Australian Bitter Ale: BJCP 6.1 [AABC]

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good4whatAlesU

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I contacted the kiwi hop researchers some time ago and they had nothing left of the heritage varieties - all bred out/ lost.
Only pure strains obtainable from the UK now with great difficulty (need deep pockets to import).
 
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manticle

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I'm just rebooting this topic as the old thread had got a bit cluttered, and in any case was started before the release of Bronzed Brews by Peter Symons and of course the current availability of Whitelabs WLP059 Melbourne Ale.

So this year, 2017, is the first year that a genuine attempt at an Australian Bitter Ale can be entered into the comps this season. And here's the problem:

Australian Bitter Ale was included in the BJCP guide a few years ago and was greeted (including by myself) with a certain degree of derision. I don't know if Korev had any input in those days, however in light of his research and book, a lot of the history and style characteristics set out in the BJCP guide are pretty accurate, but some of them are now looking a bit dodgy. So there is a bit of a conflict in some areas and I'd guess that a fair few of the "Bronzed Brew" beers entered as an Australian Bitter Ale could well be marked as "not to style".

For example:
Definitive Australian style, evolved
directly from colonial era Pale Ale/Sparkling Ale as
crystal malt was introduced during early 20th
century. [Symons has found that not much crystal was used] Originated independently of English Bitter,


and remained a bottled style exclusively. [dead wrong, much of the beer over the bar especially NSW was draught, and it was lagers that tended to be bottled as a lot of the ales didn't do too well bottled]
Developed as a narrow style, typified by a handful of State-
based brands, using a high proportion of cane
sugar, high-alpha domestic hops, and standard
Australian ale yeast (originally isolated 1888 at
Victoria Brewery in Melbourne) .
Dominant bottled style by mid-century, with major brands exported.
Converted to lager yeast during late 20th century,
as megabrewers standardized production with draught
lagers. Modern Bitter remains by far Australia’s
biggest selling packaged beer style, and following
draught release in 1992, market leader Victoria
Bitter now accounts for one quarter of total
Australian beer sales.

The BJCP guide also basically mandates the use of Pride of Ringwood, whereas I believe that most Lion brews (and their predecessors, and even some CUB predecessors such as Reschs and Tooths) wouldn't have had access to this hop that was bred by CUB. For example XXXX still uses Cluster and in Beer the Beautiful truth site, most Lion brands seem to use Superpride developed by HPA.

Varieties of Tasmanian golden cluster and EKG style hops seemed to be fairly common pre-Prides.

A bit late this year, but how exactly does one provide input to the BJCP to update a style description and does anyone know whether Australian Bitter Ale is up for a revamp?
Email kristen England with your contention and references.

Try google but also [email protected]
 

Midnight Brew

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Also worth noting that produce from the Corranderrk Station won some awards in 1881 at the Melbourne international exhibition, this station was very profitable for the government producing a significant amount of hops.
 

good4whatAlesU

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The Victorian wild whitebines AJ80 sent me out of the bush would be interesting to get DNA testing to try and match them up with a heritage variety. I suspect the DNA (PCR?) analysis would be much cheaper than importing from scratch.
 

TidalPete

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Jumping in at the deep end sugar-wise & brewing an 1894 XXXK Pale Ale Clone (page 269) next brewday using the 059.
25% sugar! :turning green: WOW!
Recipe calls for that percentage in white sugaz but am finding it awkward to get the recommended EBC & so I'll be using my No2 Invert (65 EBC) home-made from raw sugaz.
Not too worried about the style police as I don't do comps.

PS ---- When are we going to get our old Smilies back??? This lot suck bigtime!
 

technobabble66

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Whoa. 25%?! Balls of steel! Very keen to hear how it goes.

Fwiw, I'm pretty sure there's an excerpt of an old report from the early 20th century (quoted in Bronzed Brews?) on Melbourne #1 yeast (meant to be WLP-059) where the author mentions coming across multiple beers done with up to 50% raw sugar (!?!!). [emoji32]

So really, TP, you're playing it pretty safe. [emoji57]
Maybe you should have a ballsier crack at 40%? [emoji6]


Agree, I miss the old smileys. There's some good new ones, but there's a lot of the old ones that can't be subbed for by these newer ones.
 

TidalPete

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Whoa. 25%?! Balls of steel! Very keen to hear how it goes.

Agree, I miss the old smileys. There's some good new ones, but there's a lot of the old ones that can't be subbed for by these newer ones.

No balls of steel here techno, am retired with plenty of time, grain, hops, etc. :)
Can't say I've seen that 50% sugar recipe (link appreciated if possible?) but AAMOF I've already done a 1917 Tooths XXX a year ago using a donated Melbourne No1 yeast that was probably in its 1000th generation. LOL!
That recipe had 15.8% sugaz so another 9.0% odd shouldn't be too much of a gamble fingers crossed. :)

Off-Topic ---- Really wish they could would bring the old Smilies back.
AUSSIEHOMEBREWER seems to be turning into yet another fine example of a bland 'ole Yankee beer forum.
Not that I have anything against the Yanks but here we are. :(
 

manticle

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Should be able to say what you need to with Queen's English anyway. Smilies are for those who can't articulate properly.
 

indica86

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Hmmm, threw down a Tooths with the Melbourne Ale, I'll have to grab some Cluster and EKG to give this a whirl.

I love EKG, such a lovely bittering hop.
 

Danscraftbeer

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The total old smiley archive is broken. Lost! :(

:fallingoffchair: << See that is just ridiculous. Yet the old laughing (more modest subtle) smiley is a humble token given when words would be tedious. Is gone! Replaced by this hideous over indulged example.


Oh Shit back to the topic!
I say for Aussie stye to be of Aussie origins. I think that could also end up in the New World category but why try to go back in time?
Clinging to the monarchy? I say any Aussie hops. Aussie Malt. Sugars if you want to. All Aussie made makes sense to me.
 

technobabble66

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Minor point: quite a few English bitters/ ESBs use styrian goldings. Or other European ingredients.

I do kinda agree with your suggestion, but it's also kinda restrictive and not necessarily consistent with many other styles (though definitely true for many).
I'd agree there should definitely be an emphasis towards Aussie ingredients, but I'm not wedded to it all being strictly AU.
2c
 

technobabble66

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... (link appreciated if possible?) ...
http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e1fc4d_7856c7885e094ff5a1eb607ca643ac5d.pdf

"... known throughout Australia as “Melbourne No.1” had proved itself the yeast every brewer was waiting for. It has the ability to ferment worts with 50% of the gravity composed of raw cane sugar, without the slightest sign of weakness; further, it is of such vigorous habit that pure cultures remain pure after re-sowing in brews covering a period of months ..."

What. The. Hell. does a 50% sugar beer taste like?!?
And what do you do with the other 50%?? (oats? ... kidding!) (i'm assuming it's probably a case of "**** it, lets just throw some shit into the mash/kettle and make booze", but hey, maybe this yeast does something magical to sugar!).
 

Danscraftbeer

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Cider Beer. The old but realized megaswill. Punchy with small hop bills.
Less is better sometimes. Then who knows how high this yeast goes.
 

TidalPete

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Thanks for that techno, & now that you've jogged my memory I remember reading that bit recently.
I was trying to find the actual date as to when Melbourne No1 was first used in Australia & by which brewery but am still unsure ATM as at least one recipe puts the date at February 1888 as opposed to post 1910 as mentioned at the start of your linked article.
Happy to be corrected here as it's probably just a typo & who am I to nitpick? :)

Surely nobody in that day & age (or at present) would seriously contemplate adding 50% sugar to a recipe except for the purpose testing a yeast's fermentation limits?
 
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Bribie G

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30% beers are commonplace and can be quite drinkable. Try Wells Bombardier or Cascade Premium Lager.
And not at all cidery.
The cidery urban myth comes from generations of supermarket kits brewed in Uncle Stan's tool shed.

I actually got a bootleg sample of no 1 last year and did a 40 percenter and was surprised how malty and smooth it turned out.
I wanted to breed up a decent yeast cake so I chucked it into an AG APA, turned out a bit meh.
 

shacked

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I'm going to have a crack at something close to this category next weekend. Triple batch: 80% pale, 10% sugarz, 8% flaked wheat, 2% dark crystal. Super pride @ FWH for 25 IBUish, then one batch with 009, one with 059 and one with 1099 (Whitbread).

As an aside and not to style but I'm going to serve one on cask for a brew club meet up.
 
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