Thursday 22 November 2012

Let's Brew special - 1859 Barclay Perkins EI

My apologies for posting just the brewing record of a Barclay Perkins EI. It made me realise that I hadn't ever posted a recipe for EI. Time to put that right.

As this is a spontaneous and unscheduled Let's Brew, you're going to have to put up with my crappy recipe. No time to call in Kristen.

EI stands for Export India. This is the Porter that Barclay Perkins produced for the Indian market. It's the Porter equivalent of IPA. As I keep reminding anyone who will listen, there was probably more Porter exported to India than Pale Ale. But for some reason that seems to have been forgotten, with everyone focusing competely on IPA. It's most likely a class thing, IPA having been drunk by officers and officials, Porter by the ordinary soldiers.

This beer had legs. Most likely it had its origins in the 19th century. The first one I've found is from 1805 and the last 1910. That last date is long after IPA had finished making the long journey east.

The recipe is pretty much what you would expect: a standard-strength Porter with a shitload of hops. Hang on. I think I feel a table coming on.

Barclay Perkins Porters and Stouts in 1859
Date Year Beer Style OG OG FG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
14th Oct 1859 TT Porter 21.7 1060.1 6.1 1017.0 5.70 71.72% 16.79 4.06 68º
19th Oct 1859 Hhd Porter 22.5 1062.3 6.0 1016.5 6.06 73.53% 18.43 4.03 68º
7th Oct 1859 FS Expt Stout 23.2 1064.3 6.0 1016.5 6.32 74.32% 17.88 4.66 66.5º
10th Nov 1859 EI Porter 23.3 1064.5 6.0 1016.5 6.36 74.43% 20.15 4.93 68º
5th Oct 1859 BS Stout 33.4 1092.5 10.3 1028.5 8.47 69.20% 16.17 8.15 60.5º
21st Oct 1859 BS PV Stout 33.9 1093.9 10.5 1029.0 8.59 69.12% 14.31 7.41 58.5º
9th Nov 1859 BS K Stout 34 1094.2 10.1 1028.0 8.76 70.27% 19.93 9.40 58º
2nd Nov 1859 BS ex Stout 34.4 1095.3 10.5 1029.0 8.77 69.57% 19.31 8.82 59º
25th Oct 1859 IBS Stout 38 1105.3 11.9 1033.0 9.56 68.65% 15.19 9.60 57º
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number ACC/2305/1/544.

Mmmm. Every one of those beers is hopped like crazy. 19 or 20 pounds per quarter is IPA level. That really is insane. I wouldn't like to guess about the IBU's. Probably as many as you can cram into a beer.

Just a quick post. That's me done. Time to hand you over to  . . . . me . . . . .

10th November 1859 Barclay Perkins EI
malt type pounds %
pale malt HP 4.25 41.06%
pale malt SP 3.25 31.40%
brown malt HB 2 19.32%
amber malt HA 0.5 4.83%
black malt 0.35 3.38%
total 10.35 100.00%
gallons water temp init. Temp mashed (mins) tap temp.
mash 1 2.5 156 146
mash 2 1.75 179 162
mash 3 2.25 156 158
total 6.5
type year oz.

MK 1859 11

total 11

start of boil 6 oz

after 60 mins 2.5 oz

after 90 mins 2.5 oz

boil time (hours) 2

dry hops 1 oz

pitching temp (ºF) 68

gravity (OG) 1065

gravity (FG) 1016.5

ABV 6.42

apparent attenuation 74.62%

Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number ACC/2305/1/544.


zgoda said...

And "MK" means... "something" Kent? I'm guessing.

Bryan the BeerViking said...

I'd really like to try this - if only to find out how much "a standard-strength Porter with a shitload of hops" differs from a Black IPA. Not so much, I suspect!

Ron Pattinson said...

Zgoda, MK = Mid Kent. Goldings will do nicely.

Ron Pattinson said...

Bryan, judging by Pretty Things version of a very similar EIP recipe, it's very much like a black IPA.

Alex R. Wilson said...

Ron, are those hop quantities based on a 23L/5 Gallon batch?

Out of interest what are the 3 different mashes about?

Rob said...

I threw the EI recipe (roughly) into an online calculator and assumed the hops were modern EKGs, and I got over 200 IBUs.

This is clearly wrong, as I dont think that is even physically possible, but that it a problem with the calculators at extreme ends.

Any idea about mid 19th-century alpha acid levels? Were they about the same as modern hops of same variety or lower? When did AA levels start getting measured?

Ron Pattinson said...

Rob, Goldings would be right, Yes, the amount of hops is crazy. But remember the beer was going on a long journey. Note that they were very fresh hops - they're from the 1859 harvest and the beer was brewed in November 1859.

I don't alpha acid levels were measured until the 20th century. I wouldn't expect the levels to be lower in the 19th century.

It's also important to remember that the primary purpose of hops in British brewing was as a preservative rather than a flavouring.

Ron Pattinson said...

Alex, yes, that's for 5 gallons.

Multiple mashes is just the old way of brewing. It wrings every last drop of extract out of the malt. It doesn't seem to have much impact on flavour from what people who have tried it tell me. If you don't want to go to all that trouble, just do a single infusion.

Gary Gillman said...

"It's also important to remember that the primary purpose of hops in British brewing was as a preservative rather than a flavouring".

This is especially so for stout and porter. British stout, viewed historically, should not have a big flowery note. It should have rather an incisive, fairly neutral bitter. The flavour is from the malts, essentially.

The American porters, including some Black IPA, that has a huge Cascade or that type flavour is not a traditional porter taste IMO, but it can work well when the materials are balanced a certain way.


johnk said...

Ron, How about giving us the grists for the beers in your table, it would complete the picture and would really be appreciated.
Thanks Johnk

An Anonymous Boozer said...

Excellent, I was hoping those posts over at Jim's Beer Kit about historic porter/stout recipes would lead to a recipe. Is this 5 UK or US gallons?

Your statement about hops being used as a preservative rather than flavouring I think highlights the main difference that I see between historic export india porter and modern black IPA. For me, a good black IPA is all about the very-late (and post-boil steeped) hop additions (plus dry hops) for maximum hop flavour (to be drunk young), rather than historic recipes which (as far as I can tell) don't seem to add hops later than 30 minutes before the end of the boil.

I think this would still pack a big hop punch though...

Ron Pattinson said...

Boozer, that's UK gallons.

Ron Pattinson said...

johnk, that's a thought. Maybe, if I have time.

dana said...

Sorry to be a pain but UK gallons puts me over 100% extract efficiency. What am I missing?

Ron Pattinson said...

Dana, when I [plug the numbers into BeerSmith, I need 84% efficiency to hit the target gravity. That's probably realistic for the original, which used multiple mashes. The method gives very high efficiency.

Rob said...

"I wouldn't expect the levels to be lower in the 19th century."


I can think of a couple of reasons it would have been lower.

1. General trend towards higher AA%. This is mostly due to development of new varieties, but I would expect selection bias within a variety too. The bines producing higher AA% get to reproduce and spread, the lower AA% bines get pulled from the ground. Evolution in action.

2. Changes in drying processes towards conserving alpha acids. Heavy handed drying can destroy much of the AA.

It wouldnt take much change to make a big difference. A 1% increase in AA% in Goldings over the last 150 years, would make a 20-25% difference in IBUs in a recipe.

I wonder about this whenever you post historical recipes with interesting hopping. So all the time.

Ron Pattinson said...

Rob, all hop bines of the same variety are gentically identical so I don't see how natural selection could work on them.

I'd have thought the growing conditions in a specific year could have a much bigger impact on the AA content.

Gary Gillman said...

Some good info here:

My own feeling is, hops probably varied in bitterness and other qualities then as they do now due to varieties used and climactic factors. True, old hops were used commonly in the 1800's without refrigeration, but according to John Palmer's article, even modern storage at 40F can result in significant loss of bittering quality over time, so even this factor seems less important than I would have thought initially.

And today while some varieties are impressively large in AA's, e.g. Galena, some are rather low, as e.g. Cascade.

Even if we knock off 1/3rd in typical hop bills for pale ale and porter in the mid-1800's, or even half, that is still a lot of hops! A lot. Pale ale used then, 4-7 lbs leaf hops per 36 gallon barrel. Even 3 lbs hops is a huge amount of hops by modern standards, e.g. I understand Sam Adams Boston Lager uses 1 lb hops per barrel (32 gallon barrel I believe, but still).

Also, as Ron said, for pale ale and porter anyway, the additions were largely for bittering so they weren't added near the end for bouquet. They would have been added at the beginning of the boil or throughout same and stopping well before the end. Victorian pale ale must have been very bitter indeed and ditto double stout and IRS.


Alistair Reece said...

I am going to brew this up at some point in the nearish future, but targetting an IBU rating similar to Widmer Brothers' W10 'Black IPA'. Here's my version of the recipe:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron,
Thanks for the recipe! I brewed this yesterday. I used the lowest AA hop available to me, which is a local variety called Wai Iti, clocking in at about 3% after they've been sitting in my freezer a while... Man that wort is bitter! I thought you'd get a kick out of hearing that the hoppiest beer I've made in, what, somewhere near 100 batches now, is a recipe straight out of 1800s England. Cheers.

Ron Pattinson said...

Medicinalpurposes, glad to hear of someone making this. I'm not surprised that it's insanely bitter, given the amount of hops. But you need to bear in mind that it would have had probably at least 6 months to mellow out, some of that it high temperatures which would have accelerated the ageing process.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking I'll treat it like a modern barleywine in terms of aging. probably bottle rather than keg and put it away at ambient temps to be a (southern hemisphere) winter warmer. Who knows? Might be awesome :) For what it's worth, it's clocked in at a theoretical ~130IBU for me using Waiiti.

dana said...

Ron, You should tag this post a 'let's brew'.

Ron Pattinson said...

Dana, good point. Done.

Anonymous said...

you all say hops were only for bittering, but I know I read somewhere the barrels were stuffed with hops for aging and again before shipping. (double dry hop)
am I Wrong?

I brewed a beer along these lines recently and found brown malt to be unpleasant. maybe a bad source?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, obviously it would have been dry-hopped. Not sure if they would have done it twice or not. It depends if the beer was vatted before racking into shipping casks. And, to be honest, I've no idea if it was or not.

The feedback on this and similar recipes has been very good. Where did you get your brown malt?

Anonymous said...

it looks like my malt was hugh baird brown malt.
I also used .75 lb of blackprinz which is more % of dark malt, but this is smooth tasting.
I have stored some for aging, I think it will get a lot better.

on the hops- your post about fresh hops being used. fresh hops equal 1/5 that of kiln dried hops in brewing. Do you know how the hops were processed and stored at this time?
thanks for the info, very interesting stuff.

Ron Pattinson said...


by fresh hops I mean ones from the most recent season, not green hops.