Thursday, 11 February 2010

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1941 Barclay Perkins IBS

I may have to change the title of this series. It's become rare for the posts to appear before Friday. Oh well. There are more important things to worry about than a slightly inaccurate title.

The beer today is a bit of an oddity: low-gravity Russian Stout. There was a war on, you know. And you can be sure nothing as strong was brewed in Germany in 1941.

Let's start with some background. IBSt was the original Russian Stout. The beer first brewed by Thrale for the court of Catherine the Great. When the brewery was acquired by Barclay and Perkins, they continued to brew this powerful beer.

The 19th century version was about as strong as beers came. It had an OG of 1107 and had more than 10 pounds of hops per barrel. It clearly wasn't a big seller. It was brewed very occasionally in batches of 200-odd barrels. Doubtless it was vatted for at least a year or two. (Even in the 20th century it underwent a lond secondary conditioning. It was filled into wooden barrels infected with brattanomyces and left for a minimum of 12 months, with the occasional kick around the brewery yard.)

After WW I there were two versions. IBS, the domestic version and IBS Ex for export. The latter was the closest to the original, retaining a gravity of over 1100 and hopped at 7 pounds per barrel (plus another pound of dry hops). The domestic version was considerably weaker, at 1061 and had just 2.5 pounds of hops per barrel.

The WW II version showcased today is a touch weaker than the interwar beer, but otherwise similar. As you will now discover as I pass you over to Kristen . . .



Barclay Perkins - 1941 - IBSt
General info: An extremely dark and roasty low gravity version of a Imperial Brown Stout. Four years earlier this same brewery produced an export version of an IBSt with nearly double the gravity and hops. This one is not only unique in the fact that its lower gravity but also the vast amount of dark malts. More specifically, this is the first time that I've seen roasted barley being used to excess. Although low gravity, this one packs a wallop!
Beer Specifics

Recipe by percentages
Gravity (OG)
1.056

69.4% English pale
4.4% Crystal 75L
Gravity (FG)
1.019

8% Amber malt
3.9% Cane sugar
ABV
4.93%

8.5% Roasted barley
1.4% Caramel colorant
Apparent attenuation
66.07%

4.4% Brown malt

Real attenuation
54.13%







IBU
34.5

Mash
90min@149°F
0.95qt/lb

SRM
105.7


90min@65°C
1.99L/kg

EBC
281.5










Boil
90 min













Homebrew @ 70%
Craft @ 80%
Grist
5gal
19L
10bbl
10hl
English pale
7.60
lb
3.460
kg
412.24
lb
159.28
kg
Amber malt
0.87
lb
0.398
kg
47.44
lb
18.33
kg
Roasted barley
0.93
lb
0.426
kg
50.71
lb
19.59
kg
Brown malt
0.48
lb
0.220
kg
26.17
lb
10.11
kg
Crystal 75L
0.48
lb
0.220
kg
26.17
lb
10.11
kg
Cane sugar
0.42
lb
0.192
kg
22.90
lb
8.85
kg
Caramel colorant
2.53
oz
1.153
kg
8.59
lb
3.32
kg





594.23483



Hops








Fuggle 5.5% 90min
1.16
oz
33.0
g
72.20
oz
1.745
kg
Fuggle 5.5% 30min
0.57
oz
16.2
g
35.39
oz
0.855
kg
Fuggle 5.5% dry hop
0.56
oz
15.8
g
34.62
oz
0.836
kg









Fermentation
68°F /20°C















Yeast
Safale S04

1318 London Ale Yeast III   -









Tasting Notes: Black as night. Creeping death. This beer draws the light out of the room. Massive toasted bread crumbs and Italian espresso. Little wifts of caramel cocoa  and spicy hops linger. A initial biscuity malt sweetness disintegrates into the astringent coffee sweetness that continues through the end. Flavor just keeps going...


Ingredients and technique
Grist & such
Tons of darker malts and a bit of sugar here. The base malt is only about 70% of the entire recipe with the low gravity of the recipe the dark malts would really dominate. The is an utter ton of roast barley used. At 8% it would have given a very good of the majority of the character to the beer. A little bit of caramel to round out the color to damn near 280 EBC!

Hops
Surprisingly little hops for this type of beer. They were quite old as well giving only about 35 bus. There was still a good portion of dry hopping to this beer adding to the already tannic nature of this beer.

Mash & Boil
A very simple mash with a single underlet. A short lower temp rest and then a good 90 minutes at a moderate temperature. Nothing that would suggest the high gravity finish of this beer. All the darker malts would have left some dextrins behind but not to the point of the 66% attenuation it calculates out to be.

Fermentation, Conditioning & Serving
The fermentation was allowed to get quite warm. Into the very upper limits of what I have seen before especially in this brewery. This would have added a little more ‘spice’ character to the beer and should have dried it out even more than it was. It was condition for about two weeks at about 2.2 vol of CO2.


Gyling & Blending
One of the only instances of a straight beer being made. There was absolutely no gyle to this recipe at all. Just a single beer off a single wort. I’m guessing the 8% roasted barley had a lot to do with this. That being said, there was another IBSt that was made in 1941 in the same brewery that was gyled with a lower gravity stout.

15 comments:

Gary Gillman said...

It so happens last night I opened my Sinebrychoff stout purchased in New York recently, and the taste notes describe very well this beer too.

The Koff also has a Worcester-like intensity of flavour that may be a type of brett flavour. This sauce-like note is one familiar to me from some other extant strong stouts including Lion Stout (Sinha in some markets) from Sri Lanka, a survival of a Colonial-era British brewery.

The website for Koff has some good notes on its version, and suggests the beer was formulated - revived probably - in the 1950's but to me it has an authentic Victorian (at least) brown stout flavour.

Gary

Gary Gillman said...

Here is something I haven't seen before:

http://books.google.com/books?id=gHsaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA201&dq=brown+stout&lr=&as_drrb_is=b&as_minm_is=1&as_miny_is=1700&as_maxm_is=1&as_maxy_is=1800&as_brr=0&cd=1#v=onepage&q=brown%20stout&f=false

It is a detailed recipe for brown-stout, also called brown beer, from 1763 from a gentleman in Hertfordshire. The specification uses "brown malt high dried" and also brown (perhaps Sussex or that type) hops, both staples of porter-brewing in the 1700's and 1800's.

I find it odd that this recipe is expressed as a country recipe when porter and brown stout seem typical London drinks. It makes me wonder whether brown stout came first, from the country albeit the country also was known for strong pale ale.

What then would have been London's innovation with porter? Perhaps the brewing of the beer from an entire grist and aging it, whereas in this country account, the brewing seems to reflect the older approach of a first strong run and then preparation of a mild beer.

Gary

Oblivious said...

I brewer the 1851 EI porter a few weeks back very nice and work great with a sparkler!!!!!!!!

Interesting change over form black to roasted barley

Also these is a typo with the 19L home brew recipe for Caramel colorant 1.153 kg, should this be 0.150 kg

I think this is another one for the historical porter list :)

Graham Wheeler said...

This is another example of B.P. using caramel unnecessarily. Without the caramel this beer already has a colour of 257EBC, 130SRM (Kritsten, where on earth did you get your colour conversion from?). That is getting on for twice the colour of Guinness. No need to add caramel, even for colour adjustment, because the hapless imbiber is not going to notice any difference, which is the whole point of colour standardisation.

Because it is a bottled beer, it will go into a conditioning tank for a while, so the fermentation would have been stopped by attemperation at 1.019 before conditioning. By the time that the customer gets to drink it, it would have been closer to 1.015 and 5.3% alcohol.

Modern Worthington White Shield is also stopped 4° early, coincidentally.

Fair chance that it was chilled and filtered before bottling too, although stouts were one of the few bottled beers that were often spared this torture.

Little point in dry hopping a bottled beer in reality.

Ron Pattinson said...

Thanks for that Gary.

Ron Pattinson said...

Oblivious, Barclay Perkins flipped around between black malt and roasted barley in the 20th century. Sometimes you can't tell which it was because the log just says "roasted". (BP called black malt roasted malt.)

Ron Pattinson said...

Graham, the FG has already been lowered to account for that. The final gravity in the log is 1022.

Why is there no point dry-hopping a bottled beer? I've seen loads of instances of it.

Gary Gillman said...

Ron, thanks and looking at the 1763 brewing of brown stout again, his use of successive worts to wet the mash instead of water is interesting. I couldn't quite follow what he is doing there, can you explain it (maybe in a future posting?).

Gary

Graham Wheeler said...

Ron Pattinson said...
Graham, the FG has already been lowered to account for that. The final gravity in the log is 1022.

Fair enough, although I do think that 1.019 is a bit high. There is no reason why any yeast should not continue to ferment down to the wort fermentability, typically around 63% real attenuation. There is no good reason for it to stop, unless it is brutally stopped by filtering or pasteurisation.

Why is there no point dry-hopping a bottled beer? I've seen loads of instances of it.

For several reasons, but mostly to do with time and fizz. Dry hopping soon goes past its best, and is best suited for beers to be consumed quickly. The aroma gradually builds and then diminishes with time. With cask ales, where the hops are present in the cask, going beyond much more than a couple of weeks the and the aroma has gone and grassy and other off-flavours begin to be extracted. That is why, traditionally, dry hops were added to the cask just before despatch from the brewery.

It is all about aroma; dry hops do not supply significant bitterness. The aroma is highly volatile (must be if you can smell it) and much of the aroma that survives the copper or hopping on the hop back is stripped out by the evolving CO2 during fermentation. That is why it is more common, traditionally, for British beers to be dry hopped.

With bottled beers there are more issues. Bottled beers go into a conditioning tank. This is to enable the yeast to clean up certain off-flavours, but more importantly to purge out the obnoxious by-products of fermentation, sometimes euphemistically called 'fusel oils', because once it is in the bottle, there is no way that it is coming out.

Pressure is allowed to build up the the conditioning tank to quite high levels, say for a week or two, sometimes much longer, and then the pressure is released, usually gradually over a day or two. The evolving CO2 caused by the pressure release then strips the unwanted volatiles, including the aroma, clean out of the beer.

Again bottled beers are fizzier than cask beers, and the fizz that occurs when pouring would strip out any aroma that survived the conditioning tank.

Hop aroma and fizz are not good partners in any beer.

Right. I'm off to the pub before the bricks start flying.

Kristen England said...

Two oops's. I'm making my conversion calculations more stream lined and these got 'mooked' up. The caramel color for 19L is indeed wrong. Oblivious is correct. The color srm to ebc is wrong. Should be 1.97x srm = ebc.

As for the color of the beer, its stated specifically in the log after the caramel is added so my color is correct nearly to the digit.

As Ron said, the FG is correct taking into the fact that nearly every single BP beer dropped a few more points after they attemporated it. The FG at 'racking' would have been 1.022 as Ron said.

A few little addendums to this beer. The FG is really hard to get correct if you don't do something to stop the fermentation. I drop the yeast by attemporation like they did at BP. Without it it will dry out to much.

Also, I split it into separate fermenters and added another 20 gravity points worth of dark soft brown sugar directly into the fermentor. I got both of them to finish at the same FG w/o having to attemporate the one with brown sugar. They are both very different but at the same time equally as good. Give this a shot.

zythophile said...

Gary, Hoddesdon, where the 'Gentleman in Hertfordshire' comes from, is only about 20 miles from London, and three miles from Ware, where much of the high-dried brown malt for London's porter breweries was made, while Samuel Whitbread, Sir Ben Truman and the Calvert families, all big porter brewers, had estates nearby, so London "brown stout" would probably have been very familiar in the district.

What strikes me as odd about this account is the preparation of tworeturn worts; one for using to make an extra-strong first wort with the next lot of grain, and the final one to increase the gravity of the third mash from that next lot of grain, to make the mild beer with.

I suspect those "sauce" notes, btw, are umami: I've been regularly detecting umami flavours in very strong dark beers. It's from autolysis of the yeast, I assume. (Marmite, one of the most umami foods known, is made of autolysed yeast, of course.)

Ron Pattinson said...

Graham, my guess for the FG was 1016. But Kristen has actually brewed this.

Just found references to CB's in BP's records. Cleansing Backs I guess.

Gary Gillman said...

Okay very helpful Martyn, thanks.

Gary

Graham Wheeler said...

Ron Pattinson said...
Graham, my guess for the FG was 1016. But Kristen has actually brewed this.

Seventy years on, we can only guess.

Just found references to CB's in BP's records. Cleansing Backs I guess.

Intriguing. My guess is that CB's mean something else, unless it is really early. To me a 'back' means, probably erroneously, an open vessel. In some brewing books the terms like underback are sometimes written as underbuck.

Therefore a bucket would be a small buck (or a female buck) - an open vessel.

It would be nice if it referred to pontoons, but my top-of-the-head guess is that if the reference is post 1880, it refers to collection vessels - a legal requirement post 1880. In a small brewery the collection vessels and the fermentation vessels are often the same thing. But in a big brewery the size of Barclay, they are not going to have an acre or twos worth of fermentation vessels gauged. They will have a few collection vessels gauged, sufficient for twelve hours' output, and then drop the contents to the fermentation vessels after the tax-man has taken his dip.

This guessing stuff is really easy!

Graham Wheeler said...

Kristen England said...
The color srm to ebc is wrong. Should be 1.97x srm = ebc.

Electronic photometric measurement of beer colour is, theoretically at least, internationalised, using the same methods and similar equipment. The only difference between American and European numbers is path length. Americans normalise their results as if their 430nm light is shone through half-inch of beer; Europeans normalise their results as if their 430nm light is shone through 25mm of beer. The difference between the two numbers is the ratio of path length = 1.97.

In practice many British brewers still use the visual method for determining beer colour, using EBC colour-glasses, because a human polychromatic eye is much better than the machine's monochromatic eye at seeing what colour the customer will see. However, EBC colour glasses match photometric methods much more closely than the old S52 (Lovibond) colour glasses.

Prior to 1950, B.P would not only have been using colour glasses to determine their beer colour but they would have used the old S52 glasses that you call Lovibond. As long as they have NOT used a red glass in conjunction with it, as Whitbread did, to correct one of the deficiencies in S52, then you can simply divide by two (one-inch / half-inch) and that will give beer colour in your version of Lovibond. It will not bear any relationship to EBC or SRM though, without some sort of conversion.

Unfortunately the leading American lumps of brewing software have got themselves bogged down with the Morey equation, which is in turn based on an error by George Fix, so the colour predictions produced by these bear no relation to the real world anyway - cloud cuckoo really.

It gets much more complicated when dealing with malt colour - but that is a different story.

As for the color of the beer, its stated specifically in the log after the caramel is added so my color is correct nearly to the digit.

The colour of such a dark beer isn't important. A drinker cannot tell the difference between a 150EBC beer or a 250EBC beer; it is all jet black to him. The point I was making is that the caramel was superfluous.