Friday, 9 October 2020

Hopping rates in 1943

Following up on yesterday's post, here's some more about the reduction in hopping rates. Hope this isn't too rabbit-holey. I genuinely find this sort of stuff fascinating.

Cutting hopping rates to stretch out the available hops made sense. But what about brewers who already hopped at low rates? There was fear that a blanket percentage cut night leave the hopping levels of such brewers too low for safety.

"Reduction in Hop Rates:
The Committee had had under consideration the position of brewers who, after observing the 20% reduction in hop rate per standard barrel, are left with a dangerously low rate. It was proposed to ask the permission of the Ministry of Food to allow some concession in such eases by fixing a minimum rate of hops per standard barrel below which no brewer need go. Calculation was being made to ascertain at what level it was possible to fix such a minimum having regard to the extra consumption of hops which it would entail and to the: available supply."
The Brewing Trade Review, February 1943, page 39.

The solution was to impose a minimum level of hopping at 1 lb per standard barrel. That's a theoretical 36 imperial gallons of beer with an OG of 1055º. So for a beer of 1027.5º, the rate per bulk barrel would be 0.5 lb, half the standard barrel rate.

But there was one exception to the rule.

"Reduction in Hop Rates:
On the recommendation of the Society, the Ministry of Food had agreed to the minimum rate of hops of 1 lb. per standard barrel, except in the case of a brewer who used less than 1 lb. in the datum year ended September, 1939, when the minimum rate would be his 1939 rate. The Committee considered a proposal that this minimum rate should be set at a higher figure but, after full consideration, they came to the conclusion that, having regard to the grave shortage of hops, it would be undesirable to do so."
The Brewing Trade Review, April 1943, page 99. 

Who was hopping at below the 1 lb per standard barrel rate in 1943? Let's have a look. I've picked four breweries from different parts of the country. Adnams (East Anglia), Tetley (Yorkshire), Whitbread (London) and William Younger (Edinburgh).

Hopping rates in 1943
Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/bulk brl hops lb/standard brl
Adnams XX Mild Ale 1027.0 1005.5 2.84 79.48% 4.63 0.51 1.04
Adnams PA Pale Ale 1036.0 1010.5 3.37 70.76% 7.20 1.02 1.57
Adnams DS Stout 1039.0 1012.7 3.47 67.33% 5.88 0.96 1.36
Tetley LM Mild  1028.8 1008.0 2.75 72.12% 3.16 0.37 0.70
Tetley M Mild  1033.5 1004.2 3.88 87.60% 3.18 0.44 0.72
Tetley B Pale Ale 1041.3 1005.5 4.73 86.58% 3.37 0.55 0.73
Whitbread XX Mild 1028.2 1008.0 2.67 71.63% 6.07 0.73 1.43
Whitbread IPA IPA 1031.3 1007.5 3.15 76.04% 8.53 1.11 1.96
Whitbread PA Pale Ale 1039.2 1010.5 3.80 73.21% 6.03 1.00 1.41
Whitbread XXXX Strong Ale 1043.1 1010.0 4.38 76.80% 6.67 1.23 1.57
Younger, Wm. XXX Mild 1033.0 1014.0 2.51 57.58% 2.94 0.38 0.63
Younger, Wm. XXPS Pale Ale 1038.0 1013.5 3.24 64.47% 3.57 0.52 0.76
Younger, Wm. Pale XXPS Pale Ale 1041.0 1013.0 3.70 68.29% 4.05 0.63 0.85
Younger, Wm. 3 Strong Ale 1044.0 1016.0 3.70 63.64% 3.83 0.65 0.81
Adnams brewing record held at the brewery,  Book 30.
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Cervice, document number WYL756/ACC3349/561
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/110.
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/81.

Unsurprisingly, one under the minimum rate was from Scotland. Though it was an brewery from the North of England, Tetley, with the lowest hopping rate. What had their rates been like in 1939?

Hopping rates in 1939
Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl hops lb/standard brl
Tetley X1 Mild  1042.9 1011.4 4.18 73.55% 4.23 0.71 0.91
Tetley X1 Pale Mild  1042.9 1013.9 3.85 67.74% 4.23 0.71 0.91
Tetley K Pale Ale 1047.6 1011.6 4.76 75.58% 4.77 0.89 1.03
Tetley X2 Mild  1055.4 1011.9 5.75 78.50% 4.72 1.08 1.07
Tetley XXX Strong Ale 1090.9 1030.2 8.03 66.77% 4.72 1.76 1.07
Younger, Wm. XXX Mild 1037.0 1012.0 3.31 67.57% 2.50 0.35 0.52
Younger, Wm. XXPS Pale Ale 1046.0 1015.0 4.10 67.39% 3.04 0.53 0.63
Younger, Wm. Pale XXPS Pale Ale 1046.0 1014.0 4.23 69.57% 4.13 0.73 0.87
Younger, Wm. 3 Strong Ale 1053.0 1017.0 4.76 67.92% 3.00 0.60 0.62
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Cervice, document number WYL756/ACC3349/557.
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/76.

Well under the minimum in the case of Younger. But probably only just for Tetley. Three of their beers were just over. However, they were the stronger, less popular beers.


Chris Pickles said...

Do you have any information about Tetley's hopping rates in the late 70's / early80's? Which was when I drinking it often.

Michael Foster said...

What were the beers' IBUs at the lower hopping rates?

Phil said...

You should have included Sheps', then you could have called the post "Hopping down in Kent".

Ron Pattinson said...


I could have included Sheps. But they were a bit middle of the road when it came to hopping.

Ron Pattinson said...

Michael Foster,

the Younger Milds come out 8 to 10 IBUs when I run the recipes through brewing software.

Ron Pattinson said...

Chris Pickles,

unfortunately, I don't have anything later than WW II for Tetley.

Phil said...