Friday, 25 May 2018

Victory to Austerity

When I cranked up this blog, the idea was that it would track my research. A diary of my dives into the dusty depths of archives.

Ignoring rambling reports of my drunken meanderings around the beer-pots of the world, I've served up unleavened bread. Facts and numbers not quite fully formed.

Being prolific has its downside. The volume of words and numbers is hard to keep under control. Early in my blogging days, I started copying my posts into Word documents. By theme. Resulting in quite a few of my Mini Books and Mega Books. Porter! Mild! Bitter!, Strong!, London! Books like that.

They're an assembalge of research notes. Interspersed with a few crap jokes. Good as I think some of them are - Porter! I'm particularly proud of - they were never my final goal. They were a step on the way.

I was crazily over optimistic when I began my beer history swim. Soon plunging into a mad book project on British beer 1700 to 1973. The unfinished manuscript is enormous. One chapter may be the longest blog post of all time.

Victory! is an unpublished book of mine on post-WW II beer. The nailed-together blog post kind. I say unpublished, there are two copies. It was the prize for the who owns most of my books contest. And, obviously, I got one for myself.

Tell me if I start boring you with this shit. I'm listening to John Coltrane.

My bloggy books, wonderful as they may be, are really my notes. Time I started turning them into proper books. Like with Scotland! vol. II. A coherent book. I had so much fun writing, I decided to write one a year.

I got a bit stuck on the one I intended for this year. Ran out of enthusiasm. What to do?

Knock out a quick recipe book, I thought. Last years' Let's Brew sold pretty well. I've got a shitload of post-war recipes. I can bang together the recipes with some geeneral crap about brewing in the period. And lots of tables. Easy peasy.

That was the plan. Just wish I knew when to stop. The brief introduction has gained bulk. I've promised myself to stop adding new stuff on Sunday. Evening.


Austerity! British brewing 1945 to 1965. My next book. Such a sexy topic. A distillation of the unpublished Victory! And the second chapter to be published of my crazy big book. (The other is Peace!) Third, if you count the crazy long blog post.

Published when I get the recipes done. The counter is at 102, currently. I'm sort of aiming at 200, but may settle for 150. How many watery Mild recipes do you need?

Lager brewed in Germany 1952 - 1963

I'm continuing my series of random Lager analyses from the years following WWW II. Why, you may ask. The simple answer to that is: because I can. This is my blog and I can do what the hell I like.

That's the glory of a blog. There's no editor looking over your shoulder. You're 100% on your own. Which is the way I like it. I hate being told what to do.

Getting back to the topic of this post, these are beers which I'm pretty sure were on sale in the UK. The ones with a price listed, almost certainly so. Though all are some sort of Pale Laager, there's a fair amount of variation in strength.

The two examples at just over 1030º were definitely specifically brewed for the UK market. No-one in Germany drank Lager that weak. The ones at 1040-1042º couldn't have been for the German market, either. There was a gap in the tax gravity bands between 9º and 11º Plato (approximately 1036º-1044º. so those must be some sort of beer for export.

It's interesting to see so many examples of Holsten. A little later - in the 1970s and 1980s - Holsten was a big brand in the UK. I wonder if that was because they'd got into the UK market early?

Lager brewed in Germany 1952 - 1963
Year Brewer Beer Price OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1957 Dortmunder Union Pilsener 47 1042.8 1007.4 4.61 82.71% 8
1963 Dortmunder Union Pilsner 44 1042 1006.7 4.41 84.05% 9
1952 Dressler Lager 1051.8 1009.4 5.53 81.85% 6.5
1963 Elbschloss Ratsherrn Lager 48 1030.5 1006.3 3.03 79.34% 13
1961 Hackerbräu Hackerbräu Light 66 1051.7 1014.5 4.65 71.95% 8
1957 Holsten Holsten Pilsner 1044.7 1007.4 4.86 83.45% 8
1957 Holsten Holsten Pilsner 42 1044.7 1008.2 4.75 81.66% 8
1961 Holsten Holsten Lager 40 1044.1 1008.1 4.50 81.63% 7
1961 Holsten Pilsner Lager 40 1045.5 1000.8 5.59 98.24% 7
1963 Holsten Pilsner 44 1046.1 1006.7 4.92 85.47% 6
1957 Löwenbräu Pale Bock 51 1061.9 1014.3 6.20 76.90% 6
1961 Patzenhofer Patz Lager 42 1041 1007.5 4.36 81.71% 7.5
1959 St. Paul B.B. Lager 1030.7 1010.3 2.64 66.45% 7
1950 Tucher Tucher Pils Lager 1055.1 1014.4 5.29 73.87% 15
Source:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

All of the beers were hideously expensive. To put things into perspective, you could get a pint of Truman's bottled Light Ale for 20d. That's a beer, at 1031.8º slightly stronger than Ratsherrn Lager, for less than half the price. I'm not sure I understand why anyone would voluntarily pay more than double the price for their beer.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The London hop market in May 1898

Another little interlude. This time looking at the prices for various types of hops.

The table below is dead handy as it gives any idea of how much the various types of hops were valued by British brewers. Though much of what it tells me I alreadt knew. For example, that East Kent Goldings were the most prized. And that Belgian hops were cheap. Interesting to see that Alsace hops were some of the better liked continental hops.

You may be wondering why there are three columns for each year. They're the price of the differeng grades of hops, obviously working up from lowest to highest.

"Hops.—There is scarcely any feature of interest to observe in this market, which, since our monthly report of the 14th ultimo, has been very quiet, and business has been on a much contracted scale. Speculation, it is almost needless to say, has been entirely dormant, and as most of the brewers are fairly well stocked with hops, the demand from the trade has been confined to the making up of odd parcels and the completion of unfulfilled orders. English descriptions, wherever and whenever they can be procured, have been much preferred to other kinds, but owing to the absence of a proper assortment, few purchases of importance have taken place, and no fresh advance having been established, present rates remain the same as those of a month ago. All the best "yearlings ” have either disappeared or been worked off, as practically none are left to bear a quotation, and nothing is now to be had above £3 10s. per cwt. An inquiry has existed for Continental hops, and good qualities have realised firm prices ; but California growths have been less generally sought after, and their outturn and condition not being thoroughly satisfactory, this, with their comparative abundance, has induced holders to submit to rather lower terms, say £2 5s. to £5, for common to the finer grades. American hops, however, exhibit no alteration, and this day’s general currency in the Borough, as approved by the merchants there, rules as follows :-—

Hop prices in London May 1898
1898 1897 1996
£ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s.
East Kent Goldings 1897’s 4 15 5 10 7 0 2 0 3 0 4 10 1 15 2 16 4 10
Mid-Kents ,, 4 16 6 0 5 15 2 0 2 16 3 15 1 10 2 5 3 15
W. of Kent ,, 4 10 5 0 5 12 1 10 2 5 3 0 1 0 1 10 2 16
Sussex ,, 4 10 4 15 5 0 1 15 2 5 2 10 1 0 1 10 2 10
Worcesters ,, 4 5 4 10 5 0 1 10 2 10 3 0 1 0 2 0 3 10
Farnhams ,, 4 10 4 15 5 12 2 0 2 10 6 15 1 0 2 0 3 10
Country Do. ,, 4 10 4 15 5 10 2 0 2 10 3 10 1 0 2 0 3 10
Yearlings 1896's 2 5 3 10 - 0 10 2 0 - 0 10 1 0
Old Olds  1 0 1 10   0 5 0 10   0 5 0 10
Bavarians 1897's 4 0 4 10 5 10 1 18 2 5 3 10 1 10 2 0 2 10
Belgians ,,  2 2 2 10 3 3 1 5 2 0 - 1 10 2 0
Alsace ,,  4 4 4 15 1 12 2 0 3 10 1 0 2 5
Bohemia ,,  none. none. none.
Burgundy ,, 4 4 4 10 4 15 1 15 2 0 2 16 1 10 2 5 2 10
American ,, 3 0 4 0 5 10 - 2 14 3 15 2 0 2 16
Californian ,, 2 5 3 10 5 0   3 0 3 15 1 0 1 10 2 10
Foreign Old Olds 0 10 0 15 - 0 5 0 10 - 0 5 0 10 -
Source:
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 391.

Messrs. Tuchmann and Low, 11, Southwark Street, London, S.E., report as follows on the English and Foreign Hop market :— “Since Easter we have a better inquiry and more business doing. Good useful copper hops have been in request, and as the stock of those remaining unsold is small holders continue firm in their demand as to price. Continental hops are without much alteration in value. Pacific Coast hops the last few weeks have been receiving more attention, and some business has been done in these, the cheap prices at which the lower qualities were, being offered having stimulated business.”

Messrs. Bloch Brothers, of Nuremberg. write us on the 10th inst. as follows :—"Our market continues unchanged. Stocks are exceedingly reduced, and the volume of business is necessarily quite small; prices remain firm on the same basis as last month. The new hop plant is doing well so far, but, of course, it is too early to attach any importance to this fact.”
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 391.
Of the foreign hops, only Bavarian and Burgundy commanded close to the same price as English hops. It's just a shame that there were no Bohemian hops. I suspect they would have been rivalling English hops in terms of price.

The difference between the price of American and Californian hops is fascinating. I'm pretty sure the former are hops grown on the East Coast, mainly in New York state.

Old olds, if you're wondering, are hops more than two years old.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1958 William Younger XXX

Continuing my Watery Mild Month, here's an example from Scotland. AAt under 3% ABV, it definitely passes the watery test.

What’s the difference between XXX and XXPQ? Not very much, despite one being a Mild and the other a Bitter. William Younger were always a funny bunch.

The OG, FG and hopping rate of the two beers are identical. The only difference is the lack of candy sugar and a little more flaked maize in XXX. The only really big difference between the two beers isn’t visible in the brewing records: the colour. I know from Whitbread Gravity book analyses that the colour of XXX was around 19 SRM. Presumably this was achieved by the addition of caramel at racking time.

William Younger is unusual for a Scottish brewery in making a Mild at all. Most had dropped Mild before WW II. With coloured up 60/- Pale Ale operating as a substitute. I assume the reason Younger still brewed one was that they had quite a large amount of trade in England, where Mild was still king in the 1950’s.


1958 William Younger XXX
pale malt 2.00 lb 40.00%
flaked maize 2.25 lb 45.00%
cane sugar 0.75 lb 15.00%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1033
FG 1012
ABV 2.78
Apparent attenuation 63.64%
IBU 15
SRM 3
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 63.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

US Lagers 1955 - 1962

A little interlude from watery Mild recipes and travel tales. US Lagers from 50-60 years ago.

You may recognise a couple of the names. I think a couple might even still be brewed.

I was reasonably surprised to see that they mostly have pretty decent OGs. For the most part, 1048º or above. So a full 12º Plato. They're around the strength I'd excpect from continental European Pilsners of the same period. My guess would be that modern versions of Miller and Budweiser are more highly attenuated, but lower in gravity.

I'm not sure what the Lowenbrau beer is. It's not quite strong enough to be a Bock. But too strong for a pilsner. I assume - because of how it was listed in the Whitbread Gravity Book - that it was brewed somewhere in the US. Presumably under licence from the Munich brewery.

I'll be back to the same old boring shit next. Just thought I'd make use of these data shavings.


US Lagers 1955 - 1962
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour package
1955 Liebmann Rheingold Extra Dry Lager 1049.8 1011.6 4.97 76.71% 6 can
1955 National Brewery Beer 1050.9 1011 5.19 78.39% 10 bottled
1955 Pabst Blue Ribbon 1048.9 1011.7 4.84 76.07% 9 can
1956 Miller, Milwuakee High Life 1045.7 1012.3 4.33 73.09% 6 can
1960 Lowenbrau Light Special 1061.1 1014 5.89 77.09% 5 bottled
1960 Schlitz Beer 1048.6 1012.5 4.51 74.28% 5 bottled
1962 Ballantine Light Lager Beer 1047.9 1013.7 4.28 71.40% 4.5 bottled
1962 Budweiser Lager Beer 1048.7 1011.7 4.63 75.98% 4.5 bottled
1962 Miller High Life 1048.6 1011.2 4.67 76.95% 6 bottled
1962 Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 1049.3 1011.3 4.75 77.08% 5.5 bottled
1962 Schaefer Lager Beer 1049.2 1012.7 4.56 74.19% 6 bottled
1962 Schlitz Beer 1049.2 1012.5 4.59 74.59% 6.5 bottled
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Something dead cool

for you to buy. My recent books.

Not just clumsily thrown-together asemblages of blog posts, but proper books. Structure, start, finish. All that shit.

First, what I call the expansion pack to The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer. Loads more recipes, including ones cut from the original book. And loads of fun American and continental Lager recipes.



http://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/lets-brew/paperback/product-23289812.html
And, of course, there's the book of which I'm most proud - and even won an award - Scotland! Vo. II. Easily the best book ever written about Scottish beer, with a crazy number of recipes - around 370.




http://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/scotland-vol-2/paperback/product-23090497.html 

I'm getting on dead well with the new book. Should be done in a week or two. Depending on how crazy I go with the recipes.

Back to Amsterdam

No need to get up too early. Just as well, as I'm feeling a little rough. I blame those two litres I drank yesterday afternoon.

That’s weird. It’s warm. Really quite warm. It must be over 20º C. Yesterday it felt like 5º C. From winter to summer overnight. The trees are still all totally bare. Which seems very odd when it’s this warm.

I plan going to Potbelly for a breakfast sarnie. But have a look on the way for a sit-down option. I go a slightly different way and pass the Peninsula. It has a breakfast for $21. A bit pricey, but I've not had a full breakfast on this trip.


It's pretty nice, but not great value for three eggs, two slices of bacon and sausage and two slices of toast. Plus coffee and orange juice. What the hell. It's just the once.

On the table next to me there's a mother with two young daughters. And grandma, who they call Oma. Must be some German blood in them. The kids are pretty noisy, but I don't mind. I can remember when my lads were like that. I've learned to be pretty tolerant of kids. But not so forgiving of miserable adults who whinge at the slightest kid noise. Don't they remember being children themselves?

Checkout is at noon. My flight is at 16:15. But I don't bugger about. Straight to the airport. Slight confession. Last I checked in after getting back from the pub. I was offered a paid upgrade to business class. Being a few drinks in, my willpower wasn't at its strongest. It wasn't crazily expensive, especially if you factor in . . .

I arrive at O'Hare at 12:40. The formalities of bag drop and security don't take long. It's not much past one when I waltz into the business class lounge.

It's quite nice. Great view of the runway. Loads of sandwiches. And self-service spirits. Time to recoup some of that upgrade spend. In bourbon.

To while the time away, while I nibble on sarnies and slurp on bourbon, I fire up my flippity-flop. Damn. It’s won’t start. Is there something wrong with the battery? I’ve been running it on mains power the whole time. But stupidly stuck the power cord in my check in bag. I decide to take the battery out and reinsert it to see if that helps. Amazingly, it does.

Dolores loaded up the first two series of Taskmaster before I left. Lovely woman that she is. I spark up series 1 episode 1.

I have two standard airport stiffeners: Jamesons and Jack Daniels. Depending on where I am. Both are on offer. It's seems only fair to alternate.

This isn't like being in an airport at all, really. No wonder the wealthy are such cocky, smug bastards. A couple more afternoons like this and I'd be there.

I’m feeling pleasantly mellow when boarding of my flight is announced. I finish off my whiskey, close down my computer and trundle off to the gate. It isn’t far.

Onboard, I take full advantage of the food and booze options made available by my upgrade. And watch some more Taskmaster before stretching out and getting my head down. Literally. A get a few hours of pretty decent sleep. I could get used to this.

I don’t wait long for my bag. Before I know it, a taxi is ploughing through the green polder with me in the back. I arrive home before Dolores leaves for work.



The Peninsula Chicago
108 E Superior St,
Chicago, IL 60611.
Tel: +1 312-337-2888
http://chicago.peninsula.com

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Clubs in England and Wales 1931 - 1960

You can see that WW II temporarily put the increase in club numbers on hold, but as soon as the war was over they began to rise again.

Clubs in England and Wales 1931 - 1960
Date  Full Beer / wine Total Pubs  Registered clubs  total % clubs
1931 57,072 19,814 76,886 14,377 91,263 15.75%
1932 56,876 19,524 76,400 15,010 91,410 16.42%
1933 56,687 19,268 75,955 15,298 91,253 16.76%
1934 56,538 18,990 75,528 15,657 91,185 17.17%
1935 56,356 18,706 75,062 15,982 91,044 17.55%
1936 56,289 18,392 74,681 16,297 90,978 17.91%
1937 56,233 18,093 74,326 16,563 90,889 18.22%
1938 56,173 17,747 73,920 16,951 90,871 18.65%
1939 56,112 17,460 73,572 17,362 90,934 19.09%
1940 56,047 17,318 73,365 16,463 89,828 18.33%
1941 55,961 17,249 73,210 15,864 89,074 17.81%
1942 55,901 17,191 73,092 15,682 88,774 17.67%
1943 55,868 17,137 73,005 15,732 88,737 17.73%
1944 55,856 17,109 72,965 15,678 88,643 17.69%
1945 55,875 17,085 72,960 15,590 88,550 17.61%
1946 56,009 17,017 73,026 16,496 89,522 18.43%
1947 56,305 16,927 73,232 17,470 90,702 19.26%
1948 58,850 16,534 75,384 18,370 93,754 19.59%
1949 58,140 15,282 73,422 18,962 92,384 20.53%
1950 59,054 14,429 73,483 19,221 92,704 20.73%
1951 59,757 13,664 73,421 19,511 92,932 20.99%
1952 60,333 13,035 73,368 19,903 93,271 21.34%
1953 60,869 12,351 73,220 20,348 93,568 21.75%
1954 61,265 11,708 72,973 20,772 93,745 22.16%
1955 60,670 10,574 71,244 21,164 92,408 22.90%
1956 61,087 9,788 70,875 21,438 92,313 23.22%
1957 61,471 8,882 70,353 21,988 92,341 23.81%
1958 61,762 8,151 69,913 22,567 92,480 24.40%
1959 62,039 7,416 69,455 23,232 92,687 25.07%
1960 63,682 5,502 69,184 23,773 92,957 25.57%
Source:
"Brewers' Almanack 1971", page 83.

Clubs as a percentage of total on-licensees rose every year between the end of the war and 1960. By which time they had hit 25%. Why has so little writing been devoted to the topic of clubs when clearly were home a big part of many's drinking experiences.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Let's Brew - 1953 Elgood X

I've decided to make May Watery Mild Month here on the blog. I'm sure you're all pretty excited.

They certainly liked their Mild watery in the 1950s. Or rather, drinkers had no choice as that’s just the way it came.

Elgood’s Mild, X, makes their Light Ale look headily alcoholic. Which is quite an achievement. X was brewed at around the effective minimum gravity. No matter how watery your beer was, you paid the tax for a beer of 1027º. So there was no real economic point in brewing anything much weaker than that.

The grist is, er, interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen flaked barley and flaked rice used in the same beer before. Obviously, there’s the malt extract Elgood threw in all their beers. Then there’s a sugar just described as invert. And another called carmose. I’ll go out a limb here and guess that’s some sort of caramel.

The hops were all English and all quite old. This beer was brewed in October 1953 and the hops were all from the 1950 harvest.


1953 Elgood X
Mild malt 4.50 lb 76.14%
flaked rice 0.25 lb 4.23%
flaked barley 0.33 lb 5.58%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.33 lb 5.58%
malt extract 0.25 lb 4.23%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.25 lb 4.23%
Fuggles 95 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1026
FG 1006.5
ABV 2.58
Apparent attenuation 75.00%
IBU 20
SRM 20
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 176º F
Boil time 95 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold