Thursday, 4 November 2010

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1804 Barclay Perkins Table Beer

This week is very confusing. Two Let's Brew Wednesday post, but neither on Wednesday. Better than no recipe at all, eh?

Today's recipe is a very special treat. An early 19th century Table Beer. What's so special about that? Mostly the fact that it's a Table Beer version of Porter. Now there's something you don't see every day.

In the first half of the 19th century, London brewers continued the tradition of low-gravity Small and Table Beers. Though after 1830, when the tax on beer was abolished, they began to fade away. Before 1830, Strong Beer had been taxed at 10/- a barrel, Small Beer at just 2/6. What determined if a beer was strong or not was the retail price. Everything over a certain price counted as strong. The tax differential made it worth brewers while to make cheap, low-gravity beers.

One of the reasons the old system of taxation was abolished was the problem of publicans mixing Table and Strong Beer and passing it off as the latter. You can understand why, given the price difference between the two. Especially as London brewers, as this example shows, conveniently made Table beer versions of Porter. Just perfect for watering down the capital's favourite drink.

Getting back to this specific beer, it has a very similar grist to Barclay Perkins Porter of the same period. Lots of amber and brown malt. No black malt, obviously, as that wasn't invented until 1816.

I can just imagine parents giving foaming glasses of this beer to their toddlers before toddling off themselves to the toddy shop to tank up on gin. What wonderful days those must have been.




But let's stop wallowing in nostalgia and get on with the important business of Kristen telling you how to brew this baby. Over to you Kristen . . .




Barclay Perkins - 1804 - Table beer
General info: Hmmm….table beer. You know anytime you see the word table when its in reference to a beverage you know its going to be of the best quality, right!? Ah, not so much. As with cheapo red wine, there has been beer equivalent. The big difference being the quality of the ingredients going in. For beer, you tend to always find the same ingredients in table beer as in the 'good stuff' but just less of them. This beer is very interesting. A very low gravity 'mildy'-type all-malt beer with over 50% specialty malts. Everyone should make this at least once. All should be named 'Plonk' or some derivation.
Beer Specifics

Recipe by percentages
Gravity (OG)
1.025

46.3% English pale malt
0%
Gravity (FG)
1.008

25.6% Amber malt
0%
ABV
2.23%

28.2% Brown malt
0%
Apparent attenuation
66.76%

0%

Real attenuation
54.69%







IBU
10.5

Mash
90min@150°F
1.56qt/lb

SRM
16


90min@65.6°C
3.25L/kg

EBC
31.3










Boil
1.5 hours













Homebrew @ 70%
Craft @ 80%
Grist
5gal
19L
10bbl
10hl
English pale malt
2.31
lb
1.050
kg
125.08
lb
48.33
kg
Amber malt
1.27
lb
0.580
kg
69.09
lb
26.69
kg
Brown malt
1.41
lb
0.640
kg
76.24
lb
29.46
kg

4.984

2.269

270.40684



Hops








Goldings 4.5% 90min
0.48
oz
13.5
g
29.55
oz
0.714
kg









Fermentation
72°F /22.2°C















Yeast
Nottingham ale

1028 London Ale Yeast  - WLP013 London Ale Yeast 









Tasting Notes: Biscuits. Toasted bread crust. Cocoa and mocha. Richly flavored with quite  a full body for a little guy but instantly turns tannic and grainy drying on the finish.

7 comments:

Gary Gillman said...

Just two days ago I was re-reading Wheeler's testimony in the 1819 hearings and when asked to describe the taste brown malt imparted, he said, "toasted bread". Well done!

Gary

ealusceop said...

But the brown and amber malt (modern ones) are very different than the ones used in these times, no? You can't found brown and amber malt convertible if my sources are correct.

Kristen England said...

Brown is not, most amber is. MFB makes a 'aromatic amber' that is supposed to be much more like amber of old. Has a good amount of diastatic power. This mash definitely converts.

Gary Gillman said...

I don't know what was used for this particular brew, but I go by the verbal description of taste: it's not just close, but each writer used the same words some 200 years apart.

When Wheeler was being quoted (1819), the practice was to blend pale malt and brown or amber malts, so low- or no-conversion dark malts would not have been a problem (i.e., similar to how most beer is brewed today).

Nonetheless, some modern dark malts self-convert, rauch malt does, Vienna, etc.

Gary

Adrian Avgerinos said...

"MFB makes a 'aromatic amber' that is supposed to be much more like amber of old."

Are you speaking of Dingeman's Aromatic malt?

I've been assuming that Vienna malt is closer to the Amber Malt of old.

Kristen England said...

No.

MFB Special Aromatic (3.5-5.0°L) (similar to Aromatic Malt)
Specially designed for MFB’s Belgian brewers. Selected French 2-row barley undergoes a particular malting process which favors the development of a very pronounced malt aroma. This malt will lend a pleasant aromatic malt taste, reinforced by a soft and mellow mouthfeel.

Christopher Sarsfield said...

Mr. England,

Thank you for all the work you do on this blog with the recipes. I have just recently found the site and I am very impressed. I was wondering if you ever did a post about what to use for historic malts.

For example, I would have never guessed MFB Special Aromatic for Amber Malt. And it was only by luck (and google) that I found a thread on Northern Brewer recommending Golden Promise mashed high as a replacement for Mild Malt, although you think Pauls is the best mild malt. Also I tend to use Thomas Fawcett Malts, and I think they might not be as dark (chocolate, brown, etc), because my beer comes out quite a bit lighter than your recipes. Any way thanks again for the great work.