View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Smyrna barley

Blog Tracker
12-08-2010, 07:24
Visit the Shut up about Barclay Perkins site (http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2010/08/smyrna-barley.html)

Large quantities of foreign barley were imported into Britain for malting. California and the Mediterranean were the main sources of cheaper malt. Top-quality, very pale malt, was made from barley imported from central Europe, usually Bohemia, Moravia or the Saale district. The latter were mostly used in the best Pale Ales, such as Bass.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFFh6UXclxI/AAAAAAAAHQA/0BAwattbBWE/s320/Grimsby_maltings.JPG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFFh6UXclxI/AAAAAAAAHQA/0BAwattbBWE/s1600/Grimsby_maltings.JPG)Mediterranean barley, usually given the generic name of Smyrna, was extremely popular because of its price and adaptability.

Here's what Alfred Barnard had to say about Smyrna barley:

"A remarkable feature of Smyrna and kindred malts is their adaptability to every class of beer that is produced upon the English system. Originally, except perhaps in Scotland where their value was earlier recognised, they were used solely for light pale ales. Now, itt is understood, that their use is equally desirable for full-bodied mild ales and even black beers, a very large quantity of these qualities finding their way to Dublin, both in malt and barley. Except in the case of the finest pale ales, where the mor costly Moravians are used which themselves supply the same properties in a higher degree, all beers are cleaner, sounder and more brilliant when a portion of Smyrna malt is blended with the heavier English grain. Whilst this is, doubtless, owing, in some measure, to an almost perfect climate where these barleys are grown, it is probably to a still greater extent due to the fact of their being grown on a ntural unmanured soil. We believe the yield hardly exceeds one quarter per acre, and the grain is exceedingly light, weeighing only about 400 pounds per Imperial quarter, whereas an average English crop will yield from four to six quarters per acre of barley, weighing nearly 448 pounds per quarter. In attaining this, however, there is no doubt that certain constituents have crept in which the brewer is much better without, but they can be largely neutralised by blending them with the purerextract from barley grown under more natural conditions and sunnier skies.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFFipBJDLTI/AAAAAAAAHQI/0Lc08-NLCI4/s320/Grimsby_maltings_2.JPG (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CHrKKDU9290/TFFipBJDLTI/AAAAAAAAHQI/0Lc08-NLCI4/s1600/Grimsby_maltings_2.JPG)
In addition to the advantages we have already described as accruing from the use of Smyrna malts, there is another feature of no slight importance to the brewer. These malts, when judiciously used, are by far the most economical of any at the brewer's disposal. The barley comes over at so low a price that, when properly manipulated, the cost per pound extract, even if brewed by itself, is much less than from any English malt. The difference in extract between an average Smyrna and an average English malt may roughly be taken at some seven or eight pounds; this represents a difference against the Smyrna of about three shillings per quarter. The difference, however, in price between the two malts, would avaerage more than double this amount in favour of the Smyrna, even as compared with an English malt of quite inferior quality. Besides this, when blended, as is usually the case, with the heavier English malt during the process of mashing, the drainage of the "goods" and the thorough conversion of the more starchy malts are both largely assisted by the nature and character of the thinner grain; hence, many brewers have found that, provided only it be sufficiently ground, as much as twenty per cent. of the thinner malt can be used without any appreciable diminution of extract, as compared with the results obtained from English malt by itself. We need hardly say, that this points to a saving so large as to have made these malts a very important factor in the brewers' calculation of the cost of his finished product."
"The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 4" by Alfred Barnard, 1891, pages 540-541.
Sometimes it's hard to know when to stop looking more deeply. Going past brewing, fermentation, chemistry and malting and getting into plant biology and agriculture. Is there any aspect of science without a connection to brewing?https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5445569787371915337-7579641602386119095?l=barclayperkins.blogspot.com

More... (http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2010/08/smyrna-barley.html)