Monday, 17 August 2020

Barclay Perkins Porter and Stout before WW II

A very technical post today. With all sorts of lovely details of Barclay Perkins Porter and Stout. Three tables, you lucky devils.

Even for a London brewer, Barclays produced a very large variety of Stouts, seven in all. Many of them were produced in tiny quantities. The exceptions being LS and BS which were pretty mainstream products.

Porter was just clinging on at this point, after declining precipitously immediately after WW I. It wouldn’t be around much longer. By the late 1930s, Barclay Perkins brewed it in tiny batches of a couple of dozen barrels. It could only have been on sale in a handful of pubs.

The other beers are various types of Stouts, not all of which were available in their pubs. For example, I’m pretty sure that RNS was a beer for the Royal Navy. Barclay Perkins supplied beer to merchant ships – in the form of Sparkling Beer – so why shouldn’t they also provide beer for the Navy?

Working through the other beers, LS = London Stout, BS = Best Stout, OMS = Oatmeal Stout, IBS = Imperial Brown Stout (Russian Stout) and BBS Export. Not sure what that last one was, other than strong. OMS was the same as BS really, just with a tiny amount of oats. IBS Export was the full-strength version of Russian Stout. One of a handful of beers brewed to a pre-WW I gravity.

Most were heavily primed, increasing the effective OG, in some cases considerably:

Beer OG before primings OG after primings % increase
TT 1032.5 1038.7 18.84%
BS 1051.5 1057 10.68%
OMS 1051.5 1053.5 3.86%
RNS 1053.8 1059 9.60%
IBS 1060.4 1063.4 4.98%
Source:
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/621.

Only the two strongest Stouts, BBS Export and IBS Export, and the weakest, LS, received no primings.

The rate of attenuation is low for every single beer. Even the highest – for RNS – is still just below 70%. Clearly, they were trying to leave the beers with a considerable body.  In the case of IBS Export, however, the racking gravity would have been considerably higher than the true FG. A couple of years in the company of Brettanomyces would have a bout halved the FG in the table.

The hopping rates vary from reasonably high for the weaker examples to extremely high for the two strongest. Few beers in the 1930s were hopped as heavily as BBS Export and IBS Export.

As with their Ales, Barclay Perkins had colour standards for their Porter and Stout. Most of them were pretty dark. Some extremely dark.

Barclay Perkins Stout colour standards in 1946
I.B.S. 270 - 350
B.S. 270 - 320
L.S. 270 - 320
B.B.S. Ex. 350 - 400
I.B.S. Ex. 350 - 420
Source:
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/627.



Barclay Perkins Porter and Stout before WW II
Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
1936 TT Porter 1032.5 1011.0 2.85 66.20% 6.93 0.95
1936 LS Stout 1046.6 1015.0 4.18 67.81% 7.00 1.31
1936 BS Stout 1051.5 1017.5 4.50 66.02% 6.93 1.50
1936 OMS Stout 1051.5 1017.5 4.50 66.02% 6.93 1.50
1936 RNS Stout 1053.8 1016.5 4.94 69.35% 8.13 1.79
1936 IBS Stout 1060.4 1020.0 5.34 66.88% 8.13 2.25
1936 BBS Export Stout 1079.5 1029.5 6.61 62.87% 14.93 5.46
1937 IBS Export Stout 1104.5 1041.5 8.33 60.29% 15.21 6.46
Source:
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/621.




2 comments:

Martyn Cornell said...

The low attenuation fits with the trend towards sweet-tasting stouts at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th centuries, which culminated, of course, in the invention of Milk Stout. It would be interesting to know how long after they were casked/bottled those beers were expected to be drunk …

Ron Pattinson said...

Martyn,

TT and BS would have been drunk pretty young.

IBS Export, obviously, was aged a couple of years. But there are clues in the grist which suggest that a couple of the others were aged, too. We'll get to that in my next post.