Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Barclay Perkins 1921 PA hop additions

Good old Barclay Perkins. I keep finding useful bits of information in their brewing records. Especially in those from their experimental brews.

This week I've unearthed a couple of crackers. The "Irish type" Stout is a revelation. But you'll have to wait to discover about that. I want Kristen to put the recipe together first before going into details. There'll be quite a debate about it, I'm sure.

You may remember talking about hop additions. And how often I can only guess what they were, because they weren't noted down in the records.Finally I've found a log the does have all the details of the copper hops. I'm not sure, though, that it doesn't ask as many questions as it answers.

Here's the information, scrawled in the top margin:


That's one lot of hops at the start of the boil, the second lot after an hour and the third after 2 hours. (The total length of the boil was 2.5 hours.)

These are the hop details:

So the first hops in were the Wellband East Kents, followed by the Saaz with Champion Mid Kents last.

What questions does this raise? First one is why were the hop additions noted on this log but no others? To me it implies that there was something different about how it was done for this brew. Secondly, did they always make three hop additions? Their beers usually contained three different types of hops. Were they always added at different times?

I keep accumulating more questions. More quickly than I find answers. And how does the song go? "There are more answers than questions." A long way to go yet.


Rob Sterowski said...

Did they usually use Saaz in PA?

Ron Pattinson said...

Barm, they used Saaz in quite a lot of their beers. Sometimes even for dry-hopping.

Graham Wheeler said...

Generally speaking the first batch would be for bitterness, the second batch for flavour and the third batch for aroma; the flavour components of the hop being partly volatile and the aroma components being even more volatile.

In this case the second additions seems pointless because there is still ninety minutes to go and that is still plenty of time for the essential oils to boil off.

Curiouser and curiouser is that the second addition is the more expensive Saaz, but the third addition of Goldings will overwhelm anything that the Saaz contributed after a further hours' boiling. Wasteful of the Sazz certainly.

In my view the last addition will contribute more flavour than aroma; plenty of aroma can still get boiled off in thirty-minutes. It is common for British brewers to put aroma hops on the hop back before the copper is cast onto them, thereby receiving no boiling.

Hop aroma was never a strong feature of British beers anyway, so perhaps the late addition was meant for flavour only.

This indicates that the boil was a long simmer rather than a hard boil. Maybe it was a one-off experimental brew.