Saturday, 15 December 2018

Let's Brew - 1936 Barclay Perkins BS

Between the wars, Barclay Perkins brewed a confusing range of Stouts. LS, BS, OMS, IBS, RNS and BBS Export, plus their Porter, TT. That’s far more than most breweries, even traditional London Porter breweries.

In the 19th century, “BS” stood for Brown Stout, but at some point around the time of WW I it seems to have changed to meaning Best Stout. It was Barclay’s draught Stout, retailing at 8d per pint, the same as their Burton Ale. Making it their level most expensive regular draught beer. Only the seasonal KKKK was stronger.

You can’t accuse their Stout recipe of being overly simple. BS has no fewer than four malts and three adjuncts. Which is one of the reasons the percentage of base malt is so low – a little under 50%.

On the other hand, the sugars are quite simple, just two. One isn’t specified, but based on other Stout brewing records from around the same time, it’s probably something called BS. I’ve substituted No. 4 invert. The No. 2 invert is there to take account of the two gallons per barrel of primings added at racking time. They raised the effective OG by 5.5 points.

The hops were all pretty local: Kent Fuggles (1935), Mid-Kent Goldings (1935), all kept in a cold store.


1936 Barclay Perkins BS
mild malt 6.00 lb 47.06%
brown malt 0.50 lb 3.92%
amber malt 1.25 lb 9.80%
crystal malt 60 L 0.75 lb 5.88%
roast barley 1.25 lb 9.80%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 3.92%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 7.84%
oats 0.125 lb 0.98%
No. 4 invert sugar 1.25 lb 9.80%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.125 lb 0.98%
Fuggles 150 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1057
FG 1017.5
ABV 5.23
Apparent attenuation 69.30%
IBU 35
SRM 46
Mash at 147º F
After underlet 153º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Friday, 14 December 2018

Drybrough 60/- grists 1938 - 1947 (part two)

Not quite finished with Drybrough's wartime 60/- recipes. Though they're really Drybrough's recipes for all their beers. Like many Scottish brewers, they made their whole beer range from a single recipe.

There wasn’t a huge change in the sugars used in Drybrough 60/- throughout the war. It consisted almost always of four elements: malt extract (DCL), Fison, Avona and invert sugar. Sadly, the records aren’t specific about which kind of invert, only specifying the producer – either Manbré or Martineau.

The proportion of sugar didn’t vary much, either, remaining between 9% and 10% all through the war. Unlike in WW I, the type of sugars available to brewers weren’t limited. Meaning brewers could continue to employ much the same types, in particular proprietary sugars like Fison and Avona.

Once the war kicked off, foreign hops disappeared from Drybrough’s recipes and they went over to 100% English hops. If you look back to the first table, you’ll see that the quantity of hops used fell as the war progressed, dropping from 5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt to about 3.5 lbs. This wasn’t exactly voluntary, as, the government restricted the quantity of hops available. For example, in June 1941 the quantity of hops available for brewers was reduced by 20%.

The hops Drybrough used were mostly quite new. Again, this wasn’t an accident. The reserve supplies of older hops were mostly used up in the war years.


Drybrough 60/- grists 1938 - 1947 sugar and hops
Date Year OG malt extract Fison Avona invert hops
14th Oct 1938 1038 0.88% 1.76% 3.51% 3.51% Oregon (1936), English (1936, 1937)
19th Oct 1939 1038 0.88% 1.76% 3.53% 3.53% English (1938)
3rd Jan 1940 1036 0.94% 1.88% 3.75% 3.75% English (1938)
3rd Feb 1941 1037 0.97% 2.59% 3.89% 3.89% English (1939, 1940)
11th Jul 1941 1034 1.00% 2.40% 2.40% 2.40% English (1939)
2nd Feb 1942 1032 1.04% 2.77% 2.77% 2.77% English (1940)
3rd Feb 1943 1032 0.96% 2.56% 2.56% 2.56% English (1941)
14th Oct 1943 1032 1.28% 2.56% 2.56% 2.56% English (1942)
17th Jan 1944 1032 1.46% 3.34% 4.17% English (1942)
13th Jul 1944 1032 0.99% 2.65% 2.65% 2.65% English (1942)
8th Feb 1945 1032 1.59% 2.12% 2.12% 2.12% English (1943)
8th Oct 1946 1029 1.44% 0.82% 3.29% 2.47% English (1945)
23rd Oct 1947 1029 0.70% 1.41% 2.81% 4.22% English (1945, 1946)
Sources:
Drybrough brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document numbers D/6/1/1/4 and D/6/1/1/5.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Scotch Ale during During WW II

Surprisingly, given their high strength, Strong Scotch Ales were brewed throughout the war years, at least at some breweries. Though the quantities produced were pretty small.

Drybrough, for example, which had brewed their Scotch Ale in batches of 60-odd barrels in 1939, had halved the brew length by 1945.  Given the cap placed on the number of standard barrels a brewery could produce, brewing one barrel of Scotch Ale was the equivalent of 2.5 barrels of 60/-.  When beer was in short supply, it must have been hard to justify brewing much

The examples from Drybrough, Maclay and William Younger all look quite similar in character. An OG in the 1080º’s, approximately 7% ABV and hopping at around 5lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt.

All of these beers were dark in colour, despite none containing any dark malts, other than a few pounds of chocolate malt in Drybrough’s version. The colour came almost exclusively from caramel adding at racking time.

Ironically, brewers which had continued to brew this type of beer, such as Drybrough, discontinued it in 1945. The result of even tighter restrictions on brewing in the immediate aftermath of the war.


Strong Scotch Ale during WW II
Date Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
3rd May 1939 Maclay SA 1089 1030 7.81 66.29% 5.00 1.90
29th Aug 1939 Maclay SA 1082 1022 7.94 73.17% 6.00 2.12
14th Nov 1939 Maclay SA 1079 1026 7.01 67.09% 5.00 1.70
12th Jan 1940 Drybrough Burns 1083 1026 7.54 68.67% 5.53 1.91
8th Nov 1940 Drybrough Burns 1083 1028 7.28 66.27% 5.53 1.86
6th Feb 1941 Drybrough Burns 1081 1028 7.01 65.43% 4.35 2.01
9th Oct 1941 Drybrough Burns 1081 1022 7.81 72.84% 4.90 3.08
29th Oct 1942 Drybrough Burns 1076 1029.5 6.15 61.18% 4.74 1.47
5th Feb 1943 Drybrough Burns 1076 1028.5 6.28 62.50% 4.89 1.55
22nd Jul 1943 Drybrough Burns 1076 1027 6.48 64.47% 4.86 1.59
13th Jul 1944 Drybrough Burns 1076 1025 6.75 67.11% 4.43 1.49
12th Oct 1944 Drybrough Burns 1076 1032 5.82 57.89% 4.20 1.37
23rd Feb 1945 Drybrough Burns 1076 1031.5 5.89 58.55% 4.02 1.26
15th Nov 1939 Younger, Wm. 1 1084 1033.5 6.68 60.12% 4.74 1.58
Sources:
Maclay brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document numbers M/6/1/1/3 and M/6/1/1/4.
Drybrough brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number D/6/1/1/4.
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/76.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Fullers PA

PA, Fullers strongest Pale Ale, had been around for a while – at least 50 years. Though there had been a name change in the early 1900s, when the India was stripped off the front. The beer itself remained the same, however.

With a gravity over 1050º, PA was a typical 8d Bitter, a style reasonably common in London. This was a about as strong as standard draught beer got between the wars. Surprisingly, PA seems to have been Fullers biggest selling Pale Ale, edging out XK, their Ordinary Bitter.

The grist is pretty standard for an interwar Bitter: pale malt, flaked maize and sugar. Why make things too complicated? Though the percentage of sugar is pretty tiny, not quite 3% of the total.

The hops in the recipe are a guess. All I know for certain is that they were English and from the 1938 harvest. Fuggles and Goldings seem a reasonable enough guess.

Fullers PA didn’t fare too badly in WW I, with its OG in the 1920s being the same as in 1910. The second war wouldn’t be so kind to it, as you’ll see in a while.


1939 Fullers PA
pale malt 9.50 lb 82.47%
flaked maize 1.75 lb 15.19%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.125 lb 1.09%
glucose 0.125 lb 1.09%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.02 lb 0.17%
Fuggles 90 min 1.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 1.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1051
FG 1012.5
ABV 5.09
Apparent attenuation 75.49%
IBU 43
SRM 6
Mash at 146º F
After underlet 149º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Drybrough 60/- grists 1938 - 1947

When it came to gristts, Drybrough was very typically Scottish. They used very little in the way of coloured malt, just a tiny amount of black or chocolate malt. The quantities are so small it could only have been for colour adjustment. Other than that, there’s only pale malt and a small quantity of enzymic malt.

Tell a lie, there was another type of malt Drybrough used: malted oats. Which is slightly odd. Not that they used oats. They didn’t have much option with that: brewers were instructed in early 1943 to replace flaked barley with oats. But in flaked, not malted, form. In fact, oats weren’t supposed to be malted at all. So where did Drybrough get theirs from?
The base malt percentage actually increased during the war. This wasn’t unusual as adjuncts like flaked maize became unavailable and sugar was diverted to food production.

In terms of adjuncts, the types of grains being used were totally out of the brewer’s control. At the start of the war brewers were told by the government to use flaked barley instead of flaked maize. In 1943 the government ordained that flaked oats should replace flaked barley. And, finally, in 1944 it was back to flaked barley. Messing around I’m sure brewers could have done without.

Drybrough continued to employ flaked barley after the end of the war, though after 1953 in conjunction with flaked maize. It was only around 1960 that they reverted to just flaked maize, as they had brewed before the war.


Drybrough 60/- grists 1938 - 1947 malts
Date Year OG pale malt black malt choc. Malt enzymic malt
14th Oct 1938 1038 72.04% 0.73% 1.76%
19th Oct 1939 1038 79.40% 0.32% 1.76%
3rd Jan 1940 1036 86.31% 0.56% 2.81%
3rd Feb 1941 1037 85.52% 0.23% 2.92%
11th Jul 1941 1034 88.84% 0.26% 2.70%
2nd Feb 1942 1032 83.02% 0.37% 3.11%
3rd Feb 1943 1032 80.77% 2.88%
14th Oct 1943 1032 72.84% 2.88%
17th Jan 1944 1032 72.54% 0.67% 2.81%
13th Jul 1944 1032 75.55% 0.59% 2.98%
8th Feb 1945 1032 76.44% 0.47% 2.39%
8th Oct 1946 1029 76.53% 0.33% 2.78%
23rd Oct 1947 1029 75.98% 0.63% 1.58%
Sources:
Drybrough brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document numbers D/6/1/1/4 and D/6/1/1/5.


Drybrough 60/- grists 1938 - 1947 adjuncts
Date Year OG flaked maize flaked barley flaked oats malted oats
14th Oct 1938 1038 15.81%
19th Oct 1939 1038 8.82%
3rd Jan 1940 1036
3rd Feb 1941 1037
11th Jul 1941 1034
2nd Feb 1942 1032 4.15%
3rd Feb 1943 1032 7.69%
14th Oct 1943 1032 7.67% 7.67%
17th Jan 1944 1032 5.00% 10.01%
13th Jul 1944 1032 11.93%
8th Feb 1945 1032 12.74%
8th Oct 1946 1029 12.34%
23rd Oct 1947 1029 12.66%
Sources:
Drybrough brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document numbers D/6/1/1/4 and D/6/1/1/5.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Drybrough 60/- 1938 – 1947

What fun research is. I've spent my evenings this week transcribing Drybrough brewing records. Quite a lot of work and not a barrel of laughs. Just stuff that has to get done.

As I've put in all that effort, it seems fair enough to bore you bastards with some of the results. Otherwise, I'll just have been frittering away some of my few precious hours left on this earth. Excuse me. A weird appreciation of my own mortality kicked in when I turned 60. Hence all my frantic writing activity.

Anyway, over to today's topic, watery Scottish Pale Ale. In the form of Drybrough 60/-/.

By far the most popular beer Drybrough brewed both before and during WW II was their 60/-. It was about 80%of what they brewed.

Which is interesting because it was well below average OG, in the late 1930s around 1043º. In terms of strength, it was around the same as Barclay Perkins Ordinary Mild, X Ale, but a good bit weaker than their Ordinary Bitter, which was 1045º.

Drybrough 60/- was pretty lightly hopped in comparison with London draught beers. 5lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt going into the war. When Barclay’s X Ale got 7 Lbs per quarter. Which makes 60/- look more like an English Light Mild than a Pale Ale.

The profile of gravity reduction is very different from WW I. There’s a dip in the first couple of years but then, between 1942 and 1946, a surprising stability. With another dip after war’s end.

The FG at time of consumption would have been lower. The figure I give in the table is the racking gravity. These were cask-conditioned beers which would have continued to ferment after racking. They were probably at least 70% attenuated when they hit the thirsty drinker’s glass.

Drybrough 60/- 1938 - 1947
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
14th Oct 1938 1038 1011 3.57 71.05% 4.83 0.76
19th Oct 1939 1038 1013.5 3.24 64.47% 4.93 0.76
3rd Jan 1940 1036 1013 3.04 63.89% 5.00 0.74
3rd Feb 1941 1037 1014 3.04 62.16% 3.94 0.63
11th Jul 1941 1034 1012 2.91 64.71% 3.90 0.54
2nd Feb 1942 1032 1015.0 2.25 53.13% 3.05 0.44
3rd Feb 1943 1032 1013.5 2.45 57.81% 3.98 0.51
14th Oct 1943 1032 1013.5 2.45 57.81% 3.45 0.48
17th Jan 1944 1032 1013 2.51 59.38% 3.45 0.45
13th Jul 1944 1032 1012.5 2.58 60.94% 3.58 0.50
8th Feb 1945 1032 1007.5 3.24 76.56% 3.55 0.46
8th Oct 1946 1029 1009 2.65 68.97% 3.44 0.43
23rd Oct 1947 1029 1012 2.25 58.62% 1.95 0.44
Sources:
Drybrough brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document numbers D/6/1/1/4 and D/6/1/1/5.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Drybrough Burns Ale 1936 - 1954

After my general bullshit about Scotch Ale, here's a chance to see what happened to one particular example across WW II.

You could be excused for thinking that I'm war-obsessed. Though I sort of am. Is that wrong for a pacifist? Or totally appropriate? Don't bother answering either of those questions. I'll be destroying my sleep pondering them in bed tonight.

Drybrough is a wonderfully unfashionable brewery. Just the type I like. A typical one-recipe dull Scottish brewery. Then incorporated into the satanic Watney corporation to churn out masses of Keg Heavy. Not a brewery anyone seems to have fond memories of.

Their Burns Ale is a typical Scotch Ale of the post-WW I type. That is, just a super-strong Scottish Pale Ale. All the breweries, except William Younger, whose records I've seen brewed Scotch Ale this way. I think it's fair to assume this was the standard method.

They continued to brew Burns Ale at much its full strength almost all the way through the war.  Not sure exactly when they dropped it, but it seems to have been about when the war ended. Then returned sometime in 1948.

That's typical: the toughest years for UK brewing were the three or four aster the war ended.

Drybrough Burns Ale 1936 - 1954
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
12th Feb 1936 1084 1030 7.14 64.29% 6.30 2.48
12th Jan 1940 1083 1026 7.54 68.67% 6.03 2.31
8th Nov 1940 1083 1028 7.28 66.27% 5.53 1.86
6th Feb 1941 1081 1028 7.01 65.43% 4.35 2.01
9th Oct 1941 1081 1022 7.81 72.84% 4.90 3.08
29th Oct 1942 1076 1029.5 6.15 61.18% 4.74 1.47
5th Feb 1943 1076 1028.5 6.28 62.50% 4.89 1.55
22nd Jul 1943 1076 1027 6.48 64.47% 4.86 1.59
13th Jul 1944 1076 1025 6.75 67.11% 4.43 1.49
12th Oct 1944 1076 1032 5.82 57.89% 4.20 1.37
23rd Feb 1945 1076 1031.5 5.89 58.55% 4.02 1.26
11th Aug 1948 1070 1031 5.16 55.71% 4.33 1.30
20th Oct 1954 1073 1032.5 5.36 55.48% 4.67 1.40
Sources:
Drybrough brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number D/6/1/1/4 and D/6/1/1/5.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Let's Brew - 1939 Barclay Perkins IPA

Another recipe for the beer-style purists: a Watery English IPA.

It's not an official style yet, but I'm sure it will be soon. I keep pushing it like crazy, and everyone listens to me, don't they?

Maybe not. On with the several obsessions in one go beer.

Just a few months before WW II kicked off, in June 1939, this Barclay’s IPA rolled out of the Park Street Brewery. Well, probably not roll, more clink out. It was an exclusively bottled beer.

IPA (bottling) as it appear on the records, was apparently quite a new beer, only appearing in the early 1930s. A revved up version of the older XLK (bottling), which had an OG of 1039º. The two, obviously, were parti-gyled together.

The recipe for Barclay’s Perkins Pale Ales hadn’t changed much since the mid-1920s. Pale malt, PA malt, flaked maize and invert sugar. Originally No. 2, but sometime after 1936 that changed to No. 3.

The hopping is reasonable, with mostly hops from the most recent season. The third from the 1937 season had been kept in a cold store, so wouldn’t have deteriorated much. Barclay Perkins usually dry-hopped their Pale Ales, except those intended for bottling.

Sad to think this is the precursor to watery post-war Light Ale.


1939 Barclay Perkins IPA
pale malt 7.00 lb 73.61%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 10.52%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.50 lb 15.77%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.01 lb 0.11%
Fuggles 150 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1044
FG 1013.5
ABV 4.03
Apparent attenuation 69.32%
IBU 29
SRM 11.5
Mash at 150º F
After underlet 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 150º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale