Friday, 19 September 2014

Whitbread Stout quality 1922

I just found myself subconsciously singing "My Way" in my head. Can't possibly think why

Finally we're there. At the final set of analyses. The very first part of this series, "Was Watney's Mild crap in the 1920's?" was on the 26th January 2014. So I've been at this for just about nine months. Scary to think it's taken as long to form as a baby.

But don't get too carried away yet. I've still a Stout roundup and then an overall league table to compile. There are still a few steps left in our journey.

How appropriate that Whitbread, the people we have to thank for this lovely information, comes last. Just an alphabetical coincidence, but still appropriate. I thought: "What extra crap, sorry background detail, can I stick in?" Why not something about the beers? The grists are an obvious one. But I know so much more about Whitbread beers. A great excuse for lots more tables.

For example, they very handily have tables at the back of their brewing books showing how much of each type of beer they brewed each week of the year, with monthly and annual totals. Which lets me put together tables like this:

Whitbread Porter and Stout output 1921 - 1929
P S CS LS ES Total
year barrels % barrels % barrels % barrels % barrels %
1921 15,688 6.57% 58,452 24.50% 133,563 55.97% 30,920 12.96% 238,623
1922 16,562 8.59% 47,530 24.66% 84,703 43.95% 15,340 7.96% 28,582 14.83% 192,717
1923 14,165 8.33% 39,960 23.51% 68,326 40.20% 20,866 12.28% 26,660 15.68% 169,977
1924 15,948 8.95% 37,834 21.23% 74,258 41.67% 23,442 13.16% 26,710 14.99% 178,192
1925 14,943 9.12% 35,396 21.59% 62,357 38.04% 22,262 13.58% 28,974 17.67% 163,932
1926 13,511 8.02% 34,567 20.51% 20,721 12.30% 69,724 41.38% 29,990 17.80% 168,513
1927 10,708 7.15% 30,087 20.09% 86,569 57.82% 22,361 14.93% 149,725
1928 10,105 7.11% 30,017 21.12% 85,992 60.49% 16,039 11.28% 142,153
1929 5,558 6.48% 17,284 20.15% 51,624 60.18% 11,313 13.19% 85,779
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/09/113, LMA/4453/D/09/114, LMA/4453/D/09/115, LMA/4453/D/09/116, LMA/4453/D/09/117, LMA/4453/D/09/118, LMA/4453/D/09/119, LMA/4453/D/09/120, LMA/4453/D/09/121, LMA/4453/D/09/122.

It tells us a few things. Like their Porter started its terminal decline in 1926. That Country Stout (CS) had a brief life, at first almost sucking the life out of London Stout (LS) then withering itself away. LS bounces back to over 90,000 barrels a year in 1930. Don't know what happened in 1929, but the following year total Porter and Stout production was over 150,000 barrels again. Overall, Whitbread's Stout sales were in decline in the 1920's. In the 1930's they stabilised at around 120,000 barrels.

Now details of the beers. On the face of it, there were 7 beers: P (Porter) CS (Country Stout), COS (Country Oatmeal Stout), LS (London Stout), LOS (London Oatmeal Stout), S (Stout) and ES (Extra Stout). In reality there just three. As this table shows:

Whitbread Porter and Stout in 1922
Date Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp
12th Jun P Porter 1028.0 1007.0 2.78 74.98% 7.47 0.93 1.5 1.75 64º
12th Jun CS Stout 1045.7 1013.0 4.32 71.54% 7.47 1.52 1.5 1.75 61.5º
12th Jun COS Stout 1045.7 1013.0 4.32 71.54% 7.47 1.52 1.5 1.75 61.5º
6th Jun LS Stout 1054.6 1015.0 5.23 72.51% 7.44 1.77 1.75 2 61.5º
6th Jun LOS Stout 1054.6 1015.0 5.23 72.51% 7.44 1.77 1.75 2 61.5º
6th Jun S Stout 1054.6 1015.0 5.23 72.51% 7.44 1.77 1.75 2 61.5º
6th Jun ES Stout 1054.6 1015.0 5.23 72.51% 7.44 1.77 1.75 2 61.5º
Source:
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/115.

Now the grists:

Whitbread Porter and Stout grists in 1922
Date Beer Style OG pale malt brown malt black malt no. 3 sugar oats hops
12th Jun P Porter 1028.0 63.96% 14.15% 13.02% 8.30% 0.57% Oregon hops
12th Jun CS Stout 1045.7 63.96% 14.15% 13.02% 8.30% 0.57% Oregon hops
12th Jun COS Stout 1045.7 63.96% 14.15% 13.02% 8.30% 0.57% Oregon hops
6th Jun LS Stout 1054.6 64.69% 14.93% 12.09% 7.58% 0.71% Oregon hops
6th Jun LOS Stout 1054.6 64.69% 14.93% 12.09% 7.58% 0.71% Oregon hops
6th Jun S Stout 1054.6 64.69% 14.93% 12.09% 7.58% 0.71% Oregon hops
6th Jun ES Stout 1054.6 64.69% 14.93% 12.09% 7.58% 0.71% Oregon hops
Source:
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/115.

The recipes are elegantly simple: pale, brown and black malts, No. 3 invert sugar and a handful of oats for legal reasons. I should say recipe rather than recipes, because, though P, CS and COS were parti-gyled together, as were LS, LOS, S and ES, the same basic recipe was used for both sets. If I'm honest, Whitbread's records are terribly dull in this period.

One odd feature: 100% Oregon hops. It's really unusual to see all American hops in a beer. It implies to me that these are all early additions. They would normally use US hops for later additions. British brewers weren't keen on the flavour of American hops.

The ingredients are the same as they had been 50 years earlier. Look:

Whitbread Stout grists in 1870
Date Beer Style OG pale malt brown malt black malt Sugar
8th Aug SS Stout 1080.9 73.11% 13.71% 4.57% 8.61%
8th Aug SSS Stout 1098.3 73.11% 13.71% 4.57% 8.61%
4th Nov xp S Stout 1070.4 68.59% 18.29% 4.57% 8.55%
19th Jan K Porter 1055.6 70.00% 25.00% 5.00%
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/09/063 and LMA/4453/D/09/064.

A little more pale malt and less black malt, but not really that much different.

That was fun. Now finally to today's beer, Whitbread draught Stout. Or London Stout, as it clearly was. It terms of spec, it's a touch stronger than average. Oh, and it's the more expensive 9d type of Stout. But what about its performance?

Whitbread Stout quality 1922
Year Beer FG OG ABV App. Atten-uation Flavour score Price
1922 Stout 1011.9 1055 5.61 78.36% good 2 9
1922 Stout 1018.2 1055.7 4.86 67.32% good 2 9
1922 Stout 1014.2 1055.2 5.33 74.28% v . fair 2 9
Average  1014.8 1055.3 5.27 73.32%
2.00
Source:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

We're ending on a high note. Only three samples, but all get an impressive 2 score. I could work out the average without the benefit of a computer.

Whitbread pubs will (or should that be were?) be full of time-travelling Stout lovers.

3 comments:

Rob said...

You know there were people arguing over whether LS or LOS was the superior beer.

J. Karanka said...

Hi Ron!

I was reading Porter last night (finished with Guinness) and today at Morrisons I bumped into these!

http://m.thegrocer.co.uk/buying-and-supplying/new-product-development/guinness-to-go-beyond-stout-with-craft-beer-inspired-porters/371229.article

Not sure if they're any good, but worth a try.

Ron Pattinson said...

J. Karanka,

I'd heard about those. Both are too weak. And the 1799 Porter can't possibly be brewed to the original recipe because it would have contained diastatic brwon malt.