Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1887 Barclay Perkins Brown Stout

Another recipe from my upcoming book - who knows when exactly it will appear - to provide some relief from all my Heineken and WW II stuff.

The standard Stout of Barclay Perkins in the late 19th century was called BS. Which I’m pretty sure at this point stood for Brown Stout. Whereas after WW I it was Best Stout. Brown Stout being the original name for the style way back in the 18th century.

At this point Brown Stout was mostly a draught product, though it was also available in bottled form. A format which would become increasingly important in the 20th century.

There’s lots going on in the grist, where no fewer than five malts are fighting for supremacy. In addition to the standard London triumvirate of pale, brown and black, there’s also amber and crystal. And, just to round things off, a stack of No. 3 invert. Incredibly complicated when you compare it to the Ales in Barclay’s portfolio. Which only have a couple of ingredients.

Most of the hops were pretty fresh, Mid-Kents from the 1886 harvest. Backed up by some East Kents from 1885.

1887 Barclay Perkins Brown Stout
pale malt 6.50 lb 43.33%
brown malt 2.00 lb 13.33%
black malt 1.50 lb 10.00%
amber malt 1.75 lb 11.67%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 3.33%
No. 3 invert sugar 2.75 lb 18.33%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1071
FG 1019
ABV 6.88
Apparent attenuation 73.24%
IBU 56
SRM 50
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Heineken's tied houses

Some think that the tied house system was a specifically British phenomenon. It wasn't. In several countries breweries either leased or owned outright cafes which were then obliged to sell only their beer. Belgium is a good example. But the system was, and in fact still is, practised in Holland.

I think nowadays it's mostly done through loan ties rather than by controlling the premises themselves. The reason I believe it's mostly done through loans is that I know many examples in Amsterdam where the brewery supplying a pub has changed. Mostly changed from Heineken to Inbev.

Though in Holland the tie is only for beer, not spirits. For jenever and other Dutch spirits, nowadays there's usually also a tie to a distiller. Which is why Amsterdam pubs often have two signs hung up outside, one for a brewery and one for a distiller.

This report of a lawsuit gives some insight into how things worked a 100 years or so ago.

Tapping without a licence. One writes from Rotterdam to the Handelsblad:

When the so-called Emergency Act came into effect, the joint-stock companies for exploitation sprang up like mushrooms. The tapping went on regularly until some time ago the commissioner of police ordered an official report to be drawn up against the tappers who retailed hard liquor in an establishment of a joint-stock company.

Thus, in the session of the 2nd Sub-district Court, 16 defendants had to account for themselves as such.

Mr. Th. A. Fruin acted as defender for accused J. Dijkstal, but as he said actually for Heineken's Bierbrouwerij.

The treatment showed that the building in which D. lives is rented from the aforementioned Bierbrouwerij; that although it is the owner of the inventory in most cases, this is not the case in the case of D.; that D. should sell the beer from Heineken's brewery, but that he sells spirits wherever he pleases. He can do this at will in the name of the brewery or in his own name, but always against cash payment. He is not an accounting officer, but has to pay the brewery a fixed amount of f30 per week, plus the costs of the license fee and tax, while most that is earned in the business is counted as his salary as publican.

When asked by the sub-district court to the director of the brewery, the latter says that the only advantage the brewery derives from the case is the profit made on the beer to be supplied.

The officer of the Public Prosecution Service was of the opinion that it has been legally and convincingly proven that the accused is not licensed and taps, while the brewery is licensed and does not tap. He asks a sentence to f 1 or 1 day.

Mr. Fruin, acquiring the word, cannot understand how people, standing in the evening, when they say goodbye to this Liquor Act, still proceed to such prosecutions. He tries to show that the accused is nothing but the brewery's publican and therefore has not committed a criminal offence. A conviction will therefore be unable to follow. He cites as an example the foreign carriage companies which simply provide the coachman with a carriage for a fixed sum, regardless of what the coachman receives.

The speaker cites the new Liquor Act, which prohibits a person from having more than one licence, while a legal person is also denied having that one. What this article was for Heineken can be imagined if one knows that the brewery has 71 permits in its name, pays f 63,150 a year in rent, and the inventories of all those items represent a balance sheet value of f 267,000. She has therefore approached the House of Representatives with an address, with the result that her objections have been met in the transitional articles.

After a rejoinder and a rejoinder, the subdistrict court judge will give the verdict on 20 September.
Het volk: dagblad voor de arbeiderspartij 10-09-1904  

Interesting to know that Heineken already had an estate of 71 pubs in 1904. 

It looks as if Mr. Dijkstal wasn't paying a market rent, as the average monthly rent Heineken was paying for their pubs was 74 guilders a month. More than double what they were charging Mr. Dijkstal.


Monday, 2 August 2021

The Heineken boycott

You'll be delighted to learn that I am back with Heineken. No more of that family crap.

Not everyone was delighted with Heineken as an employer. Things were bad enough at their Amsterdam brewery that workers' organisations called for a boycott of Heineken products. at least initially, the boycott didn't apply to the Rotterdam brewery, where conditions were supposedly better.

"The Heineken boycott.
Too late to include it in its entirety, we receive a report of a meeting that yesterday evening H. Spiekman, G. Kerkhof and MA Vlugter, on behalf of the Rotterdamschen Bestuurdersbond, had with one of the directors of the Heineken's Brewery in Rotterdam. Mr. Berkemeijer, with regard to the boycott pronounced in Amsterdam against the Heineken's Brouwerij.

The committee from the R. B. B. asked him, since the conditions at the Rotterdam brewery are better than at the Amsterdam brewery, whether the management would not be inclined to create better conditions in Amsterdam as well.

Mr. Berkemeijer claimed that the facts communicated at the meeting, etc., were wholly untrue, and those of his workmen who had collaborated for the composition or distribution thereof had to leave the factory.

Mr. B. further assured that neither he nor his co-directors would ever tolerate any interference in the affairs between them and their workmen, nor of any association, nor of the Chamber of Labour.

If there were ever grievances, said Mr. B., they are now invariably cleared up. Finally he announced that the management was meeting within a few days; that the facts would then be discussed and, if necessary, the reply of the management published. What he had now said was therefore his personal opinion and not that of the entire management.

The committee announced that, pending the further attitude of the management, it would propose to the Directors' Union to support the boycott."
Het volk: dagblad voor de arbeiderspartij 05-09-1901. 

Trying to boycott just the one Heineken brewery wouldn't have been very practical. For a consumer it would have been impossible to know which brewery had produced a beer. I suppose if you bought a draught Heineken in Rotterdam it most likely came from their plant on the city, but you couldn't be certain.

Beef for Sunday dinner again. Good for me, as it roasts pretty quickly. I wonder if Andrew will be up in time to eat it? 13:30 is a few hours before he usually rises, the lazy git. No question that Alexei will be up. He wouldn't want to miss out on his Yorkshire pudding.


Sunday, 1 August 2021


It's the reason I don't live in the UK. I never felt comfortable. Always something nibbling away at me. A monkey on my back. Class.

My mum told me that her mother wouldn't let her brother Norman take the 11 plus. Not because he wouldn't have passed. She knew he would. But because she couldn't afford to send him to grammar school. Uniforms an all that. What a waste of talent.

We could barely afford grammar school after my dad died. Without free uniforms and school meals, we'd have been fucked. And my mum being incredibly good with money.

I'm proud to have been born working class. I had to work for everything I've achieved. Unlike the useless, privileged toffs. Who run the UK.

So happy I've escaped.

A family day out

Only kidding, it's Heineken time again. Lots and lots of tedious details that no-one gives a toss about. So much fun we'll be having. Just like me and the family yesterday.

Dolores had got her hands on four free tickets for the Maritime Museum. Off were trolled at 2 PM. Which is usually before Andrew's getting up time. He got up early, especially. Both the kids are interested in history.

The museum is a bit of  walk from the suggested bus stop. Just as we got off, it started raining. Lovely. We kicked off outside, where there's a reconstruction of a VOC ship parked. It's not a 100% accurate copy. They've made some of the decks higher.

I won't bore you with all the details. Stuff about the Ditch genocide on the Banda islands was particularly refreshing.

Museuming done, our next destination was de Prael. Deciding ti walk, we passed through a bit of Amsterdam new to me. East of the Geldersekade. Streets mostly still lined with the typical tall, narrow houses of the 17th century. Rather a lot of them.Very scenic, very quiet.

It's very residential. Few shops and not many pubs. Not a part of town I've had the need to visit.

Our route took is through the Red Light district. Though any route to de Prael would, as it's smack in the middle of it. It was noticeably quieter than usual. But not totally dead. Some tourists have slipped in. The bastards.

"The last I ate out was last September with the Germany. We sat on that table there." Dolores remarked.

"For me it's much longer. March 2020 in Bangkok with Mikey." 

Wow. It was that long ago. I rarely visit restaurants in Amsterdam. They're mostly poor value for money. Quite a lot of dosh for mediocre food. But in a normal year, I'd spend four or five weeks travelling. Mostly the US. Then I dine out every day.

Two burgers, beef stew and a portion of chip. In the highly unlikely case that you're interested. Not bad and not too ridiculously expensive.

Beer-wise, I went for a Quadrupel. A big one. As I've said before, I don't do halves. Not even of Imperial Stout.

Damn. I was supposed to be telling you all sorts of fascinating* Heineken details. And I've just been rattling on about a rainy day out. Time is ticking on. It's almost beer o'clock. Saturday 16:30 at Butcher's Tears. I hope the rain holds off.

No time for me to do justice to Heineken and cook myself a decent lunch.  No contest. My stomach is always going to win. That's why I'm such a fat git. Heineken will just have to wait. I hope tou're not too disappointed.

* Fascinating to me and three others.

Brouwerij De Prael
Oudezijds Armsteeg 26,
1012 GP Amsterdam

Het Scheepvaartmuseum
Kattenburgerplein 1,
1018 KK Amsterdam.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Let's Brew - 1886 Barclay Perkins XX Ale

Just like last Saturday, I'm providing some relief from the constant barrage of Heineken and WW II stuff. With a recipe from my barely-started book, "Free!".

19th-century Mild Ales can confuse the hell out of people. Especially stronger ones, like this. Pale, hoppy and pretty strong. What exactly makes it a Mild Ale, then? The simple fact that it was sold without any ageing, just a couple of weeks, at most, after being brewed.

XX was considerably more heavily hopped than X Ale: 12 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt, compared to 8 lbs. In fact, the hopping rate was the same as for PA and XLK, Barclay’s two Bitters.

The malt bill couldn’t be simpler, just a single type of pale malt. There’s really nothing at all to discuss there.

Equal quantities of East Kent and Worcester hops, both from the 1885 harvest, made up the hops. As this beer was brewed in May, the freshest hops you could get.

Sadly, Barclays didn’t brew this beer for much longer. Like most other large London brewers, by around 1900 they’d slimmed down to brewing just a single Mild Ale. This batch was brewed on their small kit and consisted of a mere 50 barrels. While X Ale was often brewed 1,000 barrels at a time.

1886 Barclay Perkins XX Ale
pale malt 17.75 lb 100.00%
Fuggles 120 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1076
FG 1023
ABV 7.01
Apparent attenuation 69.74%
IBU 82
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Friday, 30 July 2021

Heineken's first Lager

Yes. Yet more Heineken shit. Going a bit further back this time. Back to when they were just starting to switch from top to bottom fermentation.

It's unusual to have a review of the first appearance of a beer. Especially one that's become as big as Heineken. Though it isn't quite what tou might assume.

"Mr Gerard A. Heineken, the owner of the Hooiberg, one of the oldest breweries in our city, is one of those industrialists, to whose entrepreneurial spirit and energy the young Amsterdam owes great thanks. He develops a useful branch of industry in Amsterdam, which was rightly proud of its brewers in earlier times, and by honoring the taste of the day and brewing Bavarian beer, he has given the Dutch the opportunity to purchase an excellent folk drink, brewed on their own soil. Last night, at his request, a few hundred residents of the town came to taste the new brew, which was excellent. It is proverbially difficult to judge the taste of others, but if the public wants to know the subjective opinion of a hundred Amsterdammers regarding this new Bavarian beer, then we can say that it is a spicy, clear, very tasty drink, which seemed to us to combine the good qualities of Viennese beer with those of Bavarian beer. "May this beer soon become generally known, and refresh thousands!" Wished one of the guests at the Vyfhoek. We share this wish, and hope that Heineken's Bavarian will soon be as well known in the Netherlands, as Guinness's Porter in Ireland, as Bass's Ale in England."
Algemeen Handelsblad 24-02-1870.

Sadly, Heineken is now better known in England that Bass Ale.

Why not what you might have assumed? Because this wasn't a Pilsner, but a beer called Beiersch. Which means Bavarian in Dutch. That is, a dark Lager in the Munich style. In the early days of Lager expansion, it wasn't Pilsner, but Vienna and Munich Lagers which were all the rage. Hence the reference to those two types of beer in the article.

At one point, Heineken brewed both a Munich and a Vienna Lager. Sadly, I've no details for the latter, as it was dropped before the earliest brewing records I've seen. All I've seen are labels.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Something other than Heineken

Only kidding. Of course it's more Heineken stuff. Lots of crumbs of knowledge for me to peck away at.

Lagering times is today's topic. Did I mention before that there wasn't much about them in the records? That's not totally true. There are a few details and dates. Annoyingly, no temperatures are given. My guess us that the lagering tanks would have been filled with the wort at the temperature where fermentation ended. That is 5º-6º C. Then slowly cooled to around freezing.

The pattern is fill the tank, leave it open for a few days, seal it up and finally let the pressure increase. That pressure coming from the continued fermentation while lagering. Fermentation must have occurred as the eventual FG is a good bit lower than at the end of primary fermentation. All, with the exception of Export Pils, lost more than 2º Plato during secondary fermentation.

Is lagering really a secondary fermentation? I suspect not, technically. As it's really a continuation of primary. Who gives a toss about that, really? I've certainly more worthwhile quibbles to waste my time on.

Yet another table showing that fall in gravity I mentioned a short while ago.

Heineken 1935 secondary fermentation
Beer Racking gravity Plato FG Plato Fall Plato
Münchener 6.4 4.0 2.4
Pils 6 3.4 2.6
Export Pils 4.5 2.8 1.7
Bok 8.2 5.6 2.6
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792.

The lagering times are pretty reasonable. Around 10 weeks for the Piseners and for Münchener more than 17 weeks. Just a shame that there are no examples of the two Lagerbiers. I'd love to know how long they were lagereed.

That's enough fun for today. I've some more numbers that need fiddling with. Though,  as it's not raining, I may nip out for a quick walk and read of Private Eye. That night happen to take me past Ton Overmars. Where I may as well check if they've refilled the shelf with Abt.

Pilsener 11th Jul 1935 Lagering
Step Date
Filled 20th July
Sealed 24th July
Pressurised 29th July
Tapped 30th Sept
Tasted 26th Oct
Total days 72
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 20.

Export Pils 18th Jul 1935 Lagering
Step Date
Filled 26th July
Sealed 28th July
Pressurised 5th Aug
Tapped 1st Oct
Tasted 26th Oct
Total days 67
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 20.

Münchener 2nd Jul 1935 Lagering
Step Date
Filled 10th July
Sealed 11th July
Pressurised 15th July
Tapped 9th Dec
Tasted 9th Dec
total days 122
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 11.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1935 Heineken Pils

I was so happy when Peter Symons pointed me at Heineken’s pilot brewery records. Because they contain all the process details missing from the main brewery records. All the really good stuff: decoction, hop additions, fermentation profile and lagering times. Making this one of my most accurate recipes.

The grist is pretty simple, consisting of just pilsner malt and rice. Not a great deal you can say about that. I assume that the rice was at least partially included to keep the body and colour light. The rice was mashed in separately, but there wasn’t a cereal mash. As you’ll see in the mashing scheme below.

A single type of hops was used, Leitmeritz from the 1934 season. Leitmeritz is the German name for the Czech town of Litoměřice. The hops grown there were similar to Saaz, which is what I’ve specified in the recipe.

Pitched at 45º F, the temperature rose to a maximum of 50º F, before falling back gradually to 43º F.  Primary fermentation lasted a total of 9 days. Lagering lasted just over two months – a total of 72 days. 

1935 Heineken Pils
pilsner malt 9.25 lb 80.43%
flaked rice 2.25 lb 19.57%
Saaz 120 mins 0.33 oz
Saaz 60 mins 0.50 oz
Saaz 20 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1050
FG 1013
ABV 4.89
Apparent attenuation 74.00%
IBU 13.5
Mash double decoction  
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 45º F
Yeast WLP830 German Lager

Pilsener mashing scheme
step duration (minutes)
Mash in at 51º C (124º F) 20
Mash in rice at 33º C (91.5º F) 5
Draw off first decoction and raise to 70º C (158º F) 45
Raise decoction to 100º C (212º F) 15
Boil first decoction 15
Rest whole mash at 66º C (151º F) 75
Draw off second decoction and raise to 100º C (212º F) 15
Boil second decoction 15
Mash at 75.5º C and mash out (168º F) 5
Sparge at 75.5º C (168º F) and rest 60
Draw off main wort 55
Draw off second wort 90
Total time 415
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 19.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Still more ridiculous Heineken detail

Well, that was a busy weekend. Pub on Saturday, roast dinner preparation on Sunday, as well as the IPA talk. Time for me to relax a little. Ant what better way  to relax than looking at Heineken's brewing processes in ridiculous detail. It's now the turn of primary fermentation

What strikes me is how generally similar it us to a UK top-fermentation. The temperature slowly rises in the first half of the, peaks, and then falls back to slightly below pitching temperature at the end. The only real difference is that the temperatures are all a good deal colder. And that the fermentation takes a few days longer. In the UK 5 or 6 days was typical, while all Heineken's beers took around 9.

It's a shame that there's no record of what happened in the lagering tanks. There must have been a fermentation because the finishing gravities were: Beiersch 4º Plato, Pils 3.4º Plato and Bok 5.6º Plato. The Pils seems to have been lagered about 2 months. I'm not so sure about the length for the other beers, though it does look as it was longer for Beiersch, possibly more than 4 months. 

Annoyingly, lagering is the one part of the process which isn't properly documented. I assume that the beer was slowly cooled to around zero. The tanks were bunged at a certain point implying that it was allowed to condition naturally.

I was going to head out for a walk but it's absolutely pissing it down. The tropical-style rain we've started getting quite frequently. Just as well Amsterdam never floods.

Beiersch 2nd Jul 1935 Primary Fermentation
Date Time Cellar temperature wort temperature gravity (Plato) % attenuation
2nd July 19 6.8 7 13.1  
3rd July 7 5.9 7.3    
  17.25 7.4 7.4    
4th July 7 5.8 8 12.2 7
  18 6.4 8.2    
5th July 7 5.8 9 10.7 18
  17.5 6.6 9.5    
6th July 7 5.6 10.3 8.7 34
  17 6.2 9.6    
7th July 9 5.6 9.7 7.3 45
  17 6.4 9.6    
8th July 7 5.7 9.3 6.8 48
  17.5 6.4 9.1    
9th July 7 5.4 8.8 6.6 50
  17.5 5.8 8.5    
10th July 7 5.3 6.1 6.4 51
Source: Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 11.

Pilsener 11th Jul 1935 Primary Fermentation
Date Time Cellar temperature wort temperature gravity (Plato) % attenuation
11th July 17 7.5 7 12.2  
12th July 7 5.7 7.2    
  18 3.2 7.6    
13th July 7 6.2 8 11.6 5
  13 5.4 8.2    
14th July 9 5.2 8.8 10.3 16
  17 5.6 9.2    
15th July 7 5.7 10 8.6 30
  17 5.5 9.7    
16th July 7 5.5 10 6.7 45
  17 6 9.6    
17th July 7 5.5 9.6 5.6 54
  17 5.5 9.7    
18th July 7 5.3 9.2 5 59
  18 7.2 9.2    
19th July 7 5.8 9 4.6 62
  18 6.6 8.6    
20th July 7 5.4 6 4.4 64
Source: Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 20.

Bok 5th Aug 1935 Primary Fermentation
Date Time Cellar temperature wort temperature gravity (Plato) % attenuation
5th Aug 18.5 7 6.9 17.3  
6th Aug 7 5.8 7.8    
  17.5 7.8 7.4    
7th Aug 7 5.9 8.1    
  19.5 5.7 7.9    
8th Aug 7.5 6.8 8.6 14.5 16
  17.5 7.8 9    
9th Aug 7 5.2 10.2 12.6 27
  17 6 10.5    
10th Aug 7 5.4 7 10.2 41
  13 5.8 7.2    
11th Aug - - -    
12th Aug 7 4.8 7.1 8.4 52
  17 5.4 7.2    
13th Aug 7 4.7 4.5 8.2 53
Source: Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 59.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Even more Heineken tedium

It's another busy day. Sunday dinner won't cook itself. I'll quickly bash this off while the oven is warming up. 

Today we're looking at Heineken's boiling schemes. Of all the essential processes involved in brewing, hop additions are some of the post poorly recorded. Other than a few Barclay Perkins records from between the wars, I've almost no information. Which is why I was dead happy to find Heineken's pilot brewery records had full hopping details.

Oddly enough, the standard records which have almost nothing about process do note the hop charges. Just not the timings.

What's unusual is that a very high proportion of the hops were added late in the boil, a mere 20 minutes before the end. And very few hops were added early in the boil. Presumably creating beers with a fair amount of hop aroma but little in the way of bitterness.

Got to leave you now. Time for the beef to go into the oven.

Pilsener 11th Jul 1935 Boil
Time kg %
120 mins 1 25.00%
60 mins 1.3 32.50%
20 mins 1.7 42.50%
Total 4  
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 19.

Beiersch 2nd Jul 1935 Boil
Time kg %
120 mins 0.5 16.67%
60 mins 1 33.33%
20 mins 1.5 50.00%
Total 3  
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 10.

Bock 15th Aug 1935 Boil
Time kg %
120 mins 0.6 24.00%
60 mins 0.8 32.00%
20 mins 1.1 44.00%
Total 2.5  
Heineken Brouwjournalen van de proefziederij, 1935 - 1957 held at the Amsterdamse Stadtsarchief, document number 1785-1792, page 19.