Olde London IPA - 1839 recipe!

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by The Green Man, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    #1 The Green Man, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    Hello all,
    Well, I've decided to make my next brew an authentic-as-I-can-make-it original IPA from the early-mid nineteenth century. Actually, I'm very excited by it. I hail myself from London and this was a big brewery in its day. Even my favourite football team may take the name of its ground from their old brewery name!
    Anyway, I digress. Beer. The recipe was found on this page:
    https://makezine.com/projects/make-40/brew-a-vintage-ipa/

    Which it would seem takes it from this book:
    The Homebrewers Guide to Vintage Beer by Ronald Paddinson

    Anyway, it is simple SMaSH ale, but a beast in terms of IBUs, 177,:confused: can you believe? I am modifying it a bit since that will just be way too bitter for me and most others, I would imagine. So my version:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/619647/olde-london-ipa

    So, I have added dry hops as most IPAs seemed to have done this and reduced the recommended first hop addition. Apart from that it is close as I can get it brewing in a pot in the kitchen with plastic buckets. I don't have Brett or Barrels and can't risk exploding bottles. I will be patient though and aim to wait one year plus before drinking seriously.

    My question is will the year + of bottle conditioning mellow the IBUs (my version is still up there at 108 IBUs) to a more palatable level?

    I have seen the wonders of a few months of bottle conditioning and the original version of this was conditioned for a year in a vat before bottling and then presumably shipped for a few months. The Brett from the vats probably took the edge off some of those IBUs too, I imagine.

    What is the erstwhile brewing communities collective thoughts? Will be intrigued to hear and feedback/ comments.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if its just goldings I wouldn't go by the ibu and i wouldn't age it a very long, I've had 100 ibu beers not taste bitter at all, just try one in 2 weeks
     
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  3. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Cheers Ozarks. You don't think it will be way too bitter?
    I will probably not be able to stop myself from having a wee sample.;)
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    nope not at all unless your water is very hard
     
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  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Looks interesting. I'd be curious how it turns out.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    interesting article green man he says they threw plenty of hops at this beer back in the day . but i admit i would take a conservative approach on first brew with this beer then up the ante on next run.
     
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  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'd say don't adjust PH with gypsum. I find that it really makes hops more pronounced.
    Hops like Goldings should be relatively mellow, but I'd err to the side of big body and some residual malt sweetness in mashing.
    The S-04 will be a good choice.
     
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  8. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    I would normally go with that too with my own recipe. But, I really want to try to get close to the historical IPA, at least this version of it. The high mashing temp and S04, like you say, should provide a bit of body. Though not enough, by todays standards I reckon.
    Do you think the ageing in the barrels likely took the edge off the ibu's and allowed the malt forward a bit? Do you think in the absence of barrels (and Brett) it would really benefit from a year + in the bottle? I am intrigued to know what your opinion is. My gut feeling is that the extended ageing will benefit this beer a lot, but it isn't a particularly strong ale and my knowledge/ experience of this isn't great.
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    i see where your comming from green man. usually the barley wine and big stout company are the traditional aged beer but then again look at Oktoberfest for example and even kolsch is conditioned for awhile before its guzzled down in a hurry. you can do a personal exbeeriment by taking a monthly note on a bottle and finding where its sweetspot is and how it mellowed out in IBUs for example. another example is the lambic wild brettanomyces pedio type beers ive not brewed myself but if i were to brew and age a beer id throw some brett in for sure. eg pitch your s04 or whatever your going with and as advised in the recipe the transfered it within 2 days from brew so to replicatethe introduction of wild brett pitch some in early or rack to secondary/aging vessal younge so it produces a little c02 for the long aging period. others will have morr precise and experienced advise but i like where your going with this one.
     
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  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    brett should also be able to attenuate that beer down a little further for you too. see they mentioned 85% attenuation. if your trying to replicate that beer than just s04 aint gunna get you that kinda attenuation. i get on average 80 out of chico strain ale yeast so youve still got some sugars left for your wild yeast to consume even if you pitched your brett after primary fermentation from english strain. one thing im not sure on is how fast brett ferment it may be a very slow crawl to the finnish line:).
     
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  11. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Would love to use Brett to age it in a secondary fermentor maybe. Can't get a hold of it ...
    At the moment am thinking of just bottling it and letting it age a good while.
    I suppose I could rack it to a secondary and pitch S05? That would eat up the remaining sugars and act like a refined Brett substitute.
    Or, just let it go as it is. Primary S04 and bottle condition for a good while.
     
  12. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    I think that looks like something I would want to try one day :)

    But trying to get my head around some of the numbers in your recipe:

    batch size 9l and boil size 7l; do you mean to top up with water after the boil?
     
  13. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    #13 The Green Man, Mar 8, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    Absolutely. I only have a small pasta pot that I mash and boil in. The metal mesh insert acts like a bag during the mash.
    So, after sparging I have 7 litres-ish in my pot, but of course some is lost in boil-off.
    Do the boil and chill the pot in the bath for 30 mins. I have a couple of bottles of water chilling in the fridge, so after the pot is cool to touch, I transfer to my fermentor (which is bigger).
    Then I take an og reading and throw in the amount of chilled water I need to hit the target. This also brings down the wort temp to about pitching temp, so it kills two birds with one stone....problem at the moment is efficiency though. I think I'm mashing too loose.
    Anyway, the process works pretty well for my small batch set-up. Just one pot so, cheap as chips too.:)
     
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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    do you sparge green man or full volume mash?
    pitching s05 wont help stick with your first option. my thoughts is this IPA will be drinkable once carbed for 2 weeks.
     
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  15. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Cheers for the input on S05. Will stick to the plan. Many think that it won't be taste-bud tingingly bitter as Goldings isn't so fiery.
    I mash then add sparge water to get to target boil size.
    Only recently noticed how thick the mash should be and I wasn't stirring it properly. Think my mashes were too loose...doh!
    Did the stirring and mash out last time though. Eventually, I'll do it all properly and get a better efficiency.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's any question that aging will mellow the hops. Though I don't intentionally age many beers over a long period, the hoppiest beers that I've made and stored for extended lengths of time were definitely more malt-balanced. I suspect that the bitterness will fade a little less than the aromatic qualities, but there should be some diminution in the perceived bitterness as well.
    Bottle aging won't give you the mellowing and complexity that a barrel will, but as long as it's not oxidized, it should age well. I wonder if you could transfer to a carboy with oak chips and be careful to keep CO2 in the headspace to age it. That actually sounds very interesting to me and I may try a beer like that. I really like "new barrel smell" on a beer. Whiskey barrels impart too much flavor but virgin oak or a white wine cask might be really nice.
     
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  17. KC

    KC Active Member

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    Here are a few relevant historical notes:
    • Malt houses kilned over open fire. Most fuel by the 1830s was clean coke but there was likely to have been some amount of smoke flavor added during the process.
    • Boil kettles for strike water and wort were copper. Copper is reactive and imparts its own flavor.
    • Tuns, coolships, primary fermenters, and barrels were all wood and imparted their own flavors. Cooperage was a big trade so barrels were often new and made of mostly European oak.
    • Hops were not categorized by strain or aroma, only quality. Britons hated hops before about 1820, and even after that, mild was most favored. Although East Kent was well-known and frequently used for historical brews, there were several now-defunct hopyards elsewhere and it's likely that each batch had wildly different hop flavor.
    • Primary was usually open fermented.
    • Don't worry too much about brett. New barrels don't have a large culture and beer at the time was either high ABW or highly acidic to inhibit mold growth. They were not aware of this until well after 1850, they only knew that high alcohol and high hops kept beer from spoiling.
    • See water comments below
    Correct, this is a London IPA, not a Burton. Hodgson started IPAs in London but exports moved to Burton where the hard water was more suitable and they had excess capacity.
    Water chemistry was really unknown in the 1830s. They did use potash, lime, boiling, and distillation to address hardness but adjustments for taste were done with other ingredients. Use of adjunct ingredients was common at the time, but they were also illegal so you won't see any in the historical records. You were as likely to find lead and opium in your beer as you were herbs and spices. Lacking other information it's best to use London's historical profile as a starting point.
    Mash pH would have been "accidentally" regulated by lactobacillus. Bacteria had yet to be discovered, so there was zero concept of sanitation in the wooden mash tuns. They were even lined at the bottom with horse hair.

    The irony of IPA's is they were designed for long term storage but taste best fresh as hops do fade over time.
     
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  18. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Wow! That's knowledge. Cheers KC. Sounds like mine will be really close, except for the sanitation, lead, opium, horse hair and lack of bacteria...oh and the Japanese spring water...apart from that it will be an exact replica.;)
    Aging isn't really an issue by the sounds of it. It will get about 3 months anyway. I might shift some of those hops to later additions to bring down the ibu's and up the taste and aroma.
    Just goes to show that you can only get so close using a pasta pot and a plastic bucket.:)
    I find it interesting that this is basically a SMaSH recipe.
    Cheers all. Will let you know how it goes.
     
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  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Any time we do historical beers, we're approximating, for a lot of reasons (some mentioned ^^^).
     
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  20. KC

    KC Active Member

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