Friday, 22 November 2013

Whitbread K Ales in the 1840's

Looking back through my old posts, I noticed that I'd started going through Whitbread's Ales from their inception in the 1830's, but had never finished. In fact I didn't get any further than the . . . . 1830's. So it's about time I went through their K Ales from the 1840's.

Whitbread only started brewing Ales a few years before this, in 1837. It was still very much a sideline for them. Their bread butter was Porter and Stout. Well Porter, really. In the years I have figures for in the 1840's, they brewed about 150,000 barrels of Porter and 10,000 barrels of Stout*. It makes the 34,000 Of Ale which Whitbread made in their most productive year of the 1840's look pretty feeble.

I wish I had separate output figures for the K and X Ales. But unfortunately Whitbread just lumped together XX and KXX, XXX and KXXX and XXXX and KXXXX. XXXX and KXXXX were discontinued in 1844. Not surprising, seeing as they only brewed 101 barrels in 1843 and 52 barrels in 1844. The output of XX/KXX and  XXX/KXXX both increased as the decade progressed, but still lagged way behind the popular X Ale. A beer with no Stock Ale equivalent.

As you can see in the table below, there was a gradual downward drift in gravities, with KXX dropping from 1091.1 to 1087.5, and KXXX from 1102.5 to 1092. There was a similar trend among the X Ales. As you should have come to expect by now, the gravities of XX and KXX were the same, as were the gravities of XXX and KXXX.

Whitbread Ale output 1843 - 1847
X XL XX XXX XXXX total
barrels % of total barrels % of total barrels % of total barrels % of total barrels % of total
1843 12,337 65.20% 1,695 8.96% 2,329 12.31% 2,459 13.00% 101 0.53% 18,921
1844 19,748 68.95% 1,220 4.26% 3,064 10.70% 4,559 15.92% 51 0.18% 28,642
1845 22,012 70.40% 1,023 3.27% 3,661 11.71% 4,571 14.62% 31,267
1846 23,441 70.14% 824 2.47% 4,427 13.25% 4,729 14.15% 33,421
1847 21,420 69.13% 971 3.13% 4,599 14.84% 3,997 12.90% 30,987
1848 20,651 59.60% 3,766 10.87% 5,304 15.31% 4,929 14.23% 34,650
1849 22,441 67.69% 2,245 6.77% 4,286 12.93% 4,180 12.61% 33,152
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/004, LMA/4453/D/01/006, LMA/4453/D/01/007, LMA/4453/D/01/008, LMA/4453/D/01/009, LMA/4453/D/01/010, LMA/4453/D/01/011 and LMA/4453/D/01/012.

What does surprise me is that the K versions don't have that many more hops than the X equivalent. The average of the 8 examples of XX is s.88 lbs per barrel, not that much less than the 3.6 to 4.2 lbs of KXX. Usually K Ales had 50-100% more hops per barrel. This even more apparent in the case of XXX and KXXX, where, in some cases, there are XXX Ales with more hops than some KXXX Ales. The average hopping rate for the KXXX examples is 3.92 lbs per barrel - barely more than XXX's average of 3.77 lbs.

Whitbread K Ales in the 1840's
Date Year Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp max. fermentation temp length of fermentation (days)
6th Apr 1841 KXX 1091.1 1038.8 6.93 57.45% 9.85 3.60 2 2 3 60º 79º 4 + 3
23rd Mar 1844 KXX 1090.6 1028.5 8.21 68.50% 9.56 3.81 1.5 2 3 60º 78º 3 + 3
5th May 1846 KXX 1086.7 1029.1 7.62 66.45% 10.05 4.22 1.5 2 3 63º 76º 3 + 4
21st Mar 1849 KXX 1087.5 1028.8 7.77 67.09% 10.91 4.21 1.5 2 2 60º 76º 3 + 3
22nd Apr 1841 KXXX 1102.5 1029.9 9.60 70.81% 5.96 2.55 2 2 3 60º 79º 4 + 4
16th Dec 1842 KXXX 1099.7 1030.7 9.12 69.17% 7.82 3.66 1.5 2 3 60º 78º 3 + 3
11th Feb 1843 KXXX 1100.3 1032.7 8.94 67.40% 9.09 3.94 1.5 2 3 60º 78º 4 + 3
4th Mar 1844 KXXX 1101.1 1029.9 9.42 70.41% 9.42 4.22 1.5 2 3 60º 78º 4 + 2
10th Feb 1845 KXXX 1097.5 1029.9 8.94 69.32% 9.67 3.95 1.5 2 3 60º 78º
29h Jan 1846 KXXX 1095.8 1029.9 8.72 68.79% 9.89 4.49 1.5 2 3 60º 75º 3 + 4
25th Oct 1847 KXXX 1093.1 1031.9 8.10 65.77% 9.13 3.77 1.5 2 2 60º 76º 3 + 2
8th Jan 1849 KXXX 1092.0 1031.6 7.99 65.66% 10.95 4.77 1.5 2 2 60º 78º 3 + 3
9th Mar 1844 KXXXX 1112.7 10.91 5.47 1.5 2 3 58º 78º 4 + ?
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/004, LMA/4453/D/01/006, LMA/4453/D/01/007, LMA/4453/D/01/008, LMA/4453/D/01/009, LMA/4453/D/01/011 and LMA/4453/D/01/012.

Whitbread X Ales in the 1840's
Year Brewer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
1841 X 1077.0 1030.7 6.12 60.07% 7.45 2.36
1842 X 1073.7 1028.0 6.05 62.03% 7.31 2.44
1843 X 1079.8 1029.1 6.71 63.54% 7.35 2.48
1844 X 1078.7 1026.6 6.89 66.20% 7.93 2.74
1845 X 1078.1 1029.6 6.41 62.06% 8.44 2.86
1846 X 1077.6 1028.8 6.45 62.86% 9.89 3.63
1847 X 1064.0 1027.1 4.87 57.58% 9.13 2.59
1848 X 1074.5 1028.3 6.12 62.08% 8.25 2.98
1849 X 1075.3 1027.7 6.30 63.24% 7.25 2.35
1841 XL 1081.2 1029.9 6.78 63.14% 7.27 2.47
1844 XL 1082.3 1027.7 7.22 66.33% 7.78 2.71
1845 XL 1082.3 1029.1 7.04 64.65% 7.33 2.45
1846 XL 1081.7 1026.6 7.29 67.46% 8.55 3.18
1847 XL 1064.5 1026.3 5.06 59.23% 9.63 2.80
1849 XL 1076.7 1028.8 6.34 62.45% 7.25 2.39
1841 XX 1091.7 1031.6 7.95 65.56% 7.29 2.68
1843 XX 1089.2 1029.9 7.84 66.46% 6.42 2.37
1844 XX 1072.0 1029.6 5.61 58.85% 9.56 3.03
1845 XX 1089.7 1029.1 8.03 67.59% 7.85 2.64
1846 XX 1088.1 1026.3 8.17 70.13% 8.55 3.35
1847 XX 1072.9 1028.3 5.90 61.22% 8.64 3.09
1848 XX 1084.8 1029.1 7.37 65.69% 8.73 3.29
1849 XX 1084.5 1029.4 7.29 65.25% 8.47 3.44
1841 XXX 1101.4 1030.7 9.34 69.67% 7.45 3.11
1842 XXX 1100.3 7.31 3.32
1843 XXX 1100.3 1032.7 8.94 67.40% 6.44 2.81
1844 XXX 1099.4 1027.7 9.49 72.14% 7.11 3.00
1845 XXX 1098.3 1027.7 9.34 71.83% 8.29 3.56
1846 XXX 1094.5 1029.1 8.65 69.21% 8.55 3.87
1847 XXX 1086.7 1032.1 7.22 62.94% 9.37 3.65
1848 XXX 1093.1 1027.7 8.65 70.24% 8.62 3.77
1842 XXXX 1112.2 8.38 4.19
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/004, LMA/4453/D/01/006, LMA/4453/D/01/007, LMA/4453/D/01/008, LMA/4453/D/01/009, LMA/4453/D/01/010, LMA/4453/D/01/011 and LMA/4453/D/01/012.

Let's look in more detail at the K Ales. I've not bothered with a grist table because all of these beers were brewed from 100% pale malt. The hopping isn't much more exciting, with all the hops English, except for the KXXX of 1847 which also had some American ones. There was one difference in recipe between the X and K Ales. In 1847, the year in became a legal ingredient in beer, Whitbread experimented with using sugar. But only in X Ales. At about 20% of the grist, the proportion of sugar to malt was quite high.

The degree of attenuation at 65 to 70% isn't great, but I've seen worse. And it would presumably have fallen during maturation. Especially as there would almost certainly have been Brettanomyces involved in the secondary fermentation. Many of William Younger's strong Shilling Ales of the 1840's had an apparent attenuation of below 60%, some barely over 50%.

The extended boil for the later worts is almost certainly to concentrate them to get to the required gravity. With even the X Ale over 1070º, these were all powerful beers.

Intriguingly, the Ales were pitched at a cooler temperature than their Porter and Stouts. Which were pitched at 63 or 64º F, even SSS with a gravity over 1090º. I don't have the maximum fermentation temperature, unfortunately, but I imagine they were at least as high as for the Ales. Over the century it would fall to a more reasonable temperature in the low 70's.

Next time - the 1850's.




* Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/09/033, LMA/4453/D/09/034, LMA/4453/D/09/035, LMA/4453/D/09/036, LMA/4453/D/09/037, LMA/4453/D/09/038, LMA/4453/D/09/039, LMA/4453/D/09/040, LMA/4453/D/09/041, LMA/4453/D/09/042 and LMA/4453/D/09/043.

3 comments:

Bill said...


When they invent a time machine this is where I'm headed for a few ales. I wonder if the recreations are even close to the original.

Ron Pattinson said...

Bill,

let me know when you get it working and I'll come with you.

I'm not sure anyone has recreated this vintage of Stock Ale. I've had a couple of strong X Ales from the 1830's. They were very bitter, so God knows what Stock versions would taste like. But for authenticity you'd need a long secondary Brettanomyces fermentation.

Bob Kiley said...

I'll let you know in ~18 months. I've got a 1.100 batch planned with brett C and hopefully proper techniques ie multiple mashing and gyling. Hopefully brewing in January.