Thursday 5 March 2020

The Storage of Beer and Ale (part two)

The next part of the article explains how to brew beer intended for long storage. Some of which are pretty obvious.

For example, that you shouldn't use crap ingrediensts. Which I think anyone could have guessed. And that's what I've seen in brewing records. Beers meant for long storage mostly only used hops from the most recent season.

"But to ensure these qualities being properly developed during storage, the beer must be brewed from sound materials of good quality and which have been thoroughly subjected to their different preparatory processes. Beer made from very fresh malt, air slacked malt, or malt that has been hurt by mould or must, or into the composition of which old or green or damaged hops have been allowed to enter, are suitable only for immediate consumption, and to attempt their storage is to produce an ultimate beverage that is fitter for the vinegar-maker than the retailer."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Friday 01 September 1882, page 11.
Use crap ingredients and you'll end up with not beuatfully mellow Ale but vinegar.

Next the author turns his attention to the brewing process.

"Next, it must be intelligently handled by the brewer. Temperatures must be skilfully maintained in mashing to get what is required from the malt and not less nor more. The presence of lactic acid, though it cannot and indeed should not be altogether prevented, must not be encouraged by lengthened exposure at such temperatures as especially favour its production. In drawing off from the kettle and from the coolschiffe, as clear a tap as possible must be made; organic matter present in a solid, undissolved state in the beer is almost certain to have evil results sooner or later. It has been found impossible for instance to keep "foxy" beer. This foxiness is caused by the presence in the beer of very minute particles of an albuminoid that should have been left somewhere else.
"Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Friday 01 September 1882, page 11.
Couple of intersting points in there. First, that lactic acid was desirable, but only in the correct amount. Next, I'm surprised to see a cooler referred to by the German word "coolschiffe". But the author does mention the main reason coolers continued to be used by brewers even after the invntion of other cooling methods. A lot of the gunk in the wort fell to the bottom of the cooler. Being very shallow, this could occur relatively quickly.

He finishes with some comments on fermentation temperatures.

"Finally, in the fermentation, the lower the temperature at which your fermentation can be thoroughly conducted, and the slower it is conducted consistent with success, will have a marked effect on the durability of your beer.

But supposing all these processes have been successfully undertaken and our young beer is of the finest possible quality, there are still general directions to be observed with regard to its storage."
Holmes' Brewing Trade Gazette - Friday 01 September 1882, page 11. 

Next time we'll look at storage itself.

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