I don't know why, but I've never paid the Courage brewing records as much attention as those from Barclay Perkins, Whitbread or Truman. Maybe it's because the cover a shorter period than the others. They start in 1914 and end in 1937. I wonder what happened to the ones between 1937 and the 1980's, when the brewery closed.
The original of this beer was brewed at Courage's Anchor Brewhouse, just opposite the Tower of London and right next to Tower Bridge. It's easy to get it confused with the Anchor Brewery of Barclay Perkins, which is just a little further upstream. Especially as Courage took over Barclay Perkins in the 1950's. They also took over Russian Stout, which was brewed at the Anchor Brewhouse between 1969 and 1982.
Funnily enough, Courage had their own Imperial Stout before WW I. It disappeared sometime after 1915. You know what? Let's have a look at Courage's Stout and Porter up to the 1920's. And before you say: "I thought there were only brewing records from 1914 to 1937", I'll point out that the details from the 19th century don't come from proper brewing records, but from a brewer's notebook. It's just a diary with a few details of a brew scribbled down.
What's significant is that they brewed far fewer different Stouts than the other London Porter brewers. In 1909, Truman brewed this lot: Bottling, Country Runner, Export Stout, Imperial Stout, Keeping Imperial Stout, Keeping Stout, Runner, Runner L & C, Single Stout. In 1910 Barclay Perkins brewed almost as many: Porter, BS, BS Ex, EIP Ex, OMS, RDP. It makes Courage's set look a little thin.
Anyway, here they are:
|Courage Porter and Stout 1858 - 1922|
|Date||Year||Beer||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl|
|1st Jan||1858||Double Stout||1080.61||11.00||5.18|
|13th Jan||1858||K Porter||1056.79||14.00||3.77|
|15th Jan||1858||K Double Stout||1083.10||15.00||6.67|
|10th Apr||1867||DB Stout||1074.79||8.98||3.62|
|21st Oct||1914||Double Stout||1078.95||1033.24||6.05||57.89%||7.20||2.33|
|Courage brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/08/274, ACC/2305/08/275, ACC/2305/08/247 and ACC/2305/08/253.|
I'd not noticed before how weak this Stout was. It's more like the strength of a post-WW II Stout than an interwar one. To put it into context, Barclay Perkins BS, their draught Stout had an OG of 1055 in 1922. In the same year Whitbread's LS had an OG of 1053.5. Making Courage's Stout a good bit weaker than some of its main competitors. And considerably weaker than their Porter had been just 8 years earlier.
This beer's grist is a classic London combination of pale, brown and black malts. A combination used from the invention of black malt in 1817 until, well, they stopped brewing Porter and Stout in London.
That's me done. Over to Kristen . . . . .
Notes: I feel right now that a lot of you are just sitting there and planning to make a beer. I feel that a lot of you are really trying to make excuses about having enough beer for the holidays. I feel like all you want for Christmahanakwanzaa is a swift kick in the ass as motivation to get some beer brewed. We’ll here you go. If you have the equipment, you can find the little bit of money it costs to make this ‘little’ beer and you sure as hell better damn well spare the few hours it takes to make this tasty bastard for any sort of parties you have coming up. I’m also starting a few little adjuncts to this little ‘version’ write up. One is the sundries that will give a few ideas or overall hints/thoughts/whathavethee. The other is the ‘casking’ section. I’m sick of the punters complaining that it’s so hard to make cask beer. I figure if bars don’t know now how to serve it, Ill at least show you guys how to condition it properly, so if you do do it right, and you make a proper conditioned pint, you can send all the orange-juice-looking-flat-ass-tasting-mouth-of-hop-containing-POS back…expeditiously.
Malt: Same as last week. Choose your favorite three. Or, for brevities sake, choose one…ya lazy bastard. I’d pick Maris if you are so inclined…Oh…no I wouldn’t. I would choose a nice Irish stout malt. Yes, it’s not in the recipe. However, this will give you a chance to mess about with it. Same US pale or 6row. I’d go with the 6 for the husk. Black malt, choose something with good character and standing in the community. Make sure it’s not dehusked. Make sure it’s not 6-row based. Brown malt is an absolute must for this beer. Even at 6% you’ll see a huge difference in the complexity of the beer and mouthfeel. The only reason you should even think about using the Carabrown types is if you are making extract beer…this holds for even free malt. Any sort of ‘white’ sugar will work fine. Can be Turbinado, pure white, partly refined, light brown or whatever. If it’s from Mauritius, that would be the best…as far as the recipe is concerned anyway. Black Invert. Haven’t used that one on #LBW before. Basically it’s a very dark invert, about 2.5x as dark as invert #3. That’s right class, you got it, just use your dilution and plan for 2.5x as much black strap as you normally would for Invert #3. It’s here I should also note, that the color is massively off the scale. They not only use Black Invert in the recipe but they used brewers caramel AND a bloody darker coloring agent. Seriously. This bastard sits around 45 SRM/ 90 EBC even without the mucking about with caramels. My advice, if you don’t have any, leave it out, if you do, add it in.
Hops: This would have been all Kentish hops. Very fresh. But we did that last week. How about some nice Fuggle, or Bullion. If you want to dry hop, Fuggle it. Dry hop warm (66F or so) at the end of primary ferment and yeast clearing for 3-5 days max. If you are ‘casking’ the beer, no dry hop.
Yeast: Courage yeast. Minerally, drops like a rock. Pretty little beastie.
Sundries: This is for holidays so there are many ways you can completely cockup the deliciousness of this beer by adding stupid things to it. Here are a few that aren’t stupid. Black licorice, star anise, rum (add to taste), vanilla or that left over fruit cake from last year. Just dump it in the boil. I’m sure it will turn out fine. If I did have to choose a way to mess with this beer in a good way, it would be by dumping in a craptonne of lactose during the last 10min of the boil. I’d start with about 20g/L …my personal tastes are much higher though… If you put effing candy canes in this, baby reindeer die…seriously….they up and die.
Cask: Since this is the very first time we are talking about cask, I’ll let you google all about cask beer so you get the skinny. Here is a procedure that is very straightforward that produces a very nice pint as follows:
1) let the beer ferment until finished and then give it another day or so. For me right around 5-7 days.
2) Rack the beer to your vessel of choice (firkin, polypin, cornie, whatever).
3) Add primings at ~3.5g/L
4) Add prepared isinglass at 1ml/L
5) ONLY add dry hops at 0.25g/l – 1g/L.
6) Bung it up and roll it around to mix. Condition at 55F or so for 4-5 days and its ready to go. Spile/vent. Tap. Settle. Serve at 55F.
There are many ways to make cask beer but this is a really easy way to get started. The most important thing, is just to do it. Just serve it. Push, pull, whatever. Teaching and drinking cask beer is about the experience. Save the exact proper serving twattery for later. Add any questions in the comments. Do this.