Thursday, 11 September 2008

Brewing IPA in 1839

More half-written stuff from my book. I hope I'm noting boring you too much with it.

I want to run through the mashing scheme of an IPA brewed by Reid in 1839. The brewing log is easier to understand than many, so it's a good one to look at more closely.

The ingredients were about as simple as you can get: 100 quarters of Hertfordshire white malt and 2660 pounds of 1838 East Kent hops. The hopping rate was 5.88 pounds per barrel and the OG 1057º.

Here's the mashing details:

The first column shows the number of barrels of water, the second their temperature. The third column is the temperature of the wort when drawn off. Time is pretty self-explanatory - the number of minutes the operation took. The Final column ids headed "How worked" in the original. I'm pretty sure M stands for mash and S for sparge.

To summarise, there were two mashes of 90 and 60 minutes, the first with a striking heat of 172º F, the seconds at 190º F. Then were two sparges which were left to rest in the grains for 40 and 15 minutes at tempertures of 186º F and 175º F. The next sparge was with the taps open, using water at 150º F. There was a final sparge, again with the taps open, using cold water.

Is that a strange way to mash? It certainly sounds quite fiddly.

Next are the boiling details:

The first column shows the gravity of the worts collected from the mash tun, in pounds per barrel. In SG, they are 1094.18, 1047.09, 1018.01. Column 2 has the wort volume in barrels. Columns 3 and 4 I think show the details at the end of the boil. Time boiled is pretty obvious. You'll note that the weaker worts were boiled much longer, presumably to boost their gravity.

The final 3 columns are the details of the worts in the fermenter (square). There the three worts a re blended to produce a combined wort of 20.5 pounds per barrel, or 1057º.

Below is a scan of the original log.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


thought you want mu contact details so you drop bny for a chat to explain British beer to me. I know so little..

Zimmerle, Scott J
2N185 Pleasant Hill Rd
Carol Stream, IL 60188


Anonymous said...

Ho. Lee. Cow. I gotta get a screenshot of this...

Whorst said...

Not just Beer Advocate, there are also many beer blogs that speak total crap. That's why I've unleashed a fury on the them. This blog, if you can call it a blog, is fascinating. I will definitely buy your book.

Regarding IPA's, I was under the impression that there was quite a bit of sugar added to the boil??
Also, wasn't there two breweries in competition with each other? One I believe was in Burton-On-Trent, the other in London?
Hodson's comes to mind.

Ron Pattinson said...

Whorst, sugar was illegal in 1839.

I need to have a look in the archives of a Burton brewery or two. But I'm not sure how many option I have, now the Brewery Museum has closed.

The Scottish Brewery Archive is on my list of places to visit, too.

Still lots more to discover about PA and IPA.

Oblivious said...

Hi Whorst

There is some evidence that sugar was added for IPA's produced for the English market(1885). Maybe it was to quicken maturation (2-3 months) compared to the 12 months of a standard East India pale ale?

Whorst said...

George Hodgson, brewer at the Bow Brewery in East London, began shipping Hodgson's India Pale Ale during the 1790's. Then apparently, The Salt, Allsopp, and Bass breweries claim to have been the first to copy Hodgson's. Sorry, I screwed up the last name on my prior post.

Anonymous said...

I'd be slightly hesitant in saying "s" was definitely sparging, since my understanding was that in 1839 it was really only the Scots who used the sparging technique (see WH Roberts, The Scottish Brewer). On the other hand, I can't think what else it might be ...

Wurst AKA Whorst, in the 19th century nobody seems to have contested Allsopp's claim to have been the first Burton brewer of IPA, and I'm not sure Bass ever did make that claim.

Anonymous said...

Mr. anonymous

From my dad I have to delete your comments.

Son of Ron