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29-01-2015, 08:15
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I told you there would be lots more Adnams stuff. Barely scratched the surface so far.

I realise that I’m doing this rather illogically. Chronologically would have been a better idea. Must remember to do that from here on in.

Adnams have only two logs from the 19th century, 1878-9 and 1890. The earlier one, which we’ll be looking at today, seems to have been the personal brewing book of E.U. Adnams, the company founder. At least he’s written his name at the start of the book. See:


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8F6FwNiN6WM/VMd8tzGaN0I/AAAAAAAAWb4/-Ftl3Fuvwcw/s1600/EU_Adnams_brewing_book.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8F6FwNiN6WM/VMd8tzGaN0I/AAAAAAAAWb4/-Ftl3Fuvwcw/s1600/EU_Adnams_brewing_book.jpg)

E.U., or Ernest Adnams was one of the two brothers who bought the Sole Bay Brewery in 1872. Meaning this is from the very early days of the business. Clearly Ernest was involved on the brewing side.

At the time, is was a pretty tiny operation. The longest brew length in this book is just 11.25 barrels. My guess is that they were brewing 2,000 – 3,000 barrels per year. Not much bigger than a large brewpub. They couldn’t have been supplying more than a dozen or so pubs.

That’s a little background. Now on with the beers themselves:



Adnams beers 1878 - 1879


Date
Year
Beer
Style
OG
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
Pitch temp
pale malt
black malt
saccharine


2nd Jul
1878
AK
Pale Ale
1044.3
11.67
2.82
65º
67.74%

32.26%


6th May
1879
PA
Pale Ale
1060.9
24.29
7.56
63º
66.67%

33.33%


23rd Oct
1878
SS
Stout
1066.5
13.33
4.86
62º
67.79%
9.61%
22.60%


10th Jul
1878
SS
Stout
1074.8
9.14
3.72
65º
66.08%
7.49%
26.43%


5th Mar
1879
X
Mild Ale
1030.5
14.67
2.00
º
65.22%

34.78%


7th May
1879
X
Mild Ale
1037.4
14.67
2.58
65º
67.74%

32.26%


16th Jul
1878
IA
Mild Ale
1044.3
11.67
2.67
º
67.74%

32.26%


21st Aug
1878
IA
Mild Ale
1052.6
12.50
3.12
º
67.74%

32.26%


17th Jul
1878
XX
Mild Ale
1048.5
8.57
2.79
65º
69.23%

30.77%


29th Feb
1879
XX
Mild Ale
1054.0
16.00
3.64
65º
69.23%

30.77%


2nd Jul
1878
XXXK
Stock Ale
1063.7
11.67
4.06
64º
67.74%

32.26%


21st Aug
1878
XXXK
Stock Ale
1072.0
12.50
4.27
64º
67.74%

32.26%


29th Oct
1878
XXXX
Mild Ale
1065.1
11.25
4.09
63º
71.43%

28.57%


23rd Apr
1879
XXXX
Mild Ale
1072.0
12.67
4.44
63º
67.74%

32.26%


11th Feb
1879
Tally Ho
Old Ale
1090.0
12.67
5.80
65º
75.00%

25.00%


Source:


Adnams brewing records held at the brewery.



First some general observations. Adnams were brewing to a wider range of gravities: 1030º to 1090º. Wider than you would see in London, where the odd Table Beer excepted, nothing below 1050º was brewed. At least in the large breweries whose records I’ve looked at.

The next thing to strike me is the hopping. Pretty much everything is hopped at more than 10 lbs per quarter. Not so unusual for Stock Ales or Pale Ales, but a lot for Mild Ales. The weakest beer, an X Ale of just 1030º, has 2 lbs of hops per barrel. A shit load for such a weak beer. Their Pale Ale, with 24 lbs per quarter and 7.5 lbs per barrel is hopped like a Burton IPA.

Then there’s the sugar content. It averages about a third of the grist, which is very high. A maximum of 15% is more usual. I can’t help thinking that some of the weaker Milds must have been quite thin with all that sugar.

Now compare and contrast time, as usual using Whitbread as the benchmark. Why do I mostly use Whitbread, you may ask? Because I’ve brewing records of theirs for every year from 1805 to 1973.



Whitbread beers in 1878 - 1879


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


20th Sep
1879
FA
Pale Ale
1055.1
1009.1
6.08
83.42%
11.09
2.96
58º


18th Oct
1879
PA
Pale Ale
1060.1
1013.9
6.12
76.96%
14.41
4.16
58º


8th Aug
1879
P
Porter
1056.5
1017.2
5.20
69.61%
7.86
2.01
61º


6th Mar
1879
XPS
Stout
1071.1
1019.9
6.76
71.93%
14.13
5.01
56º


6th Aug
1879
SS
Stout
1077.8
1024.9
7.00
67.97%
10.98
4.37
59º


3rd Dec
1879
SSS
Stout
1095.3
1037.7
7.62
60.47%
8.60
4.33
59º


6th Jan
1879
X
Mild
1062.3
1017.5
5.94
72.00%
6.08
1.69
61º


18th Mar
1879
XL
Mild
1070.4
1015.8
7.22
77.56%
6.00
1.80
61º


17th Nov
1879
XX xpt
Mild
1075.3
1023.0
6.93
69.49%
26.65
6.03
58º


4th Dec
1879
KK
Stock Ale
1078.4
1027.7
6.71
64.66%
21.84
5.10
58º


28th Jan
1878
KKK
Stock Ale
1085.6
1031.3
7.18
63.43%
15.04
6.11
57º


Sources:


Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/043, LMA/4453/D/01/044, LMA/4453/D/01/045, LMA/4453/D/09/073 and LMA/4453/D/09/074.





Whitbread grists in 1878 - 1879


Date
Year
Beer
Style
OG
pale malt
brown malt
black malt
sugar


20th Sep
1879
FA
Pale Ale
1055.1
76.92%


23.08%


18th Oct
1879
PA
Pale Ale
1060.1
75.58%


24.42%


8th Aug
1879
P
Porter
1056.5
83.41%
10.62%
5.97%



6th Mar
1879
XPS
Stout
1071.1
63.51%
17.40%
4.87%
14.22%


6th Aug
1879
SS
Stout
1077.8
69.75%
18.83%
3.77%
7.65%


3rd Dec
1879
SSS
Stout
1095.3
68.94%
18.61%
3.72%
8.72%


6th Jan
1879
X
Mild
1062.3
99.24%
0.76%




18th Mar
1879
XL
Mild
1070.4
100.00%





17th Nov
1879
XX xpt
Mild
1075.3
75.05%


24.95%


4th Dec
1879
KK
Stock Ale
1078.4
73.73%


26.27%


28th Jan
1878
KKK
Stock Ale
1085.6
86.50%


13.50%


Sources:


Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/043, LMA/4453/D/01/044, LMA/4453/D/01/045, LMA/4453/D/09/073 and LMA/4453/D/09/074.



Let’s work our way through, starting with the Pale Ales. The two PAs are very similar in terms of gravity. But Adnams’ version has almost double the hops of Whitbread’s. Interestingly, Adnams’ running Pale Ale, AK, is hopped almost as heavily as Whitbread’s Family Ale (FA), despite being a good bit weaker. You’d expect a Pale Ale to have a fair amount of sugar in the grist to help keep the colour pale. Both have quite a lot, but Adnams’, at a third of the grist, is very high.

Note that even this early there was no Porter in Adnams’ lineup, just one Stout. Though that does closely resemble Whitbread’s SS in terms of gravity and hopping. The big difference is in the grist. Adnams got all their colour from black malt and there’s no brown malt in the grist. This what you tend to see, provincial brewers dropping brown malt and simplifying their Stout grists to just pale and brown malt. While London brewers remained faithful to brown malt until the bitter end. Whitbread still included it in their grists in 1973.


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TuaOI9D46QQ/VMd-iFk1omI/AAAAAAAAWcE/JX4pGW4AQt0/s1600/Adnams_Nut_Brown_Ale.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TuaOI9D46QQ/VMd-iFk1omI/AAAAAAAAWcE/JX4pGW4AQt0/s1600/Adnams_Nut_Brown_Ale.jpg)
Adnams brewed a much larger variety of Mild Ales than Whitbread, especially in terms of gravity. I’m not so sure Whitbread XX Xpt is really a Mild Ale. The hopping looks way too high. Which leaves just X and XL, the L presumably standing for “London”. Adnams X, IA (I think it stands for Intermediate Ale) and XX are all considerably weaker than Whitbread X Ale. Even XXXX is only a little bit stronger and about the same as Whitbread XL.

The hopping shows a huge difference. Adnams’ Milds are hopped at about double the rate of Whitbread’s per quarter. This is reflected in the hops per barrel, which are higher than Whitbread’s despite some of the beers being considerably weaker.

Note that Whitbread’s Milds, along with Porter, are their only beers to contain no sugar. You may find that odd, these being their cheapest beers. But you have to remember that sugar wasn’t necessarily a cheap alternative to malt and that its use was often for flavouring or colouring purposes.

Finally the strong Ales. Tally Ho looks very similar to KKK, the strongest Ale in Whitbread’s portfolio. Though it does contain about double the proportion of sugar. For once it’s the Whitbread beer that’s more heavily hopped, even if it is by a fairly minimal amount.

That was tiring. Best I don’t think about how much more of this I’m going to put us through.

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