Let's see what Mr. Heslop suggested:
"Mr Heslop's Solution
Having been asked by you to make a full report on the trouble at your brewery at Alloa, I have now pleasure in forwarding same. I have concentrated this as much as possible without in any way detracting from its value, and trust it will meet with your approval, and that better results may be obtained in the near future.
The cause of the trouble with your beers in my opinion arises from a combination of circumstances. The first, dirty plant, walls and cellars, also a certain percentage of casks which had been passed as clean, there having been no proper inspection lamp used. The second, too large a percentage of heavy malts in grists for hot weather. The third, badly cooked wort being boiled in too large bulk and by steam. The finings are being made at Brewery, but although higher in cost to buy it would be advisable to do so until such time as cellars where this produce is made are in a cleaner, sweeter smelling state.
Californian hops are being used for dry hopping meantime, but a blend of Mild English hops might improve the flavour of beer in cask.
Your stock of Indian and Californian malts is getting too small. I have told your brewer to start malting operations immediately as his stock of usable malts will be finished in about a month, and new malt must not be used till it is at least 5 to 6 weeks old. Your Indian barley is late in arriving and you will be compelled to buy this class of malt also Californian for a time to keep your Brewery going, as by blending American and Scotch malts, with above and Californian, except in very small percentages, can only lead to further trouble and fining difficulties. If possible to procure, a quantity of Tunisian light malt to be blended in pale ale grists would still give much better results.
Since seeing American barley to-day and ascertaining from your Maltster the difficulty he had in keeping it sound on the malting floor, I strongly advise you to sell both barley (400 qrs.) and malt (700 qrs.) even at a slight loss, as it will only give you further trouble with your beers if used, and I have told your Mr Church and Mr Hay this to-day. I also examined barley and malt cleaning machinery, and meantime you have merely roughing-out machines and an addition should be made to this plant later.
The mash and sparge heats are correct for type of malts used, and all other particulars and details of system I have gone into with your Brewer.
The Brewer should have full power in the management of Brewing and Malting Departments with no interference whatever from the Commercial Department, and the ordering and order books should be in his hands. When barley, malt and hops have to be bought and contracts have to be made, then one of your Directors should be consulted.
If my advice is carefully followed out without unnecessary delay, plant etc. kept thoroughly clean and sweet and with proper supervision of men, I see no reason why you should not turn out Ales of fairly good quality.
I asked Mr Robert Henderson to examine and report on well, as this was absolutely necessary.
I am. Gentlemen,
A. J. Heslop."
Journal of the Scottish Brewing Archive Vol. 3, 2001, pages 35 - 36.
His recommendations in a nutshell: clean the brewery and make sure all the casks are clean; change the malt used; buy in finings rather than making them in a filthy cellar.
This being 1916, getting hold of the foreign barley to malt wouldn't necessarily have been that simple. And the quality of barley available wasn't likely to be the best. Brewers had to learn to make use of what they could get hold of during the war. I've seen it mentioned elsewhere that malt shouldn't be used immediately. Not sure why that is exactly, but I'm not going to argue.
I'm shocked that they used American hops for dry-hopping. Normally only good English or Continental hops were used in the cask and American hops were reserved for early copper additions. Mostly because no-one much cared for the flavour of American hops and used them where this would be the least noticeable.
There's one recommendation that should be nailed up in every brewery: let the brewer run brewing operations and keep the money men out of it. It's a sad and depressing truth that once the brewer loses control of brewing, the beers turn to shit. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. It's happened everywhere from Bass to Guinness to Pilsner Urquell.