Monday, 19 September 2022

Harvey beers in 1889

By late 19th-century standards, Harvey had quite a limited range of beers. Just five in total. A couple of Mild Ales, and one each of Pale Ale, Stock Ale and Stout.

The biggest surprise is the absence of any Running Bitter or Light Pale Ale. These were all the rage in the second half of the 19th century and were a pretty standard past of most breweries’ ranges.

Starting with the Milds, they both have a pretty decent gravity. Surprisingly strong for provincial beers. All the beers are pretty strong, for that matter. Averaging over 1070º. I’m not 100% certain that XXX was a Mild. It could also have been an Old Ale. However, given the rate of hopping, my guess would be Mild.

The hopping rate is a little lower than in London, where it was usually 6 – 8 lbs per quarter for X Ale. Not a huge difference, really.

Harvey Pale Ale looks like a classic Stock Pale Ale to me. With its OG in the mid-1060ºs and high level of hopping. As a Stock Ale, it would have been matured for around a year. Possibly even more. Which, obviously, would have reduced the FG considerably. My guess is that, when sold, the apparent attenuation would have been over 89%.

I’m not certain of what “SB” stands for. It could be “Stock Beer” or possibly “Strong Beer”. Not that it matters too much, as these labels were used pretty arbitrarily. It’s strong and it’s dark. What else do you need to know? Oh, it’s reasonably, but not excessively hopped.

SB isn’t hugely different from XXX. They are a similar strength and colour. The significant difference being in the hopping.

Finally, we come to the Stout. Which is a pretty decent strength, clocking in stronger than a London Single Stout. The hopping rate is lower than in London, where somewhere around 10 lbs per quarter 336 lbs)  of malt was typical. 

Harvey beers in 1889
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
X Mild 1058.2 1015.0 5.72 74.29% 5.68 1.46 58º F
XXX Mild 1075.3 1020.8 7.22 72.43% 6.66 2.39 57.75º F
PA Pale Ale 1066.5 1020.2 6.12 69.58% 12.90 3.96 58.25º F
SB Stock Ale 1078.9 1018.8 7.95 76.14% 9.02 3.21 58º F
Stout Stout 1078.7 1026.3 6.93 66.55% 6.65 2.43 58º F
Harvey brewing record held at the East Sussex Record Office, document number BBR 2/1/3.

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