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~tl I

Past and Present Members

Mr EAdcock
Mr N Apsey
MrE Bacon
Mr A J C Badger
Mr R Barnett
Mr W Barnett
Mr DE Bathe
Mr CT Beabey
Miss J Bennett
Mr R D Broad wood
MrE LClarke
Mr L Clayton
MrFW Codd
MrE Cogans
MrG A Cooper
MrW HCooper
Mr H Copestake
Mr H Cridge
Mr W Darbey
Mr C Dashwood
Mrs M Foreman
MrC Galley
Mr A Giddings
Mr A Goddard
Mr DGould
Mr J Greenaway
MrP J Harper
Dr J C Harrison
Mr D Heasman .
MrG Hewitt

MrE Hickson
MtJ Holgate
Mr C Hutchins
Mr J Irvin
Mr RJesson
Mr RJones
MrD Josey
Mr J Kellet
Mr A Kimber
MrT King
MrS Marks
MrD Meeks
Mr P Miller
MrS Muir
Mr J Porter
Mr A Ridgway
Mr K Rig lin
Mr L Rowlands
Mr G Scarlett
Mr J Sogings
Mr C Shearing
Mr A Smalley
Mr PTyson
Mr D Wilson

Old British Beers


How To Make Them


Second Edition

Dr John Harrison
and Members of
The Durden Park Beer Circle

840 Piner Road #14
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
{707) 544-2520




This booklet is an expanded edition of our publication entitled

Old British Beers and How to Make Them, published in 1976. It
contains instructions for brewing sixty British Beers ranging
from pre-1400 unhopped ales to early 1900s oatmeal stouts.
It is not intended to be a definitive history of the brewing
industry, brewing materials or brewing practices. These topics
are mentioned only where they have a significant impact on
ale formulations, e.g. the British Patent by D. Wheeler in 1817
for the drum-roasting of black malt and roast barley. This led
within a few years to the wholesale re-formulation of porters
and stouts.

Copyright 1991, The Durden Park Beer Circle

All rights reserved

First published 1976
Revised 1991

The Durden Park Beer Circle would like to thank the Trustees
of the Scottish Brewing Archive for permission to use material
held in the archive at Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Also gratefully acknowledged is the considerable assistance
given by Archivist, Charles McMaster BA, in extracting useful
The circle would also like to thank Whitbread plc for
information on their Victorian porter, double stout and triple
stout; and Courage plc for permission to publish the recipe for
Simond's 1880 Bitter extracted from their Brewing Archive at

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Harrison, John
Old British beers and how to make them.
I. Title

0 9517752 0 0

Typeset at The University of London Computer Centre


Introduction ................................................................................... vii

Part 1. Historical Notes ................................................................ 1
General ..................................................................................... 1
Nomenclature .......................................................................... 1
Weights and Measures ........................................................... 2
Brewing Methods (Old versus Present-Day) ...................... 4
Brewing Materials ................................................................... 5
Researching Old Beers ......................................................... 10 in Kent

Part 2. Making Old British Beers ............................................. 15

Brewing methods for formulations in this book .............. 15
Recipes .................................................................................... 19
Medieval Beers ............................................................... 21
Pale Amber and Amber Beers .. .................................... 25
Light Brown, Brown and Dark Brown Beers ............. 31
Stouts and Porters .......................................................... 39


-~ -:::-....,-~---...__~-

A typical si7Uill English Brewery


Appendix 1. Home Roasting Pale Malt to Coloured Malts ... 45

Appendix 2. Colour Ratings of Roast Malt and Barley .......... 46
References ..................................................................................... 47

...-... "-.


. -


-.. . .


Truman's XXK March Keeping Beer (1832)


A quality st rong pale ale with a fine hop charucter.

3.6 lb Pal' Malt

13! 4 oz Fuggles Hops (boil)

I; 2 oz Coldi11gs Hops (/at,)
1(10 oz. Coldi11gs Hops (dn;J
Method No.2, but acfd the late Geldings hops for the last
10 minutes of the boil, and dry hop with Geldings.
Mature for 8 to 10 months.

The Circle's interest in old beers originated in 1972 when the author
read a book A History of English Ale and Beer by H.A. MonktonO >.
This book not only showed the large part that Porter played in 18th
and 19th century brewing, but also indicated how other wellknown beers such as India Pale Ale had changed since the early
1800s. An unwritten assumption pervading the book was that those
beers were history and no-one would drink their like again. The
author took this as a challenge, and suggested to the newly formed
Circle that researching, making and evaluating OLD BEERS should
be one of the Circle's core activities.
This proposal was enthusiastically adopted by the Circle. As
ultimately refined, it consisted of an annual programme of OLD
BEERS to be made (decided in January). The evaluation of the beers
was to be made at a Christmas function where the beers would be
accompanied by OLD BRITISH FOOD.
As the only Material Scientist in the Circle, it fell on the author to
carry out most of the research on beer formulations. However, the
production and eva luation of the ales and beers has been a
complete Circle effort and the names of all brewers who ha ve
contributed to this booklet are shown on the inside front cover.
As a result of theCircle's efforts since 1973, we now know that
beers ranging from the merely interesting to the superb can be
obtained by researching and making old formula tions. The
problem, however, is how certain can we be that the product we
have made with modified recipes, modern malts, modern hops,
modern yeasts and possibly untypical water is a fair copy of the
beer as originally made.
The only honest answer is that for the majority of beers described
there is no way we can ever know~ The exceptions are those beers
that remained virtually unchanged up to 1914. In 1973 when we
started the programme, there were about some people aged 79 and
over who were in their 20s in 1914. Such people might remember
drinking pre-1914 beer.
W~ encountered one such person by accident. On Christmas Eve
I left a few pints of draught Whitbread's 1850 porter with a brewing
friend, Don Hebbs. I heard the rest of the story two weeks later. On


Ole. __Aish Beers

Christmas morning he asked his daughter's fiance's grandmothera spry old lady of 86- if she would like a glass of Guinness. On
getting her approval, he went and fetched a pint of my Whitbread's
porter. The old lady took a swig and turned a beady eye on Don.
she took another long pull, looked him straight in the eye and said
"That's not Guinness, that's London porter! Where on-earth did you
get that?" Don was totally flabbergasted. He did not know that the
old lady knew what porter was, never mind able to recognise it. It
transpired that she, as many girls did at the time, entered domestic
service when she was 14. As was the custom then, she was given so
many pints of porter as part of her board. When porter disappeared
~he switched to Guinness. It took only a third of a pint of porter to
set those memories flooding back. That incident was the best
unsolicited testimonial we are likely to get.
The next best occasion occurred in 1988 when I took some 1871
Younger's Ale No. 1 back to the Scottish Brewing Archive. An exYounger maltster-cum-brewer aged 78 took it around to the
Younger's home for elderly ex-employees and shared it with a few
friends aged 83 and 85. They were very impressed. They recognised
it as Ale No. 1 and thought it was better than the earliest samples
they could remember from the early 1920s. The essential difference
between the 1871 and the early 1920 versions was that the OG in
1871 was 102, whereas in 1923-24 it would have been ~5.
Our third example, though less definitive than the first two, is
worth mentioning. There are a number of beers available
commercially which bear a close resemblance to our 'Original India
Pale Ale'. I came across one such, an American east coast beer
called Ballentine's India Pale Ale in 1966 before we started our
programme. The carton's description of the beer was: "As made for
the India trade, matured in wood for one year." The OG was
probably nearer 55 than 68-70 but the family resemblance was
good. Another is Young's (London) Strong Export Bitter. One
would expect this to be descended from the IPAs of yore and again.
at an OG of 62, the resemblance is there.
It is too much to hope that we will see many more of such
encouraging confirmations of our work. Many of our beers
vanished long before 1914, and there is but a small, fast-dwindling
population of old drinkers to call upon.

Part 1

Historical Notes

The history of British Ales and Beers can be conveniently
divided into four main periods. The period where the main
beverages were Anglo-Saxon unhopped ales lasted until about
AD 1400. The struggle between unhopped ales and hopped
beers lasted from AD 1400-1700. The full flowering of British
brewing took place between AD 1700-1914. During this period,
virtually every combination of malts, roast malts, other grains
and hops was to be found somewhere, at original gravities
ranging from 40 to 140. The post -1914 period is characterised
by the takeover and closure of many thousands of breweries,
thus drastically reducing the choice available. In addition the
tax system in the UK has been biased against high gravity
beers. This has led to a continuous reduction in the original
gravity of standard beers such as bitter and the elimination of
many high gravity beers by the smaller brewers.


All trades and crafts have their own private vocabulary in

which special meaning is attached to a word that is in general
use. For example, the word 'mash' in brewing does not mean
to crush or to macerate, but it refers to the process of steeping
crushed malt with hot water to convert the starch into
fermentable sugars. It is assumed that anyone wanting to use
this book will be familiar with present-day brewing terms.
However, when looking back over a period of 700-800 years
one must be aware that words sometimes change . their



J ritish Beers


meaning with time. The most important of these are as






Before about AD 1700 this referred specifically to a

malt beverage made without hops. With the eclipse
of unhopped drinks, the word became to mean a
beer made in the British style, i.e. made using top
fermenting yeast at room temperature; 1:5-21 C (60700F).
Pre -1700 it meant a hopped malt beverage distinct
from Ale. With the eclipse of unhopped Ale the
word beer became a general term covering all
hopped malt drinks. Lagers, ales and barley wines
are all types of beer.
Up to the late nineteenth century the word meant
'old and mature', and stale ale or porter cost more
than ordinary ale or porter. Nowadays it means old
to the point of not being drinkable.
The old English meaning of the word meant strong,
tough, hearty. This meaning also applied in
brewing, and up to about 1840-1850 a stout beer
meant a strong beer. It was only after 1850 that the
term came to have its current meaning of a dark
full-flavoured beer made using black malt or roast
In the nineteenth century, in England and Scotland,
the description porter malt meant brown malt. In
ireland, however, it meant pale amber malt.
This was also known as blown malt due to the
popping of the malt during production.

Weights and Measures

When interpreting old sources of brewing information,
attention has to be paid to changes in weights and measures
that have occurred over the past five centuries.

) al Notes

Barley and Malt

These were originally specified in units of volume. A bushel
was the volume of 10 gallons of water, and a quarter was equal
to 8 bushels. The standardisation of the weights of a quarter of
barley and malt at 448 lbs and 336 lbs respectively, does not
upset extracted data as these weights were set at the average

weights of the original volume measure.

In Scotland before 1840 a unit normally used for meal was
sometimes used for malt. The boll is 140 lbs and is divided into
4 firlots.
Coloured Malt and Roast Barley


In Malting and Brewing Science<3> there occurs the comment:

"Transactions involving coloured malts have in the past been
complicated by the range of units of weight used" . Thus
coloured malts and roast barley were sold by the malt quarter
of 336 lbs, 280 lbs and 252 lbs, with 6 or 8 bushels to the
quarter. The author has only come across one set of ledgers
where malt quarters less than 336 lbs have been specifically
mentioned. In the Reid (London) ledger for 1837, brown malt
and roast barley were bought in at 244 lbs per quarter, and in
1877 at both 228 lbs and 244 lbs per quarter.
The absence of a specific reference to quarter weights less
than 336 lbs does not guarantee that a 336 lbs value was in
use. This sort of familiar information which did not change
was sometimes omitted from ledgers as being unnecessary!
Prior to 1760 there was no easy, practical method of
measuring wort and beer gravities. The application of the
hydrometer (saccharometer) to brewing, particularly by
J.Richardson< 25l in 1784 led to the system of recording
gravities as brewers' pounds per barrel which is still in use.
The gravity of a wort or beer in brewers' pounds is defined as
the weight of 36 gallons of the wort minus the weight of 36
gallons of distilled water. Brewers' pounds can be changed

Ole.. l tish Beers

into SG by multiplying by 2.77, or by. the use of conversion

Cask Sizes
The Ale barrel was first standardised at 30 gallons, in 1420
AD, and the Beer barrel at 36 gallons where it has remained
since. With the demise of the unhopped ale around 1700 AD,
the Ale barrel fell into disuse. In old sources of brewing
information one finds .reference to some of the less common
cask sizes and they are as follows: a Pin is 41;2 gallons; a Six is
6 gallons; a Firkin is 9 gallons; a Kilderkin is 18 gallons; a Barrel
is 36 gallons; a Tierce is 42 gallons; a Hogshead is 54 gallons; a
Puncheon is 72 gallons; a Butt is 108 gallons, and a Tun is 216

Brewing Methods (Old versus Present-Day)

Grinding and Mashing Malt
Apart from better control of these processes, e.g. the use of
thermometers for accurate temperature control and hydrometers to control specific gravity, there has been no important
changes in these processes
Separating the Wort
The process of sparging, i.e. sprinkling the mashed grain with
hot water at the same time as wort was run off from the
bottom of the mash tun, seems to have originated in Scotland
in the late eighteenth century and was in widespread use in
the UK by the early nineteenth century. Prior to this development; removal of the whole of the fermentable material
from a batch of grain was accomplished by a system of
multiple mashing. After an initial mash of about one hour,
taps were opened and as much wort as would separate freely
was collected. Further hot water was added to the grain and a
second mash performed for 45 minutes or so. The draining
and remashing was repeated up to four times to produce a


) al Notes

series of worts of decreasing gravity. These were usually

boiled separately with hops; the spent hops from the first
mash being re-used as part or whole of the hops for successive
mashes. In this way, one batch of grain yielded ales ranging
from an OG over 100 down to table ale of OG 30-35. Some
brewers blended the four resulting worts to control the OGs of
the hopped worts or to reduce the number of ales. Some
brewers continued double mashing into the late nineteenth
century. Our experiences of making the same ale by simple
mash and sparge and by double mashing suggests that the
differences in the resulting ales are marginal.

Brewing Materials
As with all agricultural crops, brewing materials have been
under continuous change and development during their
recorded history.
In 1950 the UK hop crop consisted of 20% Goldings and
Golding type, 77.5% Fuggles, and 2.5% others< 3>. In 1850 there
was Golding plus at least eleven other varieties. Some of these
were of local significance only, and many were coarse hops
grown for high yield and resistance to disease rather than any
intrinsic merit. Fuggles, generally availaole from 1875,
eventually superseded them all. In 1750 there were about six
well established varieties: Farnham Pale, Canterbury Brown,
Long White, Oval, Long Square Garlic, and Flemish. Farnham
Pale was regarded as the best quality hop but with the
introduction of Golding in 1795 it became just another hop
that was eventually superseded by Fuggles<4 >.
With the above history there see_med to be little point in
using any hops other than Fuggles or Fuggles plus Geldings
as copper hops, or Goldings alone as aroma hop, in our

0" ) itish Beers


) 1Notes








In translating old recipes where the hop variety is not

given, however, it is safer to assume that these were coarse
hops with a l()wer bittering potential than Goldings (5.5%) or
Fuggles (4.5%) and assume a bitter resin content of 4%.
Pale Malt.
Before 1820, improvements in barleys for malting were made
on a very local scale and improved strains were usually
named after the districts in which they were grown. The first
nationally grown barley was produced from selections made
in about 1820 by the Rev. J.B. Chevalier, and Chevalier became
the premium malting barley for most of the rest of the
nineteenth century. Since then there have been several waves
of improved malting barleys. Between the two world wars
Spratt-Archer and Plumage Archer were favourites giving
way to Proctor post-1950. Proctor is currently under competition from ne~ varieties such as Zephyr and Maris Badger<3 >.
The salient fact is that we cannot obtain malt made with pre1914 barleys and the crucial question is does it matter. A great
de~l of t he effort put into improving barleys has no direct
effect on the flavour of the resulting beer. The farmer needs
high yield, disease resistance and a short stiff straw; the
maltster needs a thin husk, even and reliable germination and
even modification; and the brewer wants a high diastaticactivity to cope with un~alted adjuncts such as flaked barley.
On balance, we believe that using malt made from
currently grown barleys instead of the old original varieties,
will have made only marginal changes in flavour and quality
of the beers we have made and enjoyed.
An additional piece of evidence for thinking that differing
barley varieties have only minimal effect on beer flavour is
contained in the ledgers of Younger's Brewery (EdiJ:lburgh)
for the 1870s. These show that in any one year, barleys for
malting or malted barleys, were obtained from Scotland,
England, Ireland, France, the Baltic area, the Black Sea area,
North Africa and occasionally North America. There are no

records in the ledgers of complaints about beer variation,

caused by this wide variety of raw material. The ledgers also
suggest that the nineteenth century brewers were a great deal
less hag-ridden about making absolutely identical brews than
the present-day commercial brewers.
Pale malt only became available from about 1680 when
coke began to be freely available for the direct, or preferably,
the indirect curing of malt(2). The lack of control over the
previous methods using fierce hardwood fires, or burning
straw, meant that the outer part of the malt was caramelised.
Ales made with such malt would have been nut-brown in
With the rise in popularity of India Pale Ales in the early
nineteenth century, a special malt was produced that was
even paler than pale malt. The maximum cure temperature
was 150 F compared with 170 -180F for pale ale malt<Sl. The
product, known as East India Malt (sometimes white malt),
was probably Closer to present day lager malts than current
pale ale malts. (It is interesting to note that Youngers in 18501870 made their pale and export ales largely with foreign malt
which was probably lager malt style!)
Coloured Malts
While variations in beer produced by using pale malts made
from different stra_ins of barley seem to be minimal, changes in
beers as a result of changes in coloured malts were highly
significant. Up to 1817 the darkest malt available was brown
malt dried over a fierce hardwood fire. Any attempt to take
the malt to a darker colour led to a runaway reaction which
turned the malt into charcoal. In 1817 D.Wheeler invented the
cylindrical drum roaster incorporating water sprays which
could be used to quench the roasting grain instantly< 6>. This
enabled controlled production of roast malts ranging from
amber, brown and chocolate through to black. Similarly raw
barley could be roasted to colour comparable to black malt<2l.

Oh.. ) itish Beers

This development w as rapidly exploited by porter brewers

and w ithin five years most London porter had b een reformulated to replace most of the brown malt by pale malt plus a
little black malt.
Another coloured malt favoured in Scotland, and Ireland
(where it was known as porter malt) in the nineteenth century
was pale amber. Its colouring power was about half that of
ordinary amber malt<7>. It was fully diastatic. It is no longer
readily a vailable. Provided allowance is made for its poor
diastatic performance carapils (or caramalt) can be used as a
substitute for pale amber.
A late introduction to the range of coloured products was
Crystal Malt. The freshly m alted barley was heated under
high humidity to mash the starch to fermentable sugars inside
the ba rley grain. Further dry roasting caramelised these
sugars w ith the production, in freshly broken grains, of a dark
brown glass-like appearance. The process for producing
crystal malt seems to have been patented in the 1840-1850
period . Little actual use seems to have been made of crystal
m alt before 1880 however<B>. The middle range of crystal malt
has a colouring power similar to that of brown malt. Whereas
m odern brown malts have no residual diastatic properties and
therefore cann~t be made the major part of a grist, crystal malt
is pre-mashed and does not have that limitation. The flavour
of crystal malt is similar though not identical to that of brown
malt and we have found it useful to replace part of the brown
malt in some old beer grists with crystal malt to enable a
satisfactory extract to be obtained. For example, AD 1800
Dorchester Ale was originally made with two parts amber and
1 part brown malts (rapidly cured over a hot wood fire). Such
a grist obviously mashed satisfactorily in a way that modern
amber and brown malts do not. The recipe given in this book
is thus one which is designed to make a close approximation
to the original beer w ith materials currently available.
Pale amber, amber and brown malts may not be readily
available to individuals wishing to make some of the recipes


)al Notes

in this book. It is not difficult, however, to make small

quantities of these sp ecial malts at home, and instructions for
d oing this are given as an appendix.

After malt (and its roasted products) and hops, mos t brewers
would agree that the next most important factor determining
beer character is the strain of yeas t. This importance arises in
two ways. The metabolism of the yeast during fermentation
results in a nu mber of products such as diacetyl, aliphatic
alcohols and esters that a re important in beer flavour.
Secondly the alcoholic tolerance of the yeast, and its ability to
ferment the maltotriose component of wort determines the
resid ual specific gravity (and hence residual sweetness and
pala te fullness) of high OG beers. Both of these effects vary
with the strain of yeast.
However the technology of yeast is a comparatively recent
d evelopment. It was only in 1876 that the function of yeast
d uring fermentation was elucidated by Pasteur<9l . With few
exceptions we know nothing about the yeasts used to make
the beers we have stu died. The exceptions are those brewers
that have never replaced the yeast used in the br ewery for
very long periods of time, for example the Guinness Stout
brewery. These examp les are, however, very special cases.
Our approach has been to use the most app'r opriate modern
yeast but look to see whether the final gravity reached is the
best for tha t beer. For example, Dorchester Ale can be
fermented with modern yeast to below an SG of 20. At this SG
the flavour balance is not right and raising the SG to 30
(comparable to mod ern Russian Stout) produces a m arked
improvement in balance. It seems entirely plausible that the
yeasts used in 1800 w ould have left such a gravity na turally in
Dorchester Ale.
The importance of water used to brew beer has been known
for hund reds of years. Burton-on-Trent, with its very hard


L-.h ritish Beers

water has a reputation for producing good ale that goes back
to the eighteenth century. Up to the start of the nineteenth
century brewers could only select the most suitable of the
locally availabl~ sources of water- well, river or stream - and
make the best of it. Even in the late nineteenth century the
only water treatment recommended to brewers was that oversoft waters could be hardened by boiling with gypsum
(calcium sulphate) plus a little table salt<S>.
For making the high gravity, all malt, robust British beers
pescribed in this book only two types of water are needed. For
pale ales, export ales, strong ales and barley wines the water
(A) should have a total salt content of 800-1200 parts per
million (ppm), which should be high in calcium and sulphate,
and contain small amounts of sodium and chloride. For dark
beers such as mild ales, brown ales, stouts and porters the
water (B) should have a salt content of 250-450 ppm and
contain more sodium than calcium and more chloride than
The best approach is to obtain- from your local water
supplier an analysis of the water and use the instructions in
any of the better home-brew booksOO) to adjust the water into
the desired area.

Researching Old Beers

Reliable information on the formulation and processing of an
old beer is essential if that beer (or a close copy) is to be
reproduced. This is so even if it is subsequently decided to use
an alt~rnative item readily available now, for some original
material n~ longer accessible.
There are only two primary sources' of information about
OLD BEERS. If they can be accessed, brewing iedgers compiled
by. a brewery at the time the beer was brewed form the most
reliable sources. Even with these, errors of interpretation can
occur because the ledgers were never intended to be read by
someone with no first hand knowledge of the brewery and its


) ical Notes

method s. Ledgers with pre-printed headings are not common

before 1840. Pre-1840 hand-written ledgers are obviously
more difficult to read and sometimes degenerated into little
more than an aide-memoire for the brewer. T hese often
omitted essential details such as the quantity of beer brewed ,
presumably because only one quantity (the full capacity of the
plant) was ever brewed, so there was no point in mentioning
it. A book is now available containing a comple te list of all
brewing archive data known within the UK0 1>.
The second most useful sources are old books o n brewing.
These are a mixed bag. Some are obviously written first-hand
by experienced brewers, but others are only compilations of
information at second, third or fourth hand.
Other sources include record s and accounts of medieval
Abbeys and large estates owned by the landed gentry. These
were often self-su fficient in home brewed beer.
As with all historical information, the further back in time
one goes the less information is available. There a re a number
of reasons for this. The range of beers made in medieval times
was smaller than that made by a large nineteenth-century
brewery. In the absence of cheap methods of information
recording and storage, e.g. typewriters and printing presses,
only the bare minimum of information was kept. Also, when
brewing was a craft activity controlled by Guilds the dissemination of information outside the Guild was discouraged .
There are quite a few beers that exist only in name and by
reputa.tion; no factual information having survived.
Is it worth making?
There is nothing more annoying .than spending a lot of time
extracting information abou t an OLD BEER, breaking the
formulation down to home brew proportions, making it and
evaluating it; only to find that one could have bou ght a similar
beer in a local off-licence. What is needed is a simple method
of classifying beers so that one can see if an OLD BEER has no


Old ,

J sh Beers

Figure 1. Original Gravity vs. Colour






,e. 100

35 36







19 . .














32 28



70 -13T 6

., .



60 . . .10




~ .





51 52







) 1Notes

existing equivalent. The me thod used by Durden Park is a

simple two-d imensional plot of original gravity versus colour
(Fig 1). The ori ginal gravity controls alcoholic strength,
maltiness and residual sweetness. The colour retlects the type
and amount of roast grain in the grist, a nd is a measure of
roast grain flavour in the beer. The other two factors w ith a
significant effect on beer character a re the hop rate and
sweetness (where this is greater than that left in a fully
fermented beer).
Sweetness above that of a fully fermented beer is fo u nd
only in some brow n ales and stouts and is relatively rare in
old beers. Differing hop ra tes are more of a problem. H op
rates expressed as lbs Hops per Quarter of Malt range from
zero for unhopped ale to 23 for some India Pale, and Export
Pale Ales. While there are fancy methods for red uci.n g 3 or 4
variables to a 2-dimensional graph, the interpretation of such
graphs is less im mediately obvious to the average ho me
brewer. It is better to keep the OG/Colour p lot and simply
rem ember that any one spot on the graph covers a range of
hop rates. Further comparison of these rates w ill enable one to
decide w hether an OLD BEER is too similar to an existing
commercial beer to be worth making. A bar chart of hop rates
found in old beers is shown in Figure 2.
Looking a t figure 1 in detail, the shaded L-shaped area
represents the regions well covered by present-day commercial brewing. Only oddball b eers in this area are worth






Key to figure 1
Historic beers have been plotted with the same numbers given in the
section on beer formulations. Contemporary beers are plotted with
the numbers given below.
101 Gale's Prize Old Ale
106 Marston'sOwd Roger
107 Young's Old Nick Barley Wine
102 Eldridge Pope'sHardy Ale
103 Young's Winter Warmer
108 GuinnessStrong Export
104 Theakston's01d Peculiar
109 Courage's Russian Stout
105 Greene King' s Suffolk Ale








Old u, dish Beers

considering, e.g. very high or very low hop rates. Outside the
shaded area commercial coverage is thin or in some places,
non-existent. It is a worthwhile exercise to plot existing
commercial beers falling outside this areas so that these slots
can be avoided.





The old recipes in this book were all made with malted barley,
some 7- 8 grades of roasted and caramelised malt and barley,
and leaf hops. We do not think it is practical to try and
duplicate this wide range of beers using the limited types of
malt extract available.
However, for those beers made only from pale malt and
hops a reasonable copy can be made using the palest available
liquid or powder malt extracts and fresh hops. Such beers are
unlikely to have the body and palate fullness of the same item
produced directly from malted barley.







Part 2 Making Old British Beers

Brewing methods for formulations in this book




India Pale Ales


Export Pale Ales

1. Suitable for OGs up to 80

Figure 2




Hop Rate (lbs per barrel)




Add hot water to the ground grain to produce a stiff mash a t

66C (150F). Maintain 661 C (1502 F) for three hours
then raise the temperature to 77 C (170F) for 30 minutes.
Sparge slowly with water at 82-85 C (180 -185 F) to obtain
the required volume. Boil with hops for 11h hours. Cool.
Strain and rinse the hops. Adjust to the required OG by the
addition of cold boiled water or dried pale malt extract as
needed. Ferment with good quality ale yeast. Dry hop with
11to oz Geldings.

Suitable for OGs over 80

a) Traditionally these were made by using the first wort

drained from a large batch of malt, the rest of which went
into lower gravity beers. It is possible to duplicate this
procedure on the small scale by:
i) using a very stiff mash
ii) sparging very slowly




6.~. dritish Beers





iii) cease collecting wort when the gravity has dropped to

a critical value- about 15 below the beer QG.
Subsequent boiling with the hops for 11I 2 hours raises the
gravity to that specified.
The wort remaining in the grain can be sparged out to
make a second beer with an OG in the range 40-60.
However, the making of a second beer can be avoided, if
only the main beer is wanted, by using method 2 b.

b) Proceed as in method 2 a) until the wort collected has

fallen in SG to 15 below the beer OG. Change the vessel
receiving the wort and continue sparging slowly until the
SG of the second wort drops to 50 below the beer OG.
Boil the second, weaker wort until the SG (adjusted to
room temperature) has risen to 15 below the beer OG.
Add the first wort and raise to the boil. Add the hops and
.boil for 11/z hours.
Continue and complete the fermentation as in method 1.
The great majority of beers in this book would have been
matured in wooden barrels for serving draught, or bottled in
corked bottles for 'home sales' or export. Neither method is
particularly convenient for home brewers.

PVC Adhesive Tape to

Secure Boat to Carboy


Polyethylene Film

The following method has been found suitable for maturing, for up to a year, beers intended for serving draught.
When the initial fermentation is complete (say 3 weeks) the
beer is siphoned into a suitably sized glass container with a
narrow neck. The beer should overlap the base of the neck. A
loose-fitting glass or plastic tube, closed at the lower end, is
inserted into the neck and prevented from slipping too far into
the beer by PVC adhesive tape - see diagram. The size of the
plastic boat should be as large as is practicable to minimise the
exposed beer surface.
About half a teaspoon of sodium metabisulphite crystals
plus a few crystals of citric acid are placed in the boat. The
carboy or demijohn neck is then covered by several layers of
polyethylene film held in place by a heavy elastic band.
This seal allows carbon dioxide from any secondary
fermentation of residual wort carbohydrates to escape; limits
contact with the air; and provides enough sulphur dioxide in
the airspace to inhibit ye~st or bacterial growth on the small
exposed beer surface. When needed the beer may b e siphoned
into a fresh container, fined if necessary, and then conditioned
in a plastic pressure barrel for draught dispense.
Bottling high gravity old ales has to be done with care. The
safest type of bottles to use are those which can be checked for
development of excessive pressure by rapidly opening and
resealing. The old-fashioned internal screw-stopper bottles are
ideal but virtually unobtainable. The next best are the swingtop bottles similar to those used for some continental lagers.
Because some secondary fermentation will usually take place
in bottle, the priming sugar should be restricted to a quarter or
a third of normal, i.e. about 1/ 4 oz per gallon.

Strong Elastic Bands

Cut-off Plastic Bottle or

Sealed Plastic Tube

Bisulphite and
Acid Crystals



Medieval Beers


Gruit Ale (unhopped, ca. 1300)

Gruit Ale (unhopped, ca. 1300)
Medieval Household Beer (1512)
Medieval Household Beer (1577)
Medieval Household Beer (1587)
Welsh Ale (unhopped, ca. 1400)
MUM (unhopped, Late 17th Century)
Ebulum (Unhopped Elderberry Ale, 1744)


Pale Amber and Amber Beers




Younger's Export Ale (1848)

Usher's India Pale Ale (1885)
Usher's 60/- Pale Ale (1885)
Simond's (Reading) Bitter (1880)
Original India Pale Ale (1837)
William Black's X Ale (1849)
Younger's Ale No.3 (Pale, 1896)
Younger's Imperial Ale (1835)
London Ale (1820)
William Black's XXX Ale (1849)
Alexander Berwick's Imperial Ale (1849)
Litchfield October Beer (1744)
William Black's Best Ale (1849)
Keeping Beer (1824)
Younger's XXXS Ale (1872)
Wicklow Ale (Ireland, 1805)
Burton Ale (1824)


Light Brown, Brown and Dark Brown Beers


Maclay's 56/ - Mild Ale (1909)

Mild Ale (London, 1824)
Ushe r's 68/ - Mild Ale (1885)







L-.r-.t~ritish Beers







!l :'


i [~j







Kingston Amber Ale (ca. 1830)

Younger's 60/- Ale (1871)
Younger's 80/- Ale (1872)
Younger's 100/- Ale (1872)
Younger's 120/- Ale (1872)
Younger's 140/- Ale (1872)
Younger's 160/- Ale (1872)
Younger's 200/- Ale (1910)
Younger's Ale No.1 (1872)
Younger's Ale No.2 (1872)
Younger's Ale No.2 (London, 1872)
Younger's Ale No.3 (1872)
Younger's Ale No.3 (London, 1872)
Younger's Ale No.4 (1866)
Belhaven Ale No.4 (1871)
Belhaven XXX (1871)
Younger's XXXX Ale (1896)
Younger's XXXX Stock Ale (1896)
Dorchester Ale (ca. 1800)
Younger's Majority Ale (1937)

Medieval Beers


Recipes per 1 gallon

Gruit Ale (unhopped, ca. 1300)

Ref (15)

Plain ales from fermented barley wort were undoubtedly
made in the pre-hop era. However, where possible herb
flavou rings would have been added to offset the bland
flavour of plain ale.

1% lb Pale Malt
1112 lb Carapils

1112 gram each of Myrica Gale (Sweet Gale),

Ledum Palustre (Marsh Rosemary) and
Achillea Millefolium (Mil/foil or Yarrow)
Method No.1, but in place of hops, boil the herb m ixture with
the wort for 20 minutes.
Mature for 4 months.

Stouts and Porters



I .



Maclay's 63/- Oatmeal Stout (1909)

Usher's Stout (1885)
London Porter (ca.1800)
Whitbread's London Porter (1850)
Younger's Export Stout (1897)
Younger's Double Brown Stout (1872)
Younger's Porter (1848)
William Black's Brown Stout (1849)
Whitbread's Double Stout (1880)
Original Porter (1750)
Whitbread's Triple Stout (1880)
Younger's XXXP Export Porter (1841)


Gruit Ale (unhopped, ca. 1300)

Ref (15)

OG 50
Repeat the procedure for the OG 80 Gruit Ale but use 11; 4 lbs
pale malt, % lb carapils and only 1 gram each of the herbs.
Mature for 3 months.



3 Medieval Household Beer (1512)

Ref (2)

) ieval Beers

5 Medieval Household Beer (1587)

Ref (14)



The hop rate is beginning to approach modern p ractice. The

amber malt is needed to reproduce the nut-brown character of
medieval .beer. The beer character is similar to modern high
gravity light mild ale.

All malt in 1512 would have been at least pale amber in

colour, producing a pale brown beer. The malt mixture given
above should be a reasonable substitute. When first grown in
the UK, hops were an expensive commodity. In addition, the
anti-hop lobby blamed hops for all manner of human
problems from gout to flatulence. Medieval beers were thus
made with (by current standards) tiny amounts of hops. This
is a pleasant malty beer superior to American malt liquors.

1% lb Pale Malt
12 oz Amber Malt
2112 oz Wheatmeal
2112 oz Oatmeal
112 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

21!4 lb Pale Malt

11!4 /b Amber Malt
1/s oz Hops

Method No.1, but simmer the wheatmeal and oatmeal in

boiling water for 10 minutes before adding to the malt mash.
Mature for 3-4 months.

Method No.1, but boil hops for 2 hours.

Mature for 4 months.

~ I

Medieval Household Beer (1577)

Ref (13).



An appealing spiced Ale for drinking on a cold night.

A malty beer superior to American malt liquors.
1112 lb Pale Malt
12 oz Amber Malt
2112 oz Wheatmeal
2112 oz Oatmeal
114 oz Hops

Welsh Ale (unhopped , ca. 1400)


3 lb Pale Malt
5 oz Light Malt Extract Powder
12 g cinnamon, 6 g Ginger, 3 g Cloves, 12 g White pepper
1!2 pint Honey

Method No.1, but mix the wheat and oats with boiling water
and simmer for 10 minutes before adding to the malt mash.

Process the pale malt to produce 1 gallon of wort u sing

method 1. Ferment with ale yeast. When nearly finished, add
the malt extract powder dissolved in a pint of water, plus the
other ingredients. Referment, adding sugar if necessary to
produce a final gravity of 15-20. Strain, Settle and bottle.

Mature for 3-4 months.

Mature for 6 months.


........aa............~s.....~aB. .oaB~




J tish Beers



.,~ I

7 MUM (unhopped, Late 17th Century)

Ref (1)

. I


One of the best unhopped ales.


Recipes per 1 gallon

3 lb Wheat malt
1 lb Pale Malt
112 lb rolled Oats
112 lb ground beans.
1 gram each of Cardus Benedictus, Marjoram, Betony, Burnet,
Dried Elderflower, Thyme, Pennyroyal
1112 gram Crushed Cardamom seeds
112 gram Bruised Bayberries



Method No. 1, but simmer oats and beans for 20 minutes

before adding to malt mash. Ferment with ale yeast. After 3-4
d ays rack from the yeast deposit and add the other
ingredients. Infuse for 10 days. Strain and allow to clear, then

Mature for 8 months.


Pale Amber and Amber Beers


Ebulum (Unhopped Elderberry Ale, 1744)

Ref (16)


A medium gravity India type pale ale.

2112 lb Pale Malt
2113 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No. 1
Mature for at least 8 months.

10 Usher's India Pale Ale (1885)

Ref (16)


A clean, bitter, refreshing p ale ale.

Ref (12)

Attractive in its own way. Resembles some Belgian Fruit

4 lb Pale Malt
1112 lb Ripe Fresh Elderberries
Use method 2(b) to produce one gallon of wort at OG 100 (or
dissolve light :r:nalt powder in water to give the same). Add
the elderberries. Boil for 20 minutes; cool and strain. Ferment
with ale yeast.
Mature for at least 6 months.

9 Younger's Export Ale (1848)

2.6 lb Lager Malt

1112 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No.1
Mature for 8 - 9 months.

11 Usher's 60/- Pale Ale (1885)

Ref (16)


A typical pale ale of the period.

2112 fb Pale Malt

Method No.1
Mature for at least 3 months.








J tish Beers

Pale and /

) er Beers

I .

12 Simond's (Reading) Bitter (1880)

Ref (24)


A robust, slightly sweet bitter with real character.

The strongest of Younger's Export Pale Ales.

2112 lb Pale Malt


Ref (16)

1/b Pale Malt

2 lb Lager Malt
1112 oz Go/dings Hops

7 oz Carapils or 3 oz Carapils + 2 oz Amber Malt

1 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

0.15 oz Goldings Hops 'late'


15 Younger's Ale No.3 (Pale, 1896)


Method No.1

Method No.1, but add the 0.15 oz Geldings hops for the last 5
minutes of the boil.

Mature for at least 8 months.

Mature for at l~ast 3 months.

16 Younger's Imperial Ale (1835)

Ref (16)


13 Original India Pale Ale (1837)

Ref (21)


The recipe corresponds to the heaviest I.P.A shipped from

Burton in the 1830's according to the reference. Simonds of
Reading were shipping an almost identical formulation (2.9 lb
pale malt plus 21/ 4 oz hops) in 1880.

3 lb Pale Malt
2112 oz Go/dings Hops

Excellent Strong Ale.

Method No.1
Mature for at least 6 months.

Ref (20)


Mature for at least 8 months.


3 lb Pale Malt
1213 oz Go/dings Hops

17 London Ale (1820)

Method No.1

14 William Black's X Ale (1849)

A high quality strong pale ale.

A stron~ ale heavily hopped.

Ref (18)

3112 lb Pale Malt

3 oz Goldings Hops
Method No. 2(a) or 2 (b).
Mature for at least 1 year.

31!4 /b

Pale Malt
1.1 oz Go/dings Hops

Method No.1
Mature for at least 8 months.






l ritish Beers

18 William Black's XXX Ale (1849)

Ref (18)


21 William Black's Best Ale (1849)


OG 110

An excellent strong ale/barley wine

33{4 lb Pale Malt
1.7 oz Go/dings Hops

A superb barley wine.

Ref (18)

41/z lb Pale Malt

1.9 oz Go/dings Hops

Method No.1 or No 2.
Mature for at least 10 months.

Method No.2
Mature for at least 10 months.


Pale and Aufber Beers

19 Alexander Berwick's Imperial Ale (1849)

Ref (1 6)

OG 90-92

22 Keeping Beer (1824)

A high quality strong pale ale.

3% lb Pale Malt
1.1 oz Go/dings Hops

Very good Barley Wine

6 lb Pale Malt
13/4 oz Go/dings Hops

Method No.2
Mature for 1 year.

20 Litchfield October Beer (1744)

Ref (19)

OG 116

Method No.2 (a) The second beer makes a good bitter.

Ref (12)

Mature for at least 1 year.

OG 110


Before temperature control became common after 1820, ale

brewers stopped brewing during the summer months. Strong
beers, made in October with fresh malt and hops and matured
over winter, provided stable beers for use the following
summer. They could be used as made, or watered down to
lighter beers. A very good Barley Wine with an individual
4/b Pale Malt
1% oz Go/dings Hops
4 oz each of Oatmeal, Ground Peas, Ground Beans and
Ground Wheat

23 Younger's XXXS Ale (1872)

Ref (1 6)

OG 120
A very strong pale ale possibly exported to Russia.

6 lb Pale Malt
21!4 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No.1
Mature for at least a year.

Method No. 2(b) but first cook the adjuncts at the boil for 10
minutes before adding to the stiff mash made with the pale
Mature for at least a year.




01. J itish Beers

24 Wicklow Ale (Ireland, 1805)

Light Brown, Brown and Dark Brown Beers

Ref (17)

OG 125

Recipes per 1 gallon

A very strong, malty ale.

7 lb or 5112 lb Pale Malt (see method)
0.9 oz Go/dings Hops

26 Maclay's 56/- Mild Ale (1909)

Method No. 2(a) use 7lb Pale malt, 2(b) use 51h lb Pale malt.

An excellent middle gravity mild ale.

Mature for at least 1 year.


25 Burton Ale (1824)

Ref (19)

OG 140

]3/4 /b Pale Malt

314 oz Black Malt

3 oz Amber Malt,

10 oz Wheat Malt or 6 oz Wholewheat flour

\0.. 8 oz Go/dings Hops


Method No. l.

A very strong, heavy, sweet ale for which Burton-on-Trent

was noted before it concentrated on Pale Ales, India Pale Ales
and Bitters.

10 lb or 6 lb Pale Malt
2 oz Hops + extra for the 2nd beer
Method No. 2(a) with 10 lb malt, also makes 11/2- 2 gallons of
lighter beer, or 2 (b) using 6lb.
Mature for at least

Ref (16)


11/z years.

Mature for 3 months.

27 Mild Ale (London, 1824)

Ref (19)


Very good full flavoured strong mild ale.

J 1j 4 lb Pale Malt

lib Carapils

4 oz Amber Malt
2;3 oz Go/dings Hops


Method No.1

Mature for 3 months.

28 Usher's 68/- Mild Ale

Ref (16)




A high gravity mild ale virtually unique to Scotland.

2 lb Pale Malt,
0.9 oz Go/dings Hops

1113 lb Carapils

Method No. 1 or No.2


Mature for 4 months .



.-,~ .



) tish Beers

Light Brown, Brown and Dark Brown Beers

29 Kingston Amber Ale (ca. 1830)

Ref (17)


32 Younger's 100/- Ale (1872)


Amber ales were popular in London. Ratios of amber malt to

pale malt varied from 3:1 to 1:1; OGs from 50 to 70, and hop
rates from 3; s to 3; 4 oz per gallon. Amber Ales are similar in
style to Theakston's Old Peculiar.
11/4 lb Pale Malt
11/4 lb Amber Malt

Ref (16)

Strong nut-brown ale. Less hopped than the Scotch Ale range.
2 lb Pale Malt,
13/4 lb Carapils
1 oz Go/dings Hops

Method No. 1 or No. 2

2 oz Chocolate Malt
314 oz Fuggles or Goldings Hops

Mature for 6 months.

Method No.1

33 Younger's 120/- Ale 0872)

Mature for 3-4 months.

OG 92-94

Ref (16)

Strong nut-brown ale.

30 Younger's 60/- Ale (1871)

Ref (16)

OG 60-62
The weakest of the Younger's Shillings Ale range. Almost in
the strong ale category by current standards.
11/2 lb Pale Malt

1 lb Carapils

2314 lb Pale Malt

2114 lb Carapils
1112 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No.2
Mature for 1 year.

oz Goldings Hops

Method No. 1

34 Younger's 140/- Ale (1872)

Mature for 3-4 months.

OG 104

Ref (16)

Barley wine strength nut-brown ale.

31 Younger's 80/- Ale (1872)

Ref (16)

See 100/- ale.
1213 lb Pale Malt,
0.9 oz Go/dings Hops

1113 lb Carapils

3 lb Pale Malt,
21f2[b Carapils
1.6 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No. 2(a)
Mature for at least a year.

Method No.1
Mature for 6 months.



J ritish Beers

35 Younger's 160/- Ale (1872)

Ref (16)

Light Brown, Brown and Dar

) wn Beers

38 Younger's Ale No.2 (1872)

OG 126


A very strong nut-brown ale. The strongest in the Shillings Ale

43/4/b Pale Malt
4 lb .Carapils
2.5 oz Go/dings Hops

A Scotch Ale with a slightly lower gravity than No. 1.

2112 lb Pale Malt

2 lb Carapils
1.7 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No.2

Method No. 2(a)

Mature for at least 10 months.

Mature for at least a year.

36 Younger's 200/- Ale (1910)

Ref (1 6)

OG 126
This seems to have been a Coronation Ale made to celebrate
the coronations of both King George V, in 1911, and King
George VI, in 1937.
41 !2 lb Pale Malt
3 1!2 oz Goldings Hops

Ref (16)

3 1/2 lb Carapils

Method 2(a). Extract 11/ 4 gallons of wort at the highest

possible SG. If below 100, pre-boil to this value (measured
cold) before adding hops and boiling for 21; 2 hours.

39 Younger's Ale No. 2 (London, 1872)

Ref (16)

OG 82

Scotch Ales for London sale were made slightly lower in OG

and somewhat higher in hop than those for sale in Scotland.
21/4 lb Pale Malt
l3/4lb Carapils
1.9 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No.2
Mature for at least 10 months.

Mature for at least 2 years.

40 Younger's Ale No.3 (1872)

Ref (16)


37 Younger's Ale No. 1 (1872)

Ref (1 6)

OG 102
The strongest of the Scotch Ales. A nut-brown dark barley

23!4/b Pale Malt

2 oz Goldings Hops

21t4 lb Carapils

Pale nut-brown ale similar to a strong mild ale. The most

widely drunk of Younger's Scotch Ales.
2 lb Pale Malt,

11h lb Carapils
1114 az Goldings Hops
Method No. 1 or No.2

Method No.2
Mature for at least a year.


Mature for at least 8 months.


Olu 2 itish Beers

41 Younger's Ale No.3 (London, 1872)

Ref (16)

Light Brown, Brown and Dark . ),n

44 Belhaven XXX (1871)


Ref (16)



See Ale No.2 (London).

A nut-brown ale with a hop rate between that of the same OG

Shillings Ale and Scotch Ale.

1213 /b Pale Malt

1113 lb Carapils
1314 oz Go/dings Hops

12/3 /b Pale Malt

l 1!3lb Carapils
1114 oz Go/dings Hops

Method No.1

Method No.1

Mature for at least 8 months.

42 Younger's Ale No.4 (1866)

Mature for 6 months.

Ref (16)

45 Younger's XXXX Ale (1896)

This beer was only made for a limited period. It does not fit
neatly into the Scotch Ale series and looks like an export
version (higher hop rate) of Ale No. 3 (London).

13/4 /b Pale Malt

J1 tz lb Carapils
2 oz Go/dings Hops

Ref (16)

OG 75-76
Excellent strong mild ale.

]3/4 lb Pale Malt

11!4/b Carapils
1.6 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No.1

Method No. 1

Mature for at least 6 months.

Mature for 6 months.

46 Younger's XXXX Stock Ale (1896)

43 Belhaven Ale No.4 (1871)
Light nut-brown ale.

12 ;3 lb Pale Malt
1113 lb Carapils
1.4 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No. 1
Mature for 6 months.


Ref (16)

Ref (16)

A 'stock' version of an ale was of higher gravity and hop rate
than the ordinary version. w hen needed it could be diluted
down to strength with light beer or water.

2114 lb Pale Malt,

J3/4 lb Carapils
2 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No. 2(b)
Mature for at least 10 months.



47 Dorchester Ale (ca. 1800)

J itish Beers

Stouts and Porters

Ref (17)

OG 100
The original recipe used only amber and brown malts; such
would not mash satisfactorily today. The grist has been
chosen to reproduce the character required in a form that is
easier to process. This is a dark brown barley wine.

1 lb Pale Malt

49 Maclay's 63/- Oatmeal Stout (1909)

Ref (16)


A chewy, satisfying stout.

2 lb Cn;stal Malt

1 lb Brown Malt
8 oz Diastatic Malt Syrup
11;4 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops
Method No. 2(b), but add the malt syrup to the wort before
boiling with the hops to break up any residual starch.

1114 lb Pale Malt

2 oz Amber Malt
4 oz Black Malt
3!4 lb Breakfast Oats
1 oz Go/dings Hops
Method No. 1, but mix the oats with 2 pints boiling water and
stand for 10 minutes before mixing with the malts. Mash at
155F for 3 hours then 170F for 1 hour.

Mature for at least 10 months.

48 Younger's Majority Ale (1937)

Recipes per 1 gallon

Ref (16)

Mature for 3 months.

OG 136

A blockbuster of an ale made at the birth of an heir to the

family for drinking at the 21st birthday party! The second

wort makes an excellent old-ale with OG 50-SS. The 1949 ale
was similar but had a hop rate of 11I 2 oz hops.

7/b Pale Malt,

5 lb Carapils
2 oz Go/dings H_ops
Method No. 2(a). Extract 1114 gallons of the strongest wort
possible. If the SG is below 120, pre-boil the wort up to this
value (measured cold) before adding hops and boiling for a
further 11/ 2 hours:

50 Usher's Sto:ut (1885)

Ref (16)

A typical full-bodied Victorian stout.

18 oz Pale Malt,
4 oz Black Malt
2 oz Crystal Malt
2 oz Brown sugar
1.3 oz Fuggles Hops

61!2 oz Carapils
2 oz Amber Malt,
2 oz Brown Malt

Method No. 1.
Mature for 4 months.

Mature for at least 2 years.





Olu 2 itish Beers

Ref (19)

51 London Porter (ca.1800)



Stoms and Porters

54 Younger's Double Brown Stout (1872)


Ref (16)


Porter recipes vary quite widely between different regions

and breweries. This formulation has the merit that it can be
made unchanged with modem brewing materials.
1114 lb Pale Malt
%lb Brown Malt

Double stout and d ouble brown stout were late nineteenth

ce!,"ltury labels for strong porter. Full-bodied and luscious.

1% lb Pale Malt,
31/2 oz Black Malt
1112 oz Go/dings Hops

lb Amber Malt

1.1 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

1% lb Amber Malt

Method No. 1.

Method No. 1.

Mature for at least 6 months.

Mature for at least 6 months.

55 Younger's Porter (1848)

52 Whitbread's London Porter (1850)

Ref (22)

One of the circle's favourite old beers. Smooth, good balance
of roast grain and hop flavours.


/b Pale Malt,

Ref (16)


A full-bodied porter with an attractive soft roast grain

1112 lb Pale Malt

7 oz Brown Malt

1112 lb Brown Malt,

1112 oz Black Malt

1112 oz Go/dings Hops

2112 oz Black Malt

1 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

Method No. 1.

MethodNo. 1.

Mature for at least 6 months.

Mature for at least 4 months.

56 William Black's Brown Stout (1849)

53 Younger's Export Stout (1897)

Ref (16)

Ref (18)

OG 76-78

OG 66-68

A mouth-filling strong Scottish porter, with a soft roast grain


A full-bodied succulent stout.

1.1lb Pale Malt,

1.1/b Amber Malt
1.1 oz Brown Malt
] 1/4 oz Black Malt
1.8 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

J1h lb Pale Malt,

1 lb Carapils
'2 12 oz Crystal Malt
2 oz Black Malt
1113 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

Method No.1.

Method No.1.

Mature for at least 6 months.

Mature for 6 months.



(;. _ ) ritish Beers

57 Whitbread's Double Stout (1880)

Ref (22)


59 Whitbread's Triple Stout (1880)

Por ters

Ref (22)



Double stouts were strong porters. A heavy satisfying drink

f6racold evening.

The strongest of the London stouts. Similar to Russian Stout

but with a lower hop rate.

2% lb Pale Malt

3 lb Pale Malt,

14 oz Brown Malt,
3 oz Black Malt
1.2 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

3 oz Black Malt
1113 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

1 lb Brown Malt,

Method No.1.

Method No. 2(b)

Mature for 6 months.

Mature for at least 8 months.

58 Original Porter (1750)

Ref (22)

60 Younger's XXXP Export Porter (1841)

Ref (16)


OG 100

1750 porters would have contained mostly brown malt. These

cannot be made satisfactorily from present-day brown malts.
The above recipe is constructed to meet the contemporary
descriptions of 1750 porter, i.e. black, strong, bitter and
nutritious. It is one of the circle's favourite old beers. It might
not be authentic, but it is good! The Dorchester ale recipe is
probably as close to 1750 porter as can be made at present.

A full-bodied porter similar to Russian Stout. A softer and

quicker maturing version of this beer, that proved popular
with the Circle, can be made by using Carapils in place of the
Brown Malt.

31/2 lb Pale Malt

8 oz Brown Malt
8 oz Crystal Malt,
4 oz Black Malt
11/z oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops

3 lb Pale Malt
J3/4 lb Brown Malt,

23;4 oz Black Malt or 31/z oz Roast Barley

3 oz Fuggles or Go/dings Hops
Method No. 2(b), but boil hops for 3 hours.
Mature for 1 year.

Method No. 2(b).

Mature for at least 10 months.



Appendix 1.

Home Roasting Pale Malt to Pale

Amber, Amber and Brown Malt

Some ingredients needed to make OLD BEERS might not be

readily available, in particular pale amber, amber and brown
malts. All three can be produced by roasting pale malt in an
ordinary domestic oven as described below. Carapils with a
colour number of about 25 can be used in place of pale amber up
to 45% of the pale malt in any grist. Even carapils, however,
might only b~ available by bulk purchase direct from maltsters.
Roasting Method

J 'Q't) de ,(eQ..$ .fc~ 1~ .... " ;

'3 oo cl ~~'R S'

3oo J


4;! ~'"

.~ qs,...
~~\J d ~J~ OS J. 0 W\ ; r-


0. <

~ ~

o. ~~'t.V"' """It




Line a large baking tin with aluminium foil, and pour in pale
malt to a depth of 12 mm (1; 2 inch). Place in the oven (preferably
fan-stirred) at 100C (230F) for _!!5 minutes to dry out the malt,
then raise the tem~ralure to''fsooc (300F). After a further 20
minutes remove 6 or 7 corns from the tray, slice across the centre
with a sharp knife and compare the colour of the starchy centre
with that of a few pale malt corns. The pale malt is almost pure
white; for pale amber the colour should be the palest buff, just
noticeably different from the pale malt. Continue heating until
this colour is obtained, usually about 30 minutes.
For amber malt, continue heating until the cut section is
distinctly light buff, usually 45 to 50 minutes. If brown malt is
needed, raise the temperature at this point to 175C (350F) and
wait until the cut cross-section is a full buff, i.e. about the colour
of the paler types of brown wrapping paper. When the correct
colour has been reached, remove the tray from the oven, allow to
cool and store the roast grain in an air-tight screw-top jar (large
kilner jars are ideal). If used soon after production, the flavour
imparted by home-roasted grain is superior to bought grain.
The roasting times given above are intended only as a guide
to producing the wanted roast grain Practical tests on the oven
available will enable home-brewers to adjus t the time and
temperature to produce the colour needed.
Crystal malt, which is usually available, has about the same
colour potential as brown malt but a more caramel-like flavour.



Appendix 2.


Colour Ratings of Roast Malts and Barley




1:1 mix with Pale Malt can
substitute for East India Malt


East India



Standard Pale Ale Malt.

Mild Ale



16- 18


Used for mild ales and dark

used at double quantities can
replace Pale Amber Malt.






A pale crystal malt that can be

used to replace Pale Amber Malt.


Pale Amber
(Scotch Malt)

30-40 t







The main flavouring ingredient

in English and Scottish Porters.




Being partly mashed inside the

grains it can be used to replace
Brown Malt in difficult recipes.


Obsolete - obtainable by special

order only.




Used in Stouts and Dark Brown





Gives a sweet, acrid flavour to

Stouts and Porters.

Roast Barley



Gives a drier, sharper flavour

than Black Malt.



European Brewing Co~wention colour numbers

Estimated from contemporary descriptions



Monkton. H.A. A History of English Ale and Beer. Bodley

Head, London 1966.
Corran. H.S. A History of Bmllittg. David and Charles,
London, 1975.
Briggs, D.E. et al.. Malting and Brewing Science. Chap. & Hall.
Vol1. Malt and Sweet Wort. 1981.
Vol 2. Hopped Wort and Beer. 1982.
Parker. H. H. The Hop IndustnJ. P.S. King and Son Ltd.,
London, 1934.
'Brewing' EncyClopaedia Britannica. Ninth Edition, 1876.
Wheeler. D. British Patent 4112 1817.
Tizzard. W.L. Theory and Practise of Brewing. London, 1857.
Stapes. H. Malt and Malting. 1885.
Pasteur. L. Etudes sur Ia Biere. Paris, 1876.
Line. D. The Big Book of Brewing. The Amateur Winemaker,
Andover, UK, 1974.
Richmond. L. and Turton. A. The Brewing Industry (A Guide to
Historical Records). Manchester University Press, 1990.
Anon. Town and Country Brewer. 1770.
Harrison. W. Description of England. 1577.
Bickerdyke. J. Curiosities of Ale and Beer. 1886.
Patton. J. Additives in Beer. Patton Publications, Swimbridge,
Barnstaple, UK, 1989.
Brewing Ledgers held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, HeriotWatt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Nithsdale. W.H. and Martin. A.T. Practical Brewing. First
Edition, 1913.
Black. William A Practical Treatise on Brewing. Forth Edition,
Longman, London, 1849.
Anon. The Young Brewers Monitor. London, 1824.
Accum. F. Treatise on The Art of Brewing. London, 1820.
Roberts. W.H. The Scottish Ale Brewer. Edinburgh and
London, 1837.
Whitbread's Brewery Records.
Mathias. P. The Brewing Industry in England 1700-1830.
Cambridge, UK, 1959.
Courage's Brewing Archive ..
Richardson. J. Statistical Estimates. 1784.


Old British Beers and How to Make Them-Preamble

Most of these recipes are from the 18th century although there are a few gruit and
unhopped ale recipes that date back to the middle ages as well as a few 20th century
recipes. I have used these recipes and made some very nice ales. I would like to
mention that all recipes are given per 1 gallon of-finished product so you will need to
do some basic math to determine amounts needed for your batch size.
Hop AAs were about 4 to 5o/o in the days these beers were made, so ifyou are going
to use modem varieties with more AAs adjust accordingly. Many have noted that
the Fuggles and Goldings used almost exclusively in these beers provide a more
earthy/woody taste profile than other varieties. I'm just saying, if you want to get a
real idea of what these been were like, I would go with the specified hops.
All recipes call for a 3 hour mash. This was probably necessary with the malts
available in the 18tb century. Using modern (better-modified) malts, you can
probably get by with less than a 1 hour mash for OGs under 1.050 and up to a 2
hour mash for the very high-gravity recipes. Iodine test is the easiest way to verify
aU starches have been ~onverted. Some brewers have found that low-gravity beers
are fully saccharified in a 30 minute mash. However, most of these recipes are for
high-gravity beers so you may want to use up to a 2 hour mash. You can mow the
lawn and take out the trash while the mash is working.
I've included a hop-utilization table. You will notice that hop utilization is greatly
affected by wort gravity. These brews were made mostly with a 2 hour (or more)
boil. One reason was to get maximum hop utilization, the other was to reduce
volume in order to increase gravity. You may note that for all gravities, hop
utilization increases only about 10% between the first and second hour of the boil.
But you may also note that the hop utilization for a 1.040 brew is about double that
of a 1.120 brew.
There is a section on home-toasting malts in the oven. I have used this process and it
makes some unique flavors.
Make sure you use a yeast that is NOT overly-attenuative. These ales used a
relatively low-attenuating yeast strain that left a good amount of body and
sweetness. You will also note that a lot of these high-gravity brews were aged 8
months or more. Bow many of you can wait that long?

Table 7- Utilization as a function of Boil Gravity and Time

Iv~~a~~ , 1.030 , l.040 ,1.050 ,1.060 , 1 .070 , 1.080 , 1.090 , 1.100 , 1.110 , 1.120
I 1o .ooo

1 o.o55

1o.o5o 1o .o46 1o.o42 1o .o38 1 o.o35 1o.o32 1o.o29 1o.o27 1 o.o25


1o.1oo 1o.o91 o.o84 1o.o76 1 o.o7o 1 o.o64 1o.o58 1o.o53 1 o.o49 1o.o45


1o.137 1o.125 o.114 l o.1o5 l o.o96 1o.o87 o.o8o o.o73 o.o67 o.o61


1o .167 1o.153 o.14o 1o .1 28_ 1o.117 1o.1o7 1o.o98 1o.o89 1o .o81 0.074


1o.192 1o.175 o.16o 1o.147 1o.134 10 .122 10.112 1o .1o2 l o .o94 0.085


10 .212 ! o.194 o .177 1o.162 ! o.148 1o.135 1o.124.1o.113 1o.1o3 0 .094


1o.229 o.2o9 o.191 1o.175 1o.16o 1o.146 1o.133 1o.122 0.111 0.102


1o.242 1 0.221 o.2o2 l 0.185 10.169 10.155 10.141 o.129 0 .118 0.108


o.253 1 o .232 0.212 10 .194 10.177 10.162 10.148 10.135 0.123 0 .113


o.263 1 o.24o 1 o.219 l o.2oo 1o.183 1o .168 1o.153 1 o.14o 0.128 0.117


o.27o 1 o .247 1o.225 l o.2o6 1o.188 0.172 o.157 1o.144 0.132 0.120


o.276 1o.252 1o.231 10.211 0.193 0.176 o.161 1 o .147 o.135 1o.123


o.285 1o .261 1o.238 1o.218 0.199 0.182 0.166 10.152 0.139 10.127



o.291 1o.266 1o.243 10.222 0 .203 0.186 o.17o 1o.155 o.142 1o.13o



1o.3oo 1o.2~4 1o.251 1o.229 0.209 0 .191 0.175 10.160 o.146 1 o.134


1o.3o1 1o.275 1o.252 1o.23o 0.210 0.192 ~.176 1 0.161 o.147 1o.134




1 o.295

1o.27o 1o.247 1o.226 0 .206 0.188 0.172 10.157 0.144 10.132

o.298 1o .272 1o. 249 1 o.228 0.208 0.190 0.174 10.159 0.145 10.133

Yeast Strains Chart

Page 3 of6

suppliers, who provided all of the information for this chart. Just select a beer style from the menu below to view a chart with appropriate yeast strains to

consider for your recipe.
Key: Type=Typc of yeast, S=Siant, D=Dry, L=Liquid, Floc=Flocculation, Atten=Attenuation, Temp=ldeal Fermentation Temperature



Name & Number

Atten. Temp. Description
lOth Anniversary Blend WLPOl 0 L
White LabsMedium 75-80% 65-70Blend of WLPOOJ, WLP002, WLP004 & WLP81 0.
American Ale 1056
L Wyeast
Low/Med 73-77%60-72Well balanced. Ferments dry, finishes soft.
Siebellnst. Medium High 64-72Very clean ale flavor.
American Ale BRY 96
72-76% 6()..72Siightly nutty, soft, clean and tart finish.
American Ale TI 1272
American Ale Yeast Blend WLP060L White LabsMedium 72-80% 68-73Biend celebrates the strengths of California ale strains.
Bedford British Ale WLP006
White Labs High
72-80% 65-70Good choice for most English style ales.
Medium 73-75% 64-72Ferments dry and crisp, slightly tart and fruity.
British Ale 1098
British Ale II 1335
73-75% 63-75Malty flavor, crisp finish, clean, fairly dry.
White LabsHigb
75-800/o 68-75English strain that produces malty beers.
British Ale WLP005
Med/High75-78% 60-75Produces nice malt profile with a hint of fruit.
British Cask Ale I 026
White LabsMediwn 65-75% 68-73Subtle fruity flavors: apple, clover honey and pear.
Burton Ale WLP023
California Ale V WLP051
White LabsMed/High70-75% 66-70Produces a fruity, full-bodied beer.
White LabsMedium 67-74% 65-70Ciean flavors accentuate hops; very versatile.
California Ale WLPOOI
Coooers Homebrew Yeast
D Coopers High
High 68-80Clean, round flavor profile.
White LabsLow/Med 70-75% 68-73Very clean and low esters.
East Coast Ale WLP008
English Ale BRY 264
Siebel lnst. Medium High 59-68Clean ale with slightly nutty and estery character.
White LabsMed/Higb70-75% 68-73Very clear with some residual sweetness.
English Ale WLP002
English Special Bitter 1768
68-72% 64-72Produces light fruit ethanol aroma with soft finish.
White LabsMed/High71-76% 66-70Drier finish than many British ale yeasts
Essex Ale Yeast WLP022
D Fementis Medium TI%
59-75Clean with mild flavor for a wide range of styles.
Fermentis US 56
73-77% 60-72Slight residual diacetyl and fru itiness.
Irish Ale 1084
White LabsMedium 73-80% 65-70Light fruitiness and slight dry crispness.
Irish Ale WLP004
London Ale I028
Low/Med 73-77% 60-72Bold and crisp with a rich mineral profile.
7 1-75% 64-74Very light and fruity, with a soft, balanced palate.
London Ale IT! 1318
Whrte LabsMedium 67-75%66-71 Dry malty ale yeast for pales, bitters and stouts.
London Ale WLP013
67-71%64-72Ricb, malty character with balanced fruitiness.
London ESB Ale 1968
Muntons Premium Gold
D Muntons High
High 57-77Clean balanced ale yeast for I 000/o malt recipies.
High 57-77Ciean well balanced ale yeast.
D Muntons High
Muntons Standard Yeast
Northwest Ale 1332
67-71% 65-75Malty, mildly fruity, good depth and complexity.
D Danstar
High 57-70Neutral for an ale yeast; fruity estery aromas.
Pacific Ale WLP041
White LabsMedium 65-70% 65-68A popular ale yeast from the Pacific Northwest.
67-71%64-74A malty, complex profile that clears well.
Ringwood Ale 1187
59-75Englisb ale yeast that forms very compact sediment.
Safale S-04
D Fennentis High
Soutbwold Ale WLP025
White LabsMedium 72-78% 65-69Complex fruits and citrus flavors.
Medium 72-76% 62-72Clean, light malt character with low esters.
Thames Valley Ale 1275
L Wyeast
73-77%62-72Slightly fruitier and maltier than 1275.
Thames Valley Ale ll 1882
68-72%64-74Mildly malty and slightly fruity .
Whitbread Ale 1099
Whie LabsMedium 67-73% 66-70Brittish style, slightly fruity with a hint of sulfur.
Whit bread Ale WLPO 17
Medium64-70Full-bodied, fruity English ale.
D Danstar
71-75%64-72A blend of the best strains to provide quick starts.
Wyeast Ale Blend 1087

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