At least in their Porter. Because from the 1860s, sugar was popping up almost universally in Whitbread’s Stouts. It may seem odd that the cheapest beer was sugar-free. But that’s to misunderstand 19th-century brewing. Sugar was employed for specific purposes. Not as a way of lowering costs.
When sugar does appear in Whitbread’s Porter just after 1900, it doesn’t appear to be a deliberate choice. But simply a result of falling Porter sales. Which meant it was mostly brewed as part of a parti-gyle with Stout. The recipe of which already contained sugar. There was always only going to be one loser in a clash of recipes.
It was a sign of the fading fortunes of Porter before the war that it was rarely brewed single-gyle. In 1900, it was still very much the boss of the parti-gyle. And that it was becoming the junior partner in parti-gyles. The brews from 1902-1903 are about five barrels of Porter to one of Stout. But in 1907, there’s a parti-gyle with almost twice as much Stout as Porter.
The hopping rate, as measured per quarter, continued to drop. From around 8 lbs before 1900, to around 5lbs after 1910. Unless they were using hops with more alpha acid – which is unlikely as Whitbread mostly sourced their hops from Kent and had done for a long while – this change must have impacted the character of the beer.
|Whitbread Running Porter grists 1880 - 1914|
|Year||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||pale malt||brown malt||black malt||sugar|
|Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/09/075, LMA/4453/D/09/080, LMA/4453/D/09/084, LMA/4453/D/09/090, LMA/4453/D/09/094, LMA/4453/D/09/099, LMA/4453/D/09/104 and LMA/4453/D/09/108.|
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