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1927 Coopers Sparkling Ale recipe... and table sugar!

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beerbong

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I came across this article link Drinking even more history from a few years ago. It discusses author Peter Symons, who as part of his book research, got access to Brewery archives and uncovered some old recipes. He found this 1927 recipe in the Coopers archive for Sparkling Ale. See attached pdf for the recipe, which is linked in the article too. It has nearly a kilo of white cane sugar :oops: in the fermentables!

I have never added sugar other than darker sugars to Belgian/Strong ale styles. Still a little tempted to give this a try one time but also know just because it is old and historic doesn't mean it is necessarily any good.

I was wondering if anyone has brewed this one to the letter, same as stated? Or any thoughts on whether you are you going to really taste that dreaded cidery taste everyone warns you of? Were tastes that different back in the day?
 

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kadmium

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I would imagine that because you add the sugar to the boil it will be inverted, and therefore not an issue :)
 

beerbong

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I would imagine that because you add the sugar to the boil it will be inverted, and therefore not an issue :)
I thought there was bit more to the process of making invert sugar but you have made me realise the table sugar warnings I got in the past were from the extract can brewing days where you weren't boiling it. Thanks for that. Now I am more tempted to try this. Still hoping someone out there has tried this one
 

kadmium

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Actually you are right, I forgot you need citric acid to really invert it fully and heat it past boiling, I believe adding it to the boil will give you a partially inverted sugar! It's been a while!
 

MHB

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Yeast is very good at making Invert, has an enzyme called Invertase just for the job.
These days the main reason commercial brewers buy invert is so it stays liquid (sucrose has a bad habit of crystalising) and can be stored in tanks then pumped whish is the easiest way to handle it.

10% Sucrose isn't so much of a much, its there to lighten the body of the finished beer (mashing at 69oC for high body)
Interesting choice of malts Maris Otter wasn't developed until the mid 1960's, JW Ale is I believe mostly Gardner malt, even newer. Any good Ale malt should work Coopers used almost nothing but Schooner for decades so that would be a good choice, I think Coopers Malt offers Schooner as part of their range.
The Black Patent is just for colour adjustment, today Coopers use a touch of Crystal to get the same effect, personally I would prefer to go that way but 0.2% Black isn't going to have a huge impact on the flavour if you prefer. Comes to about 85g of BB medium crystal to get the same colour.

Until they did a big yeast cleanup Coopers house yeast had at least 4 strains of yeast, a Brett or two and a bunch of bugs, these days its a pretty pure single strain, nice yeast, throws lots of fruity esters including a bunch of banana if its under stress (especially if it has a lot of sucrose available) so a big healthy pitch is called for.

Nothing wrong with the recipe as it stands, it would make a nice PA, would seriously question how close to the original 1927 ale it would be but should be fine the way it is or as a starting point for your own creation.
Mark
 

scomet

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I love Coopers Sparkling Ale, strong, simple, crisp, a great beer. What Mark says about the choice of Maris Otter + I think it would be a bit too cloying for this beer. I would invert the sugar prior to adding and use a Coopers Grain, as Mark says Schooner would be a good choice + I dont think it needs the black malt. That recipe wont give you 5.9%abv you need to up the vol of grain to get it up around 6.5%. I have got very wary about authors who write about brewing beer and obviously dont brew! I would never buy another R. Patterson book again either…. Good Luck
 

sp0rk

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Until they did a big yeast cleanup Coopers house yeast had at least 4 strains of yeast, a Brett or two and a bunch of bugs, these days its a pretty pure single strain, nice yeast, throws lots of fruity esters including a bunch of banana if its under stress (especially if it has a lot of sucrose available) so a big healthy pitch is called for.
I was talking to someone at Coopers for a while early last year about heading down there to do a few days work experience in the lab as experience for my micro degree (which I've sort of shelved for the time being)
I was told the house yeast with the mixed strain/brett/etc has been preserved, but unlikely to be used any time soon
 
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Feldon

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Thought I'd chuck this up just for related interest. It's a recipe for 'Domestic Brewing' I found in the Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (of Sat 11 Jan 1834, p.216).

The recipe uses unmalted barley (or oats) and treacle (or dark brown sugar) and is said to produce "a good sound fine beer, equal in strength to London Porter".

(Note that the grain bill is measured in pecks - a now obsolete dry volume measure. An imperial peck is 1⁄4 of an imperial bushel, or two imperial gallons).

Domestic Brewing - Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, Sat 11 Jan 1834 p216.png
 

kadmium

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Thought I'd chuck this up just for related interest. It's a recipe for 'Domestic Brewing' I found in the Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (of Sat 11 Jan 1834, p.216).

The recipe uses unmalted barley (or oats) and treacle (or dark brown sugar) and is said to produce "a good sound fine beer, equal in strength to London Porter".

(Note that the grain bill is measured in pecks - a now obsolete dry volume measure. An imperial peck is 1⁄4 of an imperial bushel, or two imperial gallons).

View attachment 119348
That is incredible. I'm actually fairly tempted to attempt it. 12 hour brew day hahaha.
 

dkril

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That is incredible. I'm actually fairly tempted to attempt it. 12 hour brew day hahaha.
Some of that time will be reduced due to the better mashing grains available these days.
 

kadmium

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Pretty sure you don't need to triple mash em either, but what's the point in doing it if you don't do it per the recipe?
 

MHB

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The temperature for mashing in is quite high, somewhere above 70oC, more like 75oC, going to kill all the Beta Amylase, you can get fermentable sugar from Alpha Amylase activity but to get enough to make the sort of fermentable extract we are used to its going to be slooooooow.
I think the following water additions are going to be more in the way of a Batch Sparge than a second mash.
The sugar addition only comes to around 50g/L, so if they are claiming London Porter strength they must be getting a heck of a lot out of the malt.
According to Google an Imperial Peck is ~9.1L so about 5.46Kg at best about 4.0kg of extract, in 45.5L comes to around 89g/L, plus the 50g of sugar 139g/L. well around 1.050 OG

Numbers sort of work, but its a long and circuitous way to get somewhere I'm not sure I want to be.
Fun if you like that sort of thing, much as I enjoy reading up on brewing history I think I'll leave this one in the paper.
Mark
 

kadmium

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The temperature for mashing in is quite high, somewhere above 70oC, more like 75oC, going to kill all the Beta Amylase, you can get fermentable sugar from Alpha Amylase activity but to get enough to make the sort of fermentable extract we are used to its going to be slooooooow.
I think the following water additions are going to be more in the way of a Batch Sparge than a second mash.
The sugar addition only comes to around 50g/L, so if they are claiming London Porter strength they must be getting a heck of a lot out of the malt.
According to Google an Imperial Peck is ~9.1L so about 5.46Kg at best about 4.0kg of extract, in 45.5L comes to around 89g/L, plus the 50g of sugar 139g/L. well around 1.050 OG

Numbers sort of work, but its a long and circuitous way to get somewhere I'm not sure I want to be.
Fun if you like that sort of thing, much as I enjoy reading up on brewing history I think I'll leave this one in the paper.
Mark
Thinking of doing a 1 gallon batch on the stove, ferment in a glass demijohn. I have some ale malt, it would only be 500g of malt and a bottle of treacle hahaha.
 

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