Friday 30 September 2022

Regional Beer Styles ca. 1900 (part four)

This time we're looking at the grists and mashing schemes for the different types of beers. 

Let's kick off with Mild Ale.

"A good useful mild ale might be produced from 10 per cent, to 15 per cent of prepared maize or rice, 18 per cent, to 20 per cent of glucose or invert sugar, 20 per cent to 25 per cent of foreign malt, and about 55 per cent of highly-cured English malt with the acrospire well grown up so that the malt may be correctly modified. The mash-tun materials should be mashed for a primary initial heat of 148° with two barrels of liquor per quarter of malt; then, after twenty minutes stand, an underlet should be employed of one-quarter barrel per quarter of malt at a suitable temperature to raise the mash heat up to 151º to 152º F.; total stand, two hours."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 295.

That grist breakdown looks about right to me. Flaked maize, invert sugar and base malt. That about sums up Mild grists.

The mashing scheme looks very familiar to me. A two-step mash, using an underlet to raise the temperature after half an hour or so. With relatively low mashing temperatures.

Next is Pale Ale:

"For the production of a pale ale to be kept at least one month,the ingredients should be:—10 per cent to 15 per cent of prepared maize or rice, 10 per cent, to 15 per cent, of invert sugar, 10 per cent, to 15 per cent, of dextrin-maltose, 20 per cent, to 25 per cent of foreign malt, and about 50 per cent, of well-cured English malt well germinated and modified. Materials of this description in the mash-tun might be mashed with two-and-a-quarter barrels of liquor per quarter of malt for a primary initial heat of 153° to 154° F. After twenty minutes stand, one-quarter barrel per quarter of malt should be used as an underlet at a correct temperature to raise the mash heat to 155°F.; total stand, two hours."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 295.

Note that not only are there different sugars -  dextrin-maltose as well as invert - there's more of it. A maximum of 30% compared with 20% for Mild.

The mash is two step, just like with Mild, except the temperatures are somewhat higher.

"For stouts or porter, a large percentage of caramelised matter is necessary, such as crystal and black malts, etc., and should be apportioned as follows:—7 per cent, to 10 per cent, black malt, 15 per cent, to 20 per cent, crystal malt, 5 per cent, to 10 per cent caramel, 20 per cent, to 30 per cent. VOco “ S” sugar, and about 40 per cent, high-dried English malt. It is desirable, on account of the caramelised matter used, to obtain a fairly low primary initial heat, e.g., 145° F., with two-and-a-quarter barrels of liquor per quarter of malt; then stand thirty minutes, and subsequently, by an overflow of one-quarter barrel of liquor per quarter of malt, raise the temperature of the mash up to 153° or 154° F."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, pages 295 - 296.

Don't ask. I've no idea what  VOco “ S” sugar was. And it isn't an OCR error. No adjunct recommended here. Unlike for Mild and Pale Ale.

In this case, the initial mash temperature is low, but after the underlet relatively high.

Thursday 29 September 2022

Rose beers in 1896

For a relatively small brewery – their brew length was 50 barrels – Rose produced quite a range of beers. Five Mild Ales, three Pale Ales, an IPA and a Stout.

You’re probably thinking: “I bet they parti-gyled most of those.” Well, they didn’t. Sort of, I suppose. Because they sometimes blended post-fermentation. One batch of XXXX was blended with X to produce a quantity of XX and XXX as well. Other than that, everything was single gyle.

The Mild Ales are interesting because there’s one below the level of X, in this case called “M”. In other breweries such a beer might have been called “Ale” or Simply “A”. My guess is that it would have cost 10d per gallon, while X Ale usually sold for a shilling, 12d.

The four X Ales have around the gravities you would expect, with XXXX Ale an impressive 1070º. There’s a considerable variation in the hopping rate across the four, with XXXX having more than double the rate per quarter (336 lbs) of malt.

Which has me thinking that XXXX might have been al Old Ale. The hopping rate is the same as Pale Ale and not far short of IPA.

The three Pale Ales cover some of the same gravity range as the Mild Ales. Starting a little higher and ending a little lower. Unusually, AK isn’t the base level beer. Rather, there’s one weaker at 1046.5º. Which is the gravity you would expect for AK. While AK itself is stronger.

Usually, AK was 12d per gallon. But Rose’s was one price category up at 14d per gallon.  Which reflects its higher gravity. At most breweries, this would have counted as an XK.

You might find it odd that the Pale Ale has a high OG than the IPA, but that’s not unusual. As many brewers used the terms Pale Ale and IPA randomly, and often interchangeably.

As Rose didn’t go in for parti-gyling, they could set the hopping rate for each individual Pale Ale. And it varies quite a bit, from 6.5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt for B to 9.25 lbs for IPA.

The Stout is a bit weak for the style, falling somewhere between the gravity of a Porter and a Single Stout.

The apparent rate of attenuation – over 70% in most cases – is pretty decent. Especially when you consider this is a racking gravity. After the secondary fermentation the FG would have been lower. 

Rose beers in 1896
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
M Mild 1040.5 1011.5 3.84 71.60% 4.00 0.68 60º
X Mild 1048 1012.5 4.70 73.96% 4.50 0.92 59.5º
XX Mild 1053 1014.5 5.09 72.64% 5.00 1.22 58.5º
XXX Mild 1060 1017 5.69 71.67% 7.17 1.85 58.25º
XXXX Mild 1070 1021.5 6.42 69.29% 8.47 2.67 58º
B Pale Ale 1046.5 1011 4.70 76.34% 6.45 1.25 60º
AK Pale Ale 1052.5 1013 5.23 75.24% 6.98 1.59 59º
IPA IPA 1060       9.29 2.60 58.5º
PA Pale Ale 1062 1016.5 6.02 73.39% 8.52 2.26 59º
Stout Stout 1061 1019.5 5.49 68.03% 8.00 2.23 58.5º
Rose brewing record held at the North Yorkshire County Record Office, catalogue number ZDI.

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1885 Kirkstall XXX

Here’s the strongest of Kirkstall’s Mild Ales, XXX. I get the definite impression some beers have been dropped. Why else jump straight from X to XXX?

In terms of strength, it’s around the same gravity as an XX Ale from a smaller London brewery, but well below that of one from a large London brewery. It’s a good bit weaker than the XXX Ale from Harvey, which was 1075º.

Brown malt is the unusual ingredient in the grist. It turns up occasionally in late 19th-century Milds, but was by no means common. Look back a page, and you’ll see that Kirkstall X was coloured with a little black malt. Why did they use brown malt here? The colour of the two beers ends up pretty similar.

No sugars or adjuncts are present, other than a little caramel. I wonder how long that lasted? I’d put money on both being present in Kirkstall’s beers by the time WW I rolled around.

Loads of different hops again: English 1884, Sussex 1884, Kent 1883 and Foreign 1884. I’ve guessed that the “foreign” were American.

1885 Kirkstall XXX
pale malt 14.75 lb 95.47%
brown malt 0.67 lb 4.34%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.03 lb 0.19%
Cluster 150 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 150 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1066
FG 1017
ABV 6.48
Apparent attenuation 74.24%
IBU 55
SRM 10
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 165 minutes
pitching temp 57.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale Timothy Taylor


Tuesday 27 September 2022

Regional Beer Styles ca. 1900 (part three)

This time we're looking at the use of sugar in different types of beers.

If you've looked at the recipes I've produced, you'll have seen how many different types of sugar were employed. They weren't just thrown in randomly. The varying sugars each had their own properties and purpose.

"It is well to remember, however, that invert and cane sugars yield luscious beers which do not maintain much condition in cask for any length of time. Dextrinous sugars blended with invert somewhat remedy this transient condition. Glucose yields dry and possibly thin beers, but those which possess a peculiar flavour of their own are more suitable for quick consumption. Then again, high-dried malts, mashed fairly low, yield beers which in their earlier stages possess palate-fulness and lusciousness. Pale malts, mashed high, yield beers which during early storage lack condition and palate-fulness, but which improve in condition and in fulness the longer they are kept. Any sugars employed which have dextrin present are suitable for beers which are to be stored more than a fortnight, and the percentage of such sugars used should vary according to the length of storage of the beers. Then again, the quality of the sugar employed for priming in cask materially affects palate-fulness and permanent condition, and in the production of stouts we have to consider the question of the mashing temperatures employed; these should be suitable for the quality of the caramelised matter used in the mash-tun; otherwise the diastase will not correctly do its work, as there will not be sufficient of it to carry out the necessary conversion of starch into saccharine matter."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, pages 294 - 295. 

It's obvious why invert and cane sugar (sucrose) would create beers whose condition didn't last long. Being highly fermentable, they would be quickly consumed by the yeast. Such sugars were clearly best suited to running beers, which needed to come into condition quickly.

On the other, sugars high in dextrin, which is much less readily fermentable, would provide food for the yeast to slowly nibble through during a long secondary fermentation.

It's interesting that Thatcher describes how to achieve both transient and long-lasting body by malt selection and manipulation of the mashing temperatures, but the emphasis is on the use of sugars to achieve the same effect. I think that's telling. It may also explain why the overwhelming majority of brewers in England used sugar. even ones, such as Whitbread, who eschewed adjuncts.


Monday 26 September 2022

Harvey hops in 1889

Inevitably, we’ve ended up at the hops Harvey employed. What’s slightly unusual is that they are all English. And mostly pretty local, Lewes being in Sussex and Kent in the neighbouring country to the East.

That’s slightly unusual. Most brewers used some foreign hops, simply because there were too few English hops to satisfy demand.

There’s nothing stupidly old. Most were either from the current season or the one before it. With only the Sussex hops being two seasons old

Harvey currently sources all its hops from Sussex. At least they did when I visited the brewery a couple of years ago. 

Harvey hops in 1889
Beer Style OG hop 1 hop 2 hop 3
X Mild 1058.2 East Kent 1887 East Kent 1888  
XXX Mild 1075.3 East Kent 1887 East Kent 1888  
PA Pale Ale 1066.5 Worcester 1888    
SB Stock Ale 1078.9 Kent 1888 East Kent 1887  
Stout Stout 1078.7 Sussex 1886 Kent 1887 East Kent 1888
Harvey brewing record held at the East Sussex Record Office, document number BBR 2/1/3.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Regional Beer Styles ca. 1900 (part two)

This time we're going to look at how these different types of beer were brewed 

Starting with Mild.

"The brewer who wishes nowadays to succeed in his profession must certainly understand how to blend the materials employed and treat the brewing water, manipulating this for the mash-tun in such a way that by the correct method of fermentation and use of the right type of yeast, any class of beer desired may be turned out by him. This subject is too intricate to discuss fully in these pages, but I might say that for luscious mild ales, it is necessary to employ a large percentage of sugar in the copper, and well-cured malts in the mash-tun, in conjunction with a percentage of prepared rice or maize. For dry mild ales, it is usual to employ a fairly large percentage of glucose, also prepared grain, with fairly pale or lightly cured malts. The water used has, naturally, as I have already mentioned, a great deal to do with the palate-fulness, flavour and characters of the beers turned out."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, pages 293 - 294.

For a Mild, then, you needed a shitload of sugar, some darker malts and an adjunct.. But the water was key to the character of the finished beer.

Next its the turn of Porter and Stout.

"The imitation of the London porters and stouts is not a difficult matter, considering that caramel and sugars which yield a luscious flavour are added to the copper. Then also, we have blends of black, crystal, amber and brown malts in addition to the ordinary pale or high-dried malts which are generally used; whereas for stouts produced in Ireland, it is usual to employ high-dried English and Irish malts blended with brown, amber, crystal and black or chocolate malts. In my former book on Brewing I dealt with this subject at great length, but, considering that operations in all breweries van so considerably, I do not now think it advisable to deal with the matter in extenso, but would add that in addition to the mash-tun materials employed, it is equally necessary to give sufficient attention to the blend of hops employed in the copper and cask, and as the type of yeast used, system of fermentation, and many other details affect the quality, flavour and condition of the finished beers produced, I think it somewhat inadvisable to give in these columns any percentages of materials, since they might be somewhat misleading."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 294. 

He's right that London Black Beers had more complex malt bills than those brewed elsewhere. In particular, brown malt was a defining feature of London versions. Crystal and amber malts were more optional. With the latter mostly appearing in posh Stouts.

Saturday 24 September 2022

Let's Brew - 1885 William Younger 160/-

And here we are, at the end of the Shilling Ales. It’s been a long journey, but hopefully an enjoyable one.

Top of the Shilling Ale tree was 160/-, at an impressive 1115º. Not that they brewed huge amounts of it. 40 barrels a couple of times a year. Though, they did brew two other beers over 1100º: 140/- and No. 1.  And another, No. 2, over 1090º: That’s quite a lot of very strong beers for one brewery

There’s not going to be much to say about the recipe. Well, not much that is new. As this was parti-gyled with the 140/- we’ve just seen.

The hops were the same combination of Kent, Californian, Bohemian and American.

Given that it was all racked into half hogsheads or quarter hogsheads, it looks like this was an exclusively bottled beer. And one which wasn’t aged.

1885 William Younger 160/-
pale malt 22.00 lb 88.89%
brown sugar 2.75 lb 11.11%
Cluster 150 min 5.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 3.00 oz
Saaz 30 min 3.00 oz
OG 1115
FG 1050
ABV 8.60
Apparent attenuation 56.52%
IBU 122
SRM 15
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 163º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Friday 23 September 2022

Harvey grists in 1889

Let’s have a look at the ingredients contained in these beers.

Unsurprisingly, all have a base of pale malt. Most made from English malt, but around 15% from Middle Eastern Smyrna barley.

Only the Stout has any other malt than the base. That was fairly typical. Sometimes a bit of crystal turns up in Mild Ales, other than that, it’s base malt all the way. The grist is more complicated than in many provincial Stouts, having a fair bit of crystal malt in addition to black.

Harvey’s sugar usage was quite varied, with four different sugars across their five beers. Pale Ale gets, as you would expect, No. 1 invert. X Ale receives No. 3 invert. While XXX and SB were treated to No. 3 invert. Not sure what the BK was which was employed in the Stout. Presumably something dark.

At between 15% and 24%, the sugar content is on the high side. Note that the expensive Pale Ale contained the most sugar. This was pretty common, as brewers wanted to keep the colour and body as light as possible. 

Harvey grists in 1889
Beer Style OG pale malt black malt crystal malt no. 1 sugar no. 2 sugar no. 3 sugar BK
X Mild 1058.2 84.56%       15.44%    
XXX Mild 1075.3 83.86%         16.14%  
PA Pale Ale 1066.5 75.90%     24.10%      
SB Stock Ale 1078.9 82.56%         17.44%  
Stout Stout 1078.7 65.48% 6.09% 12.18%       16.24%
Harvey brewing record held at the East Sussex Record Office, document number BBR 2/1/3.

Thursday 22 September 2022

Regional Beer Styles ca. 1900

One of the frustrating aspects of old brewing manuals is how little they talk about specific beers. Other than when it's something very new. Like IPA.

Frank Thatcher's book is an exception. It has a couple of pages discussing the types of beer brewed in the different parts of the UK. Regionality was still very much a thing: Hes starts with the well-known brewing regions and the beers they brewed.

"Much might be written upon the important question of the blend of materials employed in the mash-tun and copper for the production of various classes of beers in the different brewing centres of the United Kingdom. Burton is noted for its pale and strong ales, London for mild ales and stouts, Edinburgh for the special type of Scotch ales of which pale ales form a large percentage of the output from the different breweries there. Other parts of Scotland also produce similar beers, particularly Alloa, etc. Then we have Dublin and Cork noted for Irish porter and stout, and I must not forget the well-known beers produced in the West of England, whereof Oakhill stout and the Anglo-Bavarian beers of Shepton Mallet are familiar examples."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 293.

Burton was famous for Strong Ales long before the first Pale Ale was brewed there. 

London and Mild may have long lost their association, but it was once very strong. It was the capital's favourite for getting on for a century. 

Edinburgh was, by this point, as well, if not better known, for its Pale Ales. Their Scotch Ale was still quite a thing in some markets.

A bit more obvious is Cork and Dublin brewing Stout. Both still are.

Some more detail on the West Country stuff would be nice. Other than one Stout.

Most of the rest seems to refer to mild Ale.

"In districts where miners consume the beers produced, it is usual to aim at luscious palate-fulness, and a sweet type of mild ale. In other districts, dry beers are desired, and then we have the colour of the beers varying from a dark nut brown to a very pale amber. We also have stouts and porter produced with a large percentage of sugar, such as is usual to the London and Northampton stouts, while the Irish porters and stouts are produced, as a rule, from all malt and hops."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 293. 

That seems to be saying that Milds were very diverse, some being sweet and others dry. While the colour varied from pale to dark.

From what I know, he's right in saying Irish Stout usually contained no sugar.

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1885 William Younger 140/-

I warned you this would be a long slog. We’re not even all the way through the Shilling Ales yet. William Younger really did brew a crazy number of different beers. More than any other brewery I’ve come across. And not just by a little bit. More than double the next most prolific brewery.

This was another parti-gyle, but not with the 120/- we’ve just seen. This one was with its bigger brother 160/-.

The same two elements – base malt and “DM” sugar – were used as in 120/-. The proportions are a bit different. With 140/- having around 50% more sugar.

The hopping rate was higher than 120/- at 8.5 lbs per quarter of malt compared to 6.25 lbs. Which has a pretty big impact on the bitterness: 116 IBU to 76 IBU. (Those are calculated, of course.)

As was usual with William Younger, there were a shitload of different hops. Kent from the 1884 harvest, Californian from 1884, Bohemian from 1885, American from 1885 and American from 1884. 

1885 William Younger 140/-
pale malt 19.25 lb 88.51%
brown sugar 2.50 lb 11.49%
Cluster 150 min 4.75 oz
Fuggles 60 min 2.50 oz
Saaz 30 min 2.50 oz
OG 1101
FG 1043
ABV 7.67
Apparent attenuation 57.43%
IBU 116
SRM 14
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 163º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Beanes' Patent Grist (part four)

Yet more on that enigmatic adjunct, Beanes’ Patent Grist. This time, in the form of an advertisement from Beanes themselves.

You can see what the producer claimed its useful properties.

"Advantages Obtainable by the employment of BEANES' PATENT GRIST.
(1)    Increased Extract.
(2)    Sound Beers of Brilliant and Persistent Condition. 

Purity.—Beanes’ Patent Grist is manufactured by a process which is a guarantee of freedom from any deleterious substance. We guarantee every consignment, and the Patent Grist is not only regularly analysed and tested in our own Laboratory, but other analysts are employed to regularly examine the material for us. The Patent Grist is manufactured from the finest selected rice, thoroughly kiln dried, and free from mould and unsound ferment germs. Unlike maize, it contains no appreciable amount of oil, and thus will not impart to Beers, when kept, any peculiar or objectionable flavour. Beers brewed with the Patent Grist are of better quality than those produced with maize, and improve by keeping.

Finished Beer.— Ales which are brewed with from 10 to 25 per cent, or more of Beanes’ Patent Grist are, even in the fermenting vessel just prior to racking, much cleaner than other Beers, while in cask they take the finings in a few hours, go “Star” brilliant, and retain their brilliancy. Many brewing firms who have been employing the Patent Grist for years, have not, during that time, had a complaint of their Pale Ales being cloudy and refusing to fine. These Beers will remain brilliant in the coldest weather, not becoming hazy like those produced with other materials less carefully manufactured. Beers brewed with not less than 10 per cent, of the Patent Grist (taken on total materials used) are not affected by heat or cold so far as brilliancy is concerned, provided, of course, the barley malts also employed are of medium quality. The Patent Grist contains a large proportion of “Dextrin,” the Beers do not “run down” in cask, the final gravity being almost permanent, while the condition produced remains persistent until the Beer is consumed, a tenacious head also being usual through the “Dextrin” present in the Ale. Sick Frets are usually prevented by the use of the Patent Grist, since the Beers do not contain an excess of changeable albuminous matter. If it is found at any time that Beers brewed with 10 per cent, of the Patent Grist do not remain brilliant in cold weather after fining, but develop a haze, it is due to hop resins or an excess of proteids in the Beer. In such case a good remedy is to increase the percentage of the Patent Grist employed until the excess of low type albuminous matter is sufficiently reduced when the difficulty will disappear, especially if the Beers are got into good condition before being fined.

Prices on Application.
E. BEANES & CO., Hackney Wick, London, N.E."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, advertisement.

It's much the same as Frank Thatcher wrote. Boosting extract, aiding clarification and adding body. It sounds wonderful stuff.

Which has me wondering. If it's that wonderful, why haven't I found it in any other brewing records? I've looked through the records of dozens of breweries and I'm pretty sure Cairnes are the first where it's popped up.

Monday 19 September 2022

Harvey beers in 1889

By late 19th-century standards, Harvey had quite a limited range of beers. Just five in total. A couple of Mild Ales, and one each of Pale Ale, Stock Ale and Stout.

The biggest surprise is the absence of any Running Bitter or Light Pale Ale. These were all the rage in the second half of the 19th century and were a pretty standard past of most breweries’ ranges.

Starting with the Milds, they both have a pretty decent gravity. Surprisingly strong for provincial beers. All the beers are pretty strong, for that matter. Averaging over 1070º. I’m not 100% certain that XXX was a Mild. It could also have been an Old Ale. However, given the rate of hopping, my guess would be Mild.

The hopping rate is a little lower than in London, where it was usually 6 – 8 lbs per quarter for X Ale. Not a huge difference, really.

Harvey Pale Ale looks like a classic Stock Pale Ale to me. With its OG in the mid-1060ºs and high level of hopping. As a Stock Ale, it would have been matured for around a year. Possibly even more. Which, obviously, would have reduced the FG considerably. My guess is that, when sold, the apparent attenuation would have been over 89%.

I’m not certain of what “SB” stands for. It could be “Stock Beer” or possibly “Strong Beer”. Not that it matters too much, as these labels were used pretty arbitrarily. It’s strong and it’s dark. What else do you need to know? Oh, it’s reasonably, but not excessively hopped.

SB isn’t hugely different from XXX. They are a similar strength and colour. The significant difference being in the hopping.

Finally, we come to the Stout. Which is a pretty decent strength, clocking in stronger than a London Single Stout. The hopping rate is lower than in London, where somewhere around 10 lbs per quarter 336 lbs)  of malt was typical. 

Harvey beers in 1889
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp
X Mild 1058.2 1015.0 5.72 74.29% 5.68 1.46 58º F
XXX Mild 1075.3 1020.8 7.22 72.43% 6.66 2.39 57.75º F
PA Pale Ale 1066.5 1020.2 6.12 69.58% 12.90 3.96 58.25º F
SB Stock Ale 1078.9 1018.8 7.95 76.14% 9.02 3.21 58º F
Stout Stout 1078.7 1026.3 6.93 66.55% 6.65 2.43 58º F
Harvey brewing record held at the East Sussex Record Office, document number BBR 2/1/3.

Sunday 18 September 2022

Beanes’ Patent Grist (part three)

Back with Beanes’ Patent Grist again. This time, how to use it.

Because, unlike flaked grains, you  more than one way method of employment. Obviously, you could mix it up with the malt in the mash tun. Then there was another way.

We'll get to that later. First we'll learn a little more about its properties.

"Unlike flaked maize or rice, we have upon the market a material styled Beanes’ Patent Grist, which is a special preparation of rice made upon advantageous lines, and which, when it reaches the brewer, is a retorrefied product having all the starch in a condition ready to be acted upon by the diastase of the malt directly it is mixed with the same in the mash-tun. It yields an extract of from 100 to 115 lbs. per quarter of 3 cwts., and when boiled for some hours with naked steam, and then used as part of the mash liquor, it will yield even a larger extract. For all practical purposes, so far as extract is concerned, compared to barley malt, 2 cwt. of this Beanes’ Patent Grist equals one quarter of malt—that is, equals 3 cwts. of barley malt as regards extract yield."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, pages 291 - 292.

That's a very high extract. The same as sugar of which 2 cwt was also equal to 2 cwt of malt. 

It also didn't leave a funny taste like nasty old maize:

"The process of manufacture is a guarantee of freedom from any deleterious substances, and, being manufactured from the finest selected rice, thoroughly kiln-dried, free from mould and unsound germs, containing a minimum amount of oil unlike maize (which often possesses a large amount), it does not impart to beers after storage that peculiar characteristic flavour which is so often noticeable in beers produced with a percentage of maize containing much oil. Then again, beers produced with this grist, even in cold weather, improve by storage, which is not so with those produced from maize."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 292.

The high dextrin content was useful in preventing a beer drying out too much.

"When this grist is employed and boiled as already mentioned above, an improvement is generally noticeable in outcrops of pure yeast during fermentation owing to an alteration taking place in the albuminoids. Moreover, the method of manufacture of this grist is carried out in such a way that it contains a large proportion of dextrin; consequently, the beers do not run down in cask, the final attenuations being more permanent, and the condition remains more persistent, while owing to the finished beers possessing less unstable albuminous matter, they take the finings more rapidly and sick frets are less usual."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, page 292.

Finally, here's the other way of using Beanes’ Patent Grist

It is employed in the usual way by being carefully mixed with the malt as it enters the grist hopper; perfect admixture is absolutely necessary for success, or it may be boiled two hours before use in a decoction vessel, then allowed to cool and be used as ordinary mashing liquor, since it entirely dissolves when treated in this way. Some employ it thus by boiling it (overnight) in a vessel with naked steam for several hours, employing three-and-a-half barrels of liquor per each 3 cwts. of grist. This decoction vessel or copper is connected to the Steel’s masher or the liquor pipe entering the masher, so that part liquor and part grist solution enters the masher conjointly, but those who wish to avoid this trouble may obtain excellent results by using it in the same way as barley malt, provided it is most efficiently mixed with the grist before it enters the mash-tun; otherwise the diastase is unable to convert the material into saccharine matter efficiently. For the production of all classes of beers, it is a material which has been known to brewers for very many years, and has been successfully used in some of our very largest breweries for a great number of years."
"A Treatise of Practical Brewing and Malting" by Frank Thatcher, The Country Brewers' Gazette, 1905, pages 292 - 293. 

I'm a bit confused as to how it could completely dissolve. Surely there would still be stuff in the which wasn't soluble. Was it really pretty much all dextrin?

Saturday 17 September 2022

Let's Brew - 1885 William Younger 120/-

Ditto with 120/- - there’s no modern beer bearing the name. Unlike the rest of the old-fashioned Shilling Ales, 120/- did make it through WW I. Not that it lasted much longer, being dropped sometime in the 1920s.

This example was parti-gyled with 140/-, though not the one which follows. Younger wasn’t a huge fan of parti-gyling, but did do it sometimes, especially with stronger Shilling Ales.

There’s nothing very complicated about the grist. Just base malt and sugar. That is one ingredient more than the weaker Shilling Ales. Though there are three types of base malt. One made for Scottish barley, one from Hungarian and one from Smyrna. Which, if you’ve been paying attention, was pretty typical in the late 19th century.

I’ve no real idea what the sugar is. I think it’s described as “DM”. Demerara, perhaps? That’s what I’ve gone with, anyway.

No fewer than five types of hops were employed, most of them foreign. Kent from the 1884 season, Californian from 1884, Wurtemburg from 1884, Spalt from 1884 and American from 1884.

With a large percentage of the beer going into hogsheads or half hogsheads, I suspect that this was principally a bottled beer.

1885 William Younger 120/-
pale malt 17.50 lb 92.11%
brown sugar 1.50 lb 7.89%
Cluster 90 min 2.75 oz
Spalt 60 min 1.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 1.75 oz
OG 1087
FG 1034
ABV 7.01
Apparent attenuation 60.92%
IBU 76
SRM 11
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 163º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 55º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Friday 16 September 2022

Cairnes hops in 1914

Moving on to the hops employed by Cairnes, we can see that there were an awful lot from the USA, specifically Oregon. In most beers, it was 50% Oregon and 50% English. The exception being Single Stout which was 100% Oregon.

I’m sort of assuming the non-Oregon hops were English. They are listed by a grower or dealer’s name which is obviously English. As there were pretty much no hops grown in Ireland, I think we can rule out them being local.

The majority of the hops were from the most recent season. With only Single Stout having older hops. Even then, they were only yearlings. I’ve come across English brewers who used much older hops in general, a majority being more than a year old.

Cairnes hops in 1914
Beer Style OG hop 1 hop 2 hop 3
2d Ale Mild 1038 Oregon 1913 English 1913  
Mild Ale Mild 1062 Oregon 1913 English 1913  
Bitter Ale Pale Ale 1050 Oregon 1913 English 1913  
SS Stout 1050 Oregon 1913 Oregon no date Oregon 1912
DS Stout 1067 Oregon 1913 English 1913  
Cairnes brewing record held at the Guinness archives.