Sunday, 13 January 2019

Boddington hops in 1939

Finishing off our look at Boddington's recipes in 1939, today we're looking at the hops they used.

hen it came to hops, Boddington were slightly odd. Every beer had a large number of different hops, some in tiny quantities. Why they used 6 types of copper hops in a beer, I’m not sure. Usually having multiple types of the same ingredient was a way of smoothing out any change when one ingredient needed to be replaced. But most breweries were content with at most three or four types of hops.

Most of the hops were English, though there were small quantities of Oregon and Styrian hops. The quantity used of the latter was so small – 5 lbs out of a total of 150-220 lbs – you have to wonder what the point was. Coming from Yugoslavia, the war inevitably interrupted the supply of Styrian hops.

The hops are as old as they might at first appear. These beers were all brewed in January 1939, meaning that the 1937 harvest hops were only a bit over a year old. As they had all been kept in a cold store – that’s what CS means – they wouldn’t have deteriorated that much.

Analyses of hops from before the war show that Fuggles which contained 6.28% alpha acid when fresh were only down to 5.84% alpha after 14 months.  That’s a mere 7% deterioration. Hardly really worth taking into consideration, given that the alpha acid content could vary far more than that from one season to the next.

Unfortunately, for English hops Boddington only recorded the name of the grower, not the variety nor the region where they were grown. Though the chances are that most were either something Goldings-like or Fuggles, as they were the majority of hops grown in England.

Boddington hops in 1939
Beer Style OG Oregon (1937 CS) Styrian (1937 CS) English (1937 CS)  English (1937 CS)  English (1937 CS)  English (1938)  total
IP Pale Ale 1045 30 5 30 50 35 30 180
XX Mild 1033.8 30 5 45 45 25 150
CC Strong Ale 1056 35 5 70 30 40 40 220
St Stout 1045 35 40 25 25 25 150
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/129.


A Brew Rat said...

An Anhauser Busch brewer told me years ago that Budweiser uses 11 varieties of hops, all in tiny amounts, to smooth out any year to year change in hop flavor and bitterness, so that all Budweiser tastes exactly the same year after year, as it is brewed across the United States. Maybe Boddington's was trying to something similar?

qq said...

The decline rate seems low - what's the source, something done by Boddies? Compare with this 2012 paper on Czech pellets :

"Negligible effects on the α‐ and β‐acids were detected during storage without air access at +2°C. Storage at +20°C resulted in a final loss of 20–25% α‐acids, but the content of β‐acids did not change significantly. Large decreases in α‐acids (64–88%) and in β‐acids (51–83%) were found in hops stored with access to air at +20°C. The rate of decline accelerated markedly after 6 months of storage. In terms of hop resin changes, Premiant and Sládek were the most and the least stable varieties, respectively. After 12 months, the content of the total polyphenols and flavonoids decreased by 30–40% and by 20–30%, respectively, irrespective of storage conditions. The rate of decline accelerated strongly after 6 months."

Ron Pattinson said...


the source is "Brewing Science & Practice" H. Lloyd Hind, 1943, page 349.