[Read on Monday, January 20, 1862.]
The interesting results obtained by Messrs. Jackson and Wonfor in their analytical examination of Irish porter, induced us to undertake a similar examination of Drogheda ale, as this and the Porter" are the two beers which, are most consumed in Ireland, and they are also largely exported to other countries. No analysis of this ale having hitherto been published, we beg to lay before the Royal Dublin Society the results of our investigations.
As the time at our disposal would not permit us to examine more than one sample of ale, we selected that manufactured by Messrs. Cairnes as a specimen of all others. The sample which we analysed was of the description known as mild ale, and was obtained of Messrs. Weir and Co., through the Dublin Agent of Messrs. Cairnes.
The analysis was performed in the Laboratory of the Museum of Irish Industry, under the direction of Mr. Galloway. The mode of examination was precisely similar to that adopted by Messrs. Wonfor and Jackson in their analyses of the porter.
The results of the analysis show that the inorganic constituents are the same as those contained in the porter, and occur in about the same proportions; whilst the difference in the amount of spirit, sugar, and extractive matter, is very considerable, - the ale containing a much larger proportion of these substances: the porter, on the other hand, is richer in albuminous matter.
The two beers have different values as articles of diet, if the views most generally received of what constitutes nutritious and respiratory food be adopted. According to these views, the porter is the more valuable for the production of flesh, whilst the ale is richer in the substances which support respiration, and form fat."
"The Journal of the Royal Dublin society, Volume 3", 1862, pages 271 - 272.
There's then a very detailed analysis of Cairnes's Drogheda Ale. The full monty is a bit much even for me. I'll skip to the highlights:
|Cairnes's Drogheda Ale 1862|
|Total amount of fixed organic matter||90.355||90.529||90.432|
|Total amount of fixed inorganic matter||94.375||94.71||94.61|
|Phosphate of Magnesia||0.753||0.753||0.753|
|Chloride of sodium||0.381||0.375||0.378|
|"The Journal of the Royal Dublin society, Volume 3", 1862, pages 276|
The ABW and ABV are my own calculation, based on the proof spirit content. Proof spirit contained 49.25% alcohol by weight. The OG was given in the article. The FG I've calculated from OG and ABW.
I'm very happy to have found this. Of only because the Drogheda Ale is specifically called Mild Ale. That may not be important to you, but it is to me. I can now say for certain that Mild Ale was brewed in Ireland in the 19th century.
But it doesn't stop there. We've also learned more about the nature of Irish Mild. At least the Drogheda variety. For a start, it was pretty damn strong, almost 9% ABV. It was fairly well attenuated for the strength, around 70%. Fairly acidic, too. The lactic acid contents of the samples was 0.372% and 0.409%.
Do you know what Drogheda Ale reminds me of? Burton or Edinburgh Ale. So Irish Ale is really a form of Scotch Ale. That makes sense.
I feel like we're getting somewhere, don't you?