Saturday, 21 April 2018

Let's Brew - 1956 Tennant's No. 1

It wasn’t just the long list of ingredients in their grists that made Tennant unusual. They also brewed two Barley Wines over 1100º.

There were only a handful of beers of that strength in the UK at the time. Why did Tennant brew two? I’ve absolutely no idea. Though it looks as if Gold Label might have been a derivative of No. 1 Barley Wine. At one time both of them were called No. 1. My guess is that they decided to try a paler Barley Wine and it was a hit. This darker No. 1 was eventually dropped.

Unsurprisingly given the difference in colour, the grists of the two beers were quite different. The darker beer had No. 2 rather than No. 1 invert and contained two coloured malts, crystal and black.

The big difference in the hopping, is that the darker beer has three times the quantity of dry hops. Which is a sign to me that it,  too, just like Gold Label, was matured for a long period before sale. It also says on the label "Specially brewed and long matured". Sort of a hint.


1956 Tennant's No. 1
pale malt 16.75 lb 75.28%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 2.25%
black malt 0.50 lb 2.25%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 1.12%
flaked maize 1.50 lb 6.74%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.75 lb 12.36%
Goldings 240 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings 120 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.75 oz
Hallertau dry hops 0.75 oz
OG 1101
FG 1023.5
ABV 10.25
Apparent attenuation 76.73%
IBU 78
SRM 25
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 240 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill

One of the pet projects of the temperance bastards was local control, or as it was usually and more realistically called, the local veto.

The idea was to give districts the chance to vote on whether all or some of the liquor licences in that district should be abolished. The temperance twats saw this as a way of gradually turning the whole country dry. But it was all based on an illusion.

Temperance wankers had fallen for their own propaganda. They'd managed to persuade themselves that licensed premises were imposed on the working classes and, given the chance they'd willingly free themselves from them. Obviously this was total bollocks. If it had been true, the pubs would have been empty.

From this article it's clear that temperance lunatics employed some pretty dodgy tactics.
"The Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill
Out of parliament

THE opposition to the Local Veto proposals of the present Government, which has been very strongly marked from the first, is rapidly increasing in all parts of the Kingdom, and in many unexpected quarters. Of course it went without saying that these proposals would meet with the determined hostility of all branches of the liquor trade, but it could hardly have been anticipated that so many Radical organisations would express such emphatic disapproval as they have. Especially is this the case in the Metropolitan districts.

It may be of some interest to our readers if we reproduce here a few facts relating to the licensed victual lers’ trade in London. The capital invested, according to Mr. Charles Walker, the Chairman of the Central Board of the Licensed Victuallers’ Protection Society of the Metropolis, is £60,000,000. There are 14,000 licence holders, and if the Veto on the issue of licences was put in operation it would throw 100,000 people out of employment. The licence duties paid amount to between £50,000 and £60,000, which sum is passed to the London County Council for the relief of taxation. The leases are long, and when originally granted are seldom for less than fifty years. Some are for 100 years, and others even longer than that. These leases are very valuable, and bring large sums in the open market, £20,000 or £30,000 being common prices to pay for publichouse businesses, and houses have been known to change hands for as much as £100,000. The tied-house system does not prevail to any-great extent, but the brewers and the distillers advance loans to the lessees, and a man with £2,000 or £3,000 — and perhaps even less sometimes — would be able to purchase a business which cost, it might be, £20,000 or £30,000: the difference between what the tenant owns and what he pays remaining as a loan on the lease, &c., which are mortgaged to the brewer and distiller. If the Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill passed and came into operation throughout London, 75 per cent. of the publicans would have to pass through the Bankruptcy Court, and be irretrievably ruined, for they would be saddled with a load of debt they could never repay. Money to the tune of about £45,000,000 would be simply thrown away in London alone. It must not be supposed that this enormous loss would fall wholly upon the shoulders of the licensed victuallers, for they are financed by the brewers and distillers. It is safe to say that many more people would be seriously injured by the Bill than could by any possibility receive benefit from it.

We commend to our readers the lengthy report published in another part of this number, of a speech delivered by Mr. Chamberlain at a large public meeting held at Birmingham last Thursday to protest against the Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill. The speaker’s main objections to the Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill were that “it will be ineffective; it involves the maximum of inconvenience and the minimum of real temperance reform; it is invidious, because it will press hardly upon the working classes, and it will not touch the propertied classes at all; in the third place, it is unjust, because it destroys the means of subsistence of one class of the community without giving them the compensation which has always been given in similar cases; . . . it is dishonest, because it is brought in to serve political exigencies and not to promote conscientious convictions." Such objections as these, which are illustrative of the views of the population in all parts of the Kingdom, cannot be honestly contradicted as far as the propositions in the Government measure are concerned. The meeting of workmen held in Trafalgar-square last Saturday to demonstrate against the principles of the Veto Bill was certainly not the success it was expected to be. The disgraceful rioting by organised teetotal mobs on this, as also on several other occasions, will do a great deal towards killing this most absurd measure, since it shows the sort of spirit in which they would work the Veto if ever they got the chance. Dr. Dawson Burns, speaking on behalf of the teetotalers, caused it to be believed that there was no intention of moving amendments or in any way interfering with the meeting, and relying upon his promise, the promoters made no effort to guard against surprise. But, at the very moment when Dr. Burns’ promise appeared in print, a confidential circular was being issued to members of teetotal societies calling upon them to be present in the Square by three o’clock, the meeting not being called until 4.30 p.m. The circular continued: “It is earnestly requested that no members will appear in regalia, or any attempt made to organise a procession; and, further, that no member will attempt to address the meeting or move amend ment to resolution.” The whole thing was a carefully planned surprise, by which the Square was seized before the legitimate meeting had assembled, and as discussion was prohibited, nothing other than deliberate disorder could have been intended. How well this intention was carried out by the brutal ruffians who have taken “Temperance ” as their watchword we are all aware. The lesson is one to be laid to heart. If all this can be done whilst we are still unshackled, what is likely to be the fate of average non-teetotal humanity when the fetters of the Veto are upon us?" Fraud, cunning, deceit, and ruffianly violence are the forces by which the Veto will be worked."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, pages 105 - 106.
Of course, the temperance madmen would have loved to see everyone in the liquor trade bankrupted. They didn't give a fuck about how many livelihoods they would destroy, nor that they would be robbing working men and women of one of their few pleasures. Like all fanatics, they weren't concerned about what sacrifices others would have to endure as long as they achieved their insane goals.

In the end, the local veto must have been a huge disappointment to temperance idiots. When a scheme was introduced in Scotland after WW I, it wasn't met the expected enthusiasm of the working classes. Only a few, mostly well-heeled, districts opted for the veto. And as new votes were held in later years, the number of districts suppressing the liquor trade tended to decline rather than increase.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Clubs Registration Bill (part one)

It wasn't just brewers who were concerned about unregulated clubs. The government was, too, as evidenced by this piece of legislation. Many of its provisions still apply to clubs today.

Clearly the bill was designed to prevent the abuse of bogus clubs which effectively operated like pubs, but without any sort of control. It makes clewar right form the start that it's only worried about clubs where alcohol is served.

"CLUBS REGISTRATION BILL.
THE Select Committee of the House of Commons, presided over by Mr. T. Burt, M.P., the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, have presented a Bill as amended by them, to the House. and it is now issued in its amended form. The Bill is backed by Mr. F. A. Newdigate, Captain Grice-Hutchinson, Mr. Caine, Sir A. Rollit, Mr. Gordon, and Mr. R. G. Webster. It states in the preamble that it is intended to “provide for the more effectual registration of clubs," and goes on to say that, “whereas it is expedient that certain clubs using premises on which intoxicating liquor is consumed by members of such clubs be registered, unless such premises be licensed premises," the provisions it contains should be brought into force. There are 19 clauses and a Schedule, which gives the form of certificate of registration. The short title of the Act is the Clubs Registration Act, 1893. It is not to apply to Scotland or Ireland. The interpretation clause states that the expressions “intoxicating liquor,” “licensed premises," “licensing justices," and “ licensing district " have the meanings assigned to them respectively by the Licensing Act, 1872.
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, page 206.
I've split the article up as the concept of paragraphs seems to have been foreign to the author.

After stating that all clubs serving alcohol need to be registered, the next section gives a long list of exceptions:

"After defining the terms “registrar," “secretary," and “honorary members,” the Bill in Clause 4 says “subject to the exceptions in this section mentioned any body of persons associated for any purpose, any of which persons by reason of being so associated, use or intend to use any premises whereon they do or may consume any intoxicating liquor, shall be deemed to be a club to which this Act applies, and this Act shall apply to every such body, but not to any other body. The exceptions above referred to are the following :—(1) Where such premises are licensed premises ; (2) Where such premises are under the management or control of (a) any department of Her Majesty’s Government; or (b) any members of Her Majesty's naval, military, reserve or auxiliary forces in pursuance of their duties as such; or (c) the council of any county or magistrates meeting in quarter sessions; or (d) the mayor, aldermen, and commons of the City of London in common council assembled; or (e) any local authority as defined by the Public Health Act, 1875 ; or (f) any vestry or district board constituted pursuant to the Metropolis Management Act, 1885; or (g) any body incorporated by charter, letters patent, or local Act; or (h) any governing body or other authority of any university, college, school, hospital, or other institution or establishment, religious, educational, or charitable ; or (i) the treasurer and masters of the bench of any of the inns of court. (3) Where all the persons constituting such body are resident, or bond-fide employed upon such premises ; and (4) lodges of Freemasons registered pursuant to the Unlawlul Societies Act, 1799."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, page 206.
The exemptions give an interesting insight into British society at the time. Basically it's anything connected with the government, military, local authorities, educational establishments and the legal profession. So pretty much any organistion the posher classes might belong to.

You might find the inclusion of universities and schools odd, but many Oxford and Cambridge colleges at this time hasd their own breweries and served alcohol with meals. Some public schools, such as Eton, gave their pupils beer.

Strange how the Freemasons get a free ride, too. Especially the name of the legislation relevant to them: the Unlawlul Societies Act. It sounds weird registering organisations as unlawful.

"Clause 5 provides that every club now subsisting or established within three months from the passing of this Act shall within that period, and every club established after the expiration of three months from the passing of the Acts should before any person can as a member of such club use the premises of such club he registered. Clause 6 provides for the way in which clubs are to be registered. It is as follows :—“ (1) The secretary of, or one of the persons intending to establish the club, shall, on original representation, and on or before 25th March in each succeed ing year deliver to the registrar two copies respectively signed by such secretary or person (as the case may be) of the rules of the club, and two copies, signed in like manner, of a statement in writing setting forth such of the following particulars relating to the club as shall not be stated in such rules, that is to say—(a) The name of the club; (b) the postal addresses of all premises used, or to be used, by the club; (c) the objects of the club; (d) the names and addresses of the committee of management and of the trustees and treasurer of the club. and how the committee, trustees, and treasurer are, or are to be, elected or appointed and removed, and what are, or are to be, their respective duties and powers; (e) The purposes to which the funds of the club are, or are to be, applied or applicable; (f) Whether the members of the club have, or are to have, and, if any, what control over the disposal of the funds of the club ; (g) What procedure is, or is to be, necessary to confer on a person membership of the club; (h) What entrance fees, subscriptions, and other pay ments are, or are to be, payable by members of the club; (i) Whether any, and, if any, what persons are, or are to be, admissible to the club as visitors or as temporary members, and under what circumstances and upon what terms and conditions ; and (j) Whether there is, or is to be any, and, if any, what means of altering or adding to the rules of the club."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, page 206.

One of the things the bill seemed worried about was who could be admitted to a club on a temporary basis. The reason is obvious: if a club could let in large numbers of non-members, then it was really more like a pub. We'll be learning more about those restrictions next time.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1956 Tennant's Glucose Stout

Tennant is a very confusing brewery when it comes to ingredients. They seem to use some of them in the wrong beers.

Take Glucose Stout, for example. The name implies that it’s a Sweet Stout. An obvious candidate for a dose of lactose, you’d think. Hang on. I think I’m missing something here. I’ve just taken a look at the Whitbread Gravity Book entries for Glucose Stout. And every example has an OG of around 1040º and an FG of around 1019º. I reckon Tennant used the Whitbread trick of adding the lactose after primary fermentation. I need to tinker with the recipe.

Right, that’s it fixed. 1.5 lbs of lactose is what’s needed. Without the Gravity Book to guide me, I would have got this terribly wrong. It’s much sweeter

Hang on again. The label goes on about the glucose content. I don’t see any in the grist. And the Gravity Book doesn’t mention the presence of lactose, which it often did. I reckon they’ve primed with glucose at the end of secondary conditioning and then pasteurised.

For some reason the enzymic malt and malt extract are missing in this case. As is the flaked maize. Perhaps that explains it. If the enzymic malt and malt extract are there to provide enzymes, they might not be needed here where there are no adjuncts.

It was mashed quite a bit warmer than their other beers. Presumably to produce a less fermentable wort.

Unlike all their other beers, there’s a single hop addition at the start of the boil. As it’s a bit more heavily hopped than most Tennant’s beers, the (calculated) IBUs are quite high at 29.

1956 Tennant's Glucose Stout
pale malt 5.50 lb 63.18%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 3.79%
black malt 0.125 lb 1.44%
amber malt 0.50 lb 5.74%
glucose 1.00 lb 11.49%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.25 lb 2.87%
caramel 1000 SRM 1.00 lb 11.49%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.75 oz
OG 1040
FG 1019
ABV 2.78
Apparent attenuation 52.50%
IBU 29
SRM 48
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A Modern Lager Brewery - Fermentation

We're looking today at another process very specific to Lager brewing: cold fermentation.

First, the types of fermentation vessels employed in Lager brewing.

"Fermentation.— Fermentation is conducted usually in small oak tuns, the insides of which are either varnished or impregnated with paraffin (the latter being considered by many authorities the better method); this is done to avoid absorption of the beer by the wood and consequent infection. Other materials are making their way for the construction of fermenting vessels; for example, ferro-concrete, lined with a form of asphalt, as constructed by the Swiss firm of Borsari. Again, aluminium in iron casings, with a special insulating mixture between the two metals, has also met with a certain amount of support, but the glass enamelled steel tank appears to be the favourite among those who are not so conservative as to believe that nothing can be as good as the small oak tun. The principal reasons why these glass-lined vessels are making such headway are that the smooth surface favours a somewhat slower fermentation, it conduces also to a better settlement of the yeast (on the bottom of the tun), and a more thorough saturation of the beer with the carbonic acid gas. Further, no periodical scraping and re-varnishing is necessary, while attemperation is also in great measure dispensed with.

Although what is known as the vacuum system of fermentation has met with considerable success in America (where lagers are produced from heavy percentages of substitutes), and, notwithstanding that, it was tried on the Continent, I think that I am correct in saying that it has been practically abandoned in Europe, while the one installation in England did not apparently yield results such as would have justified its further adoption in this country."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, vol. XVII, 1920, page 494.
It's amazing to think that until a couple of decades ago Pilsner Urquell was fermented in quite small oak tuns. Note that, as was usual on the continent, wooden vessels were lined so that the beer didn't come into direct contact with the timber.


I assume that those glass-lined steel tanks must have been enclosed. Otherwise how could they have increased the amount of CO2 in solution in the beer?


The Pfaudler vaccum system was indeed popular in the USA. I know who used the system in the UK: Allsopp. Though by the time this article was published their Lager brewery had been moved to Alloa. Allsopp, despite a lot of effort and expense, were never able to make a go of Lager brewing.

The need for ice was one of the factors that restricted the spread of Lager brewing until the 1870's, when Van Linde's ice machines made manufactured ice practical. Before then, Lager brewing was mostly limited to Central Europe and Scandinavia where there was plenty of natural ice that could be harvested and stored through the summer.

"As the temperature of fermentation ranges between 40° F. and 50º F., the room or cellar in which it is conducted must obviously stand at not more than the pitching temperature of 40° F. This necessitates either the employment of natural ice or the services of a refrigerating machine; where a plentiful and certain supply of the former can be relied on in the winter; the system is to construct the fermenting and storage cellars round a central ice cellar, provided with suitable air ducts, through which the cold will be transmitted to the various rooms. The ice is collected from the rivers and lakes by means of a combined conveyer and elevator attached to a wagon, and is delivered either direct into the various ice cellars or into a central dump. Obviously, natural ice produces the requisite cold at a much less cost than does refrigerating machinery, but, where any doubt exists as to a regular and ample supply of the natural article being available, then a cooling plant must be installed, if only as a stand-by. Perhaps it is needless to say that, in all lager breweries of any importance, pure yeast is employed exclusively, the pure yeast culture room being as essential a part of such a brewery as the brewhouse. Attemperation is effected in breweries provided with ice machinery by means of flat or tubular attemperators, through which iced water circulates, while, in those depending upon natural ice, floating dishes or cans containing lumps of ice are used."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, vol. XVII, 1920, page 495.

The system of constructing fermenting and lagering cellars around an ice plant sounds similar to that employed by Carlsberg.

In the UK it was usual to run brine through the attemperators. Floating cans of ice doesn't sound a particularly sophisticated method of cooling.

More on Lager fermentation to come.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Bogus Cubs

The relationship between brewers and licensed clubs was a complex one. When workingmen's clubs started to appear towards the end of the 19th century, brewers were generally hostile.

Of course, brewers had invested heavily in pubs and they weren't keen on having what they considered unfair competition from another type of drinking establishment. You often find hostile references to clubs by brewers.

Theew was mistrust on both sides. Unhappy with the price they were charged for beer in the years immediately after WW I, clubs in many areas banded together and started their own breweries. Which annoyed brewers even more, because now clubs were not only competing with their pubs, they weren't even buying their beer.

The cases below are the result of the 1869 Licensing Act, which allowed magistrates to refuse t orenew the licences of pubs deemed to be surplus to requirements.

"Bogus Cubs v. Publichouses.
THE evidence given by Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, M.P., before the Select Committee on the Registration of Clubs Bill, ought to be well noted by all who desire to obtain a true in sight into the licensing problem. Speaking with all the weight of a member of the Government and of a magistrate having jurisdiction over the district to which his evidence referred, he said that three years ago the justices refused to renew the licence of a public house in West Malling, as they considered that the number in existence was beyond the number necessary. As a result, the owner turned the house into a club, With a merely nominal entrance fee and no subscription whatever, and the tenant was appointed manager. Nearly every householder in the place became a member, and in a very short time the club was selling twice as much beer per week as the publichouse had done, and the police could not interfere as “they could not go into the club to see what was going on.” The only other effect of shutting up the publichouse, Mr. Shaw-Lefevre declared to be that poor people who could not afford to pay one shilling entrance fee could not enter, and had to go on to the ordinary licensed house. Mr. Lefevre added that at the village of Wroughton, the magistrates also closed a publichouse, and it was turned into a club. This club was appropriately named the “Gladstone,” and “exactly the same kind of thing had occurred as at West Malling.” The right hon. gentleman admitted that these clubs were to all intents and purposes publichouses, and that it was hard that the licensed victuallers should have to pay licence duty whilst these places went free. He also thought there ought to be some authority to determine whether a club was bogus or not, and did not stop far short of the true moral that the shutting up of publichouses is the most absurd of all ways of attempt ing to reduce drunkenness. The experience of West Malling and Wroughton is universal. Wherever public houses are closed, bogus clubs, or shebeens, or “field clubs,” spring up, with the result that drunkenness is intensified, because it is indulged in beyond the area of police supervision and under circumstances in which public opinion has no corrective force. It is something to have got a member of the Government to see these facts clearly, and Mr. Shaw-Lefevre cannot put his abilities to a more useful task than that of enlightening his colleagues in the Government. If he himself now votes for the Veto Bill or any other mischievous attempts at repression he will indeed be sinning against the light."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, page 162.
It's quite clever, really, to just turn your closed pub into a club. But you can see why it would drive brewers crazy. Not only had they lost a pub, but it had been replaced by a new competitor that didn't have the same level of restrictions.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A Modern Lager Brewery - mashing

We're now at the very heart of Lager brewing: decoction mashing. A process that was very different to the mashing schemes usually practised in the UK.

"Mashing.—For the primary mash, cold water is used, and usually, after half-an-hour's stand, boiling water is added, to bring the heat up to 90° F. The most recent practice is to make this mash at such a temperature, and leave it standing for such a period as will conduce to a slight acidification taking place, whereby proteolytic activity is encouraged, with the consequence that a better digestion of the proteins into their permanently soluble form of peptone is obtained. As has already been pointed out, many other variations of the decoction system are practised, with a view to saving time and fuel, but, with the possible exception of the Kubessa modification (in which the three grist constituents, grits, flour, and husks, are dealt with separately), there is little doubt that the original three-mash method, with certain modifications, is still the most generally favoured. That system usually consists of about one-third of the total mash being transferred to the mash copper, and there gradually raised to the saccharifying temperature, then rapidly boiled for a certain period, after which it is slowly returned to the mash tun, where it raises the temperature of the mash to 127° F. This is repeated a second time, when the resulting heat of the mash will be 150° F. On the third occasion, the muddy wort is separated from the more solid portion of the mash, and this is treated in much the same way, the final temperature being about 167° F.

The manipulations in the mash copper vary according to the class of malt in use and the type of beer brewed, and constitutes one of the many points which only a thoroughly competent lager brewer can determine; where, however, a laboratory, provided with a polarimeter, exists, the adjustment of the mashing operations, to give a wort of definite specific rotatory power, should not be difficult.

After the mash has been raised to its final temperature, it is transferred from the mash tun either to the clearing tun, which in many cases is fitted with a water-jacketted bottom, or, as is more general nowadays, to the mash filter, from whence the worts are drawn off into the wort copper, and there boiled with the hops. In brewing lager, the wort is not left in contact with the hops in a hop-back, as is the case in an English brewery; the vessel, through which the wort at this stage simply passes on its way to the pump, is provided with a strainer, only slightly smaller than the vessel itself. The newer forms of this apparatus are fitted with leaching and pressing arrangements. In this connection, it should be remembered that the major portion of the insoluble matters has been precipitated while boiling the mashes, and has been left in the clearing tun or mash filter as the case may be. An open type of receiver, fitted with cooling coil and float valve, is sometimes employed."
Journal of the Institute of Brewing, vol. XVII, 1920, pages 493 - 494.
From the description, it sounds like the first two decoctions were with the thick mash, the last one with the thin mash. This wasn't just a random whim. Most of the enzymes were in the liquid part of the mash. By boiling the thick mash the maximum quantity of enzymes was retained. By the time of the third decoction, this didn't matter as the whole mash was raised to mash out temperature by the final decoction.

Decoction mashing, as practised in Bavaria, was a bit more complicated than just a triple decoction. There were many different methods of even just triple decoction. Most big Bavarian towns had their own specific method.

I'm not sure what effect not having a hop back and not leaving the hops in contact with the wort after boiling would have. The more commercially minded UK breweries pressed the hops in the hop back to squeeze every last drop of wort. Though I'm inclined to believe that this wouldn't have been exactly top-class wort.

Fermentation next time.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Let's Brew - 1956 Tennant's Lion Brown Ale

I imagine this beer must have been one of Tennant’s biggest sellers in bottle. Brown Ale was all the rage in the 1950’s.

Like Tennant’s other recipes, it has a bit of everything in the grist. A couple of types of malt, flaked maize, sugar and caramel. The colour mostly deriving from the latter. The brewing record handily records the beer’s colour. Handy, because it means I could work out what colour the caramel needed to be to get the correct colour.

Once again, there are two proprietary sugars, SBS and CWA, which I’ve interpreted as simply more No. 2 invert.

Bizarrely, this Brown Ale is more bitter than Tennant’s draught Bitters. Though the poor degree of attenuation must have left plenty of residual sweetness. It’s odd that while BB, Best Bitter and Queen’s Ale all contain lactose, this beer doesn’t. Despite Brown Ale being a style where lactose was sometimes present, unlike Bitter.


1956 Tennant's Lion Brown Ale
pale malt 4.00 lb 57.60%
crystal malt 60 L 0.25 lb 3.60%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 3.60%
flaked maize 1.75 lb 25.20%
malt extract 0.07 lb 1.01%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.50 lb 7.20%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.125 lb 1.80%
Fuggles 95 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 95 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 40 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 20 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1031
FG 1010
ABV 2.78
Apparent attenuation 67.74%
IBU 26
SRM 20
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 95 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Salts of Brewing Waters (part three)

It's the final part of this series of posts on brewing water.

This time were looking at what to do if your water contains minerals detrimental to brewing. I'm tempted to say: get different water, bit obviously that isn't always practical.

"It may happen, however, that a brewer is not blessed either with a perfect water or with one which simply requires bringing up to Burton standard by increasing its salts, but has to produce good beers with a water containing salts altogether undesirable or even injurious to beer.production.

Sodium carbonate, if present to any great extent, would prove fatal to the brewing of anything but black beers, and sodium sulphate, though by no means as harmful, is nevertheless an undesirable constituent of brewing-waters.

For the decomposition of sodium carbonate the employment of free acid would be, to say the least, dangerous. One method used is to gypsum the water, but this causes the formation of sodium sulphate, which when present in any amount is most undesirable, although not so productive of harm as the car bonate. The sodium sulphate is therefore then decomposed by the addition of calcium chloride, yielding salt and calcium sulphate. By far the best method is the direct employment of calcium chloride solution, which at one operation decomposes both these sodium salts, calcium carbonate being precipitated and the much-desired calcium sulphate obtained in solution. The solution of calcium chloride must be pure and of a known strength, and the volume added to a water to be treated should contain an amount of the salt equivalent or rather more than equivalent to the sodium sulphate and carbonate. The methods employed in making an analysis of the solid matter dissolved in water are so well known that they require but little comment from me. There are, however, just a few points to which I should like to direct your attention.

Firstly, temperature at which the total solids should be dried. I believe the most usual temperature is 110° to 120°C., and when such is the case an allowance should be made in stating the salts present for the water of crystallisation of certain of them.

The following are given by a recognised authority on water analysis, for this temperature, although he admits that anomalous cases have occurred in which the salts appeared to have become anhydrous:

CaSO + 1/2 Aq. or {CASO4} + 1 Aq
                               {CASO4}
MgSO4 + 1 Aq
Mg(NO2)2 + 2 Aq.
Ca(N03)2 + I Aq.

The method of estimating the soda and potash is, as you know, to evaporate firstly with barium hydrate to remove the sulphuric and carbonate acids, and then to treat with ammonium carbonate, to remove lime and magnesia. The filtrate obtained is evaporated to dryness with ammonium chloride, and the ammonium salts decomposed by gentle ignition. The sodium and potassium are then dissolved out with water. It is the method of ignition which should be noted, as it is of great importance. At first the heat must be gentle, and gradually increased until, when ammonium fumes ceased to be evolved, dull redness should be reached. If the heat be too rapidly raised, the alkaline chlorides melt, and appear to enclose some of the ammonium salts which are not completely removed, and the results are too high. Should the residue not be sufficiently heated, all the ammonium salts are not removed, and then too high a result is obtained. If heated to too high a temperature the alkaline chloride will partially volatilise and give t00 low a result. With practice very accurate results can be obtained. The potassium should always be estimated. It is not sufficient to estimate the alkalis as chloride and call the result sodium chloride, for in some waters an appreciable quantity of potassium is present. This can of course be estimated in the alkaline chlorides. The only other point to be noticed is the determination of nitrates and nitrites. Nitrites are not often present, but a careful determination of the nitrates should be made. The method is to evaporate the water under examination with potash, to get rid of ammonium salts, and then to reduce the nitrates by means of zinc-copper couple, ammonia being distilled off, after further addition of potash, and estimated by Nessler's reagent in the ordinary way. Now, the potash employed should be carefully looked into, for when ordinary potash is used the results obtained are generally too high, this being doubtless due to nitrates contained in the potash. It is a good plan to use potash precipitated by alcohol, but even then I have found a correction necessary. Wanklyn advises that the potash should be made by dissolving metallic potassium in water, but whether this is done or not a blank determination with the materials should certainly be made.

In conclusion, I am afraid my remarks have been for the greater part but old news. Still, in spite of that, they serve as an illustration of the direct application of chemistry to the improvement of a manufactured article, and on this ground may not be entirely devoid of interest."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, pages 109 - 110.
The answer is chemistry. I would ask Andrew to explain to to me, but he's had his brain plugged into his gaming computer all day. Removing unwanted stuff is clearly more complicated than adding useful stuff.

Any ideas why Sodium carbonate and sodium sulphate are so bad for brewing? My guess is that it's something to do with the sodium.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Let's Brew - 1930 Barclay Perkins Dark Lager

Another week, another Lager recipe from Kristen. I’m personally getting all excited about Lager, what with the Historic Lager Festival in St. Louis just over a week away.

Right from the word go, Barclay Perkins brewed both a Pale and a Dark Lager in their shiny new Lager brewhouse. With its gravity of 1057º, their Dark Lager looks very similar to a Munich Dunkles of the period. Which I’m sure isn’t a coincidence.

It’s odd that British-brewed Dark Lagers seem to have died out after WW II, just when Lager was starting to take off. I’m sure that most people in the UK now associate Lager with a very pale colour, but that wasn’t always the case. It’s a shame dark versions died out. I’m very partial to a Dunkles, myself. Or Lager Dark Mild as I like to call it.

I’m not sure how authentic the grist is for the Munich style, as there’s no Munich malt. And I’m not so sure Bavarians would use crystal malt in this type of beer, either. Obviously roast barley would have been illegal in Germany. As Barclay Perkins Lager brewer was a Dane, I doubt he was hung up with the whole Reinheitsgebot thing.

The hops – Saaz and Hallertau – are pretty authentic. Though UK brewers didn’t just use them in continental-style beers. They were two of the foreign hop types that they rated and quite often used them in classy beers. Especially just after the end of WW I when it looks like there was a glut of hops in Central Europe. Not surprising, given that brewing came to almost a total halt there in the last two years of the war.



That’s me done, I’ll now pass you over to Kristen’s tender care . . . . .





Kristen’s Version:
Notes: More Blahger lovers action this week kiddos! Seems like a simple recipe from the get go but its gets wonky pretty quick so above is the barebones recipe, thar be some weird deets here.

Malt: Starts off pretty normal. A pale lagery malt, a crystal and a dark roasty thing. This really starts off smelling like a Czech Tmavé with all the dark crystal and the like kiss of roast. Choose whatever you’d like. Since this is an English lager, I’d stick right with the standard English crystal malt, mid-range or so (55-75). I’d also stick with roasted barley but choose your favorite brand, or whatever you’ve got laying about your cupboards…its just a touch anyway.

Mashing: Now she starts getting a bit weird (vol/temp depend on your system).
Dough-in: Only the base malt is use.
Rest 1: 120F (49C) x 40min
Rest 2: Boiling liquor is added, as well as steam, to bring it up to 147F (64C). The crystal malt and roast malt is then added.
Rest 3: As soon as Rest 2 is mixed in, hot liquor is added to bring up to about 157F (69C). Rest 10 min.
Rest 4: Boiling liquor is added to bring to 168F (78C). Rest for 30 min.

Summary: Rest 1 (40min), Rest 2 (2 min), Rest 3 (10 min), Rest 4 (30min).
As you can see this is a really weird way to go about things. A normalish protein rest using only the base malt, then adding hot liquor to bring you up close to sack rest and loosen the mash to mix in your crystal/roast and then enough hot liquor to bring you up to a higher sacc rest. That rest is pretty short seeing that the mash was infused to sacc rest rather than steam heated and a pretty extended very high sacc rest. Then sparge away at 170.

Jiggery-Pokery:
Then she goes directly sideways.
From the log:

“16 bbls bright runnings boiled for 3 hours in No2 copper to caramelize, added to No1 copper to 1.123°”
Right so…this is damn weird. Lets call it about 20% of the runnings are pulled and cooked right down until they hit their gravity and added back to the boil copper. That right there would have taken the color up quite a few notches, not to mention the flavor that came along with the party!

Hops: Saaz and Tettnanger. Nothing fancy or neat and not many of them. This beer is a place for all the weird business to shine above so don’t step on yourself trying to be neat. Just get your BU’s in all at once or split like I have.

Yeast: Carlsberg Lager yeast, as listed. 

Lager: No real info in the logs. She was done fermenting in about a week, conditioned another week and then dropped to lager. For a beer this size, 3 to 4 weeks would be good. You can go longer if you find it needing it but with this yeast, you should.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Why no London brewing museum?

Not an original thought. Boak & Bailey asked the question 11 years ago.

It's a good question and bears repeating. London was the most important brewing centre in the world for more than a century. And a major one for another hundred years after that. Why isn't that celebrated?

Preferably one with an active brewery and pub.



Let's Brew Wednesday - 1956 Tennant's BB

As we’ve already learned, BB stands for Bitter Beer. Or Tennant’s Ordinary Bitter.

It’s a good bit weaker, understandably, than their Best Bitter. There used to be a lot of draught Bitters that were around the same strength as Mild. In the West Country, this type of beer was called Boy’s Bitter. Sadly, it’s all but died out.

I find Tennant’s grists pretty odd. There are a lot of ingredients, many only in tiny amounts. I really can’t see the point is some. For example, the lactose. It could hardly have had any impact on the flavour of the finished beer.

The recipe is very similar to the Best Bitter, unsurprisingly. Though Tennant don’t seem to have ever gone in for parti-gyling. All the beers in this brewing book were produced single-gyle. To be honest, the level of hopping in this beer makes it more like a Light mild than a Bitter.


1956 Tennant's BB
pale malt 5.00 lb 70.52%
enzymic malt 0.125 lb 1.76%
crystal malt 60 L 0.25 lb 3.53%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 7.05%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 14.10%
lactose 0.09 lb 1.27%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.76%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 90 mins 0.125 oz
Fuggles 40 mins 0.33 oz
Goldings 20 mins 0.33 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1033
FG 1006.5
ABV 3.51
Apparent attenuation 80.30%
IBU 17
SRM 7
Mash at 147º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

My upcoming US trip

I'm off to the US in just over a week. Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago again. It's not as crazy as some past trips.

I'll be giving a couple of talks:

Sunday 22nd April    St. Louis Historic Lager festival
British Lager History
Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery and Bierhall
4465 Manchester,
St. Louis


Wed. 25th April, 17:30 
McKenny Hall Ballroom, 
Eastern Michigan University


Sunday 29th April
Our new collaboration
Goose Island Taproom
1800 W Fulton St, 
Chicago


I've also got a couple of free days if anyone wants to come and help me fill them with beer.

Chicago: Thursday 19th April, Saturday 28th April
Cincinnati: Friday 27th April