It’s not just any old table I’ve got for you. I’s a wildly impractical one, with way too many columns. But that it itself tells a story. One about the wide range of ingredients used by breweries in their Black Beers. Because the three London and three Scottish breweries managed to use 12 malts or adjuncts between them. And that’s ignoring all the different sugars they used. I’ve left those out because they just make things too damn confusing.
The 25 beers listed don’t have a single ingredient in common. Not even pale malt, because one of the Barclay Perkins examples used SA malt as base. After pale malt, the second most common ingredient is black malt, found in all but the Thomas Usher Stouts. Next is brown malt, present in more than half of the examples.
I was quite surprised to see that three of the breweries - two London, one Scottish – were still using amber malt. The fad for Oatmeal Stout is reflected in all the London and one of the Scottish breweries using it in some of their beers. Though there’s a huge difference in the quantities employed. For Maclay, it made up around 30% of the grist, while none of the London brewers used more than 3%.
You may have heard the old wives’ tale about roast barley being used in Stout and black malt in Porter and that that’s what differentiates the two styles. Only one of the breweries used any. And, just to muddy things, not only used it in both Porter and Stout, but also used it in combination with black malt. Hadn’t the Truman brewers read the BJCP guidelines? Using two roasts like that is very unusual. Mostly brewers used one or the other.
There’s surprisingly little crystal malt used. Yes, three brewers used some, but only Usher put it in all their Stouts. Chocolate malt only appears in beers from two of the Scottish breweries. Though I must point out that Whitbread moved from black to chocolate malt a little later, in 1922.
Interestingly, every beer contains at least two dark malts. Though I know that some English breweries had used a simplified grist of just pale and black malt since the middle of the 19th century.
There weren’t a huge amount of unmalted grains employed, other than by Truman and, of course, William Younger. The latter using a ridiculous proportion of grits.
Every beer contained sugar, averaging around 13%. Though the percentage ranges from 6% to almost 20%. There’s no correlation between how expensive the beer was and the size of the sugar content. Whitbread’s two cheapest beers, Porter and London Stout, contained the lowest percentage. In total, twelve different types of sugar were used by the six breweries.
As I said at the beginning, a very diverse bunch of ingredients.
|Scottish vs London Porter and Stout grists 1909 - 1913|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||Style||OG||pale malt||brown malt||black malt||amber malt||choc. Malt||crystal malt||SA malt||oats||flaked maize||grits||roast barley||malted oats||sugar|
|1910||Barclay Perkins||BS Ex||Stout||1076.0||8.67%||8.67%||12.41%||53.36%||2.67%||14.23%|
|1910||Barclay Perkins||EIP Ex||Porter||1063.5||56.04%||12.30%||8.88%||5.47%||2.73%||14.58%|
|1909||Truman||Runner L & C||Porter||1054.3||68.66%||4.61%||7.37%||4.61%||14.75%|
|Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/602|
|Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/106|
|Truman brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/112|
|Thomas Usher brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number TU/6/1/5.|
|Maclay brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number M/6/1/1/2.|
|William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/58.|