Saturday, 25 October 2014

Brewing in WW II (part five)

We're still on grains. But I promise we'll get onto a more exciting topic soon. Like hops. You young people love you your hops. Not like us boring old twats.

This is great. The article discusses the increased use of unmalted grains during the war. Why is that brilliant? Because I have some great numbers on brewing materials. Ones I've been saving until now.

"The use of flaked barley became general quite early in the war as a malt adjunct, and as no restriction was placed on its use it helped to increase output. It was found to be readily converted in the mash tun and, as time has proved, when not used in excess, has had no directly deleterious effect on the beers, although it was not used at first without some misgivings on the part of the brewer. It increases the bulk of the mash, however, and when output was of so much moment some brewers replaced it by finely ground barley without any noticeable difference (cf. J. L. Baker, ibid., 1942, 109). Although a small proportion of the nitrogen constituents of flaked barley are rendered soluble in the mash tun it contributes but little yeast feeding material to the wort and therefore acts as a diluent to that contributed by the malt. This was a drawback in those breweries whose average gravity was low, although it certainly helped to correct and reduce the difficulties consequent on the use of poor quality malts."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing Volume 52, Issue 3, May-June, 1946, page 121.

There were two reasons why the government was keen on using unmalted barley: it saved on both fuel and labour. You can see how the usage of adjuncts increased during the war years:

Brewing materials (cwt)
year malt unmalted corn rice, maize, etc sugar total malt & adjuncts
1938 9,378,888 78.31% 14,194 0.12% 688,086 5.75% 1,894,773 15.82% 11,975,941
1939 9,884,803 78.35% 9,910 0.08% 734,771 5.82% 1,986,478 15.75% 12,615,962
1940 9,857,838 83.81% 7,912 0.07% 363,588 3.09% 1,532,776 13.03% 11,762,114
1941 10,988,413 86.90% 11,897 0.09% 246,757 1.95% 1,397,642 11.05% 12,644,709
1942 10,918,102 85.54% 52,646 0.41% 382,207 2.99% 1,411,422 11.06% 12,764,377
1943 10,287,322 79.34% 40,592 0.31% 1,238,183 9.55% 1,400,573 10.80% 12,966,670
1944 10,621,168 78.88% 143,183 1.06% 1,241,121 9.22% 1,458,647 10.83% 13,464,119
1945 10,435,212 75.63% 245,751 1.78% 1,332,032 9.65% 1,784,064 12.93% 13,797,059
1946 9,976,998 76.53% 137,750 1.06% 1,132,748 8.69% 1,790,021 13.73% 13,037,517
1947 9,454,253 80.37% 92,974 0.79% 614,335 5.22% 1,601,186 13.61% 11,762,748
Source:
Brewers' Almanack 1955, page 62.


By the 1944 and 1945, the proportion of unmalted adjuncts was around 10% of the total - about double what it had been in 1938. While sugar fell from around 15% of the total pre-war to 10%. While the amount of malt itself increased in the middle war years. By the look of it to compensate for a reduction in the amount of sugar available.

But brewers were later forced to use an even less popular ingredient: flaked oats

"Early in 1943, when the shipping position became difficult owing to the intensified U boat activity, barley was required for use in bread, and brewers were asked to replace flaked barley by flaked oats, but there were some misgivings about its use on account of its high fat content. A series of investigations was carried out to prove its suitability in order to satisfy brewers that they could be used with safety; 10 per cent, was considered a safe maximum. Owing to its huskiness flaked oats had the advantage of improving drainage in the mash tun, although, owing to its bulkiness, those brewers working with a full mash tun found it to be a disadvantage. A bad oat harvest in the following year, however, caused its use in brewing to be discontinued. The Ministry of Food then suggested that flaked oats might be replaced by dried potatoes, the drying plants in beet sugar factories used for drying the exhausted beet slices being utilized for this purpose. Investigations carried out with potatoes dried in this manner, however, proved them to be quite unsuitable for use in brewing owing to the unpleasant flavour imparted to the beer, and as the anticipated surplus of potatoes did not materialize, flaked barley was again used to replace flaked oats, and has continued up to the present time."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing Volume 52, Issue 3, May-June, 1946, page 121.

Potatoes have been used in brewing. I've published a 19th-century recipe for potato Broyhan. So it is possible. I wonder if the Broyhan also suffered from a nasty flavour?

It's easiest to see the move to unmalted grains at Whitbread, because before the war they used no adjuncts, only malt and sugar. The first sighting of flaked barley is on 10th October 1941 in a brew of XX Mild Ale*. Significantly, IPA and PA brewed a few days later contained none. On 28th May 1942, in addition to flaked barley, barley meal and flaked rye is in the grists**. By now the adjuncts are in all Whitbread's beers.

In April 1943 flaked oats replaces all the other adjuncts***. The in February 1944 Whitbread switched back to using flaked barley****. You can see that Whitbread had little control over their grists but had adjunct them according to government policy and which raw materials were available.

Whitbread also occasionally used wheat malt. These tables should give a good impression of the decisions Whitbread had forced on them during the war years:

Whitbread Mild Ale 1938 - 1947
Date Year Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp
25th Feb 1938 X 1035.3 1010.0 3.35 71.67% 7.44 1.11 1.25 1.25 65º
26th Sep 1939 X 1033.9 1010.5 3.10 69.03% 8.27 1.11 1.25 1 65º
25th Apr 1940 X 1033.5 1008.5 3.31 74.63% 8.12 1.12 1.25 1 65º
20th Nov 1940 XX 1031.1 1010.0 2.79 67.85% 8.42 1.07 1.17 0.75 66º
10th Oct 1941 XX 1031.2 1009.0 2.94 71.15% 6.38 0.76 1.25 1.25 65º
30th Jan 1942 XX 1029.1 1007.5 2.86 74.23% 5.84 0.75 1 1 65º
30th May 1942 XX 1028.4 1007.0 2.83 75.35% 6.19 0.75 1 1 65º
5th Apr 1943 XX 1027.8 1008.0 2.62 71.22% 6.07 0.76 1 1.25 65º
22nd Feb 1944 XX 1028.5 1009.0 2.58 68.42% 5.79 0.69 1 0.75 65º
4th Apr 1945 XX 1028.2 1009.0 2.54 68.09% 5.63 0.70 1 0.75 65º
12th Sep 1946 XX 1027.3 1008.0 2.55 70.70% 6.02 0.71 1 1 65º
3rd Jan 1947 XX 1027.5 1005.5 2.91 80.00% 6.02 0.68 1 0.75 65º
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/105, LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111, LMA/4453/D/01/112, LMA/4453/D/01/114.


Whitbread Mild Ale grists 1938 - 1947
Date Year Beer OG pale malt crystal malt MA malt PA malt no. 3 sugar other sugar wheat malt flaked barley barley meal flaked rye flaked oat
25th Feb 1938 X 1035.3 72.97% 12.46% 13.05% 1.52%
26th Sep 1939 X 1033.9 75.73% 13.59% 9.06% 1.62%
25th Apr 1940 X 1033.5 24.30% 13.08% 54.21% 4.98% 1.56% 1.87%
20th Nov 1940 XX 1031.1 81.42% 11.63% 6.95%
10th Oct 1941 XX 1031.2 65.39% 11.98% 4.99% 4.99% 5.66% 2.00% 4.99%
30th Jan 1942 XX 1029.1 12.02% 68.11% 4.01% 1.84% 2.00% 12.02%
30th May 1942 XX 1028.4 46.32% 12.63% 16.84% 5.61% 1.75% 2.11% 8.42% 1.05% 5.26%
5th Apr 1943 XX 1027.8 9.28% 10.31% 55.67% 5.50% 1.72% 17.53%
22nd Feb 1944 XX 1028.5 10.45% 71.08% 4.18% 1.74% 12.54%
4th Apr 1945 XX 1028.2 7.38% 62.21% 9.84% 3.70% 16.87%
12th Sep 1946 XX 1027.3 7.85% 75.14% 10.47% 2.06% 4.49%
3rd Jan 1947 XX 1027.5 7.79% 81.26% 8.91% 2.04%
Sources:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/105, LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/109, LMA/4453/D/01/110, LMA/4453/D/01/111, LMA/4453/D/01/112, LMA/4453/D/01/114.


There's only one constant in the grist: crystal malt. Not even mild malt and No. 3 invert sugar, staples of Dark Mild brewing, appear in every beer. When things were starting to get back to normal in 1947, Whitbread reverted to a grist of base malt, crystal malt and sugar.

Next time the excitement begins. We'll be looking at hops.







* Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/108.
** Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/109.
*** Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/110.
**** Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/111.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Can't wait for the next installment.

Gary Gillman said...

I believe Guinness currently uses 40% raw barley in its grist. I am not sure if that includes the roasted barley part, I think it does. So, much higher than for the wartime use in England it appears. I wonder if Guinness's adoption of flaked barley was influenced either by its own possible use during WW II albeit under different laws, or the generally favourable English experience as reported here albeit the English held down the quantity to about 10%.

Ron Pattinson said...

Gary,

pretty sure that the flaked barley in Guinness only started in the 1980's. It used to be all malt.

Gary Gillman said...

Well Ron, a little earlier in Dublin anyway it seems but I'd think Park Royal must have been the same in '72:

http://barclayperkins.blogspot.ca/2007/11/guinness-and-roast-barley.html

But did it start in '72? Would seem unlikely. The change from '72-'83, to less pale malt, surely was a cost-cutter and perhaps this is why current Guinness seems less interesting to me than ever, although if you get a very fresh pint it can be decent.

Gary

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous,

you may to regret saying that.

Lots more to come.

Ron Pattinson said...

I mean you may come to regret saying that.

Mike Austin said...

Ron,

I think that Guinness must have been using flaked barley in the 70's, as Dave Line's home brewing books assert that 20% are needed for an authentic version.
He also said 10% roast barley was vital. From what you have turned up, I suspect not.

Barm said...

There was (possibly still is) an all-malt RHG-compliant version of Guinness for the German market in the 1990s which is maybe what Ron is thinking of.

Ron Pattinson said...

I should look it up in a Bottle of Guinness Please, but I fly across the Atalnitc in a disturbingly short 12 hours. I think Park Royal was 90% pale malt, 10% roast barley until the 1980's

Lovely beer, bottle-conditioned Guinness Extra Stout. An all-time favourite.