Monday, 24 January 2022

London X Ales adjuncts and sugars 1880 - 1899

Moving on to other fermentable materials, there is a bit of a shock: that there are so few adjuncts.

Unmalted grains were first allowed as a result of the 1889 Free Mash Tun Act and it’s odd to see how long it was before breweries picked up on their use. In the 20th century, the vast majority of breweries used adjuncts, usually in the form of flaked maize.

Of this set of brewers, Barclay Perkins were the only one to have embraced adjuncts. Initially, in the form of flaked rice, later switching to flaked maize. Both Truman and Fullers would later go down the same road. Whitbread, on the other hand, other than during wartime, never did. Sticking to just malt and sugar.

Sugar, first allowed in brewing in 1847, wasn’t really used much before 1880. Very quickly after the Free Mash Tun Act it became almost universal. Only Irish brewers seemed immune to its charms.

In the 20th century the classic sugar for Mild Ales was No.3 invert. It does turn up in a couple of the beers in the table. Probably in more. It’s just impossible to know for certain, due to brewing logs mostly being vague about the type of sugar being employed. Hence most I can only describe as “other sugar”.

There’s a lot of variation in the proportion of sugar in the grist. Ranging from under 5% to over 26%. When things had settled down, 10% to 15% was the norm. It would be a mistake to assume that economy was the only reason for adding sugar to recipes. It was also used for flavour and, in the case of Mild Ale, to add colour.

London X Ales adjuncts and sugars 1880 - 1899
Year Brewer flaked maize flaked rice total adjuncts no. 3 sugar other sugar total sugar
1880 Barclay Perkins     0.00%   14.01% 14.01%
1886 Barclay Perkins     0.00% 18.18%   18.18%
1886 Barclay Perkins     0.00%     0.00%
1887 Barclay Perkins   10.43% 10.43%   11.30% 11.30%
1890 Barclay Perkins   11.44% 11.44%   12.71% 12.71%
1899 Barclay Perkins 9.47%   9.47%   18.45% 18.45%
1881 Whitbread     0.00%   8.16% 8.16%
1885 Whitbread     0.00%   7.69% 7.69%
1891 Whitbread     0.00%   4.41% 4.41%
1895 Whitbread     0.00%   6.15% 6.15%
1898 Whitbread     0.00% 16.67%   16.67%
1887 Fullers     0.00%   21.25% 21.25%
1893 Fullers     0.00%   19.14% 19.14%
1898 Fullers     0.00%   18.60% 18.60%
1880 Truman     0.00%   26.85% 26.85%
1885 Truman     0.00%   14.26% 14.26%
1890 Truman     0.00%   13.79% 13.79%
1895 Truman     0.00%   10.64% 10.64%
Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/579, ACC/2305/1/584, ACC/2305/1/583, ACC/2305/1/586 and ACC/2305/1/593.
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/047, LMA/4453/D/01/050, LMA/4453/D/01/057, LMA/4453/D/01/061 and LMA/4453/D/01/064
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery.
Truman brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers B/THB/C/161, B/THB/C/166, B/THB/C/171 and B/THB/C/175.


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