Thursday, 12 February 2015

Adnams grists in 1914

In the second part of my look at Adnams beers in 1914 we’ll be looking at the grists. It’s so exciting.

You’d better find it fascinating. I spent a big chunk of my Saturday transcribing this stuff. Four or five hours to do just one of the Adnams brewing books. There are 46 books altogether. Say half a day for each. That’s the best part of a full months work to proves them all.

I’m really not sure what one of Adnams’ base malts is. It’s listed as “Medium” in the records. I’m guessing something like mild malt, given which beers it was used most in. As was typical back then, a proportion of the pale malt was usually from Californian barley.

Moving on to the coloured malts, you can see that some beers contained none at all. And that crystal malt only occurs in XX and Tally Ho grists. No shock there. Crystal malt was very rare in Pale Ales before WW I. I’m quite surprised to see brown and amber malts make an appearance. In the 1913 book Adnams Stouts were all coloured with just black malt. Now that’s been replaced by chocolate malt and brown and sometimes amber malt added.

There’s quite a bit of variation in the adjunct percentage from 8.5% in X to 22% in BLB. 15-20% was normal. It was common for the largest proportion of sugar to be used in relatively expensive Pale Ales. Their use was designed to keep both the colour and body light. Only one proprietary sugar was used, CDM, which I’m fairly certain was dark. On and there’s tintose, too, a sort of caramel colorant.

The hops are a combination of English and West Coast. Again, that’s pretty typical for the period. Though new supplies of American hops would start to dry up as the war progressed.

Adnams grists in 1914
Date 6th Aug 11th Aug 22nd Dec 5th Aug 11th Aug 7th Aug
Beer BLB BS DS Tally Ho X XX
Style Pale Ale Stout Stout Old Ale Mild Ale Mild Ale
OG 1044 1055 1065 1082 1033 1042
pale malt 78.00% 39.34% 45.65% 46.93% 34.28% 31.07%
brown malt 9.84% 6.52%
amber malt 13.04%
choc. Malt 9.84% 13.04%
crystal malt 4.27% 6.21%
medium malt 29.51% 6.52% 29.86% 57.14% 43.49%
flaked maize 6.00% 4.27% 6.21%
no. 2 sugar 16.00% 9.84% 4.35% 14.22%
CDM 1.64% 2.17%
Cane blocks 8.70% 7.62% 12.43%
tintose 0.46% 0.96% 0.59%
% adjuncts 22.00% 11.48% 15.22% 18.95% 8.58% 19.23%
hops Oregon and EK Oregon and EK Oregon, Saaz and EK Oregon and EK Oregon and EK Oregon and EK
Adnams brewing records.

For comparison purposes, here are Whitbread’s grists from 1914:

Whitbread Ale grists in 1914
Date Beer Style OG pale malt SA malt PA malt no. 1 sugar other sugar
6th Oct X Mild 1055.1 92.86% 7.14%
24th Jun 2PA Pale Ale 1054.2 23.60% 56.12% 20.28%
8th Oct FA Pale Ale 1048.5 22.28% 57.92% 19.80%
7th Oct PA Pale Ale 1061.1 23.60% 56.12% 20.28%
6th Oct IPA IPA 1049.9 21.95% 58.54% 19.51%
6th Nov KK Stock Ale 1072.7 27.99% 44.78% 16.79% 10.45%
6th Nov 2KKK Stock Ale 1078.0 27.99% 44.78% 16.79% 10.45%
6th Nov KKK Stock Ale 1082.0 27.99% 44.78% 16.79% 10.45%
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/079 and LMA/4453/D/01/080.

Whitbread’s Ales had very simple grists, just base malt and sugar. It’s a bit annoying that they mostly don’t mention which type of sugar. My guess is that it’s No. 1 invert for the Pale Ales and No. 3 for everything else. Not that again it’s the Pale Ales with the lowest percentage of malt in the grist.

Their Porter grists are more complicated:

Whitbread Porter grists in 1914
Date 30th Apr 10th Aug 30th Apr 1st Apr 19th Aug
Beer P Exp S LS SS SSS
Style Porter Stout Stout Stout Stout
OG 1053 1065.4 1054.7 1081.9 1096.1
pale malt 70.92% 48.29% 70.92% 58.58% 50.52%
brown malt 13.07% 10.24% 13.07% 13.23% 13.02%
black malt 7.84% 7.32% 7.84% 6.14% 5.89%
amber malt 14.63% 9.45% 17.36%
oats 0.33% 0.33%
no. 3 sugar 19.51% 13.22%
other sugar 7.84% 7.84% 12.60%
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.

With their combination of pale brown, black and sometimes amber, they aren’t a million miles away from Adnams’ grists. The sugar is probably always No. 3 invert. The tiny amount of oats is there to allow them to sell some of the Stout as Oatmeal Stout. Not that it would have had the slightest impact on the character of the beers.

I’ll be slowly trundling through Adnams records over the next few years. Want to put bets on when I’ll get to the 1980’s?

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