Friday, 9 December 2022

Between the wars London Stout

A much smaller set here. Most of them from Barclay Perkins.

Leaving aside the export beers, the rest all look like 8d per pint Stouts, with the exception of the one from Courage. Which looks like a classic 7d Stout.

Whitbread's Extra Stout is, at 9.16 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt hopped a little more than the other standard-strength Stouts which vary between 5.5 lbs and 7.5 lbs. Unsurprisingly, Barclay\s two export Stouts were much more heavily hopped at 15 lbs per quarter of malt.

Talking of the export Stouts, they have pre-WW I level gravities. Which was a typical development. With the UK's punitive tax rates not applying to export beers, these tended to remain at the old gravity while domestic versions became significantly weaker. A good example of this which is still around today is Guinness. Extra Stout and Foreign Extra Stout had the same OG - 1075º - until 1916. Now domestic Guinness is not much more than half the OG of the export version.

Apparent attenuation is below 70% in every example. Though the FG of IBS Ex (Russian Stout) would have been considerably lower after a couple of years of a secondary Brettanomyces fermentation.

Grists next time. 

Between the wars London Stout
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
1928 Barclay Perkins OMS 1050.9 1016.0 4.62 68.58% 6.50 1.41
1929 Barclay Perkins BS 1053.3 1018.0 4.67 66.22% 6.00 1.43
1929 Barclay Perkins SBS 1054.7 1019.0 4.72 65.24% 7.50 1.68
1929 Barclay Perkins BBS Ex 1079.3 1028.0 6.79 64.70% 15.00 5.04
1929 Barclay Perkins IBS Ex 1102.7 1037.5 8.63 63.49% 15.05 6.72
1928 Courage Stout 1046.5       7.39 1.39
1929 Whitbread ES 1055.2 1018.5 4.85 66.46% 9.16 2.14
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/614.
Courage brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/08/256.
Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/09/123.

Thursday, 8 December 2022

Between the wars draught London Stout

What happened to London Stout after WW I? Well, it got quite a bit weaker. As you would expect.

London was unusual in that Stout remained a standard draught beer throughout the interwar period. Most brewers decided to make their draught Stout an 8d per pint beer. Though a few plumped for a 7d beer and some made both a 7d and an 8d one. The last was a dangerous practice. From the gravity books I can see that some unscrupulous landlords were either watering their Stout or selling the 7d version for 8d.

The beers fit very neatly into the gravity bands defines in the last set of WW I price controls. Where an 8d beer was 0ver 1054º and 7d 1046º-1053º. It's incredible how these definitions of strength/price remained in place right through until WW II.

For a style of beer which was intended to be full-bodied, the average rate of attenuation is pretty decent, being around 72% for both types.

Next we'll be looking at a few of these Stouts in greater detail. Won't that be fun? 

Between the wars draught London Stout
Year Brewer Price per pint (d) OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1928 Courage 7 1048 1014 4.41 70.83%
1928 Hoare 7 1046.6 1013.6 4.28 70.82%
1931 Taylor Walker 7 1049 1013 4.67 73.47%
1926 Truman 7 1046.3      
1928 Wenlock 7 1042.9 1011.8 4.03 72.49%
  Average   1046.6 1013.1 4.35 71.90%
1928 Barclay Perkins 8 1054.9 1017.2 4.89 68.67%
1926 Cannon 8 1057.9      
1930 Charrington 8 1055.2      
1929 Hoare 8 1056.2 1018 4.95 67.97%
1926 Huggins 8 1055.5      
1927 Mann Crossman 8 1056.6      
1931 Meux 8 1051 1014.7 4.71 71.18%
1931 Taylor Walker 8 1055.3 1015.9 5.11 71.25%
1929 Truman 8 1058 1011.3 6.09 80.52%
1929 Watney 8 1055.9 1014.5 5.38 74.06%
1926 Whitbread 8 1058.7      
1931 Wenlock 8 1046.6 1012.3 4.45 73.61%
  Average   1055.2 1014.8 5.08 72.23%
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1909 Truman London & Country Runner

Just a tiny bit stronger than the bottling version was Truman’s standard draught Porter. With the snappy name of London and Country Runner.

Though very similar in strength, the grist is very different. Much simpler, really. There’s no brown, crystal or oat malt. On the other hand, there’s roast barley in addition to black malt. I’m guessing that the two beers tasted quite different.

Just one type of Fowler sugar this time around. For which I’ve substituted No.3 invert.

The hops were again all from the 1908 crop and two types from Worcester and one from Oregon. At a lower hopping rate of 6.1 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) compared to 8.2 lbs in the Bottling Porter. 

1909 Truman London & Country Runner
pale malt 8.25 lb 71.74%
black malt 0.50 lb 4.35%
roast barley 0.50 lb 4.35%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 4.35%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 10.87%
caramel 500 SRM 0.50 lb 4.35%
Cluster 105 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles105 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1054
FG 1014
ABV 5.29
Apparent attenuation 74.07%
IBU 38
SRM 37
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Late 19th century London Stout grists

This is what you were really waiting for. Not boring old OGs and rates of attenuation, but meaty chunks of grist.

I've just realised that my talk is the bones of a ittle history of London Stout. As if I didn't have enough projects already. But I could knock it out pretty quickly. Would anyone be interested? 250 years of London Stout. With a few dozen recipes, obviously. And lots and lots of tables.

Getting back to the topic, can you spot the difference with 1850? A lot more black malt. More than twice as much, on average. While the amount of brown malt is down by a third.

Though sugar had been legal ingredient since 1847, none of the London brewers used it in their Stouts in 1850. What a change by the 1890s. Every brewer used sugar of some sort, on average making up 12.5% of the grist. Quite a few different sorts, as you'll see in the table. Most of it probably invert sugar of some type. The adoption of sugar is probably responsible for the reduction in the percentage of base malt. 

Late 19th century London Stout grists
Year Brewer Beer pale malt white malt brown malt black malt amber malt crystal malt total malt
1899 Barclay Perkins SDP Ex   58.64% 11.17% 5.98% 7.18%   82.98%
1899 Barclay Perkins RDP   49.26% 8.82% 5.51% 11.03% 7.72% 82.35%
1899 Barclay Perkins BS Ex   54.24% 11.38% 6.03% 14.06%   85.71%
1899 Whitbread CS 75.73%   12.62% 8.74%     97.09%
1900 Whitbread S 51.25%   13.75% 5.00% 20.00%   90.00%
1899 Whitbread SS 50.00%   16.07% 4.17% 17.86%   88.10%
1899 Whitbread SSS 50.00%   16.07% 4.17% 17.86%   88.10%
1895 Truman Single Stout 65.95%   13.39% 7.44%     86.78%
1895 Truman Double Stout 65.95%   13.39% 7.44%     86.78%
1895 Truman Imperial Stout 65.95%   13.39% 7.44%     86.78%
  Average   42.48% 16.21% 13.01% 6.19% 8.80% 0.77% 87.46%

Late 19th century London Stout sugars
Year Brewer Beer no. 2 sugar no. 3 sugar Garton black other sugar total sugar
1899 Barclay Perkins SDP Ex 17.02%         17.02%
1899 Barclay Perkins RDP   17.65%       17.65%
1899 Barclay Perkins BS Ex 14.29%         14.29%
1899 Whitbread CS         2.91% 2.91%
1900 Whitbread S       3.00% 7.00% 10.00%
1899 Whitbread SS       3.57% 8.33% 11.90%
1899 Whitbread SSS       3.57% 8.33% 11.90%
1895 Truman Single Stout     13.22%     13.22%
1895 Truman Double Stout     13.22%     13.22%
1895 Truman Imperial Stout     13.22%     13.22%
  Average   3.13% 1.76% 3.97% 1.01% 2.66% 12.53%

Monday, 5 December 2022

Yule Logs!!!!!!!

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

This year I have been arsed to assemble my annual festive offering, Yule Logs!

It's the same as ever, word-free, just a series of photographs of brewing records. A funny sort of book, really.

The cover is a bit different from that pictured. I used to change it every year. Until Lulu changed the cover editor.  I can't be arsed to go through the process of producing a pdf.

Oh yes, buy this book.

Late 19th century London Stout

You may remember this series which I started a while back. Looking at London Stout. Why did I randomly post this stuff? Recycling is the answer.

As part of my recent US jaunt, I gave a talk on the history of Stout. Obviously, that entailed a ridiculous number of table, some of which I'm recycling here. Well, I wouldn't want to waste all those lovely numbers.

You can see that Truman and Whitbread had a very similar set of Stouts. Ranging from Single to Triple or Imperial. The Barclay Perkins set is very incomplete. Simply because the Porter brew house brewing book for this period isn't in the archive. The beers I have are taken from brewings in their small brew house.

The ridiculously high hopping rates for Barclay Perkins SDP and BS are because they were both export beers

Late 19th century London Stout
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
1899 Barclay Perkins SDP Ex 1065.0 1016.0 6.48 75.38% 19.39 6.15
1899 Barclay Perkins RDP 1069.6 1020.0 6.56 71.26% 9.18 2.89
1899 Barclay Perkins BS Ex 1076.0 1023.0 7.01 69.74% 14.45 4.74
1899 Whitbread CS 1064.7 1018.0 6.18 72.17% 5.95 1.69
1900 Whitbread S 1069.6 1026.0 5.77 62.66% 8.57 2.75
1899 Whitbread SS 1087.4 1034.0 7.06 61.08% 9.61 3.98
1899 Whitbread SSS 1096.6 1036.0 8.02 62.73% 9.61 4.40
1895 Truman Single Stout 1077.6       9.5 3.67
1895 Truman Double Stout 1082.8       9.5 3.92
1895 Truman Imperial Stout 1097.0       9.5 4.59

Sunday, 4 December 2022

What I noticed in London

I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow account of my trip to London. I’ve written far too many of those recently. And this wasn’t a beer trip. A holiday with Dolores, for once.

Instead, just a few observations on London. As beer and pubs go, of course. Or maybe some other crap as well. If I can remember anything.

For the first time, we travelled to London by Eurostar. Which meant I could Take my own beer for the journey. Bluejacket Company porter, in case you’re wondering. An East India Porter brewed to a recipe of mine in DC. It’s one of the beers I brought back from my last US trip. Very nice it was, too.

We didn’t visit a huge number of pubs. Just six in total: The Euston Flyer, Friend at Hand, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Shakespeare’s Head, Marlborough Head and The Museum Tavern. Three of which are Greene King tied houses. As many of the pubs in central London seem to be.

We called in The Euston Flyer on the way in and way out. As it’s handily positioned directly opposite St. Pancras. Only one Fullers beer on draught – London Pride – and three bottled. Though there were two Dark Star beers. Slightly worrying, if typical.

I was concerned when Fullers left brewing. Such splits in the past have mostly led to both brewery and pub chain disappearing. How are sales of Fullers beers doing in their pubs? Have they boosted sales elsewhere?

The quality of cask we encountered was pretty good. Neither of us had a duff pint. Nothing even close to needing returning. The Brewhouse & Kitchen was the most disappointing, only have one cask beer on, a whisky Stout that tasted like it had been on for a while. Dolores had to resort to drinking keg Bitter.

Visiting several Greene King pubs, I ended up drinking quite a bit of Abbot. Nothing wrong with it at all. Full of malty goodness. Dolores reassures me that London Pride is still as good as ever.

Their pubs did have some interesting guest beers from small London breweries. Bermondsey Best in the Museum Tavern, for example. Bitters which were able to satisfy Dolores’s cask beer craving.

 Biggest disappointment – apart from the fucking prices – was the lack of Old Peculier at the Museum Tavern. I’d been looking forward to that. As for the prices, well, I’d sort of expected it. Everything well north of a fiver a pint, except in Spoons, where it was still over four quid.

Most pubs were pretty full. But we were in central London. The pubs are always busy. So very difficult to say anything sensible on how trade is holding up.

Most pubs were pretty full. But we were in central London. The pubs are always busy. So very difficult to say anything sensible on how trade is holding up.

In Waitrose, there was a sort of beer apartheid: shiny cans of craft on one side of the aisle, bottles of trad stuff on the other. Except for cans of Camden beers. It implies that there are two types of beer drinker. If so, my purchases made pretty clear which I was.

The Euston Flyer
83-87 Euston Rd,
London NW1 2RA.

Friend at Hand
2-4 Herbrand St,
London WC1N 1HX.

Brewhouse & Kitchen - Hoxton
397-400 Geffrye St,
London E2 8HZ.

Shakespeare's Head
Africa House,
64-68 Kingsway,
London WC2B 6BG.

Marlborough Head
24 N Audley St,
London W1K 6WD.

Museum Tavern
49 Great Russell St,
London WC1B 3BA.

Saturday, 3 December 2022

Christmas present suggestions

What better present to give the ones you love than one of my wonderful books. Or several. It's what my family will be getting. Again.

There are so may wonderful tomes to choose from, at prices to suit every pocket. These are some of my more recent volumes:

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

 Buy your copy now!

You can find all of my confusingly large array of books here:

Let's Brew - 1909 Truman Bottling Porter

Truman brewed quite an array of Black Beers, many of them confusingly similar to each other. Weakest of the bunch was Bottling Porter. Well, I assume that’s what it was. In the brewing record it just says “Bottling”.

Though who knows what was on the label. The presence of a small amounted of oat malt tells me that at least some of it was marketed as Oat Stout. Aa type of beer that really took off in the first decade of the 20th century.

Loads is going on in the grist.  In addition to the classic pale, brown black malt combination, there’s also some crystal and the aforementioned oats. Most are in pretty small amounts, which makes you wonder what the point was. Well, in the case of the oats I do: so they could legally sell it as Oat Stout.

The sugar is a guess. All I know about the original is that there were two types and they were manufactured by Fowler. No. 3 invert is my best guess.

Three types of hops were employed: two from Worcester, one from Oregon, all from the 1908 harvest. 

1909 Truman Bottling Porter
pale malt 7.25 lb 62.99%
brown malt 0.67 lb 5.82%
black malt 0.67 lb 5.82%
crystal malt 60 L 0.67 lb 5.82%
oat malt 0.25 lb 2.17%
flaked maize 0.25 lb 2.17%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 10.86%
caramel 500 SRM 0.50 lb 4.34%
Cluster 105 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1053
FG 1014
ABV 5.16
Apparent attenuation 73.58%
IBU 52
SRM 31
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale