Thursday, 9 December 2010

Brewing IPA in England in the 1840's

Want to know how to brew IPA? Look no further. Here are pretty detailed instructions from the 1840's. Supplied courtesy of William Tizard. He may have had his eccentricities - all those old brewing manual writers did - but at least he was thorough.

"India Ale.—After the explanations and intelligence that have been given within the body of this work, on the subjects of boiling, mashing, fermenting, and the rest, nothing here, it is presumed, can be required in further elucidation of the practice of brewing, than that which is directly applicable to the best practical means of obtaining the necessary properties and peculiar characteristics that distinguish a malt liquor made for exportation, and used as a medicine at home, from that which is manufactured for ordinary and general home consumption. In the foregoing chapter, allusion has been made to the introduction of pale beer by the faculty as a medicinal cordial . This practice has induced brewers to prepare an article that may be exclusively appropriated to domestic consumption, and yet retain the name of East India Pale Ale, because its treatment is the same through its several stages, the only difference being in the quantity of material engaged in its production, that for the home market being somewhat less bitter and spirituous, and in some cases a few pounds heavier than such as is exported to India.

. . . . . . .

Like all other worts, those intended to form this unique medicine require speedy cooling, which will prevent too voluminous an absorption of oxygen ; and hence the imperative necessity of an efficient refrigerator. They do not require more yeast than other worts of the same gravity, but it would be almost futile to attempt their fermentation without an attemperator; for it is absolutely necessary to conduct this process with the nicest regularity, since the ultimate purification and brightness will otherwise never be perfected. It is not needful again to allude to the peculiar kind of fermentation enforced by the subterranean expedient, farther than to observe, that nothing can equal its efficacy, and the uniform certainty which it will ensure in the manufacture of ales destined for a market such as that of India. The correctness of this remark, it is presumed, cannot for a moment be doubted; but the author will here confine the sphere of his operation to the provision of an ordinary brewhouse and common plant.

The malt should be of first-rate quality, perfectly dried, and very pale, colour being the first consideration in point of importance; and the hops should therefore be of the palest growth; and in selecting those that impart the least colour, their maturity should not be overlooked. The quantity must vary inversely with the quality; but as the flavour of this kind of ale emanates more from the aroma and bitter of this flower than from any other material, from the ultimate extreme decay of the malt extract, it is advisable that the hops should be of the description which contains the greatest share of condition in the smallest bulk reasons for which qualification have already been assigned (vide p. 247). Such as those designated Goldings, Farnhams, and the very best East Rents, may be used with advantage, and seldom less than 22 lbs. to the quarter will suffice.

In boiling liquids that contain vegetable matter, the colour of the liquor will not only heighten in proportion to the time of continuing the heat, but also according to the amount of solid present to be affected by the fire; in all cases, therefore, it would be profitable, as has been observed, to steep the hops in water of any temperature between 120° and 170°, for eight or ten hours, where such a heat can be conveniently preserved so long. In consequence of the extraordinary quantity of hops required for the ale, a rather considerable allowance must be made in the quantity of the raw wort, because of the great absorption in the hop-back; and although some little increase of density is gained from the hops, yet they retain possession of a degree of bitterness almost equal to that which they originally possessed. Hence, when the business of the day is over, they will be found to have sustained their strength with but partial exhaustion, of which condition advantage can be taken by reboiling them in the raw wort of the following day; and in this case, it will be better to brew porter next, as here the absence of the aroma in the half-spent hops is not so deeply felt, and a smaller quantity of new ones, by 25 or 50 per cent,, will suffice, according as circumstances may demand.

. . . . . . .

The pitching temperature may be from about 56° to 60°, and the exciting yeast may be diluted with some of the wort, to which more may be added occasionally, as the worts are flowing into the square. The materials forming the extract, not being over-dried, or carbonised, on the kiln, or in the copper, will immediately evince symptoms of decomposition ; and in order that the elements which aid the fermentation may be preserved as long as necessary, the heat of the gyle should occasionally be curbed by the attemperator, particularly soon after the commencement, and when the attenuation becomes rapid; with which resolution it should be constantly watched, or inspected at least every 4 or 5 hours, by night and by day, during the first forty-eight hours, at the expiration of which period the heat ought not to be found to have increased more than 2° or 3°, and the saccharometer should indicate a diminution of 7 or 8 lbs. gravity. Should the attenuation and the heat not keep pace at this rate, as it probably may not if the water is of a quality to be termed hard, a little indulgence may be extended to the accumulation of a degree or two, or, which is preferable, the exercise of a little more patience may be introduced, and less frequent inspection will suffice as an equivalent for the extension of time. By the period when the attenuation has prograded to within one-half of the original density, the heat should not be allowed to rise above 62°. The remainder of the process will require very close attention; for as the attenuation approaches the crisis for its cleansing and purification from excrementitious matter, three-fourths of its saccharine being converted, the thermometer appearing rather below than above 64°, about one-half of the yeasty head may be skimmed off, and at the same time the tap of the attemperator may be turned off. When 2 lbs. more have disappeared, the skimming may be resumed, and about three-fourths of the head may be removed. The density will now be 6 lbs., and at least 2 lbs. more should be attenuated before the fermentation can be considered complete, and which, it is presumed, the previous skimming will not prevent. If any obstinacy is experienced on this account, a small quantity of its own yeast may be roused well in, and so much early skimming must be afterwards avoided. When, however, only 4 lbs. remain undecomposed, the gyle should be skimmed quite clean, and the cooling powers of the attemperator should be appealed to.

The stream and the heat of the gyle must continue to pass gently away, and the cleansing skimmer should be put into requisition whenever the light head thickens to within an inch deep.

All that now remains to be done, is to expedite the clarification ; and as we know that heat, or calorific repulsion, is a power opposed to aggregation, being as such repellent, a separater of particles, the attemperator should now be put in requisition to extract the caloric, and thereby encourage the natural affinity of each remaining azotised particle for the others, that through their gravitation, and combination, and ultimate quiescence, a speedy precipitation may take place, so that by remaining in this cool state a few days, it may be fit for the vat. To make this peculiar process the more perspicuous to the inexperienced, the author subjoins a few figures from the end of a brewing of his own, which may be taken as an example and tested as a guide. The square contains 200 barrels of wort, the gravity at pitching (commonly called density) was 24 lbs. per barrel, and the hop employed was East Kent.


Hours in square
Heat of gyle
Attemperator tap
Attenuation
Remarks
0
57º
off
0

10
57.5º
on


22
58º
on
19.1

36
59.5º
off
17.5

48
60º
on
16

55
60º
on
15.3

62
61º
on
14

72
61.5º
on
13

78
61º
on
12.2

83
62º
off
11.2

90
63º
on
10

96
64.5º
on
8.5

102
64.5º
on
7.6
Partially skimmed
113
65º
off
5
Skimmed closer
120
66º
off
4.3
Skimmed quite close
134
60º
on
4
Skimmed quite clean
150
52º
on
3.9
Skimmed quite clean
160
50º
on
3.9
Skimmed quite clean
190
50º
on
3.8
Vatted one-half. Sent other half out.


This precise time of fermentation is impracticable with such waters as are termed " hard," or such as the Burton brewers use. In these cases higher pitching heats and a higher fermentation are necessary for general practice, or where it is desirable to complete the attenuation without vatting, on account, as before observed, of the obstinacy with which worts ferment when so constituted ; but with soft or medium water, the above Table may be followed with confidence and accuracy.

If found desirable, the attenuation may be carried a pound or two lower, as before suggested ; and by proper management, the trial may be made with safety. To avoid premature acidity after its arrival at the place of its destination, it is necessary that all matter tending to its turbidity should be removed by attraction and precipitation, and that it should not be racked for exportation until it has become perfectly bright. About half a pound of new hops per barrel might now be added. The very small quantity of unattenuated matter yet remaining, should be no more than just sufficient to supply enough of carbonic acid gas for the requisite effervescence during its limited decay, without causing the slightest turbidity at any time, and to prevent its accumulating in excess, after shipping, and endangering the safety of the cask, a porous plug or two should be inserted into the shive or near it, through which the surplus gas may escape."
"The theory and practice of brewing illustrated" by William Littell Tizard, 1846, pages 514 - 521.

There's so much detail there, I'm not sure where to start. Perhaps where he does. That there were three types of IPA: ones for export, ones for use as a medicine and ones for normal UK consumption. The ones for the home market were less bitter and less alcoholic, but sometimes from a higher OG, i.e. less well attenuated.

Tizard then stresses the need for strict temperature control during the fermentation, to be achievd by use of the attemperator. And the need for using the best raw materials. Pretty obvious, really.

He recommends soaking the hops in hot water for 8-10 hours before use. And, to avoid wasting much of their goodness, re-using the hops in Porter. 22 lbs of hops to a quarter of malt is, assuming the OG he gives of 24 lbs per barrel (1066.5º), about 6.5 lbs per barrel. Or a shitload. 

The pitching temperature is quite cool and the wort isn't allowed to heat much during fermentation. The process was pretty slow by the standards of the day. Just shy of 8 days from pitching to racking. Porter was pitched a good bit warmer - around 64º F - and allowed to heat to over 70º F, sometimes almost 80º F. As a result, the fermentation was shorter and more violent.

The fermentation was allowed to completely work its way out and the beer to naturally drop bright. Only then was it racked for transportation to India. Clearly they were trying to remove as much fermentable material as possible before the voyage. Even so, the casks were only soft-spiled.

There you have it then. IPA the 1840's way.

7 comments:

Gary Gillman said...

It would be interesting to prepare just such a beer today and ship it, Pete Brown-style, to India. As I recall from Pete's book, his beer arrived in excellent mellowed condition and he mentioned no faults such as damp paper oxidation. Presumably its attenuation was no greater than this beer of Tizard's and reasonably hoppy if not at the rate (I assume) of 6.5 lbs per barrel. I.e., one can infer, despite the great seeming risks, no damp paper oxidation occurred. I presume the same would occur with Tizard's beer.

Yet today, I have had many examples of craft beer that after just a little while in the keg, and albeit being refrigerated, become oxidized in the sense mentioned. Many of these were as strong as Tizard's beer (which was not that strong all in all). Some of these perhaps well not well-brewed, or were exposed to air too long before racking, but still all in all I have an abiding feeling that modern beer will not stand keeping very long if not pasteurized.

And so, how did 1800's IPA avoid damp paper oxidation? Or did it? I think one way was the presence of some yeast in the barrel, which may have consumed the oxygen in the cask just as it will the bottle. Today, beer (again for keg) is too well-filtered I think to avoid this risk unless kept chilled and consumed fairly quickly.

Gary

mentaldental said...

Gary,

I am a homebrewer and have made quite a bit of beer over the years. God knows I have made some with the odd fault but the damp paper oxidation is one I have, mainly, avoided. On the occasions when I have been aflicted with it I have been pretty sure it has occurred when bottling from a cask or keg.

All my beer is live (ie contains yeast). I often keep beer in bottles for some time, and even Cornie kegs and casks I store for long enough that they would not be "fresh" in the US craft beer sense.

I think you are right. Live yeast greatly improves the keeping qualities of beer and that is partly because it mops up any unwanted oxygen.

Of course when I bottle from the cask/keg there is pretty much no yeast in the bottle. It is amazing how quickly oxidation can become apparent. Certainly within 12 hours from my direct experience.

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

Your site is a unique gem.

Fascinating stuff, even for those like myself whose brains don't usually morph into such scientific shapes.

Delighted to be your latest follower.

Ron Pattinson said...

Hearty, welcome.

Jeff Alworth said...

This is fascinating. Who's Tizard? What's this source? The further excavations of the IPA style are fascinating (though perhaps not well known in the US).

John Clarke said...

Hi Ron

Bit of a late comemnt, this. The thing that teally strikes me here is that as early as the 1840s there were two tpe sof beer called IPA, the stonger export version and a weaker one for domestic consumption. I had always though the weaker home market IPAs eveolved in the late 19th Century. Do we know how the strength of the "home" and "export" IPAs from the 1840s compared - not only with each other but in relation to the general strength of beer at the time?

Ron Pattinson said...

John, funny you should ask that. I've posted some nice tables of 1840's IPAs a couple of years ago:

http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2008/09/ipa-1815-1850.html