Despite the freedoms given to brewers by the Free Mash Tun Act, most weren’t taking full advantage of them, sticking to just malt and sugar. The latter having already been legal since 1847.
Barclay Perkins were the exception, slinging some flaked rice into the mix.
The sugar content was pretty high. Higher than in cheaper styles such as Mild. The explanation is simple: brewers wanted to keep their Pale Ales as light as possible in terms of colour and body. A good dose of sugar helped them achieve that. No. 1 invert was a popular option, though in many cases brewing records don’t specify the type of sugar.
The late 19th century saw the development of specialist base malts, designed for a specific style of beer. PA malt – Pale Ale malt – was, as the name suggests, designed for use in Pale Ales. Made from the best quality barley, it was also kilned lightly to give the pale colour brewers desired for this type of beer.
|London Stock Pale Ale 1880 - 1899 grists|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||pale malt||PA malt||flaked rice||no. 1 sugar||other sugar|
|Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/584 and ACC/2305/1/588.|
|Fullers brewing records held at the brewery.|
|Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/047, LMA/4453/D/01/051, LMA/4453/D/01/056, LMA/4453/D/01/061.|