Thursday, 26 February 2009

Historic recipes

Here's a quick question. A couple of quick questions, in fact:
  • would you like me to post more historic recipes?
  • is the format I use for recipes OK, or would you like it scaled down to 5 gallons?
  • which beers would you most like to see recipes for?
Mike, I know, I know. There's already too much homebrewing shit in this blog.


Tim said...

It is fairly easy to take the percentage of malt types and OG and create a recipe. But I have yet to figure out how to convert hopping rates. My first couple attempts turned out unbalanced so I've just been using as much hops as I think would be nice. I'm sure someone here with experience than me could help.

Anonymous said...

Defintely more historical recipe and sized for 5 gallons.

Style: India porter, IPA and porter.


Ron Pattinson said...

Right, to convert pounds per barrel hops to ounces per barrel, you'll need this formula:

(pounds per barrel * 16 *5)/36

I would recommend reducing the amount you calculate by around 25%. This allows for the age of the hops and the fact that hops in bygone days probably had a lower alpha acid content.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please. Yes. Any styles!


Anonymous said...


All the english styles! And also, what about some rare style like Imperial Mild, definitely want some too.

Anonymous said...

I am for more historical recipes too. I am working on an Imperial Stout (or what ever you want to call it--you know what I mean) and a Burton Ale. Some something along these lines would be nice.

I am happy with your current format. Hopping rates are a bit of a challenge although some of the historical rates are so high I think a 25% reduction might not actually be detectable.

Tomorrow I shall be brewing M L Bryn's 1852 recipe for Reading Ale which I estimate should have an OG of 1140 and bitterness of 161 IBUs. Those wimpy US brewers don't know what high hopping rates are! And I wonder where this fits in the BJCP guidelines? ;-)

Anonymous said...

More recipes! :)

And maybe some commentary about converting the original grist to modern. For example, if "pale" malt from England is called out, is that always always always of the Maris Otter type? Is "California" pale malt anything like the two or six row varieties currently available?

In the US, Amber malt isn't used as often. Is Victory, Vienna, or Belgian Biscuit malt similar?

What about roasted malt? Should this be the blackest black patent malt?

Does any variety of Chocolate malt have a place in these recipes? What about the varieties of munich type malts (Light, Dark, Aromatic, Melanoidin)?

Then there is crystal malt. I don't recall you making mention of when this malt was introduced and whether it was used.

As for the hops, the amounts are fine, but knowing when they were added would also be useful. Is it safe to assume dark beers had all of the hops added at the start of the boil? What about light colored beers? Was it always a consistent percentage added in the last X minutes of the boil? Did any brewers experiment with adding hops at more than just 2 points in the boil period?

And lastly the yeast. Obviously the flavor and abilities of yeast strains change significantly over time and as you pointed out many British breweries were still using mixed cultures will into the 20th century. That said, I can’t imagine a Porter brewed in Yorkshire would taste the same as one brewed in Dublin and both would taste different than one brewed in London (assuming the grist was identical).

Is it then a pretty safe bet that a London type yeast such as Fermentis S-04 or Whitelabs WLP002/007/013 would be mostly proper for a 19th century London Porter? Is Whitelabs WLP023 the only yeast that will produce the proper flavors native to Burton ales?

Thanks again for providing your commentary. This website has been a continuing source of entertainment and education. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

I love the recipes but also love the broader comparisons among different recipes. I would prefer that you keep the recipes in the original format (the way you have been). The percentages are there so people can extrapolate quantites down to 5 or 10 gallons. I'm afraid that if they're scaled down to 5 gallon recipes some of the original info could be lost. For historical research reasons I think it's important to reproduce the info as accurately as you can to your source materials.

I'll definitely be brewing an Export India Porter in the near future. Your hop calculation seems right on as well (including the 25% reduction).

Anonymous said...

Forgive the long post, but I have some quesiotns about the assumptions I'm making in hop calculations.

I was doing some math on the hop rates and want to know if my assumptions are correct:
- An English Beer barrel is 36 Imperial Gallons.
- 1 Imperial Gallons = 1.2 American Gallons, so...
- 1 English Beer Barrel (36 Imp Gallons)= 43.2 US Gallons.

In the Barclay Perkins 1856 EI, there are 4.68 pounds of hops per barrel. So:
4.68*16 = 74.88 ounces per barrel

74.88 oz / 43.2 US Gallons = 1.73 oz of hops per US gallon.

1.73 oz hops * 5 = 8.67 oz per 5 US Gallons. But since the hops were older and likely lower in alpha acids, yuo suggest cutting them by 25%. So,

8.67 *.75 = 6.5 ounces per five gallons.

In a 1.061 OG wort, 6.5 oz of 4% alpha hops would yield about 100IBU's if they were all in the boil for 60 minutes. (Dropping them to 3% alpha brings it down to about 80IBUs). Granted it is an EI, so the hopping rates are higher, but that still seems a little high (afterall they didn't live in the Pacific NW). I think the 75% reduction seems reasonable, but I wonder if there's any info the schedule of hop additions?

Breaking this into 2 or even 3 hop additions would reduce it pretty dramatically. Any idea on the hop schedules? Really fascinating stuff, but I wonder if my assumptions and math seem correct.

Anonymous said...

The historical recipes are great. More, please!

Stonch said...

1. Not fussed either way.
2. I skim past those posts and only read the ones about you and Anti-American Mike or those about Lexie and Andrei or, better still, those about ME.
3. I've forgotten what the third question was, and as I'm now on the comments page I'd have to go back to see.

Oblivious said...

Yes please Ron more recipes, I am whore for historical beer!

Ron Pattinson said...

That's a yes to historic recipes then?

Hopping. What a complicated topic. Knock off 20$? Maybe more. Lots of Whitbread beers had 33% new, 33% year old, 33% two years old. How do you account for that in a recipe?

Ron Pattinson said...

Jeff, I'm going to have to bar you if you keep causing trouble.

Thomas said...

What the others said.

jonbrazie said...

More recipes. Scaled down or not. On second thought, I'm lazy, so scaled down.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, please, please.

Pref in 5gal.

German recipes would suit me.

Anonymous said...

More homebrewing shit, please.

Anonymous said...

Two comments in a day, you lucky thing.As someone about to commence home brewing 5 gallon recipes would work well.In fact anything would help.16 comments and counting seem to suggest you are totally on the right track.

Bill said...

Yes please. I'm beginning to be intrigued with the smaller ales so these would be appreciated.

PS- I am the proud owner of bottle 236 of your porter and 245 of your stout. Pretty pricey so I expect great things in around 2 years.


Jim Johanssen said...

The Hop Alpha Loss Calc. that I found is from Brewing Techniques (Hop Union) is
Future Alpha =

East Kent Goldings @ 4%
k = 45% = 0.00332
TF = 0.724 @ 13c(55.4F) Cellar
SF = .75 Air Tight Bale
Days = 30 = 360 = 720
I get 57.5 % of 4 alpha is 2.3% Alpha total.

Your WAG may Vary!! <;P



Anonymous said...

Jim, those are interesting numbers. I was going to look more into alpha acid loss more today but it looks like yo did that for us. Going from your numbers, if the hops went from 4% down to 2.3% that would lower the theoretical IBUs in the EI from about 100+ to about 63 (if they were all added as a single addition). That makes the recipe seems a little more balanced but with a clear emphasis towards bitterness. If the hops were broken into two equal additions (at start of the boil and 20 minutes before knockout), that would bring it down to around 50IBUs.

Stonch said...

Ron, I've been barred from two places in my life.

One of them was a Young's pub in East Oxford. The landlord, Roger, heard me say the word "bastard" and that was deemed a serious enough breach of etiquette to see my out on my ear, never to return.

The other I don't talk about!

Korev said...

Yes please, I echo the other guys that the original recipe from the log converted so that it can be scaled would be excellent. I would request a "classic" Burton Ale from the 1870's ish and +1 for the Imperial Mild

Anonymous said...

I'm a total newbie so scaled down to 5 gal would be great!

Anonymous said...

Brown Ales, Home Brewed, and Midland Milds

Doc said...

Two historical references I have found recently that have perked my interest are;
- J Tetley 1886 XX (OG 80 IBU 100).
- Cobb-Margate Pale Amber beer (OG 1.080 IBU 130)

Any grist details you have on those two would be greatly appreciated as part of your Historic Recipe Fest.