Monday 31 October 2022

Tetley beers in 1904

Almost two decades on, Tetley’s beer range is looking quite different. There are now twelve beers.

The added beers are mostly Mild Ales, where the numbers have been boosted by adding pale versions of the weakest three. Which is interesting, because it tells us that the standard versions were now dark. Quite a change from 1888.

All the beers are weaker than in 1888. In the case of the Mild Ales, the difference is about 7º. The fall is less in the other beers: 3º for the Pale Ales, 2º for the Stout. The rate of attenuation, on the other hand, has increased in every beer except PA. Which was already pretty high to start with. Leaving many beers close to their 1888 ABV.

The hopping rates are also universally lower. Only about 0.5 lb per quarter (336 lbs) of malt in the case of the weakest Mild. But 5 lbs per quarter for PA, a reduction of almost a third. 

Tetley beers in 1904
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
X Mild  1038.8 1010.0 3.81 74.29% 4.01 0.61
X Pale Mild  1039.9 1010.0 3.96 75.00% 5.71 0.93
X1 Mild  1046.3 1010.5 4.73 77.25% 4.24 0.78
X1 Pale Mild  1047.9 1012.2 4.73 74.57% 5.71 1.12
X2 Mild  1056.8 1013.3 5.75 76.59% 7.18 1.59
X2 Pale Mild  1056.2 1013.3 5.68 76.35% 5.71 1.31
X3 Mild  1062.9 1014.7 6.38 76.65% 8.07 2.07
XX Mild  1073.7 1016.6 7.55 77.44% 8.07 2.42
K Pale Ale 1046.0 1011.1 4.62 75.90% 7.71 1.42
PA Pale Ale 1059.8 1010.8 6.49 81.94% 11.13 2.96
P Porter 1050.4 1017.2 4.40 65.93% 4.91 1.03
S Stout 1066.8 1020.5 6.12 69.29% 4.91 1.36
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archives, document number WYL756/51/ACC1903.

Sunday 30 October 2022

Tetley hops in 1888

Around two thirds of the hops employed by Tetley were English. Specifically, from either Kent or Worcester. Not really a surprise as they were the two largest hop-producing regions in the UK.

Unusually, all the foreign hops were European. Remember that the USA was by far the largest foreign supplier of imported hops. I wonder if the brewers at Tetley didn’t care for the flavour of American hops?

The foreign sources were quite odd. Two of the four types were German. But not the fashionable German types such as Hallertau or Spalt. Instead, they came from Alsace and Altmark. The other foreign suppliers were Burgundy, a small hop region in the North of France, and Austria. Never seen the latter before. Do they mean Bohemian?

Tetley hops in 1888
Beer Style hop 1 hop 2 hop 3 hop 4 hop 5
X Mild  Kent 1886 Kent 1887 Alsace 1886 Altmark 1887   
X1 Mild  Kent 1886 Kent 1887 Alsace 1886 Altmark 1887   
X2 Mild  Kent 1886 Alsace 1886      
X3 Mild  Kent 1886 Kent 1887 Worcester 1887 Burgundy 1887  
K Pale Ale Kent 1887 Worcester 1886 Worcester 1887 Worcester 1887 Burgundy 1887
PA Pale Ale Kent 1887 Worcester 1886 Worcester 1887 Burgundy 1887  
P Porter Kent 1886 Austrian 1886      
S Stout Kent 1886 Alsace 1886      
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archives, document number WYL756/44/ACC1903.



Saturday 29 October 2022

Let's Brew - 1888 Tetley X1

Next on the Mild pile was X1, logically enough.

The recipe is pretty much the same as X, even though the two were not parti-gyled together. Which is to say a combination of pale and mild malts along with some sugar. The last again being the enigmatic “Inchity”. Whatever that might be.

It’s really just a slightly beefed-up version of X. Which isn’t surprising, really.

The hops were the same as in X. Just a few more of them. Kent from the 1886 and 1887 harvests, Alsace from 1886 and Altmark from 1887. 

1888 Tetley X1
pale malt 4.00 lb 34.78%
mild malt 6.50 lb 56.52%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 8.70%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.00 oz
Strisselspalt 120 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1053
FG 1016.5
ABV 4.83
Apparent attenuation 68.87%
IBU 25
SRM 7.5
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 63º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale Timothy Taylor

Friday 28 October 2022

Tetley grists in 1888

Other than base pale and mild malt, there are only three other types, the black, brown and amber malt employed in the Porter and Stout. None of the beers contain any adjuncts and only two contain sugar. Leaving five of the seven beers all malt. Which was quite unusual.

The Porter and Stout grists are unusual in featuring three coloured malts, amber, brown and black. Most provincial breweries had simplified their Stout grists decades earlier to be just pale and black malt.

I’ve no real idea what the sugar was. It looks like “Inality” that it’s described as. Which means nothing to me at all.

The all-malt nature of Tetley’s beers wasn’t to last long, as we’ll see when we look at their beers in 1904.

Tetley grists in 1888
Beer Style pale malt black malt MA malt brown malt amber malt Inality?
X Mild  66.48%   22.16%     11.36%
X1 Mild  33.96%   56.60%     9.43%
X2 Mild  37.50%   62.50%      
X3 Mild  49.49%   50.51%      
K Pale Ale 50.00%   50.00%      
PA Pale Ale 100.00%          
P Porter 75.00% 8.33%   8.33% 8.33%  
S Stout 80.00% 6.67%   6.67% 6.67%  
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archives, document number WYL756/44/ACC1903.


Thursday 27 October 2022

Chicago - Thursday

Scrambled egg for breakfast. We ate the last of the bacon yesterday, sadly. It did last most of the week. Derek has done a wonderful job of cooking breakfast all week. I feel quite guilty, having just sat on my arse the whole time.

Checkout is at ten. Mike knocks on the door at quarter to. We run a quick check that everything is in order. Satisfied, we lug our bags downstairs and dump them in Mike’s car.

We’re off to the brewery. To say our goodbyes. 

We head to the beer deck. The taps inside the brewery where visitors get their samples. Most are taproom beers. 2022 Bourbon County isn’t. At least not yet.

I start with a New Zealand Pilsener. So called because it uses New Zealand hops, with wine-like flavours. It’s very different to an American IPA. Softer and more subtle.

Brewers Emily and Quinn appear. Derek has brought in a Truman brewing book to show them. As he takes them through the various entries, I get myself another beer. But not before Derek teaches me something. He indicates which column is the initial mashing heat.

The beer is a West Coast IPA, at a mighty 7.8%. I pour myself a large sample. As you’d expect, it’s packed with that citrus and tropical fruit stuff that American hops do so well. What can I say? This type of beer had grown on me. Give me another decade and I’ll get a taste for sludge.

At this point my plod through the taps is interrupted by Brooke Hill. 

 Would you like to help working out the order for a Bourbon County Stout tasting?”

“OK, you can twist my arm.” I say with a totally unconvincing lack of enthusiasm.

There are three variations: one meant to resemble biscotti, one loaded with cold-brew coffee, and a tropical variation with banana, pineapple and coconut. And the date version from the tank.

The brewers all place tropical BCS as third to be tasted. The non-brewers coffee BCS. A fun discussion ensues. At least, the snippets I fully understand are fun. As is being out of my depth.

To complicate matter more, the date-infused version we heard about on Monday is added to the mix. Now I’m totally confused as to the best order. I politely finish all the samples. I hate waste. Especially of good beer.

Back to the taps. 1988 Porter is brewed to one of the early brewpub recipes. Malty rather than roasty. An easy-drinking example of the style.

We haven’t got a huge amount of time left. That’s my excuse for jumping to BCS. The base 2022 version. Full of Stouty goodness. And bourbony goodness. A pleasing combination, when done well.

I don’t get chance to knock back – sorry, savour – many. We need to get to the airport. That’s exactly where Mike takes us.

Goodbyes said to Mike, Derek and I part ways to check in. Then join up again to go through security. Which takes forever. Best part of an hour. Leaving me maybe 70 minutes lounge time.

First call is the duty free. Bourbon for Andrew, rum for Alexei. Not the greatest selection, but I find something.

The plan is for Derek to join me in the lounge. But they’re rebuilding and no guests are allowed. Damn.

Once I’m inside, I understand the no guest rule. There’s only room for twenty or so. Unsurprisingly, given the small size, the choice of food and drink isn’t huge. There is free-pour Jim Beam. And decent sandwiches. That’ll do me.

No upgrade, this way. The two seats next to me are empty, however. After a desultory prod at the food and a few slugs of wine, I watch a few episodes of Motherland. Then crash out. Lying down. Not stretched out, but properly horizontal.

I get about four hours kip. Proper kip. That’s about as good as it gets, under the circumstances.

Breakfast is some dry roll with a sliver of egg inside. I can’t even manage half. Just as well they passed out free bottles of water. Without it, I wouldn’t have got any of the roll down.

It’s before 7 AM when we land. Schiphol is unusually quiet. Deserted almost. Only two in front of me in the passport queue. My bag is already on the carousel. This is all working out well.

Glad it is, as I’m feeling a bit weary. Where are the trolleys? I have to lump my bags to the taxi rank.

We bobble along the motorway, through the darkened city.

Dolores has just made tea. Exactly what I need.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1888 Tetley X

Despite all their newspaper adverts pushing their East India Pale Ale, in the 1880s Tetley was basically a Mild Ale brewery. They produced four different versions, all brewed single-gyle.

Bottom of the pile was X. Or rather, X with a line through it. Unlike other breweries, Tetley didn’t go from X to XXXX. Instead, all were a single X, just with varying numbers of horizontal lines through it. No idea why.

There are only three elements to the grist: mild malt, pale malt and sugar.  I’ve no idea what the last was exactly. I can’t really read the description. It looks something like “Inchity”. I’ve gone for a conservative guess with No. 2 invert.

The hops are more comprehensible: Kent from the 1886 and 1887 harvests, Alsace from 1886 and Altmark from 1887.

1888 Tetley X
pale malt 6.50 lb 66.67%
mild malt 2.25 lb 23.08%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 10.26%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.75 oz
Strisselspalt 120 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1046
FG 1016.5
ABV 3.90
Apparent attenuation 64.13%
IBU 20
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 65º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale Timothy Taylor


Tuesday 25 October 2022

Tetley beers in 1888

The range of beers produced by Tetley wasn’t the largest, just eight in total. Four Mild Ales, two Pale Ales, one Stout and one Porter.

At least I think that’s what they are. X3 could be an Old Ale rather than a Mild. Especially with that level of hopping. It’s interesting that the hopping rate per quarter (336 lbs) of malt is different for all the four Milds. Increasing as the gravity rises. Which may be the reason they weren’t parti-gyled with each other.

There’s a full-strength Pale Ale and what looks like a Light Bitter. There’s quite a difference in the hopping rate between the two. My guess is that PA was a proper Stock Bitter, aged for maybe 12 months before sale. While K was a Running Beer, intended for almost immediate sale.

The Stout is a few degrees weaker than a London equivalent. But not by a huge amount. They weren’t making much of it. Most of their beers were brewed in lengths of 160-odd barrels. The batch of Stout in the table was just 12.5 barrels.

It’s surprising that Tetley still brewed a Porter. Most regional breweries had dropped them by the 1880s. Though many had a beer called “Stout” at Porter strength. At a bit over 1050º, it has a similar gravity to London versions.

Tetley beers in 1888
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
X Mild  1046.0 1016.1 3.96 65.06% 4.31 0.69
X1 Mild  1053.7 1016.6 4.91 69.07% 5.31 1.02
X2 Mild  1063.2 1016.6 6.16 73.68% 8.40 2.02
X3 Mild  1071.2 1016.1 7.29 77.43% 12.00 3.57
K Pale Ale 1049.3 1013.9 4.69 71.91% 10.00 1.95
PA Pale Ale 1063.2 1011.4 6.85 82.02% 16.00 5.75
P Porter 1052.6 1016.1 4.84 69.47% 5.87 1.66
S Stout 1068.7 1029.1 5.24 57.66% 7.47 2.24
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archives, document number WYL756/44/ACC1903.


Monday 24 October 2022

Chicago - Wednesday (part two)

Sheffield's for food it is then.

“It was one of the first accounts for Honkers. The first, depending on whether you believe Greg or John Hall.”

Sheffield’s is a corner bar of surprising size. With a compact, but rather lovely, beer garden at the back. A beer garden worthy of the name, with a big, old cottonwood tree providing shade.

The owner drops by and chats with Mike. Old friends. While we sip our beers. Honkers for Derek and Mike. I fancy something a little stronger. Like Goose Island Small Batch #8, a barrel aged quad. Dead yummy it is. A perfect luncheon Ale.

We have BBQ - pulled pork sandwich for me. Very nice, it is. Especially sitting in the shade of a mature tree on a mild, sunny day.

I only have time for one more Small Batch #8 before Mike has to whisk us off to our next appointment. Dovetail. And we’re already late.

I started bigging up Dovetail to Derek long before we arrived in Chicago. The well-made Lagers might be reason enough. Their equipment is what I think would interest him most. And the processes performed on it.

Hagen Dost and Bill Wesselink, owners/brewers, and Jenny Pfäfflin, brewer, are waiting for us in the bar. As well as Liz Garibay. I waste no time in reacquainting myself with their Helles. Is it still as good? Hell, yes. Still throwing itself down my neck before I can stop it.

We get a tour from Hagen. Which takes longer than he expected. Derek is an inquisitive bloke and asks a lot of very detailed questions. Prompting long discussions between the two. All very informative. But my legs are starting to ache. Just as well I’ve a Dunkel in my hand.

The open fermenters are quite impressive. One has a chute of as type Derek and I discussed just yesterday. It’s so exciting to see one. You can guess how dull my life is if I get this thrilled by a fermenter.

Tour done, I sit at the bar and rest my poor old legs. While Derek continues in deep conversation with Hagen. I think it’s about fermenters as Derek is showing him his presentation.

Beer time for me. Few Rye, a barrel-aged Rauchdoppelbock. That sounds right down my Strasse. Scrumptilicious. So much so, I have a second. Why not? I’m unlikely to ever come across it again. And it is rather good.

The others all find the Dunkel their favourite. For me, it’s the Helles. So drinkable. So satisfying. A real drinking beer, like Augustiner Helles. Which is a huge compliment from me.

Me, Derek Liz and Mike finish at the Hop Leaf, a beer bar whose owner is from Malta. Which explains the name. Hop Leaf being the Pale Ale brewed by Farsons on Malta. Though, originally it was a brand of Simonds of reading. No surprise that there’s Simonds memorabilia dotted around the walls.

I have a Half Acre Dark Czech Lager. Pretty nice. It makes up for not getting to Half Acre today as originally planned.

They have food. Great. Wouldn’t want to miss out on another meal. Though, I’m not hugely hungry. I just get a starter, smoked salmon dip. Liz and Derek share some mussels. They look lovely.

Mike has to rush off to catch a train. I hope he catches it as there’s a long wait until the next.

My friend Heaven Hill is waiting patiently for me back at the flat.

Sheffield's Wine & Beer Garden
3258 N Sheffield Ave,
IL 60657.

Dovetail Brewery
1800 W Belle Plaine Ave,
IL 60613.

5148 N Clark St,
IL 60640.

My flights were paid for by Goose Island and my accommodation by Chicago Brewseum.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Kirkstall hops in 1885

Every beer contained at least three different types of hops. A couple had even four. Nothing unusual there. It was standard practice to use multiple types, both with base malt and hops. Presumably to minimise differences in flavour when stock of one ingredient ran out.

A majority of the hop types used – about two thirds – were English. Not many regions were specified, sadly. Three Sussex, two Farnham and one Kent. There’s a good chance that the ones where the origin wasn’t specified were also from those areas. None of the beers had all English hops.

Amongst the foreign hops, only Bavaria is specified as a source. One of the few areas outside the UK considered to have hops f a quality to rival the best English examples. The ones simply described as “foreign” probably came from less fashionable regions such as Belgium.

The 1880 Free Mash Tun Act the possibility opened the possibility of using hop substitutes. Something which not many took advantage of. Even Kirkstall didn’t show a great deal of enthusiasm, only using it in one of their beers. Not at all sure what Wylde’s was.  

Kirkstall hops in 1885
Beer Style hop 1 hop 2 hop 3 hop 4 hop 5
L Mild Bavarian 1884 Sussex 1884 Foreign 1884    
X Mild English 1883 English 1884 English 1884 Foreign 1884  
XXX Mild English 1884 Sussex 1884 Kent 1883 Foreign 1884  
AK Pale Ale Farnham 1884 English 1884 Bavarian 1883 English 1884 Wylde's hop substitute
BA Pale Ale Farnham 1884 Bavarian 1884 Sussex 1884    
PA Pale Ale Farnham 1884 Bavarian 1884 English 1883    
KKK Stock Ale Bavarian 1884 English 1883 English 1884    
IS Stout Bavarian 1884 English 1884 English 1884    
Kirkstall brewing record.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Let's Brew - 1885 William Younger XXX

Inevitably, we now come to XXX. Which looks quite similar to 100/-, but let’s not think too much about that.

No frills was definitely Younger’s theme when it came to grists. Just pale malt again. Oh, and 6 Flgs patent malt. Whatever amount that might be. Pale malt from three types of barley, two foreign, one English, I think. The photo is a little blurry and the malt types are in tiny writing.

Later in the same day, another brew had no patent. Zero Flgs. I should have done the recipe for that beer, shouldn’t I? It’s the same in every other respect. Let’s just imagine this was gyle 301 rather than 295. That will make life simpler for everyone.

Loads of different hops to compensate for the lack of variety in the malt. Six in all: American from the 1884 and 1885 harvests, Californian from 1884, Württemberg from 1885, Bohemian from 1885 and Kent from 1884. 

1885 William Younger XXX
pale malt 15.00 lb 100.00%
Cluster 120 min 1.00 oz
Hallertau 90 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.00 oz
Saaz 30 min 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1071
FG 1024
ABV 6.22
Apparent attenuation 66.20%
IBU 49
SRM 5.5
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 163º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Friday 21 October 2022

Chicago - Wednesday (part one)

It’s the same drill as always. Derek arises first and gets the morning’s essentials on the go. Tea and bacon.

We’re running short on bacon, sadly. Derek fills out the sandwiches with a fried egg. Dead good, except for the sweet bread. It reminds me of my days working in Leeds. Where the canteen made all sorts of breakfast sandwich delights. Involving various combinations of fried meat and eggs.

“Then they started cooking full English breakfasts.” I tell Derek. I don’t mention that I ate them on company time. That made them all the sweeter. (Maybe greasier would be more apt?)

An early call at the brewery today: 9 AM for mashing in. Another lovely sunny day makes the walk a pleasure.

“You see how there’s no-one else walking?” I remark.

“Yes. That’s one of the reasons I said that there doesn’t seem to be a sense of community here.”

“At least there’s a pavement. There weren’t on some of the roads around where I lived on Staten Island. How’s that for positively discouraging walking?”

We get to the brewery a few minutes late. But we haven't missed anything. They haven’t started brewing yet.

Emily is in charge of the brewing today. She started in the main brewery and then moved to the pilot plant.

“We have our most experienced brewers working here. They need to understand the process properly.” Mike tells me.

“That makes sense.” Even to a thicko like me.

It's very hands on.

“They’re basically just two large soup kettles.” Mike says of the mash tun and copper. Though fitted with steam jackets to heat them up.

The water is at strike temperature and the malt (Chevallier pale) is poured in. I let Derek do the paddle stirring bit. Too much like hard work for me. I’ve done it once. Never again, if I can possibly avoid it.

We wait while the mashing magic occurs.

“I love that smell.” I do love the malty sweetness that emerges from a mash.

While Emily stirs the mash every five minutes – she’s a bundle of energy- we try some of the beers in the pilot’s conicals. I would tell you which, but, you know, trade secrets. * Lovely, they were, mind.

I haven’t told you what we’re brewing. It’s a 1914 Trumans LK, or London Keeper. The one Pale Ale that Truman brewed in London. At 4.5% ABV, very much an Ordinary Bitter for the time.

At the appropriate time, that is, after running off and sparging, Derek adds the hops. I’ve done sod all physically to contribute to the brew. My role as more spiritual. Abstract. Infallible. No, ineffable. Is that right? Something without physical presence, anyway.

With the boil bubbling away, there’s not much to see for a while.

“Would you like to sit in on the 11 o’ clock tasting panel? Just for fun. You don’t have to give scores.”

Why not? I don’t get the chance to do this often. Bit of a busman’s holiday for Derek.

There are six beers. Two the same beer from different batches. Derek, professional that he is, takes notes. I go through the tasting motions. But I’m really just enjoying a morning beer.

With no discussion before all the scoring, it’s a solemn affair. Making the discussion that follows seem all the livelier. Much better tasters than me, the professionals are picking up flavours I can’t spot, even after they’ve pointed them out. Fascinating to eavesdrop, though.

When we’re finished with my humbling, we go back to throw in the hops. Well, Derek does. And holds the bag of whole hops down with a paddle for much longer than I would have managed.

Then the magic starts. There’s the sugar that Matt Becker brought. A pail of No. 2 invert. Looking quite dark in such a large mass. We all have a taste. So luscious and full of dark fruit flavours. Really dead tasty. Matt’s done a good job making the invert. Both the Black Eagle beers used his sugar, too.

Our work done, Mike suggests Sheffield's for food. We'll hear about that next time.


* I forgot to write them down.

My flights were paid for by Goose Island and my accommodation by Chicago Brewseum.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Kirkstall grists in 1885

Moving on to the grists, they’re radically exciting for the late 19th century. In that they have more than base malts in beers other than Stout.  Brown malt – by this point unusual outside London – isn’t just in Kirkstall’s Stout, but also in two of the Milds and the Stock Ale.

Black malt also shows up in two of the Milds. In pretty small quantities, which are clearly for colour adjustments. As are the small amounts of caramel in a couple of the Milds and the Stout.

Sugar – the form of No. 2 invert – occurs in the weakest Mild and the Stout. While an unspecified type of sugar, Saccharine, is in two of the Pale Ales. What was it? Probably some form of invert.

What’s missing? Any form of adjunct. 1885 – just 5 years after the Free Mash Tun Act – is a little early. Most breweries took a few years to start taking advantage of the new rules.

Kirkstall grists in 1885
Beer Style OG pale malt brown malt black malt no. 2 sugar Sacch-arine caramel
L Mild 1049.6 80.73% 3.67% 0.92% 14.68%    
X Mild 1052.6 98.53%   1.23%     0.23%
XXX Mild 1066.2 95.43% 4.34%       0.23%
AK Pale Ale 1049.9 78.46%       21.54%  
BA Pale Ale 1055.4 100.00%          
PA Pale Ale 1060.9 85.71%       14.29%  
KKK Stock Ale 1069.3 90.91% 9.09%        
IS Stout 1071.7 66.42% 9.49% 6.33% 16.87%   0.90%
Kirkstall brewing record.