"The new brewery is of the most complete character, the machinery and utensils in connection with it being of the best and most improved kind, and some of the vessels of enormous capacity. Ascending a flight of steps, we came to the mash room, a lofty apartment 52 feet by 36 feet, well-lighted and ventilated, the floor of which is both fire and waterproof. It contains five mash tubs, each capable of mashing fifty-five quarters of malt, four of which are fitted with Steels mashing machines, and the other with the old-fashioned stirring rakes, and all possess perforated copper false bottoms. The operation of "mashing" is an important one, and the greatest possible care has to be taken by the brewer, that the water to be used is of the proper temperature, and at no time during the process is his art put to a more severe test than at this period, After the wort has remained in these vessels the requisite time, it is drawn off the underbacks, of which there are two below the floor, both constructed of copper ; these are merely temporary receptacles for the wort, which runs therefrom direct to the coppers. Crossing a timber bridge, stretched over the hopbacks, we reached the copper house, a large place 60 feet square, with glazed roof and side lights. Here we were shown seven large coppers by Briggs and Morton, in each of which eighty barrels, or 2,880 gallons of wort is boiled with the hops at one time. Boiling is continued in these vessels for some hours, after which the hops are separated from the wort, and subsequently pressed under hydraulic presses. On our way thither we noticed, from the bridge, the two copper hop backs, each holding 170 barrels, where this separation takes place, and which is accomplished by draining the wort through gun-metal strainers.
From the copper-house we ascended to the cooler-loft, which forms the roof of next building, and measures go feet by 63 feet.
It contains one of Briggs and Co.'s copper coolers, 44 feet long, 28 feet wide, and 12 inches deep, with a capacity of 200 barrels, and three of Morton's horizontal refrigerators; but the greater part of the floor is covered with four open shallow coolers, wherein the cooling process commences ; the wort then runs over the refrigerators into the fermenting squares placed on the floor below. We noticed a novelty in this cooling room, consisting of two dreg filters - the first we had seen of that description in any brewery - being square timber vessels used for filtering the grounds which are left behind in the coolers, by atmospheric pressure.
"Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 2", Alfred Barnard, 1889, pages 119 - 122.
Five mash tuns, each with a capacity of 55 quarters. Assuming their Pale Ale had an OG of 1065 and they were getting an extract of 85 brewers pounds per quarter, I make that about 200 barrels of beer per mash tun. Or, in total, about 1,000 barrels a day. That's quite a lot of beer. The annual capacity would have been 250,000 - 300,000 barrels. Not quite on the same scale as Bass or Guinness (who each brewed around 1 million barrels), but enough to put them in the top twenty. I'm sure I've got a league table of brewers somewhere. Here it is:
|Largest breweries in the UK in 1884|
|Beer Bands (barrels)||sugar (lbs)||sugar estimated as malt (qtrs)||malt (qtrs)||sugar + malt (qtrs)||license and beer duty paid||Average OG of beer brewed|
|Guinness||1,300,000||0||0||310,930||310,930||391,843 16s 3d||1056.3|
|Bass||1,000,000||1,172,010||5,581||234,495||240,076||302,677 0s 9d||1056.5|
|Allsopp||850,000||326,081||1,552||212,091||213,643||257,689 16s 3d||1059.2|
|Combe||500,000||816,480||3,880||118,513||122,393||153,123 16s 3d||1057.6|
|Barclay||550,000||4,076,016||19,409||108,191||127,600||157,050 13s 9d||1054.6|
|Watney||450,000||3,294,035||15,686||205,816||221,502||273,383 5s 0d|
|Charrington||400,000||2,205,800||10,504||89,824||100,328||123,359 15s 0d||1059.1|
|Reid||350,000||1,800,008||8,571||76,985||85,556||104,972 5s 0d||1057.6|
|Whitbread||300,000||2,392,572||11,379||129,484||140,863||177,605 5s 0d|
|total||6,450,000||16,083,002||76,562||1,486,329||1,562,891||1,842,425 1s 3d|
|Document ACC/2305/8/246 part of the Courage archive held at the London Metropolitan Archive|
|Output based on the cost of the brewing licence which was based on bands of output,|
|the figure given is the top of the band into which the brewery's output fell.|
|Average OG assumes a yield of 85 lbs of extract per quarter and is my calculation.|
It's from a few years earlier, but close enough. See how well London is represented: 8 of the top 11. Though tellingly none of the top three was in London.
Now didn't I have another table showing the number of breweries of each size. Yes, that's it:
|Number of UK breweries by output (barrels per year)|
|<1,000||publican brewers||1,000 - 10,000||10,000 - 20,000||20,000 - 100,000||100,000 - 500,000||>500,000||<10,000||>10,000||Total|
|1928 Brewers' Almanack, page 118.|
In 1890, there were 34 breweries producing between 100,000 and 500,000 barrels a year. Salt were about bang in the middle of that group.
That's odd. It's called the new brewery, but one of the 5 mash tuns only had rakes and no Steel's masher. Why was the one fitted out differently? Was it used for a particular purpose? If the brewery had been newly fitted out, you'd expect them all to be the same.
Seven coppers, eh. Helpfully, Barnard has provided a drawing of them. They look like open coppers to me. They definitely aren't domed coppers, like Fullers had. If you remember an earlier text mentioned that they preferred open coppers for Pale Ale.
"Daniel's patent apparatus" is intriguing. Hop sparging was pretty standard practice by this time - no-one wanted to waste extract. Presumably the liquid drawn of was pretty low gravity, so concentrating them would make sense. But, this being a Pale Ale brewery, they wouldn't want to boil for long for fear of changing the colour. They were, after all, trying to produce a beer with a pale colour. It sounds very Heston Blumenthal, boiling at low temperature in a vacuum. Does any brewery still do this?
The cooling process is very standard. Start off in a shallow open cooler, partly to remove all the sludge from the wort, then finish by running over refrigerators.
Now the wort is nice and cool, it s ready to ferment. But you'll have to wait for part three to find out about that.