What’s even better, most of the beers we’ll be looking at were brewed in August, just when WW I was breaking out. British beer would never be the same again. Though for the first couple of years, higher taxes excepted, it was very much business as usual. Unlike in WW II, when the impact was almost immediate.
Confession time: I’m pretty sure at least one beer is missing, PA. It was in the 1913 logs and I can’t imagine it had been discontinued. But I know that it wasn’t brewed very often, probably the least often of all their beers. I assume that I’ve just missed it.
One other point. I had been going to say that I’d noticed these cryptic little entries in the racking part of the record. Then I saw what they were. I thought they were doing the magically conjuring up different beers at racking time thing. But it’s actually quite simple and comprehensible. They were creating XXXX by blending XX and Tally Ho. Something similar happened with BLB, which was transformed into PA.
Here are example entries:
The XXXX blend has an effective OG of about 1049º and the PA blend 1048º.
I suppose it’s time for a table. First the most important specs:
|Adnams beers in 1914|
|Date||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||dry hops (oz / brl)||Pitch temp||max. fermen-tation temp||length of fermen-tation (days)|
|6th Aug||BLB||Pale Ale||1044||1007||4.89||84.09%||7.00||1.34||10.55||60º||69.25º||7|
|5th Aug||Tally Ho||Old Ale||1082||1029.5||6.95||64.02%||5.92||2.21||11.94||60.25º||72º||7|
|11th Aug||X||Mild Ale||1033||1005.5||3.64||83.33%||4.38||0.58||0||60º||66.25º||8|
|7th Aug||XX||Mild Ale||1042||1008||4.50||80.95%||4.20||0.73||0||60º||69.5º||7|
|Adnams brewing records.|
It’s an odd range of beers in some ways. Way more Tally Ho was brewed than I would have expected. It must have sold quite well, even taking into account some was used for blending. In fact it’s the second most brewed beer after XX (which was getting on for half of the brews).
At the other end of the scale there’s X, a totally puny beer for the period. I’m shocked to see something that weak. XX is pretty weak, too. Only the XXXX blend is approaching the gravity of a London X Ale. If I think of BS as really being a Porter, it’s gravity makes more sense. While DS is about right for a base level Stout.
BLB looks like a classic Light Bitter with a gravity in the mid-1040’s. But hopped pretty decently, especially in terms of dry hops. More than half a pound per barrel is a lot. Four ounces would be more typical for a beer of this gravity.
The attenuation of some of the beers is very high. In fact, only Tally Ho has a rather low degree of attenuation.
Compare and contrast time, again using Whitbread:
|Whitbread beers in 1914|
|Date||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||Pitch temp|
|24th Jun||2PA||Pale Ale||1054.2||1019||4.65||64.91%||9.00||2.10||58.5º|
|8th Oct||FA||Pale Ale||1048.5||1015||4.43||69.06%||9.84||2.07||58.5º|
|7th Oct||PA||Pale Ale||1061.1||1021||5.31||65.63%||8.91||2.39||58.5º|
|6th Nov||KK||Stock Ale||1072.7||1024||6.44||66.99%||11.02||3.41||57º|
|6th Nov||2KKK||Stock Ale||1078.0||1026||6.88||66.66%||11.02||3.66||57º|
|6th Nov||KKK||Stock Ale||1082.0||1028||7.14||65.85%||11.02||3.85||57º|
|10th Aug||Exp S||Stout||1065.4||1012||7.06||81.64%||13.01||3.94||57º|
|Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/079, LMA/4453/D/01/080, LMA/4453/D/09/108 and LMA/4453/D/09/1094.|
Whitbread’s one Mild is stronger than even Adnams XXXX. While all their Pale Ales are stronger than even Adnams PA blend. Only Tally Ho, as strong as Whitbread’s strongest Stock Ale is really up to scratch.
Next time we’ll be looking at the grists.