Sunday, 27 September 2020

Underage drinking in WW II

The prevalence of underage drinking seems to have varied massively in different periods.

Obviously, if you go back to the 19th century there was a stack of it, as there was no minimum drinking age until 1886. Even then, legal age was a pretty liberal 13. The current age of 18 was only introduced during WW I.

Between the wars there seems to have been little underage drinking. Which may have had as much to do with the economic situation as it did with a desire to stick to the rules.

While during my youth, it was rampant. Pretty much everyone I knew was drinking in pubs by the age of 15. There seemed to be an unwritten rule that you could drink in pubs from around the age of 16 or so, as long as you didn't behave like an idiot. I was never once refused s drink while underage.

WW II changed the interwar situation. And money seems to have been one of the key factors driving youth to drink.

"Drinking Among the Young
A letter in The Times of 23rd February, signed by the heads of six famous London settlements, urges licensees not to serve boys and girls under 18 with intoxicants. Here is an appeal that will not fall on deaf ears. We may be sure that licensees will be sympathetic. Indeed, they will be encouraged by this letter in the hope that support will come from unexpected quarters. Nobody likes the common informer. But if the skilled and humane staff of these settlements would collaborate in what is a truly serious problem by giving licensees a hint that this or that boy or girl is trying to buy intoxicants, nothing but good could emerge.


For, indeed, this is one of the plagues of a publican’s life. The young have money burning in their pockets; they have been working side by side with grown-ups; they want a fling and they mean to have it. In understaffed and overcrowded houses the fling may well be easy, at least once or twice—but perhaps not again. Anyone who shops nowadays or uses a garage or any trading establishment knows that he will probably be served by a child; but whether that child is seventeen and three-quarters or eighteen and a quarter only a birth certificate could show. And now that girls of 16 or 17 dress to look three or four years older, now that hair is neither “up” nor “down,” it must be recognized that the overworked publican requires a genius for discrimination. A recent report from Liverpool contained an example of the other side of the problem : “I heard of one young woman who was several times refused alcoholic drink and was later found to be a married woman of 34 with the appearance of a girl of 16.”"
The Brewing Trade Review, March 1943, page 64.

The trouble of correctly the age of girls is just as true today.

It was probably the first time that the bulk of Britain's youth had some disposable income. The irony being that there was bugger all for them to spend that cash on. With pretty much everything either rationed or in short supply, options for spending were limited.

While they might have been loud down the pub, the underaged weren't pissheads:

"Recent reports from a dozen great provincial centres agreed that drinking among th

e young, however noisy, was not the same as drunkenness. Miss Violet Markham’s Report on Amenities and Welfare Conditions in the Three Women's Services confirmed an absence of drunkenness. In four strikingly original articles in The Times Educational Supplement Dr. Macalister Brew recorded the result, in her search after knowledge of how the young spend their leisure, of a 100 visits to public houses. She concluded that they went to the public house for sociability rather than drink. They went to talk—“ and how they talk!” She analysed the subjects: the most popular was “some aspects of rationing (including clothes), the next most popular was “ religion (how to lead a good life, general aspirations, etc.).”

Yet the absence of rival peace-time distractions, the novelty of wages without knowledge of the value of money, and the sheer desire for a lark have placed a heavy new burden on the licensee. And in his efforts to avoid serving the under-aged with intoxicants he needs sympathy and help. The letter in The Times points the way."
The Brewing Trade Review, March 1943, pages 64 - 65.

Was religion really that popular a topic of conversation among the young? I struggle to believe that.

The pub has always been as much about sociability than getting plastered. Otherwise, why not just sit at home with bottle of cheap vodka?.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Let's Brew - 1892 Barclay Perkins KK

As the weather has started turning cold, it's time for something suited to the time of year. Like a lovely London Burton.

A couple of trends can be seen in this version of KK. Ones which would continue in the 20th century.

First off there’s the grist, which now contains another malt in addition to the base: crystal malt. Though it was first made in the early 19th century, the use of crystal malt only took off towards its end. Initially, it mostly made an appearance in Mild and Stock Ales. Its use in Pale Ales only became widespread after WW II.

Second is a darkening of the colour. This version is what I would describe as semi-dark. Dark enough to be distinguishable from Pale Ale, but not a deep brown like Dark Mild. That would come later.

The hopping is suitably crazy. As they were all from the recent harvest, I’ve left the rate as in the original. Approximately one third Hallertau and two-thirds East Kent were used.


1892 Barclay Perkins KK
mild malt 10.75 lb 68.25%
crystal malt 60L 0.75 lb 4.76%
flaked rice 2.25 lb 14.29%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.00 lb 12.70%
Hallertau 90 min 3.50 oz
Goldings 60 min 3.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 3.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1074
FG 1021
ABV 7.01
Apparent attenuation 71.62%
IBU 115
SRM 13
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

 


This recipe is in my two new books, Strong! vols. 1 & 2 and Strong! vol.2.



Thursday, 24 September 2020

Naughty William Younger

 I just noticed this in some William Younger records for 1940.


It shows how ullage - returned beer - was being added at racking time. Sounds like a good way to fuck up your beer. 10 hogsheads (15 barrels) for a batch of 135 barrels. That's about 10 ullage.

Funnily enough, it's always the same beer: LAE. Not sure what it was. Perhaps it was a pasteurised bottled beer. Then the slops might not do too much harm. Pretty sure it was some sort of Pale Ale, judging by the hopping rate, which was relatively high. At least by Scottish standards.

They only seem to have mixed in ullage a few times. Either that, of they didn't record it in the brewing log.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Brewing in Germany in WW II

I'm back to bother you with more tables from the wonderful book on brewing in Berlin. Aren't you lucky?

I'm mostly going to let the numbers speak for themselves.We'll kick off with the quantity of beer brewed in Berlin. I've included the pre-war numbers, too, so that you can see the long-term trends.

On the face of it, beer production held up well, even as late as early 1944. There are a couple of reasons this was possible. 

First, having learnt from Germany's experiences during WW I, when war broke out in September 1939, there was enough grain stockpiled to last three years.* I'm guessing that they didn't count on the war lasting longer than that. Considering this, beer output looks much less impressive.

Because the second way beer output was boosted was by a reduction in gravity. Which started pretty much simultaneously with hostilities. Already in late 1939, nothing above 10º Plato could be brewed.** But it would get much worse. By late 1941, the maximum gravity was reduced to just 8.5º Plato. Though stronger beer was brewed for German armed forces.

Time for some tables:

Berlin beer output 1930 - 1944
Fiscal year April/March output (hl)
1930/31 5,104,770
1931/32 3,829,163
1932/33 3,466,521
1933/34 3,348,422
1934/35 3,569,403
1935/36 3,729,845
1936/37 3,746,010
1937/38 4,070,553
1938/39 4,430,542
1939/40 4,586,631
1940/41 4,492,130
1941/42 4,274,308
1942/43 3,699,443
1943/44 3,380,155
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 146.

In 1944 beer production seems to have come to pretty much a total stop.

Now the gravity restrictions:

Gravity bands November 1939
type OG
Einfachbier 3 - 4º
Schankbier max 6.5º
Lagerbier 9 - 10.3º
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 149.

In 1941, at least the stronger types were a bit intoxicating. 

Gravity bands August 1941
type OG
Lagerbier 7.5 - 8.0º
Spezialbier 8.2 - 8.5º
Berliner Weiße, Grätzer 6.5 - 7.0º 
Einfachbier 3.0 - 6.0º
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 150.

But in 1943 gravities were reduced to ridiculously low levels. Even the strongest types were under 1020º. Meaning they would have been 2% ABV at the very best. Try getting pissed on that. At the same time in the UK, there was some beer over 5% ABV and even the weakest were 2.7% ABV. While average strength remained over 3$ ABV for the whole war.

Gravity bands November 1943
type OG
Schankbier 2.7 - 4.1º
Malzbier 4.2 - 4.7º
Einfachbier 1.7 - 2.4º
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 156.

 

 

* Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 147.

** Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 148.

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 William Younger DBS Btlg

I'm determined to get some use out of the hours I've poured into poring over William Yoinger's records recently. So here's another wartime recipe of theirs.

I’m not sure why DBS retained the “Bottling” suffix, as I’m pretty sure that there hadn’t been a draught version for some time in 1940.

Unsurprisingly, the OG is lower than in 1939 – a full 5º. There have been other changes, too. Nothing totally major, though.

For the most part. It’s just shuffling around the proportions of the same ingredients. There’s less pale malt, caramel and lactose, but more roasted barley and crystal malt. The biggest change being the replacement of grits by rice. Though which form the rice was in isn’t totally clear. I’m guessing something which needed to be gelatinised as there still appears to have been a cereal mash.

Liquorice is still in the mix. Probably in liquid form of some kind. Though, again, exactly which form isn’t clear from the brewing record.

Younger wasn’t very imaginative with its hopping. Every beer contained the same two types of Kent hops, one from the 1938 season and one from 1939.

1940 William Younger DBS Btlg
pale malt 9.25 lb 61.67%
roasted barley 1.00 lb 6.67%
crystal malt 60L 1.00 lb 6.67%
flaked rice 3.00 lb 20.00%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.25 lb 1.67%
lactose 0.50 lb 3.33%
liquorice 0.25 oz
Fuggles 150 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1061
FG 1017
ABV 5.82
Apparent attenuation 72.13%
IBU 33
SRM 30
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 61.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

 

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Temperance campaigners in Germany

I'd always though the Germans were far too sensible - and loved their beer too much - to fall for that temperance crap. It seems I was wrong  

There was a temperance movement in Germany, and, as in many other countries, it reached its peak around the the end of WW I and its immediate aftermath.

It's amazing how events in Germany - at least when it came to beer and brewing - follow a very similar pattern to in the UK. Including the tactic of the temperance twats. Realising they had zero chance of getting total prohibition overnight, they instead chose a piecemeal approach. Hoping to gradually turn one area after another dry.

The bastards tried exactly the same trick in the UK. Where they succeeded in getting local veto legislation passed for Scotland. Allowing districts to vote for a partial or complete ban on alcohol sales. It initially had some limited success, for example in some of the posher bits of Glasgow, but quickly ran out of steam. 

Parts of Scotland remained dry for decades. But, as you only needed to travel a mile or two to buy booze, it had fuck all real effect.

The Germans never let things get that far:

"d) Temperance movement, opposition to the local veto
The efforts and attacks of the temperance movement to restrict the consumption of beer and alcoholic beverages continued during and after the end of the World War of 1914/18. They were particularly lively during the wars and the first few years after the war and reached a high point after the currency stabilized in around the 1930s. The temperance movement received strong impetus through successes in Scandinavian countries and after the introduction of prohibition in the USA. With considerable resources and strong support from the circles of women’s associations and charitable organizations, the temperance movement, which was united in the International Association against the Abuse of Spiritual Drinks, put the main focus of its activities, amongst others, in Germany. In later years the efforts of the temperance movement failed because of the defence of the economy and the attitude of the German population. But it tried again and again to force through legislation for restrictive measures in the field of the production of beer and alcoholic beverages. The efforts of the temperance associations and those close to them were aimed in particular at the introduction of a local veto law in Germany, which would have represented a serious interference with the way of life and the right of the population to self-determination. In the case of the local veto, the amount and type of sales of beer and spirits within a municipality were to be determined by a general referendum of the municipality members entitled to vote. The introduction of a local veto in Germany would have had disastrous consequences for the brewing industry.

The defense against these measures led to the formation of a broad counter-movement, which included all circles of the population and public life, and to the establishment of the Reich Committee against the right to a local veto."
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 131.


The brewers were well organised. And pointed out the economic impact if a local veto were introduced. They managed to ensure that a proposed law was voted down in parliament.

"In the months that preceded the decisive vote on the draft law in the Reichstag, the Reich Committee developed an extraordinary activity to educate the population, public opinion as well as the government and parliaments. In cooperation with the leading associations of the brewing trade based in Berlin, the Berlin association played a decisive role in the defensive movement. The combined defensive movement against the right to a local veto in all parts of Germany succeeded in bringing down the bill in the Reichstag. It was rejected at the session of the German Reichstag on May 11, 1926 by 241 votes to 163 with 3 abstentions. The rejection later formed the subject of lively discussion in the daily press.

In spite of this voting result and the legal and economic points of view presented by the Reich Government in the reasoning for the Bar Act against the introduction of the local veto law in Germany, the temperance associations tried again, albeit in vain, to force through the introduction of a local veto law, albeit in a milder form. Remnants of the application of the local veto law have been preserved in, amongst others, some Scandinavian countries."
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, page 132. 

I'm surprised, given the financial and social importance of beer in Germany, that the vote was as claose as three to two against.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

The ups and downs of brewing in Berlin

I used to think brewing the UK was a rollercoaster in the interwar years. Things were far more extreme in Germany.

It took a few years after the end of WW I,  but by the mid-1920s, beer production was just about back to its pre-war level. A bit slower that the recovery in the UK. But, then again, brewing had fallen far lower in Germany. Almost completely petering out by the end of 1918.

In the final years of the 1920s, Berlin was even brewing more than before WW I. It didn't last long. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 brought down the whole world's economy, including Germany's. And it had a devastating effect on German brewing.

Because, as in the UK, the German government tried to raise much needed revenue by bumping up the tax on beer. And, just like in the UK, it was a total disaster. Beer production slumped and the tax revenue with it. You can see the effect in the table:

Beer production in Berlin 
financial year output (hl) % change
1912/13 5,394,398  
1923/24 2,687,668 -50.18%
1924/25 3,873,554 44.12%
1925/26 5,134,156 32.54%
1926/27 5,145,801 0.23%
1927/28 5,195,836 0.97%
1928/29 5,580,715 7.41%
1929/30 6,110,647 9.49%
1930/31 5,104,770 -16.46%
1931/32 3,829,163 -24.99%
1932/33 3,466,521 -9.47%
1933/34 3,348,422 -3.41%
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, pages 66 and 79.


A resurgence in top-fermenting beer

I'm so excited about my new favourite book. The one about brewing in Berlin from 1890 to 1945. Especially all the lovely, juicy, sexy numbers. I could just stare at them all day. Except my family is around most of the time. Have to wait until they've gone to bed. Then I can fully give myself fully to those filthy statistics.

A post almost exclusively consisting of numbers, then. What everyone is surely waiting for.

Top-fermenting beer might have appeared to be in terminal decline, but there was something which could turn that around. WW I.

Not quite such good news, seeing as beer production collapsed. And strengths collapsed even more in the latter war years, no stronger than 3.5º Plato. The low gravities were the reason for the upsurge in top fermentation. Bottom-fermenting yeast struggled with such weedy worts. As I posted about recently.

Blog post written, I can now relax and get stuck into some Abt.

Berlin beer production 1907 - 1918
Fiscal year bottom-fermenting top-fermenting total % bottom % top
1907 3,951,173 1,459,371 5,410,544 73.03% 26.97%
1908 3,888,680 1,232,758 5,121,438 75.93% 24.07%
1909 3,976,651 1,135,561 5,112,212 77.79% 22.21%
1910 4,034,880 1,084,602 5,119,482 78.81% 21.19%
1911 4,259,391 1,158,274 5,417,665 78.62% 21.38%
1912 4,350,958 910,976 5,261,934 82.69% 17.31%
1913 4,534,549 859,849 5,394,398 84.06% 15.94%
1914 3,840,409 719,395 4,559,804 84.22% 15.78%
1915 2,949,718 433,546 3,383,264 87.19% 12.81%
1916 1,922,751 493,940 2,416,691 79.56% 20.44%
1917 901,913 375,117 1,277,030 70.63% 29.37%
1918 Figures not published        
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, pages 80 and 114.


Saturday, 19 September 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 William Younger No. 1

I spent the week mostly transcribing William Younger records. One of which was for this little beauty. So at least I haven't been totally wasting my time.

A year into the war William Younger was still churning out reasonable quantities of pretty strong beer.

No. 1 has lost 3º from its gravity, but it still weighs in at over 7% ABV. Not bad at all for WW II, even if it was still early days.

Only one real change has occurred to the recipe: replacing grits with rice. I’m guessing that the supply of grits wasn’t great. Younger hadn’t dropped them completely: about half their beers still contained them. I suspect that the rice wasn’t in flaked form as there still seems to have been a cereal mash.

Otherwise, the recipe is almost identical to that from 1939, save for there being a little less pale malt.

Two types of Kent hops were used, from the 1938 and 1939 harvests.

1940 William Younger No. 1
pale malt 13.00 lb 68.42%
crystal malt 120L 1.50 lb 7.89%
flaked rice 3.75 lb 19.74%
lactose 0.75 lb 3.95%
Fuggles 150 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 min 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1081
FG 1027
ABV 7.14
Apparent attenuation 66.67%
IBU 30
SRM 16
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 58.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Thursday, 17 September 2020

The decline of top fermentation in Berlin

I seem to have been getting sidetracked onto German brewing a lot recently. Today's set of numbers come from a book on brewing in Berlin I was sent yesterday.

I've been OCRing the test and was drawn, as you are, to some of the numbers. You can never have too many numbers. This set shows the inexorable rise of bottom fermentation in Berlin. The figures show similarities with those for North Germany as a whole. The quantity of top-fermenting beer increased, but at nothing like the rate of top-fermenting beer.

Between 1860 and 1904 the amount of top-fermenting beer produced in Berlin quadrupled. But that of bottom-fermenting beer 24-fold. The proportion of each just about exactly flipped from 29% bottom to 71% top in 1860, to 70% bottom 30% top in 1904.

Remember that Berlin had a strong local style in Berliner Weisse, plus other top-fermenting styles like Braunbier and Porter. In areas with less strong older brewing tradittions, top-fermentation declined even more and more rapidly.

The huge increase in beer production was caused by a rapid rise in Berlin's population and rising living standards as a result of industrialisation

I'm surprised how much bottom-fermenting beer was brewed in Berlin in 1860. That's about the start of when Lager brewing spread to North Germany. It only really took off after 1870 with the advent of artificial refrigeration. You can see in the table that bottom-fermentation really took off in Berlin from 1875 onwards.

Beer production in Berlin 1860 - 1904 (hl)
Year bottom fermenting top fermenting total % bottom % top
1860 150,421 370,284 520,705 28.89% 71.11%
1865 324,108 544,723 868,831 37.30% 62.70%
1870 536,840 512,878 1,049,718 51.14% 48.86%
1875 1,112,283 874,317 1,986,600 55.99% 44.01%
1880 1,091,357 708,267 1,799,624 60.64% 39.36%
1885 1,492,487 805,927 2,308,414 64.65% 34.91%
1890 1,939,023 1,060,001 2,999,024 64.66% 35.34%
1895 2,379,368 1,234,153 3,613,521 65.85% 34.15%
1901/02 3,717,592 1,704,595 5,422,187 68.56% 31.44%
1902/03 3,530,581 1,546,494 5,077,075 69.54% 30.46%
1903/04 3,380,445 1,373,715 4,754,160 71.10% 28.90%
1904/05 3,590,623 1,503,659 5,094,282 70.48% 29.52%
Source:
Beiträge zur Geschichte des Berliner Brauwesens und seiner Organisation by Karl Bullemer, Berlin, 1959, pages 17 and 64.


Kettle souring

I've spent many a happy hour arguing with American home brewers that kettle souring isn't the traditional way to brew Berliner Weisse.

Franke, and his short-lived shortcut method of producing Berliner was only ever employed briefly, before being discarded for one very good reason. Which we'll get to later.

Good old Schönfeld dexcribes the method, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

"e) Francke acidification process
Making distillery lactic acid bacteria usable for the production of Berlin Weissbier was the effort of O. Francke, who also put the process into practical use for some time. A sour starter is made from a pure culture of Bacillus Delbrücki using unhopped wort and wort, which has been run off from off the lauter tun and cooled down to 45-47ºC, is inoculated with it. Subsequent runnings must also be cooled to this temperature. The acidification takes place quickly and, depending on the circumstances, reaches a lactic acid content of 0.18-0.20% in 5-7 hours, which is enough for the formation of a sufficiently sour taste, but must not be exceeded, as this is associated with the risk that the work of the yeast is damaged both in terms of growth and fermentation ability. To prevent further acidification, the wort must then be heated to 80° C and held for one hour.

When cultivating the sour starter, it is advisable to inoculate 100 ccm of wort in the most vigorous bacterial development with new (5 l) wort, this again after reaching the highest development, which at the required optimum temperature of 45-47° C after the course of 24-28 hours is the case, is transferred to new wort (about 3–5 hl), which, with sufficient development after 24 hours, can now serve as sour starter for acidifying a brew of 30–50 hl. Inoculation material can always be removed from the sour starter for the creation of new sour starters. If the brewing does not take place continuously, but only sporadically after longer intervals, it becomes necessary to put the removed inoculum in a cold place in order to keep the lactic acid bacteria viable."
"Obergärige Biere und ihre Herstellung" by Dr. Franz Schönfeld, 2nd edition, Verlag von Paul Parey, Berlin, 1938, page 155.


Basically, you run off some unhopped wort and throw in your lactobacillus starter. Pretty simple, really. You let it sour for a few hours, then pasteurise it at 80° C. Which is a pretty high temperatue, which will also kill all the lactobacillus stone dead.

That sounds great. Much simpler than the complicated symbiotic fermentation of Saccharomyces and lactobacillus. There was just one hitch:

"Artificial (biological) acidification has the great advantage of protecting Weissbier from any kind of infection by other bacteria through the immunity it generates. It allows the abandonment of the use of the old yeast and to switch to the use of pure yeast and ensuresthe production of a long-life beer that is resistant to lengthening (Langwerden), termobacteria and acetic acid bacteria. However, these advantages did not suffice to outweigh the disadvantages, which are expressed in a shift in properties and which are considered so essential that the use of the biological acidification process, which has been tried in various practical ways, has again been abandoned. After all, the process is suitable for producing a sour and pleasant-tasting beer, even if it does not have the full characteristics of the Berlin Weissbier."
"Obergärige Biere und ihre Herstellung" by Dr. Franz Schönfeld, 2nd edition, Verlag von Paul Parey, Berlin, 1938, page 155-156.

My apologies, nut I've no idea what Langwerden is. Other than it's some sort of bacteria.

What was the problem with Francke's method? Beer produced by it didn't taste like Berliner Weisse. You could produce a pleasantly sourish beer. But without the characteristics of Berliner Weisse.

Why was that? Because it lacked the involvement of Brettanimyces, which wa responsible for an important flavour element.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1837 Reid BS

Reid, one of the great London Porter brewers, is one I've much neglected. Despite theirs being the first brewing records I collected.

It’s fun finally getting around to these Reid’s records. Not that the Porter recipes are that weird or exciting. Just nice to do some different ones.

This is their base level Stout. Brown Stout was the first modern Stout in the 18th century. Brown because of the base brown malt, Stout because of the strength.

I won’t talk at great length about the recipe. Because it’s the usual pale, brown, black malt and pale malt. And East Kent hops. Pretty standard. London Porter brewers were pretty conservative with their grists. And we’re before the period foreign ingredients flooded in. When British agriculture couldn’t keep up with the growth in population and thirst.

Hertfordshire malt and Kent hops. They were the backbone of London brewing through the birth and blossoming of Porter in the 1700’s. And continued when to be so while Mild Ale’s star rose in the middle of the 1800’s. Until there just wasn’t enough to brew the quantity of beer the masses required.

Getting back to the beer, the simplicity doesn’t extend to the mashing scheme. Three mashes, no sparges. With a fourth mash for a return wort.

Here are the details:

action water (barrels) water temp. tap temp. time
mash 213 160º F 142º F 90
mash 114 182º F 158º F 50
mash 155 168º F 158º F 40


As you’d expect, BS spent some time in vats. It wasn’t the poshest Stout, so perhaps less than a year, but at least six months.

1837 Reid BS
pale malt 13.75 lb 77.46%
brown malt 3.25 lb 18.31%
black malt 0.75 lb 4.23%
Goldings 75 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1074
FG 1023
ABV 6.75
Apparent attenuation 68.92%
IBU 98
SRM 33
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 75 minutes
pitching temp 65º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This recipe is in my wonderful book, Let's Brew!: