Thursday, 18 February 2021

Boddington Bitter grists 1920 - 1938

It speaks volumes about my character that I just can't let Boddington Bitter go. In my defence, this series does illustrate how a beer mutates over time.

The grist in the 1920s was a simple affair, consisting of just base malt and flaked maize. The only variation comes in the proportion of the latter.  And there certainly is some variation - a low of 8% and a high of 28%. Though in the first two years the quantity is probably than the brewery would have liked and a hangover from the shortage of imported ingredients during WW I. Around 15% was a typical figure, which is exactly the rate settles at in the 1930s.

The 1930s saw the appearance of two new malts: enzymic and wheat. I'm not 100% sure the latter was malted as the brewing record merely records "wheat" It's possible that it could have been in another, unmalted form, such as flakes. Enzymic malt was very popular in the middle of the 20th century, though not at large breweries. It's use seems to have been mostly limited to either small or regional brewers. Boddington employed it for a very long time - it's still there in 1987, the last brewing records I have for Boddington.

The use if Wheat, in whatever form, was patchier. Being dropped in the middle of the war  and not reappearing until either the 1950s or 1960s.

Boddington Bitter grists 1920 - 1938
Year pale malt enzymic malt wheat malt total malt flaked maize
1920 85.25%     85.25% 8.20%
1921 87.15%     87.15% 8.38%
1922 75.00%     75.00% 17.31%
1923 78.00%     78.00% 18.00%
1924 78.00%     78.00% 18.00%
1925 75.73%     75.73% 20.39%
1926 66.67%     66.67% 27.78%
1927 72.82%     72.82% 23.30%
1928 75.00%     75.00% 21.00%
1929 75.38%     75.38% 21.11%
1930 80.41%     80.41% 15.46%
1932 81.82%     81.82% 13.64%
1933 78.69% 3.28%   81.97% 13.11%
1934 80.00% 3.08%   83.08% 12.31%
1935 73.72% 3.07%   76.79% 16.38%
1936 71.88% 3.00% 2.50% 77.37% 15.97%
1937 71.52% 2.98% 2.98% 77.48% 15.89%
1938 71.52% 2.98% 2.98% 77.48% 15.89%
Boddington brewing records held at Manchester Central Library, document numbers M693/405/127 and M693/405/128.


Flying Goose said...

I wonder why they were using enzymic malt? were they having problems with getting the ph right? I use the modern day equivqlent (acidulated malt) in my brews to help adjust the ph in the mash.

Flying Goose said...

I wonder if the enzymic malt was being used to adjust the mash ph? I use the modern equivalent (acidulated malt) in my beers.

Anonymous said...

I thought by the 1980s malt would have been reliable enough that enzymic wouldn't be needed. Was there another use?

Ron Pattinson said...

Most likely the use of enzymic malt was trying to compensate fro the lack of more highly diastatic US malt. Or just UK brewers being paranoid. Not seen any of the big brewers doing this shit.