Sunday, 27 September 2009

Chilled and carbonated beer

I've found plenty of evidence of the close eye British brewers' kept on their competitors. So I wasn't surprised when I found a notebook amongst the Barclay Perkins records with details of competitors' beers.

No, that isn't what this post is about. Not directly. I was more interested in the comments next to these entries. Take a look:

"Light bitter beers chilled and carbonated and sent out in cask for country bottlers to bottle." It's interesting to know that they did that. Kill the beer and then send it out for bottling. It's one of the earliest pieces of evidence I've seen for carbonated British Ales in casks.

Fascinating, I'm sure you'll agree. And another piece in the jigsaw of the development of brewery-conditioned beer. But, hang on. How did Barclay Perkins get samples? It doesn't say that they tested beer from a bottle. Did they have a friendly bottler passing on samples?

Consulting their brewing records of the period, the Truman beer looks very much like P3, their bottom-level Pale Ale.


Jeff Renner said...

I wasn't sure what that peculiar practice of shilling was until I read the notes and saw that it was actually chilling.

Let's all chill out!

I have often wondered how much of the conditioning of such beers depended on secondary fermentation from non-primary yeasts such as Brettanomyces claussenni rather than cask carbonation. I suspect it was secondary yeasts.

Joe said...

Ron, how old is that particular notebook?

Ron Pattinson said...

Jeff, these beers wouldn't have undergone a secondary fermentation in the classic sense (i.e. with brettanomyces, etc.).

Ron Pattinson said...

Joe, the first entries are dated 1912. The entries in question are from 1915.

Jeff Renner said...

Ah, yes. In rereading more closely, I see that they were "light bitter beers," presumably lowish alcohol. Not candidates for secondary fermentation.