Tuesday 31 January 2023

How to interpret brewing records - part twelve: Scottish format page 2 dry hops, cleansings and remarks

We're going to finish off page 2 today. Starting with dry hops.

2313 running annual total.
75 lbs dry hops in this brew.

Quality and Proportion

This is for the type of hops. It hasn't been filled in.

I don't know why it's called that as it shows racking details.

Not filled in

Butts: 0.

Hogsheads: 40.

Barrels: 64.

1/2 barrels
Half barrels: 10.

1/2 Hhds

half Hogsheads: 0.

1/4 Hhds
quarter Hogsheads: 0.

Beer type: XXP.

What you can also glean from these columns is whether a beer was mostly bottled or draught. Beer for bottling mostly went into hogsheads and half hogsheads. Draught beer into barrels and half barrels.


1st column
standard gallons
Running total: 140,856 gallons
This brew: 4,568 gallons

A standard gallon is a gallon of beer with an OG of 1055º. The tax was based on this number.

2nd column
Barrels racked
Running total: 38,285 barrels
This brew: 119 barrels 

Right. There's that done. Anyone still up for more?


Matt said...

Not sure if I've read this right, Ron, but is that 75 lbs of hops for 119 barrels of beer? I know modern cask bitters often have the equivalent of half or even a third of a lb of hops per barrel, but wouldn't a late nineteenth century IPA normally have at least a couple of lbs per barrel?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, that's right: 75 lbs of dry hops for 119 barrels. That's quite a lot of dry hops for a Scottish IPA.

Anonymous said...

My apologies if I missed it, but is there any sign of brewers using these breakdowns for accounting purposes?

Did they design beers around specific costs at all, and shift around the amount of hops, malt and adjuncts based on the prices of individual commodities in order to hit a budgeted cost? Did they ever tote up the specific costs of materials going into beers and use those figures for planning purposes?

Or was it much more of a seat of the pants process? As in, look at a season's worth of expenditures on maize and decide they'd buy more or less and then let the individual brews sort things out based on what was in storage?

I know present day brewers use a lot of software to tinker with recipes to meet cost targets, and obviously 19th Century brewers couldn't get to that level of detail. But I'm curious if they used brewing logs to help get fairly specific about cost accounting.

Ron Pattinson said...


some brewers had other documents which held a cost breakdown for each brew. However, during WW I brewers often included the costs in the brewing book. Courage continued to do so after the end of the war so you can see exactly how much each beer cost per barrel.

Maybe I should do a series of posts on Courage's records.