Wednesday, 31 August 2011

What I want for christmas

If only I had the room in my garden. What a great thing to own - your own miniature Victorian brewery. I'm sure I could put it to good use. But given the amount of space we have in Amsterdam, it'll have to wait until I retire to Franconia.

Allsopp's sounds the perfect brewery the way Barnard describes it. He seems to have been a big fan iof the brewery, judging by the number of pages he devotes to them. Having a pilot brewery, as well as being dead cool, is a very modern, practical appreoach. Maybe Barnard had good reason for his enthusiasm.

"We devoted the remainder of the day to an inspection of the Model Brewery, which occupies a corner of the second block of buildings in the New Brewery, and consists of several lofty floors or stages, each about 36 feet square. It is so arranged that it does not depend upon the New Brewery for anything except "power and water," the former supplied by a shaft from the engine, the latter from the neighbouring tanks. In this little model brewery, which is replete with every vessel and machine in use at the larger breweries, experimental brewing is carried on daily to test every ingredient and brew.

The mill, to which we ascended by a steep ladder off the second landing of the main staircase, like the larger ones, contains a pair of rollers, under which is the usual hopper to fill the mash-tuns below. In a recess, on the same level, there is a hot-water tank filled from the new brewery supply; and, on the floor below, which we reached by a short flight of steps, are two little mash-tuns, each about three-quarters, completely filled ; between them, and serving them both, is a Steels mashing machine fixed on an iron pedestal and communicating with the hopper above. Underneath these tuns, there is a neat arrangement of pipes through which steam is blown to the mash-tuns to soften the grist if necessary. Even the grains have not been forgotten, as a shoot through all the floors conveys them from the sides of the tun to the trucks below. On the half-landing, off the staircase by which we descended, there is a small underback holding eight barrels, and on the brick floor below, which is the copper stage, there are two coppers each of nine barrels content. Below this floor again, is the copper hearth where there are two furnaces, a small hop-back, the usual hop press, Morton's refrigerator, and set of pumps, all on a small scale to suit the operations. Following our guide, we came to the round's room, containing six rounds each of sixteen barrels content, and, from thence, to the union room below which is twice as large as the room we had just left. It contains sixty-eight union casks, each holding sixty-one gallons, and two racking squares holding together twenty-five barrels.

This model brewery has its regular brewer, mashmen, and rackers, the same as the larger breweries, and all the vessels and machinery are quite a picture of brightness and cleanliness."
"The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 1" by Alfred Barnard, 1889, page 159.

Time for my usual analysis of the vessel sizes. The mash tuns are for three quarters. At least I think that's what he means. Three quarters is enough malt for around 12 barrels of beer. Which tallies well with the 16-barrel fermenters and 9-barrel coppers. The 68 union casks sound a bit over the top for such a small plant. Their combined capacity is 115 barrels, or about 10 brews. Considering beer only stayed in the unions a few days, it seems more than sufficient.

I wonder what happened to Allsopp's model brewery? The building, at least, is still there. It was in one corner of the building behind the offices (pictured above).


Gary Gillman said...

Ron, maybe the teapot is still in the basement somewhere. :)


Rod said...

Ron -
Great to hear that you're planning to retire to Franken!
I'm thinking about Hirscheid myself. I foresee some long Kellerbier afternoons!