Archaeological brewing - 1835 recipe help

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Bruer

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Hi all,

I'm an archaeologist and I'm also a homebrewer. I'm looking to brew a beer based on a recipe published in a Western Australian newspaper article from 1835. I'm then going to present this beer as part of a presentation at the national conference. The presentation revolves around experimental archaeology and what beer from the 19th century colony of WA tasted like. But I need a bit of help if figuring out the recipe.

Here's the recipe article:
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article641073

This is what I have so far.

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: 1835 WA Ale Recipe

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: British Strong Ale
Boil Time: 20 min
Batch Size: 100 liters (ending kettle volume)
Boil Size: 104.56 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.097
Efficiency: 80% (ending kettle)


STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.102
Final Gravity: 1.021
ABV (standard): 10.61%
IBU (tinseth): 49.27
SRM (daniels): 9.99

FERMENTABLES:
47.63 kg - floor malted pils (100%: PPG=32)

HOPS:
1.95 lb - Fuggles, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 6.1, Use: Boil for 20 min, IBU: 49.27

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 66.5 C, Time: 90 min, Amount: 90.96 L

YEAST:
Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (custom): 78%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 12.22 - 25 C
Fermentation Temp: 18 C
Pitch Rate: 1.25 (M cells / ml / deg P)
Additional Yeast: B. clausenii

NOTES:
Made assumption of absorption based on recipe assumes 17g from 20g or 1.6 L/kg. Assumed 2.5 bushels equates to English 114.38 lbs. Gallons are imperial Gallons 1 g = 4.54 L.

I've assumed that as the FV being a porter barrel (assumed to be imported from the UK) that there would be Brett clausenii too. Other assumptions I've made:
*40% reduction in amount of hops based on Bronzed brews calcs.
*approx 4L boil off in 20mins
*imperial gallons = 4.55L
*Imperial bushels = 42lbs
*170°F on that much grain equates to 66.5°C final mash temp.

I can't seem to get my head around the apparently super high abv. This looks more like a barleywine than a table or even strong ale. I'm also interested to know if anyone knows any assumptions I might be able to make regarding the extract potential of 19th century English, NSW or Tasmanian pale malt (as no malt was produced commercially in WA until 1836).

Am I reading and interpreting the recipe right. Any recommendations would be great.
 
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akx

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Two thoughts:
80% efficiency could be too high.
And maybe double check the bushels-to-kg of grain. Wikipedia says 1 bushel = 8 gallons, so it was 20 gallons of grain. I think it would be less than 50-some kgs, based on my recollection of how much grain I could fit in a 6 gallon bucket...
 

good4whatAlesU

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Fuggles as I understand weren't around until the 1860s .. EKGs came in during the late 1830's I think (according to the British hops association).
 

Mardoo

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I myself would go for an English pale malt, rather than pilsner. I believe this will get you closer to the original product than the pilsner malt. You can still get floor-malted English malts, for example, Thomas Fawcett Floor Malted Maris Otter. Maybe you have information available which I don't, that leads you to choose this, though.

The high starting gravity may be, in part, due to the difference in modification of the malt starches between historic malts and today's malts. It seems like you're reading the recipe correctly, unless the volumetric difference pointed out by akx is correct. Thinking of my 18 gallon keg I have as a kettle, I'd guess closer to 40 kilos of grain in 20 gallons of volume.
 

kaiserben

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1 bushel of malted barley = 34 lb (or 15.4 kg) (source = Wikipedia), so your grain bill should be about 38.5 kg.

So that'll bring gravity down a bit.
 

Bruer

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Apparently and according the the bronzed brews book there's a difference between English, Australian and American bushels of malt. Being 42lbs, 40lbs and 34lbs respectively. I made the assumption that early colonial brewers would have still been using imperial bushels as a measurement.

Anyone want to measure 4.55L of pale malt for me?

I looked at the floor malted pils by weyerman which has a ppg of 36. I figured it would be even less for 19th century malt, but had nothing to go on so assumed about 32 ppg.

Assumed 80% eff as that's my brew eff. Will adjust it for the recipe then scale for brewday.
 

Bruer

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So here's the recipe with a few changes made. Assumption of 60% efficiency. Fuggles swapped out for EKG. Floor malted pils swapped out for FM MO, still assuming a lower ppg for undermodification.

Title: 1835 WA Ale Recipe

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: British Strong Ale
Boil Time: 20 min
Batch Size: 100 liters (ending kettle volume)
Boil Size: 104.56 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.073
Efficiency: 60% (ending kettle)


STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.076
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV (standard): 7.96%
IBU (tinseth): 50.25
SRM (morey): 8.17

FERMENTABLES:
47.63 kg - floor malted MO (100%)

HOPS:
1.95 lb - East Kent Goldings, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 20 min, IBU: 50.25

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 66.5 C, Time: 90 min, Amount: 90.96 L
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.6 L/kg

YEAST:
Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (custom): 78%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 12.22 - 25 C
Fermentation Temp: 18 C
Pitch Rate: 1.25 (M cells / ml / deg P)
Additional Yeast: B. clausenii

NOTES:
Made assumption of absorption based on recipe assumes 17g from 20g or 1.6 L/kg. Assumed 2.5 bushels equates to English 105 lbs. Gallons are imperial Gallons 1 g = 4.54 L.
 

kaiserben

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I think I remember seeing (in Bronzed Brews) at least one of the historical recipes indicating American measurements (I only remember because I was a bit surprised). I don't have the book in front of me to check that though.

Possibly of interest to you: I found another reference to beer being brewed in WA where it says: "from a bushel and a half, (dried in the sun,) and one pound of hops, 20 gallons of good ale ad 15 of small beer can be produced. " (reference: LINK)
 

bradsbrew

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Accounting for the modern malts giving better efficiency, you would only need 33kg to reach the 7.96 abv. Assuming you get 80% actual efficiency . Are you going to stir the mash for 30 minutes , then sit 60 minutes?
 

Bruer

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That's what I figured about the modern malts too. But kind of need to figure out the original and then reverse-engineer to modern standards and efficiencies. I tend to get around 80% efficiency most of the time.

I'm not sure if I'll stir for a full 30 minutes as I'll be reducing the final volume to a more reasonable 20L. There will be discrepancies in thermal mass between the batch sizes and therefore stirring for 30 minutes in the smaller batch wouldn't be the same IMO (Unless someone else has a better understanding of thermodynamic physics).
 

labels

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Your second recipe is more on the mark at 60% efficiency at 1.076 - a lot more realistic providing you have a reasonably efficient brewery.
 

Edd Mather 6

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Hi , I'll be having a bash at converting this one for you ; one thing I must mention is the A/a of the hops is WAY to high for the period , it'd be closer to 3.5 than 6 , and the Mash time in total would be 1 hr 20 minutes , 20 to mash in , 1 hr goods in , pop me an email to [email protected] if you like; cheers ,
Edd Mather
 

Edd Mather 6

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Have you come across the Durden Park Beer Circle, they are a group doing modern brews of antique recipes, not far off what you are attempting.
Mark
Aye ,I've heard of the Durden Park Beer Circle, still ploughing along with my book , the recipie seems a bit like the early Greenall's material I've looked at , from the late 1780's, although I'd say the original article wasn't written by anyone with technical/ practical brewing knowledge, as the original weights give an ibu of between 12-15 ,and a gravity in the low 1.070's , bitterness calculated : assuming a hop lb/bushel ratio of 1.5 lb per bushel .
Does anyone know when hops started to be grown in Australia on a commercial basis for brewing?.
 

good4whatAlesU

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Will be following this with interest as I'm currently trying to get my 1840's Stout recipe up and going. Our lot were 'hopfactors' in Cardiff in the 1780's, I think Mathon might be a likely suspect (or Farnham/ Canterbury) but EKG is about the most contemporary readily available here now? Fuggles came 20 years later (but also might be close). Either that or some of the wildings growing down in the Victorian bush (if verified) could be an old variety.

This article from the 1880's is quite interesting: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WDT18830731.2.10

If anyone currently grows/sells Mathon/ Canterbury/ Farnham ins Aus or NZ I'd be interested to know. I looked at import costs but my pockets are not deep enough.

wp_ss_20170514_0002.jpg
 

Edd Mather 6

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Mathons, and Early Bird are, still grown , but labelled as EKG (Ex Charles Faram's ) in general,and on the Farnham thing, there were two distinct types , Town = low alpha, Ca 1.3-5 % ,great aromatic properties, Country Farnham's were higher in alpha at around the 3%+ mark, Good luck with the Stout, drop me a line if I can help , Regards & Cheers ; Edd
 

Bruer

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So I brewed the recipe on the weekend just past. I've also worked through a whole bunch of info and assumptions. I'll post the whole lot including the final recipe when I back at my computer.

On another note, I'm now starting to think I might need to write a history of brewing in Western Australia with recipes, perhaps with an archaeology slant to it too. Definitely a book in it.
 

MHB

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Snip
Does anyone know when hops started to be grown in Australia on a commercial basis for brewing?.
The best (possibly only well known) reference would be "The Hop Industry in Australia" Helen R, Pearce 1976. ISBN 0 522 84097 3
Not just James Squire, as the knee deep plethora of Tooheys sponsored websites would have you think.
Mark
 
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