Friday 3 June 2022

Racking and Dry hopping 1880 - 1914

Time for another preview from my major book after next. Or something like that. I've a very good reason for posting this now. I've got a cold and can't be arsed to write anything new. Well, apart from this paragraph. But that doesn't really count, does it?

After fermentation had finished, the beer was left to settle for 24 hours either in the fermenting vessel or a settling back.

When the beer was bright, it was racked into trade casks. A rubber pipe, fitted with a metal nozzle was used to fill the casks. The nozzle's function was to ensure that the tube reached almost to the bottom of the cask so the beer didn't get too agitated and begin to froth over.  

Dry hopping
Before being filled with beer, a quantity of whole hops was added to the trade casks. Standard-strength beers received between 1 and 1.5 pounds per barrel, stronger beers more. The best quality hops were used, usually Goldings or Worcesters. Only whole flowers, free from disease of fungus, were suitable.  

Dry hopping was about a lot more than just adding flavour to beer. It also benefitted the secondary fermentation in the cask.

The volatile oils present in the hops added flavour and aroma to the beer. The hops also helped conditioning, as they contained a diastatic enzymes that broke down lower malto-dextrins into more fermentable sugars, which would be consumed by the yeast during secondary fermentation. By attracting suspended particles, the hops aided clarification, too.  

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