Thursday 2 November 2023

Adnams sugars in 1970

I can tell you're enjoying this series of posts just as much as I am, based on the view numbers. Which isn't all that much.

 Time for the sugars now. Something which is always so much fun. Especially the bit where I tell you I haven’t the faintest idea what one of them was. Or all of them.

And there are certainly a lot of them in this case. Six in total.

Not sure why the small amount of malt extract is there in the Pale Ales. It was a fairly recent introduction, happening sometime between 1967 and 1970. It’s got me a bit baffled.

As you would expect, there’s No. 1 invert in the Pale Ales and No. 3 invert in the dark beers. That’s pretty much standard practice. Not much more to say, other than that No. 3 was a major contributor to the colour.

The quantity of sugar in the Pale Ales looks like its intended to keep the body and the colour light. Contrary to what you might expect, in the 19th century, it was usual for a brewery’s Pale Ales to contain far more sugar than the cheaper Mild Ales. The reason for the use of the sugar not being economy, but for brewing aims. In this case, producing a beer as pale and light-bodied as possible.

Laevuline, which was used in all the dark beers other than the Stout, is another name for fructose. Which is one of the components of invert sugar, along with glucose. Why did the dark Ales require this?

Finally, we get to the caramels. Most of the beers contain a small of Sucramel. It’s obviously a type of caramel. Exactly what type is a mystery. CDM, which appears only in the Stout, I do at least know what the initials stand for: Caramelised Dextro-Maltose. Which is a non-readily fermentable sugar that has been caramelised. 

Adnams sugars in 1970
Beer Style malt extract no. 1 sugar no. 3 sugar Laevuline CDM Sucramel total sugar
XXX Mild Ale     9.17% 3.67%   1.83% 14.68%
LBA Pale Ale 2.56% 20.46%       0.27% 23.29%
BB Pale Ale 0.62% 22.28%       0.22% 23.12%
XXXX Old Ale     9.17% 3.67%   1.83% 14.68%
Double Stout Stout     5.41%   5.41%   10.81%
Tally Ho Barley Wine     8.95% 3.58%   1.52% 14.05%
  Average             16.77%
Adnams brewing record held at the brewery.


Rob Sterowski said...

You see this quite a lot, brewers throwing malt extract in – but in tiny amounts, not enough to affect the gravity significantly. I think it must be for the same reason they used these odd proprietary enzymic malts. For some reason they weren’t confident their mash was going to saccharify under its own steam (if you forgive the mixed metaphor), so they added enzymic malt or diastatic malt extract to get more enzymes into the mash. That’s the only explanation I can think of.

Iain said...

Those tiny amounts of malt extract are puzzling. Were they enzymic in some way? Or was the brewer fine tuning the maltose levels in the wort (seems excessively precise). Or perhaps hitting the *exact* gravity, although again that seems unrealistically precise.

Ron Pattinson said...

Rob Sterowski,

that's what I assume as well. The malt extract was usually diastatic.