Tuesday 31 May 2022

Secondary fermentation 1880 - 1914

Another preview from the book I'm working on. This time with some handy confirmation of Bass's tough love.

When in trade or storage casks, beer began a slow secondary fermentation. Maltodextrins were gradually broken down and consumed through the hydrolic action of the yeast, helped by the diastatic enzymes in the dry hops. The fermentable material created in this way was enough to keep the beer saturated with CO2, which helped protect it from bacterial attack. Some of the CO2 combined with water to form carbonic acid. During long storage, esters were formed, which contributed to the character of aged beers.  

Standard pitching yeast, a type of Saccharomyces cervesiae, was not capable of performing this type of secondary fermentation. Brettanomyces was the yeast responsible. This gave beers that were matured for long periods the typical "aged taste". Until 1903, when N. H. Clausen isolated Brettanomyces at the Carlsberg laboratory in Copenhagen, the process had been a mystery.  Brettanomyces was either a component in a multi-strain yeast, which only really became active during secondary fermentation, or was picked up from wooden equipment. Its discovery explained why single-strain pitching yeasts often struggled to successfully carry out secondary fermentation.

Aged beers were going out of fashion and beers were rarely stored more than a few weeks before shipping.  The age of tun rooms, filled with Porter maturing for 12 months or more, had passed. The London breweries had dismantled their massive vats and converted their tun rooms to other uses.

Many beers were not left to mature in the brewery at all, but shipped immediately after racking. In this case any secondary fermentation took place in the pub cellar. Today most cask-conditioned beer is handled this way.  Sykes & Ling did not think this a true secondary fermentation, but an extension of primary fermentation, as only the easily-fermentable sugars were being consumed. They only considered the slow fermentation of maltodextrins over a period of many months as a true secondary fermentation.

Different breweries might have very different methods of storing casks for ageing.

"The methods of storing beer in different parts of the United Kingdom vary considerably. In Burton the beer is run into the trade casks, and these are often stacked in the open during the winter months, and only placed under cover as the season advances. In other localities the trade casks full of stock beer are stored in underground cellars, where a very uniform temperature is maintained. Of these two plans, the former answers well if the beer is sound and good enough to stand it, but if there is any doubt on this point the latter plan must of course be adopted. Then again, black beers and old ales are frequently stored in vats, and vatting greatly improves the quality of these varieties of malt liquor." 

The rough treatment given to some beers actually seemed to make them more robust:

"The fact is, that by coddling beers, while you certainly preserve them from disease, you are sure at the same time to render them tender, and susceptible to every change of temperature. Burton beers, in former days, were exposed by day to the heat, and by night to the frost, and, by this treatment, they became so hardy that they retained their condition and brilliancy under the most adverse circumstances."  

Monday 30 May 2022

Adjuncts 1880 - 1914

The popularity of adjuncts increased quickly when they were allowed after 1880. By 1914, most breweries used an adjunct of one type or another. The most popular being maize, mostly in flaked form, but occasionally as grits.

There was a very simple reason adjuncts became very popular: price. It was far more economical. Per pound of extract, raw grains could cost less than 50% compared to malt.

Rice provided the most extract per quarter, which I find quite surprising. Though as it cost more than maize, it was less economical.

Here are analyses of maize and rice. If you’re wondering why the extract per quarter is higher in the table below, it’s because these are laboratory extracts, not what could be achieved in a brew house. 

Cost of 1 lb of extract from different grains
grain extract per quarter price per quarter (d) price (d)
malt 88 480 5.45
barley 78 288 3.69
maize 86 218 2.53
rice 96 360 3.75
"The Manual of Brewing" by Egbert Grant Hooper, 1891, page 165.

Analysis of raw grain
  Granulated Flaked
  Maize Rice Maize Rice
Oil 0.98 0.76 0.97 0.29
Extract per quarter (336 lbs.) 98.44 102.48 98.78 103.15
 ,, per cent. 75.9 79.01 76.16 79.53
Total proteids or albuminoids 9.2 8.74 9.5 8.53
Soluble  "  " 0.62 0.41 0.34 0 28
Insoluble  "   " 8.58 7.33 9.2 8.25
Mineral matter or ash 0.3 0.26 0.44 0.32
Moisture 10.72 7.83 6.3 7.43
The Brewers Analyst, by R. Douglas Bailey, 1907, page 232

Sunday 29 May 2022

Last bit on malt 1880 - 1914

A final post on malt. Increasingly dark types. I hope you enjoy it. Full of fun facts as it is. Well, fact-filled. Not so sure about the fun part.

Imperial malt
This was manufactured in a similar way to amber malt, but at the very end of the process oak or beech wood was added to the furnace to raise the temperature from 240 to 270º F.

Crystal malt
This was another malt finished in roasting drums rather than a standard kiln. The difference being that after germination the grains were soaked in a sugar solution or water and then roasted.

Unlike today, maltsters didn’t make multiple different shades of crystal malt. I’m sure that it did some in various colours, but this would between one maltsters product and another’s.

Its use was principally in Mild Ales and Stout. In the former, around 5% helped fill out the body. While between 5% and 25% was recommended in the latter.

Brown malt

Not left on the withering floor as long as other malt and spread in the drying kiln no more than 1.5 inches (37.5 mm) thick. Initially the heat was moderate, but when all the moisture in the malt was gone, the heat was suddenly increased by adding oak or beech wood to the fire. The sudden heat caused the grains to swell by 25%. The smoke from the wood gave the finished malt a smoky flavour.  

The deliberate addition of wood to create smoke and allowing it to come into contact with the malt is very different from 18th century practice, where every attempt was made to prevent this happening. Though with the much-reduced proportion of brown malt being used in Porter and Stout - a maximum of 20% - the smoky effect would have been much less than in a beer made from 100% brown malt.

The method of making brown malt was changing, for a variety of reasons, one of which was the high risk of a fire.

"it was formerly the custom to dry brown malt also on ordinary kilns, with wire floors, but the labour on these was of a most disagreeable and exhausting character, and brown malt is now generally dried in wire cylinders." 

The presence of diastase in older forms of brown malt is explained by the way it was produced. Diastase is much more sensitive to heat when moist. By first removing all the moisture from the malt at a low temperature, the diastase was not damaged as much by the finishing high heat.   

Other coloured malts were produced in a very different way. To get the desired aroma in the malt, it needed to be heated to 160º F while it still had a moisture content of between 12 and 15%. If the moisture content was below 7 or 8%, the aromas would not be formed and all.

Though London brewers remained loyal to the malt behind the 19th-century Porter revolution, it was rarely present in Stouts brewed outside the capital. I have seen examples of its use in other styles, such as Mild Ale and Burton Ale, but these are relatively rare.

Black malt
Roasted like coffee and often made from inferior quality malt, though use of a better-quality malt produced a better end result. The final colour was not black, but a chocolate brown. Because it was readily absorbed water, it didn't store well.

Most breweries had adopted black malt to colour and flavour their Stouts in the second half of the 19th century. It was invented in 1817 specifically for the purpose of colouring Porter when burnt sugar was made illegal the previous year.

Some brewers mashed their black malt separately from the bulk of the mash in a small tun. The reason was simple: spent grains contained black malt fetched a much lower price than those with just pale malt.  I know from Derek Prentice that this was still the case at Truman’s London brewery in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

While its use wasn’t totally restricted to Stout, black malt wasn’t very common in other styles. It does turn up in beers such as Mild or Burton Ale. Though usually both of those styles usually used a combination of crystal malt, invert sugar and caramel for colouring purposes.

Black malt gave between 60 and 70 lbs per quarter – significantly less than other malts. 

Saturday 28 May 2022

Let's Brew - 1909 Truman X

A final Mild recipe for Mild Month. I've published a couple of things on the topic. I've done my bit.

When WW I was lurking the corner, the recipe of Truman X was starting to look rather familiar. Rather like that of a modern Dark Mild. Except in terms of gravity, that is.

Which is an impressive 1057º.  Though that is 6º down on 1881. It would be all downhill, gravity-wise, from here on.

Mild and crystal malt formed the bulk of the grist. Along with some flaked maize. The sugar was No. 2 invert and not No. 3 as you might have expected. Which is why the colour is fairly pale. Semi-dark, I’d call it.

Considerably fewer hops were chucked in the copper than back in 1881. As you’d expect the (calculated) bitterness is much lower, 37 IBU compared to 65 IBU. The hops themselves were English, Oregon and Hallertau, all from the 1908 harvest. 

1909 Truman X
mild malt 8.75 lb 74.47%
crystal malt 0.50 lb 4.26%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 8.51%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.50 lb 12.77%
Cluster 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Hallertau 30 mins 1.00 oz
OG 1057
FG 1014
ABV 5.69
Apparent attenuation 75.44%
IBU 37
SRM 10
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

Friday 27 May 2022

Mild Musings (part 2,390)

I was thinking about Mild today. As I'm sure you often do. While I was walking the mean streets of my neighbourhood.

Only joking. It's rather nice, really. Far too good for the likes of us. I'm surprised they let us in.

Back to Mild. I was thinking of the choice that was available in some of the country. Where you knew if you went into a tied house from any brewery, you'd find a Mild. If you travelled around a bit, you had dozens to choose from. Even if you stuck to only cask.

In Nottingham, each of the three local breweries - Home, Shipstone and Hardy & Hanson - had a Dark Mild in all their pubs. Though the last didn't have any houses in the city centre. Bass Charrington had quite a few pubs. I'm sure they must have sold some sort of Dark Mild. Probably XXXX from Tadcaster. But I never went in any of their pubs. When there was usually a Shippo's pub close by, why the hell would I? It was my favourite of the three Nottingham Milds. Not too sweet, like Hardy & Hansons. Home Mild was decent, too. But I could get that in Newark. Shippo's I couldn't.

Despite mostly being a Tetley town, in Leeds, there were other Milds around. Websters did a Dark Mild. As did Sam Smiths. Bass had XXXX, a bland beer I never took to. John Smiths and Whitbread must have had ones, too. But, again, I never went in any of their pubs. As they didn't sell cask. Tell a lie, I think I was dragged into the Skyrack a couple of times. Can't remember what I drank there. Almost forgot. Whitelocks had Younger's No. 3, which is sort of like a strong Dark Mild

Neither of those examples were particularly diverse towns, in terms of tied houses. For some reason, Loughborough had a particularly good spread of ownership. I think at least eight or nine different breweries. All with their Milds.

Manchester, home to several local breweries, offered Boddington, Robinson, Oldham, Lees, Hyde, Holt, Wilson, Greenall Whitley (boo, hiss*), Sam Smiths, Tetley. Doubtless some keg Bass and Whitbread, too.

Who under 60 was able to find a pint of Mild there waiting for them in around every corner? I didn't realise at the time how special that was.

In London Mild had all but disappeared by the time I had my first tentative half pint.

Which is why I sometimes strayed from the real ale path. And drank evil keg. Whitbread Best Mild a couple of times in London. Not hoping that it might be good. Which it wasn't. I simply wanted to drink Mild. Even if it was a tastless parody of the style. (I'm glad I did now, because I got to drink on of the Chiswell Street beers. Albeit breed in Luton by then.)

There. I think that was a pretty cohesive argument.

* I hated Greenall Whitley because the fuckwits than ran it fucked up some of my favourite breweries. Destroyed the beers, then shut the breweries down. Wem and Shipstone are two good examples. The pised around with the recipe of Shipstone bitter and made it a far worse beer. Luckily, they didn't play around with the Mild.

Thursday 26 May 2022

More malt 1880 - 1914

I'm nowhere near done with all the types of malt. It was quite fun researching this. Or rather, adding to the research in my unpublished mega manuscript. Which I wrote around 15 years ago. It's proving dead handy for streamlining the background work.

It's not just the information I've already extracted. Pointing to books which have the material I'm looking is also dead handy. It's saved to so much time.

Here are the last of the base malts.

PA malt
The classiest type of pale malt was called PA, or Pale Ale, malt. The name gives a hint to where it was intended to be employed: in the better class of Pale Ale. It was the palest in colour of the base malts. A final kilning heat of 180º F was recommended.

As a relatively expensive malt, its use was mostly restricted to the better class of Pale Ales, but it does sometimes pop up in other styles. The quality is reflected in the price. It was usually the most expensive.

High-dried malt
Another popular base malt, high-dried was, as the name implies, kilned at a higher temperature than pale malt.  It was finished at 200°-225° F.  The barley used was also of lower quality. The higher kilning meant that it was somewhat darker in colour than the other base malts. The colour being 15º upwards.

An enigmatic type of base malt was high-dried malt. Considering how recently it was regularly used – at least the mid-1960s ay brewers such as Truman – it’s amazing how completely it seems to have been forgotten.  The closest modern equivalents are either Simpson’s Imperial malt or Munich malt.

Its use was mostly in either Strong Ales or Mild Ales.

Amber malt
Similar to high-dried, but kilned at a higher temperature. Sometimes wood was added to the furnace at the end of the process. The higher temperature destroyed some, but not all, of the diastase.

“In the manufacture of amber malt the green malt is taken from the floor at the withering stage, and is loaded on the kiln at a depth of about 4 inches. The fuel used at the early stages of drying is the same as in ordinary malting; but when the malt is hand-dry, the heat is augmented and very dry beech-wood is thrown upon the fire, the products of combustion imparting the desired flavour.”

Rather than drying on a standard kiln, amber malt was sometimes drum roasted like black malt.  

It gave around 80 lbs of extract per quarter (336 lbs). 

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1885 Kirkstall L

As it's still Mild Month, I though I'd run another old-timey Mild recipe. And quite an unusual one.

The Milds of the final decades of the 19th century are a fascinating bunch. As brewers strayed away from 100% pale malt grists and played around with other malts, sugars and adjuncts.

One of the results of which was a deepening of the colour of many Milds. Though few wandered into full-on Dark Mild shades. Dark enough, however, to be easily distinguished from Pale Ales. Kirkstall L is a good example of such a semi-dark Mild.

Brown malt, contrary to what you might guessed, wasn’t a common ingredient in Mild. It pops up here, and in a few other recipes, but usually it was invert sugar, caramel or black malt doing the heavy lifting.

Three types of hops were employed, all from the 1884 season: Bavarian, English and some simply described as “foreign”. I’m guessing that the last came from one the less fashionable hop-growing regions. 

1885 Kirkstall L
pale malt 8.00 lb 77.67%
brown malt 0.50 lb 4.85%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.75 lb 16.99%
Caramel 100 SRM 0.05 lb 0.49%
Cluster 135 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.25 oz
Hallertau 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1049
FG 1012
ABV 4.89
Apparent attenuation 75.51%
IBU 36
SRM 13
Mash at 156º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 135 minutes
pitching temp 58.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Thimble fests

Last weekend there was another festival at Butcher's Tears. This time it was a Franconian Anstich Fest. That is, gravity-served Lager from Franconia.

I wasn't going to miss out on that. Incorporating, as it did, two of my favourite things: good Lager and gravity dispense. There were some cracking beers: Heckel Vollbier, Hartleb Landbier, Gradl Dunkel and Zehender Maibock. Too many beers for me to get around to all of them. Especially when I had two of the Zehender Maibock.

The beers would have confused the hell out of a style Nazi. Most seemed to be named fairly randomnly. Heckel Vollbier was stronger than Scharpf Märzen. Several were called Landbier. One of the vaguest terms in German brewing. Even more so than Kellerbier, which popped up several times, too. Trying to categorise Franconian beers is a short path tto madness.

It wasn't as crowded as the Czech festival a couple of months back. Which suited me. Not much queueing for a beer or a slash.

The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. And why not? They were getting free beer. And very nice beer, too.

I don't go to many beer festivals nowadays. In recent years, it's just been the ones at Butcher's Tears and the Berliner Bier Meile. And what do those have in common? Good-quality Lager and full measures. Oh, and plenty of seats.

I used to go to many more. The main Belgian one, whatever that's called now. The Borefts Festival. Others in Stockholm and Copenhagen. But that's all a few years back. Now, I just can't be bothered with most festivals.

Why is that? Well, I've already told you, really. Lack of seating, long queues for beer. But the biggest reason of all is small measures. If you're lucky, you might get a 15 cl serving. But it might well be just 10 cl or even a piddling 5 cl. I've got two glasses sometimes to take the edge off my frustration. Or taken along my own Imperial pint glass.

A combination of small measures and long queues wring all the pleasure out of a festival for me. Getting in line for your next beer as soon as you've been served your last makes for a queueing festival rather than a beer festival.

Then there's the beer. Most festivals don't serve anything any different from the beers I can usually buy. Either Belgian styles or the murky muck, junk-laden sours and over-pastried Stouts that seem to be brewed everywhere nowadays. Nothing that's going to drag me out of my bed. While a proper Lager is something that's undeservedly rare. Outside of the festivals I do still attend.

Thimble fests. I doubt I'll be going to another one soon. 

Monday 23 May 2022

Calling LA

My kids. I keep telling them I can set up beer events anywhere.

"Don't talk crap, Dad. No way you could arrange anything in LA."

Prove the little bastards wrong. Well, very tall bastards, really. Don't worry about that, just do the wrong proving. 

Please. I can provide a whole range of groovy old recipes.

Well be in Los Angeles Thursday 28th July to Saturday 30th July.


Base malt 1880 - 1914

Another preview of the book I'm busy with. Well, one of the three books I'm working on. The last week or so has mostly been dedicated to Weisse. I've unearthed some interesting new stuff. Which I'm sure I'll be boring you with at some point.

White malt
Made from the very best and palest barley and dried at a low temperature. This type of malt was no longer made very often. But it does pop up occasionally in brewing records for the earlier part of the period.

Pale malt
As it had been since around 1800, pale malt was the base used in the vast majority of beer. Though it was by no means the only base malt employed. As you will see later, it turned up in every style.

Just like white malt, it was manufactured from top-quality. The difference was that it was kilned at a slightly higher temperature, finishing at 180°-200° F.  It was between 4º and 6º (on the tintometer) in colour.

Mild malt
As the name implies, this was a kind of malt mostly intended for use in Mild Ales. It was generally similar to pale malt, save for being slightly darker in colour. Lesser quality barley was used than for pale malt and its diastatic power was also lower.  In addition, it yielded more maltodextrin.

The final kilning temperature needed to be at least 200º F. Giving a colour of 10º to 15º.

Mild Ales, Burton Ales and Stouts all regularly contained some mild malt. It was often used in combination with other base malts, such as pale malt and SA malt.

SA malt
Another very specific type of base malt, SA was intended for use in Strong or Stock Ales. Hence the name. It was malted in such a way as to produce a less fermentable wort. Which is what you would want in Stock Ales, where some residual sugars were needed for secondary conditioning. In the recipes, as there’s no direct modern equivalent, I’ve substituted mild malt.

In addition to Stock Ales, SA malt was also employed in Mild Ales.

Sunday 22 May 2022

Malt 1880 - 1914

Towards the end of the 19th century some coloured malts, such as brown and amber became less popular and brewers relied on other malts to mimic them. This doesn’t seem to have been a total success, leading to a resurgence in their use.

“Brown and amber malts have of late years fallen somewhat into disfavour, black being relied upon for colour, crystal for flavour. There is. however, latterly a tendency to employ an increased proportion of brown and amber malt, and without doubt such malt if really well made gives a characteristic flavour not possessed by either black or crystal. It is, indeed, by a skilful blending of the several types of coloured malt that some of the most successful black beers are produced. It is true that in such grists the total proportion of the coloured malts will often be large and the cost price of the beer as a consequence high, but the result of the adoption of such grists generally fully justifies the expenditure." 

One of the problems with brown and amber malts had been their extreme variability, both in terms of flavour and colour. A brown malt from one maltster was often very different to that from another. However, changes in the method of manufacturing such malts to a large degree eliminated these differences making their use more attractive to brewers.

In general, malt made from foreign barley worked out cheaper than that from English barley. Looking from the point of view of the cost per pound of extract. Unsurprisingly, English pale ale malt was the most expensive.

Coloured malt analyses
  Black. Brown. Amber. Crystal.
Extract per quarter (336 lbs. ) 57.75 57.12 84.33 58.26
„ per cent. . 44.3 44.04 65.02 45.07
Acidity of wort 0.29 0.23 0.19 0.17
Total proteids or albuminoids 6.11 7.13 7.62 8.71
Soluble 3.99 4.81 5.69 5.88
Insoluble ,, ,, 3.99 4.81 5.69 5.88
Mineral matter or ash 0.32 0.29 1.2 0.76
Moisture 5.37 6.23 4.14 2.12
The Brewers Analyst, by R. Douglas Bailey, 1907, page 234


The cost of various malts in 1907
Oriigin Malt type Cost per lb. of extract. d.
English pale ale malt 4.8
Smyrna pale ale malt 4.4
Ouchak pale ale malt 4.6
Californian pale ale malt 4.3
English stock ale malt 4.7
English mild ale malt 4.5
Smyrna mild ale malt 4.3
Californian mild ale malt 4.2
Chilian (brewing) mild ale malt 3.9
Chilian (Chevalier) mild ale malt 4.5
Benghazi mild ale malt 4.4
  Amber malt 4.7
  Brown malt 5.5
  Black malt 6.1
  Roasted barley 4.8
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 13, page 342.



Saturday 21 May 2022

Let's Brew - 1914 Hancock X

Seeing this beer was a bit of a shock. A pre-WW I X Ale with a gravity more like one from after WW II.

1035º is pretty feeble compared to London X Ales of the time, which were still over 1050º. I’ve based the FG on the 1897 version, where for once the brewing log actually recorded it. The degree of attenuation is pretty high, though that does reflect the few FGs that appear in the logs.

The base malt was split 50-50 between English and Indian. Unfortunately, this particular log doesn’t list the costs so I can’t compare the price of the two malts. I’d expect the Indian to be cheaper. The small quantity of malt extract I assume was for extra diastatic power, as it came in the form of EDME.

New to the party are the three sugars. Interesting that they’ve moved away from invert sugar to simple glucose. Though, as we’ll see, some of their other beers did still include numbered inverts.

The hops were a combination of Oregon, Poperinge and English, sadly with no mention of the harvest year.

1914 Hancock X
pale malt 6.25 lb 84.40%
glucose 1.00 lb 13.50%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.69%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.03 lb 0.41%
Cluster 90 mins 0.50 oz
Strisselspalt 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1035
FG 1004
ABV 4.10
Apparent attenuation 88.57%
IBU 23
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity


Friday 20 May 2022

Barley 1880 - 1914

Britain had become dependent on the import of foreign grain. Approximately a third of the barley consumed was imported. The price of barley was falling right up until the outbreak of WW I.

The types of barley grown fell into three groups:

Barley types
Latin name type
Hordeum hexastichum six-row barley
Hordeum vulgare
Hordeum distichum  two-row barley
Hordeum zeocriton
Hordeum coeleste  naked barley
Hordeum nudum
"The Brewing Industry" by Julian L. Baker, 1905, page 14.

Large quantities of foreign barley were imported into Britain for malting. California and the Mediterranean were the main sources of cheaper malt. Top-quality, very pale malt, was made from barley imported from central Europe, usually Bohemia, Moravia or the Saale district. The latter were mostly used in the best Pale Ales, such as Bass.

Mediterranean barley, often given the generic name of Smyrna, was extremely popular because of its price and adaptability. It was widely used in Light Pale Ales, though not the poshest examples. According to Barnard, beers benefitted from its use:

“all beers are cleaner, sounder and more brilliant when a portion of Smyrna malt is blended with the heavier English grain.”

In addition, Smyrna malt was the most economical available.

Home production and imports of barley 1880 - 1914
      Average Price per Cwt.      
Year Acreage Estimated Produce Cwts. s. d. Imports Cwts. Import % Total cwts.
1880 2,695,000 19,315,629 9 3 11,705,290 37.73% 31,020,919
1885 2,446,868 38,268,586 8 5 15,366,160 28.65% 53,634,746
1890 2,300,994 36,068,538 8 0 16,677,988 31.62% 52,746,526
1895 2,346,367 38,268,586 6 2 28,618,867 42.79% 66,887,453
1900 2,172,129 30,600,842 7 0 17,189,358 35.97% 47,790,200
1904 2,002,854 27,881,018 6 3 27,173,455 49.36% 55,054,473
1905 1,872,305 29,019,446 6 10 21,458,960 42.51% 50,478,406
1906 1,931,651 30,124,861 6 9 19,934,500 39.82% 50,059,361
1907 1,885,359 29,951,882 7 0 19,627,620 39.59% 49,579,502
1908 1,824,410 27,486,114 7 3 18,137,200 39.75% 45,623,314
1909 1,829,933 30,778,907 7 6 21,556,470 41.19% 52,335,377
1910 1,899,130 28,144,864 6 6 18,281,500 39.38% 46,426,364
1911 1,756,000 25,000,000 - - -   -
1914 1,871,166 32,262,712 7 7 16,944,422 34.43% 49,207,134
Brewers' Almanack 1912, page 158.
Brewers' Almanack 1922, page 118.
Brewers' Almanack 1955, page 66.

Thursday 19 May 2022

Bottling 1880 - 1914 (part 5)

You'll be pleased to learn that this is the last part of my series on bottling. It's been fun, right? Well, maybe for me. And that's all that counts, really.

Prolonged chilling and filtering
By holding beer at a temperature of 26º to 28º F for one to three weeks, more material was precipitated out than by the quick method. Resulting in a beer which would remain free from sediment for several weeks after bottling. The downside was that the process made beers taste thinner and weaker than a cask version.

Prior to chilling, the beer was dry hopped and allowed to condition in the cask. In contrast to beer for bottle-conditioning, a high level of CO2 was desirable. Some brewers used Kräusen to condition in the cask, but most preferred priming sugar.

Some brewers added additional CO2 before filtering, while others pressurised casks with CO2 while they were in the cold store.

Despite the limited shelf-life of non-naturally conditioned beer, brewers in the UK almost never pasteurised their beer. The only exception being Lager.

UK brewers associated the practice with Lager beer and didn’t find it appropriate for native types of beer. Why was Lager almost always pasteurised? Because it was susceptible to heat when unpasteurised. At least that’s what British brewers thought.

It was recognised that the shelf-life of beer was improved by pasteurisation, but this was outweighed by its disadvantages. The greatest being the “bready” flavour it gave to beer. Which wasn’t popular with everyone:

“Its general tendency is towards a loss of delicacy, and it is strongly objected to by some beer drinkers.” 

Pasteurisation also required extra equipment, so a capital cost. If you were already producing beer which kept long enough for your local market, why spend money for little practical gain? 

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1897 Hancock Stout

The Porter might have been discontinued, but Hancock continued to produce a Stout. It was, however, quite different from the 1888 version.

Surprisingly, the gravity has increased by a couple of points. But the really large changes come with the recipe. Out is brown malt and in is crystal malt. Also, the proportion of black malt has trebled. Which is more than enough to compensate for the other big change. At least in terms of the colour.

That other big change? The elimination of sugar. This version being all malt. The base malt, by the way, was 50% English and 50% Chilean. I’m surprised at how small the price difference was between the two: 35s per quarter for the former. 33s 6d for the latter.

As seems to have been the case with all their beers in this period, only English hops were employed. Half Worcester from the 1895 season, half East Kent from 1896.

1897 Hancock Stout
pale malt 12.50 lb 80.65%
crystal malt 60 L 1.50 lb 9.68%
black malt 1.50 lb 9.68%
Fuggles 150 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.50 oz
OG 1065.5
FG 1017
ABV 6.42
Apparent attenuation 74.05%
IBU 39
SRM 41
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity