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18-07-2015, 09:02
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Extracting information from brewing records is a time-consuming process. That’s my excuse for taking so long to work through the Adnams records I collected at the start of the year. And travelling so much. That hasn’t helped.

It helps to pick a period and work through that. 1945 to 1959 seemed a good place to start. As I’ve been paying that particular attention recently. With a vague plan somewhere in the back of my head about eventually writing a book on the immediate post-war years. Not sure when that will happen. But it’s handy to have some sort of focus.

At the start of WW I, Adnams brewed two Stouts, BS (presumably Brown Stout) and DS (Double Stout) at 1055º and 1060º respectively. The weaker Stout was a casualty of the war, with my last sighting of it in early 1917. DS, on the other hand continued to be brewed through the war and the post-war period. Though by the eve of WW II it’s gravity was down to 1042º, quite low for the period.

WW II knocked some more of the stuffing out of DS, with the gravity down to 1039º by 1945. The pain didn’t end there. Gravities continued to fall after the end of WW II and in 1948 DS was just 1037º. It hit 1040º again in 1950, but after that continued to fluctuate for the rest of the decade, ending it at 1037º. Or exactly average gravity.



Adnams DS Stout 1945 - 1959


Date
Year
OG
FG
ABV
App. Atten-uation
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
boil time (hours)


2nd Jan
1945
1039
1012.7
3.47
67.33%
5.78
0.94
2


18th Jan
1945
1039
1013.9
3.33
64.49%
5.78
0.94
2


10th Jan
1946
1039
1012.7
3.47
67.33%
5.78
0.92
2


19th Oct
1948
1037
1011.1
3.43
70.05%
5.78
0.92
2


2nd Sep
1950
1040
1012.2
3.68
69.53%
5.52
0.90
2


10th Jan
1952
1039
1012.7
3.47
67.33%
6.34
1.04
2


13th Nov
1953
1038
1011.6
3.49
69.38%
6.57
1.01
2


14th Sep
1954
1039
1013.3
3.40
65.91%
6.92
1.15
2


8th Nov
1955
1036
1011.6
3.22
67.68%
4.94
0.98
2


12th Sep
1956
1035
1011.1
3.16
68.34%
8.46
1.20
2


1st Jan
1958
1037
1012.7
3.21
65.56%
6.00
0.96
2


16th Dec
1959
1037
1011.6
3.36
68.56%
5.50
0.96
1.83


Source:


Adnams brewing records held at the brewery.



After the war the rate of attenuation was fairly constant at around 66%, leaving it mostly under 3.5% ABV. The pre-WW I version had a more usual rate of attenuation, 75%, and was around 6% ABV. But don’t start thinking DS was a Sweet Stout. It was hopped at about the same rate as a Pale Ale of the same gravity: 1 lb. of hops per barrel.

Moving on to the grist, one thing is immediately apparent: Adnams didn’t usually employ any adjuncts. With the exception of the war and its immediate aftermath when brewers were obliged by the government to use flaked barley. Though even then it didn’t always make its way into DS.



Adnams DS Stout grists 1945 - 1959


Date
Year
OG
pale malt
amber malt
choc. Malt
crystal malt
MA malt
flaked barley
no. 3 sugar
tintose
CDM
Hydrol
hops


2nd Jan
1945
1039

5.04%
5.04%
5.04%
75.61%

6.72%
2.55%


English


18th Jan
1945
1039
46.15%
2.71%
2.71%
2.71%
35.29%
5.43%
3.62%
1.37%


English


10th Jan
1946
1039

5.04%
5.04%
5.04%
75.61%

6.72%
2.55%


English


19th Oct
1948
1037

4.96%
4.96%
4.96%
69.40%
9.91%
3.30%
2.51%


English


2nd Sep
1950
1040

6.21%
6.21%
6.21%
74.53%

4.14%
2.70%


English


10th Jan
1952
1039

5.63%
5.63%
5.63%
73.17%

7.50%
2.45%


English


13th Nov
1953
1038

5.96%
5.96%
5.96%
71.57%

7.95%
2.59%


English


14th Sep
1954
1039


8.11%
16.22%
64.86%

5.41%

5.41%

English


8th Nov
1955
1036


8.11%
16.22%
64.86%

5.41%

5.41%

English


12th Sep
1956
1035


8.11%
16.22%
64.86%

5.41%

5.41%

English


1st Jan
1958
1037


8.11%
16.22%
64.86%



5.41%
5.41%
English


16th Dec
1959
1037
16.22%

8.11%
16.22%
48.65%



5.41%
5.41%
English


Source:


Adnams brewing records held at the brewery.



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The grists are fascinating. Kicking off with a combination of base malt plus amber, crystal and chocolate malts. Until 1954, when the amber malt was dropped and the chocolate and crystal malt content raised. It’s unusual to see amber malt in Stouts – or indeed anything else – after WW II. And usually black malt was the roast of choice. I’m not surprised at the lack of brown malt. It was pretty much limited to London by then.

The sugar content is a pretty constant 10%, though the types vary. Starting with No. 3 and tintose, which I assume is a form of caramel. In 1954 the tintose was replaced by CDM, which I believe is a caramel-heavy proprietary sugar. In 1958 Hydrol, which might be a form of glucose, came in for No. 3 invert.

There’s almost nothing I can say about the hops, other than that they were always all English. No varieties or even region of origin are specified in the records. It’s no surprise that they are all domestically-grown hops. Britain imported almost none in those years.

What next? Adnams Pale Ales maybe.

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