PDA

View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - American brewers lead the way



Blog Tracker
04-11-2013, 08:41
Visit the Shut up about Barclay Perkins site (http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2013/11/american-brewers-lead-way.html)


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sIfe7FhzMCA/UnN5ms9jWxI/AAAAAAAASRE/TZpFHfYymQY/s400/Quinn_Nolan_XX_XXX_sign.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sIfe7FhzMCA/UnN5ms9jWxI/AAAAAAAASRE/TZpFHfYymQY/s1600/Quinn_Nolan_XX_XXX_sign.jpg)
I bet that title surprised you. Except I'm not talking about today, but more than 100 years ago.

I've written before about the exchange of ideas, styles and techniques between the USA and Britain. It's a fascinating topic and one that has been much neglected. Ask yourself this, how was it that American breweries came to brew IPA? The name didn't exist at the time of independence. It's a sign that developments in brewing in Britain were still having an impact in the USA more than 50 years after it became a separate country.

By the end of the 19th century, the traffic was mostly the other way, with American brewers pioneering new techniques. One in particular was to have an enormous impact on British brewing: chilled and carbonated bottles beers. We'll be getting to that in a while. The article in the Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing I found when looking for stuff on bottling contains more. Much more. It's essentially a snapshot of American brewing techniques in the 1890's. And because we'e seeing it through the eyes of outsiders - a British brewer Horace Brown on a study trip - evrything gets explained. Including the stuff that would have seemed self-evident to an American brewer.

Brown seemed quite impressed by his American colleagues:


"The Americans are essentially a practical nation, and, as a rule, trouble themselves far too little about first principles, bat they make up for these deficiencies to some extent by their willingness to make experiments on a large scale, by the fearless manner in which they attack new problems, and by the entire absence of that extreme conservatism which generally characterises the pure empiricist in all the older countries.

In the mechanical arrangements of their breweries, and in the introduction of the best labour-saving machinery and appliances, the Americans are unquestionably far ahead of us, and the remarkably ready manner in which they can adapt their processes to the changing requirements of a community must strike all who have seen anything of their manufactories, a great contrast to the painful slowness with which any new idea is turned to practical account with us.
"Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing", Volume 3, Issue 6, November-December 1897, page 468.
A British brewer going to study developments abroad wouldn't have happened in the first half of the 19th century. Then the traffic was the other way around, with Continental brewers like Dreher and Sedlmayr visiting Britain to catch up with the latest advances. There seems to have been a big change towards the end of the century. British brewers became very conservative and set in their ways, where a few decades previously they had led the world. Though I suppose the same is true for many other industries.

Brown continues with a description of the types of beer brewed in the USA:


"Broadly speaking, there are two great classes of beer brewed in the United States, "lager" and "ale." The "ale," as with us, is the product of a top fermentation, and although it is almost unknown in the West, where lager has undivided sway, it still holds its own in the New England States, and far from being played out, as some would have us believe, will probably receive a stimulus from the improved methods of manufacture now coming in, which will enable it to enter into competition with lager, even in the West, that stronghold of the low fermentation beer."
Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing, Volume 3, Issue 6, November-December 1897, page 468.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EHOmSADv0j8/UnN5zNYacgI/AAAAAAAASRM/AzKmJZ0shD4/s400/Feigenspan_Old_Stock_Ale_1900.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EHOmSADv0j8/UnN5zNYacgI/AAAAAAAASRM/AzKmJZ0shD4/s1600/Feigenspan_Old_Stock_Ale_1900.jpg)
Lager's domination of the West is what I would have expected, but it's nice to have it confirmed. Those "improved methods of manufacture" were mostly the adoption of Lager-brewing techniques.

Brown then goes into greater detail on the types of Ale brewed:


"Up to recently, the ale brewers produced only about three qualities of ale, one, which we should call a "running ale," but which is there known as "present use" or "lively ale;" a so-called "still ale;" and a "stock ale." By far the greatest amount of trade was, and in fact still is, done in the "present use" or "lively ale." This is of a gravity varying from 21 to 24 lbs. Long, and is brewed very much on the lines of an English running ale, but since they require in America an extremely high state of condition, it is racked at about one-third of the O.G., and is generally primed or "kräusened" heavily, and stored for about a week at 60º F. the krausening consists in adding up to 20 or 25 per cent, of fermenting wort, with the object of producing a very vigorous after-fermentation, which must be sufficient to develop a cask pressure of from 80 to 100 lbs. on the square inch. This pressure of from 5.5 to 6.5 atmospheres of course necessitates extremely strong casks, and is sufficient to force the beer from the basement cellar to the saloon bar, which may be several stories above, and to completely empty the cask without any artificial aid in the way of pumping or air pressure. Such beers, as may be well imagined, are seldom quite bright when treated in this way, but they carry an enormous "head," without which they appear to be quite unsaleable.

The so-called "still ales" are brewed very much on the same lines as the "lively ales," but are attenuated somewhat lower, and as they are not kräusened they only acquire an amount of condition about equal to the most lively beers of this country. The stock ales are of higher gravity, and are matured in the cask for from 9 to 12 months; they very much resemble some of our English stock ales."
"Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing", Volume 3, Issue 6, November-December 1897, pages 468 - 469.
"Present use" is a ternm that was also used in Britain, though it's more common early in the century. Basically, it was the equivalent of Mild Ale, though with a particularly American twist. 21 to 24 lbs. Long is 1058 - 1067. That's a little higher than English X Ales of the time, as you can see from the table below. They were in the range 1050 - 1058.



English X Ales 1894 - 1900


Date
Year
Brewer
Beer
OG
FG
ABV
App. Atten-uation
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
Pitch temp


29th Jul
1897
Whitbread
X
1058.2
1013.0
5.98
77.65%
8.20
2.04
60º


29th Jul
1897
Whitbread
XK
1064.3
1016.0
6.38
75.10%
8.20
2.26
59º


24th Dec
1891
Barclay Perkins
X
1058.0
1015.8
5.58
72.78%
5.93
1.45
61º


5th Jun
1900
Barclay Perkins
X
1052.8
1010.0
5.67
81.11%
8.01
1.75
61º


23rd Jul
1897
Fullers
X
1050.4
1013.9
4.84
72.53%
6.62
1.43
59º


7th Jul
1894
Truman
X Ale
1056.5



9.0
2.19
60º


Sources:


Fullers brewing records held at the brewery.


Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/063.


Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/587 and ACC/2305/1/593.


Truman brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/175.




I'd noticed kräusening in the records of Amsdell, a brewer in Albany, New York. I'd wondered why they'd adopted such a typical Lager technique for the brewing of their Ales. This explains it: they wanted a huge amount of CO2 in the beer. I assume that this method was replaced by simple external CO2 pressure. Having that much pressure in casks sounds scary. I guess they must have pitched the inside to make them airtight. Otherwise the pressure would just leak out.

I just happen to have details of Amsdell's kräusening:



Amsdell kräusening details


date
year
gyle number
beer
barrels
C removed
kräusen added
when kräusen added
added at racking
barrels racked
when racked
date
year
gyle number
beer
kräusen removed


1st Oct
1900
56
XX
167

46
11th Oct
7
204
12th Oct
11th Oct
1900
58
Winter Stock
46


9th Oct
1900
57
XX
169
27
49
12th Oct
7
196
13th Oct
12th Oct
1900
59
Scotch
49


11th Oct
1900
58
Winter Stock
260
46
0

0
235
3rd June







12th Oct
1900
59
Scotch
249
49
59
16th Oct
7
261
17th Oct
16th Oct
1900
61
XX
59


15th Oct
1900
60
XX
162

57
18th Oct
8
222
19th Oct
18th Oct
1900
62
Polar



16th Oct
1900
61
XX
209
59
49
19th Oct
8
191
20th Oct
19th Oct
1900
63
XX
49


18th Oct
1900
62
Polar
209
57
0

0
159
5th - 15th Nov







19th Oct
1900
63
XX
352
49
104
23nd Oct
8
403
25th Oct
23nd Oct
1900
65
XX
104


22nd Oct
1900
64
XX
191
0
62
25th Oct
8
178
26th Oct
25th Oct
1900
66
Winter XX
62


23nd Oct
1900
65
XX
356
104
70
26th Oct
7
330
27th Oct
26th Oct
1900
67
Scotch
70


25th Oct
1900
66
Winter XX
392
62
101
29th Oct
8
392
30th Oct
29th Oct
1900
68
XX
101


26th Oct
1900
67
Scotch
255
70
66
30th Oct
8
256
31st Oct
30th Oct
1900
69
XX
66


29th Oct
1900
68
XX
282
101
58
1st Nov
8
226
2nd Nov
1st Nov
1900
70
XX
58


30th Oct
1900
69
XX
368
66
97
2nd Nov
8
394
3rd Nov
2nd Nov
1900
71
Polar
97


1st Nov
1900
70
XX
389
58
103
5th Nov
8
399
6th Nov
5th Nov
1900
72
XX
103


2nd Nov
1900
71
Polar
305
97
0

0
189
19th - 27th Nov







5th Nov
1900
72
XX
265
103
60

8
233
9th Nov

1900
74
Winter XX
60


Source:


Amsdell brewing records.



And here are some of those figures re-arranged to show the percentage of kräusen added:



barrels
kräusen removed
kräusen added
% kräusen


167

46
27.54%


169
27
49
28.99%


260
46
0
0.00%


249
49
59
23.69%


162

57
35.19%


209
59
49
23.44%


209
57
0
0.00%


352
49
104
29.55%


191
0
62
32.46%


356
104
70
19.66%


392
62
101
25.77%


255
70
66
25.88%


282
101
58
20.57%


368
66
97
26.36%


389
58
103
26.48%


305
97
0
0.00%


265
103
60
22.64%


Source:


Amsdell brewing records.



It's funny that the "Still Ales" had condition equal to the liveliest English Ales. That gives some ides of how fizzy the "Lively Ale" was. I suppose this was a reaction to the greater CO2 content of Lager. I'd love to know when Ale brewers started kräusening. Probably when Lager became popular.

It sounds as if the Stock Ales were the most similar to their English counterparts. 9 to 12 months in cask is pretty impressive. Though I know, for example, Ballantine, a famous Ale-brewer in Newark, New Jersey, were still bulk ageing beer long after the repeal of prohibition.

Next time we'll be looking and chilling and filtering beer.

More... (http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2013/11/american-brewers-lead-way.html)