
8%


hops (lbs/barrel)
1.4
hops (lbs/barrel)
4.73
hops (lbs/barrel)
1.4
hops (lbs/barrel)
5.41
hops (lbs/qtr)
5.9
hops (lbs/qtr)
10.63
hops (lbs/qtr)
5.9
hops (lbs/qtr)
13.35
gravity (OG)
1055.12
gravity (OG)
1079.22
gravity (OG)
1091.41
gravity (OG)
1078.76
gravity (FG)
1009.97
gravity (FG)
1024.93
gravity (FG)
1029.92
gravity (FG)
1018.84
ABV
5.97
ABV
7.18
ABV
8.14
ABV
7.93
apparent attenuation
81.91%
apparent attenuation
68.53%
apparent attenuation
67.27%
apparent attenuation
76.08%
Source:
Whitbread brewing records
                                                                                   


Much later Guinness (after WW II) replaced the roast malt with roast barley. London brewers continued, such as Whitbread, were still using brown malt in the 1950's.


Brown Ale

The first Brown Ale in around a century was brewed by Mann's in the 1890's. The style was quite slow to take off and only became a standard part of most breweries' range in the 1920's.

Judging by the gravity of Brown Ale in 1920's and 1930's, the original versions must have been over 1050º.


Strong bottled Ales

These were brewed from the best-quality materials, sometimes all malt, but more often with 25% sugar. Rarely was any unmalted grain included in the grist. They were heavily-hopped, at a rate of 14 to 15 lbs per quarter of malt. They underwent a long secondary fermentation of many months in casks. When conditioning was almost complete and the beer had dropped bright, a porous spile was inserted to allow any excess CO2 to escape. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, pages 545-546.)

After bottling and corking, the bottles were laid on their sides for 12 to 24 hours to allow the oxygen to be absorbed into the beer. Bottles were stored in a cellar at a constant temperature of 55º F until a week or two before they were ready for sale, when the temperature was increased to 65º F. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 546.)

Such strong beers continued to be matured for long periods and bottle-conditioned, but their popularity was in decline.


Light bottled beers

The better-quality versions of these beers were brewed from good materials were used for such beers, though these included a portion of sugar and sometimes unmalted grain such as flaked maize. The brewing water was treated with calcium sulphate to give the finished beer a fuller body and flavour. They were hopped at a rate of 6 to 8 pounds per quarter of malt, about the same as an X Ale. They were matured in casks for periods of between a few weeks and six months. When kept for just a short period, the casks were frequently rolled to speed up the secondary fermentation. They were also soft-spiled to keep the pressure inside the casks under control. They rarely dropped bright spontaneously and needed to be fined before bottling. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 546.)

After bottling, they underwent to lengthy cold-conditioning, but were immediately put into a warm room at 65º F to bring them into condition as quickly as possible. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 546.)

Lower-quality, light bottled beers, intended for immediate consumption were made in a quite different way. The ingredients did not need to be of the best quality. The water was, however, treated with calcium sulphate, just as for the better versions. A period of maturation in casks, between 6 and 8 weeks, was sometimes performed, but not by any means always. The beer was fined, carbonated with CO2 and bottled. It required to period of storage or secondary conditioning and was ready for sale immediately. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 547.)

Sykes & Ling were well aware that beer made this way was intrinsically different from bottle-conditioned beer: "It must be remembered that the flavour due to carbon dioxide in artificially carbonated beers is at first distinctly different from that of those in which the gas is generated by slow fermentation in bottle, but if such beers be kept for a time the flavour improves. In the former case, the gas may be perhaps, to a great extent, merely in a state of solution; whilst in the latter it may be combined with water and exist as carbonic acid . . . . Probably, as suggested by Professor Liebrich, traces of ethyl carbonate are formed during the secondary fermentation, and this confers its agreeable flavour on beers of the latter class." (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 547.)


Non-deposit bottled beers

Filtered bottled beers, which could be cooled without going cloudy, were first developed in the USA. Such beers were first brought into condition, either slowly and naturally in a cask, or quickly and artificially in a tank by adding primings or Kräusen. When sufficiently conditioned, the beer was chilled to 26 - 38º F, filtered and bottled. An even quicker method was to not bother conditioning the beer, just force carbonate it before filtering. (Source: "Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907, page 548.)

Recipes

Whitbread PA, IPA, X, KK, KKK, P, S, SS, SSS

References

"Principles & Practice of Brewing" by Walter J. Sykes & Arthur R. Ling, 1907
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland" by Barnard,
Whitbread, Barclay Perkins and Truman brewing logs

2 comments:

marquis said...

A copy sent to R.Protz?

Interested to read about the difference between forced and natural carbonation.Too often I see the phrase "CO2 is CO2" as if that's all there is to it.

Ed said...

Great stuff, love the line about porter's watery end!