Sunday, 21 June 2015

Brewing in the 1950’s – foreign barley (part three)

Just about finished with barley. Just about.

This section of the book seems to be for amusement purposes only, as none of these types, with the exception of this one, were being imported.

“Australian Cape, now coming into the country, is very similar in characteristics to the best quality Californian barley.”
"Brewing Theory and Practice" by E. J. Jeffery, 1956, page 131.

Odd that the one foreign barley still being imported came from just about as far away as possible.

Chilean barley was very common before WW II. I see it all over brewing records.

Chile is unusual in being able to grow quite satisfactorily both two-rowed and six-rowed barley types. The latter are very much like the Californian, and when blended with it are very difficult to detect. They are, however, a straighter grown grain, and lack the characteristic and peculiar twist of Californian. They are perhaps a little thicker in the skin and, when well grown and harvested, made up into a tender and crisp malt. They formed a useful brewing material, especially for mild ales.”
"Brewing Theory and Practice" by E. J. Jeffery, 1956, pages 131 - 132.

I’d always assumed that Chilean barley was all two row. Turns out I was wrong.

This is a Middle Eastern barley, which seemed to find some favour in Britain.

This material was not much used after the 1914-18 war, being replaced largely by Californian. It was a useful brewing material, having plenty of sun to ripen it; it yielded a satisfactory malt, particularly suitable for blending for pale ales, although somewhat too dry in flavour for mild ales. The malt had a bright, pale, primrose colour and was of pleasing appearance, though rather smaller than Californian and Chilean.”
"Brewing Theory and Practice" by E. J. Jeffery, 1956, page 132.

He’s correct about it not being seen much after WW I. Whitbread were using large quantities of Smyrna in the early years of the 20th century. But only in their Pale Ales, not Mild Ales, Porter or Stouts. It made up 25% to 30% of their Pale Ale grists. Which implies Whitbread thought it of pretty decent quality.

Now for a North African type:

Moroccan malt came from the neighbourhood of Tripoli, and was usually of a very rough appearance. It was not, as a rule, well harvested, and almost always contained a large amount of stones and rubbish The corns were thin, and mixed in size and quality. The best one could say for Moroccan malt was that it formed a useful drainage medium in the mash tun.”
"Brewing Theory and Practice" by E. J. Jeffery, 1956, page 132.

Isn’t Tripoli in Libya, not Morocco? I can’t ever recall seeing this mentioned. Given that is sounds like total rubbish, I’m not surprised. Love the faint praise of that last sentence.

This is another one that does crop up. It took me ages to decipher the word. It’s not as if it’s something you’re likely to come across in everyday life.

This malt was not altogether unlike Chilean, but was more stumpy. It appeared to find favour on the grounds of the high extract obtainable from it, but it was of a very heavy and glutinous type. Its starch was not easy to convert in the mash tun, and it was generally reserved for the production of mild ales. The barley from which the malt was made was rather dark in colour, and had a flinty appearance when cut through.”
"Brewing Theory and Practice" by E. J. Jeffery, 1956, page 132.

Looking at brewing records, it does seem true that certain barleys were reserved for specific kinds of beer.

That’s barley done. Now we can move on to wheat and oats.

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