Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1850 Truman Double Stout

You may have spotted a slight 1850’s theme going on. There’s a good reason for that.

The plan is for a book of the recipes I mostly publish every Wednesday. I’ve sort of assembled most of it. And I noticed that there were recipes from every decade 1800 to 1970. Except for the 1850’s. Basically it’s a hole we’re attempting to fill.

That was dull, wasn’t it? Best crack on with the recipe. Or at least my bit of bullshit that precedes the recipe.

Nothing about this beer is particularly odd. It has the standard mid-19th century Stout grist of pale, brown and black malt. Some brewers through in some amber malt, especially for the posher Stouts, but by no means all. The percentage of black malt generally increased as the century progressed.  By the 1890’s, it was up to around 10% of the grist, while brown malt was down to around 14%.

I’m a bit reluctant to draw too many conclusions from that. Black malt wasn’t just one thing. They varied, depending on the maltster and the requirements of the customer. The one Truman used in the 1890’s might have been less roasted and paler than the one they used in the 1850’s, hence the need to use more to achieve the same effect. On the other hand, the black malt might have remained similar and the beer become darker and roastier.

Interestingly, Truman didn’t include the black malt in the total for malt. Meaning they assumed minimal extract from it.

This is quite a strong beer for a Double Stout, and probably closer to a Triple or Imperial Stout. They brewed a weaker beer just called Stout that was around 1080º, while their standard Porter was 1065º. See how that compares to the Brown Beers of other London brewers:

London Porter and Stout 1849 - 1850
Year Brewery Beer OG
1850 Whitbread P 1063
1850 Whitbread S 1075
1850 Whitbread SSS 1092
1849 Barclay Perkins TT (Porter) 1061
1849 Barclay Perkins BSt 1092
1850 Barclay Perkins IBSt 1109
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/044.
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/540.

IBSt, or Imperial Brown Stout, is the original Russian Stout. You can see that the terminology of the three doesn’t match. Truman Double Stout is about the same strength as Whitbread Triple Stout and Barclay Perkins BSt, which was their base level Stout. Complicated, isn’t it?

On that happy note, I’ll throw you over to Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:
Notes: It’s winter. Cold. Grey. Raining. At least if you are in the upperly hemispherical lattitudes… In the winter, I want dark beer. Specifically stout. Loads of it. Then again, in the summer, I want stout too. Merry Christmas/Summer, depending on where you lay your head.

Malt: Per most old schooly stouty stout recipes, this one is dominated by brown malt with some kick of black malt. Pick some good ones. I really like the Fawcett stuff. Don’t use ‘carabrown’ or whatever other poor ideas out there for making brown malt. If you can’t get it or use it, make something else as this beer will be very different. Two pale malts. Pick two…or one. Make it nice, it’s Christmas after all.

Hops: This beer is massively chuck full of hops. Loads of them. Loads and loads of them. I usually say make sure and use the low AA% stuff but, to me, this one can really do for a bit less greenery…like your mum’s garden. Anyway…high AA% will let this be drunk sooner for sure. Something citrusy, spicy or earthy plays well with the brown malt. Grapefruit not as well and dank and garlicky not at all.

Yeast: Same as the last one… You should have no problem with the beer finishing too dry with this one. The high mash temp, along with no sugar, should be easy to have a nice, rich finish. Just make sure it doesn’t finish too sweet!! A nice London ale yeast that lends some nice fruit but also will ferment this thing where it needs to finish.
Cask: Standard procedure:
1) let the beer ferment until finished and then give it another day or so. For me right around 5-7 days.
2) Rack the beer to your vessel of choice (firkin, polypin, cornie, whatever).
3) Add primings at ~3.5g/L
4) Add prepared isinglass at 1ml/L
5) ONLY add dry hops at 0.25g/l – 1g/L.
6) Bung it up and roll it around to mix. Condition at 55F or so for 4-5 days and its ready to go. Spile/vent. Tap. Settle. Serve at 55F.


J. Karanka said...

Would this been vatted / aged or were stouts by the 1850s sold mild?

Ron Pattinson said...

J. Karanka,

good question. And one I can't really answer. Because while most of their beers it says it says either "Running" or "Keeping" in the brewing record, it doesn't for this Double Stout. But there is one from later in the year that is called Keeping Double Stout which has the same level of hopping, so my guess is that this beer was a Keeper.

Gary Gillman said...

Ron, I am curious at the FG gravity shown (1020) what percentage of sugars remain this product, I guess that would include dextrins too, so simple and complex sugars. Is there any way to calculate that? If so, can one distinguish between simple and complex sugars?


Ron Pattinson said...


there's no way of knowing that. Far too many unknowns.

Kristen England said...

A little addendum... I'm brewing ~50bbl of this beer today. I added a bit of oat malt, because its great and to ensure I have a high enough it will be fermenting on french oak to make things interesting. Should be fun so if you are in the Twin Cities area, look out for it just after the new year.

Martin Wall said...

Is the mash temp a misprint? Is it even possible to mash that high before the enzymes are degraded?

Kristen England said...


166F works. It takes time but it works.

Unknown said...

Hello friends! Forgive me if this is a foolish question, but would a brett finish be appropriate on this? Or any of the other old high grav recipes that have cropped up here over the years? has inspired me to have a play.

Ron Pattinson said...

Matthew Higginbotham,

in a word: yes.

Lady Luck Brewing said...

Wow, that mash temp is even higher than the last - 166? I hear you when you say it works, but is that what was in the logs?
I would think that temp is close to stopping conversion...

Kristen England said...

Yes, whats written was in the logs, however, just use a high mash temp if you are worried then you'll ensure a good mash but also a similar 'feel' to the beer.

PilsPlease55 said...

Great Recipe :) I really like all your recipies, and your books :).

Been getting into stouts pretty aggressively recently, I decided to exchange standard pale ale malt like Maris for Chevallier which is likely what would have been used during this time frame. It was the most popular pale malt at the time.

I figure that it will give the most accurate taste.