Monday 23 January 2023

How to interpret brewing records - part seven: Scottish format general and malt

Here we are looking at a lovely Scottish brewing record. You've no idea how much time I've spent staring at William Younger records. I've still not managed to work everything out.

This particular record is from the Holyrood Brewery, which mostly brewed Pale Ales. While at the Abbey Brewery they produced Scotch Ales, Mild Ales, Stout and the odd Pale Ale.

Here we go with the general crap:

Date and Brewing
Friday 5th October, gyle number 66

dull, occasional showers.

XXP - Younger's IPA.

923 quarters carried over from previous page.
33 quarters this brew.
8100 and 7688 lbs sugar carried over. (DM, sacc., candy.)

Gross: Gravity points this brew
P Qr.
Extract per quarter (not filled in)

I've a better image for the malts themselves.

These are all types of pale malt. Let's go through them in order:

"C. Smy" not sure what the C means, but this is malt from Smyrna, i.e. Turkish.

"M.P. Cali" Californian barley.

"A Moldn." I think Moldovan barley.

"Kirky Chev" Cheviot, i.e. Scottish barley.

"H Hung" Hungarian barley.

"H. Ushak" Turksih barley again.

"H. Marmora" more Turkish barley.

"H. new Ushak" yet more Turkish barley.

See how only one of the eight malts was made from British barley. All the rest were imported, but malted in the UK. It's typical of Scottish beers of this period to use almost all imported ingredients. Often only the water and yeast were Scottish.

That's why Scottish brewers used so little malt. Because it all had to be imported from abroad. Unlike hops, which they could get from England. But was that really the case? We'll see in a later post.


Iain said...

Was recording the weather just something the brewer did for completeness' sake, or did that have a bearing on brew day? Does it affect evaporation rates and that sort of thing?

Artem Belitsky said...

> Moldovan barley.

I doubt it can be Moldovan, because Moldova was not a country in 1894 and it wasn't significant barley-production region.

Christoph Riedel said...

From what I understand from the time, drinking cups made of glass had become prevalent and it was extremely important to get a perfectly clear beer. For this, the malts had to have the right amount of protein in them. This scientific paper explains it very well:

After the Free Mash Tun Act, most of the produced English barley was cheap and had a far too high protein contents. Foreign barley however had a significantly lower protein content, such that the combination gave the desired results. Alternatives were maize and rice, which had even lower protein contents and the best option: sugar.

It seems that Younger's went for the non-adjunct solution and one can see here how complex the mixture got.

Ron Pattinson said...

Christoph Riedel,

Younger didn't stick with no adjuncts for long. A little later and their beers are all 40% grits.

Ron Pattinson said...

Artem Belitsky,

Hungary, Ushak and Marmora weren't countries either. Often it was the region, not the country, that was used to identify the origin of barley. Any suggestions what else Moldn. could mean?

Ron Pattinson said...


the air temperature could affect mashing. And there were strange beliefs about the effects of thunderstorms.