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London Brown Ale

London Brown Ale

This month (February 2023), Peter Symons gave us an overview of the London Brown Ale style in preparation for our annual club competition in May.

London Amateur Brewers

February 27, 2023

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  1. Brown Ale History Arguably Brown Ale was introduced by Thomas

    Wells Thorpe, of Mann Crossman and Paulin from their Albion Brewery in the East End of London. • Hurford Janes in his book The Red Barrel, p174, states this was 1899 and this seems to have repeated by most, others state 1902. • However, a search of the British Newspaper Archive found no mention of Brown Ale pre The Great War. • Ron Pattinson has some 1920—1939 data * showing that Brown Ale (including Manns) had an O.G. range 1.039—1.054, so ABVs around 5% rather than the extant version Mann’s Brown Ale at 2.8% • Double Brown Ales were very much in vogue and in my 2020 LAB talk I detailed a 1932 Whitbread Double Brown Ale with an O.G. 1.052 * Mild! Plus Ron Pattinson p198—202
  2. Michael Jackson on Brown Ale A good southern-type Brown Ale

    might be expected to have a colour of around 125 EBC and a bitterness of around 20 IBU. Crystal malt provides the signature, even though the percentage used will be within single figures. Many brewers also use Black Invert, and often caramel. The New World Guide to Beer, 1988 ed., p170 Probably the most quoted reference to English Brown Ale is from MJ who classified Southern (London) and Northern (Newcastle) styles
  3. August 1960 Which Report - Brown Ales NBAC Tooth &

    Co. Ltd., N60/172, Which? August 1960, p167-173
  4. August 1960 Which Report - Brown Ales Brewer Beer Price

    per pint d OG FG ABV App. Attenuation Index of Hop Bitter Ansells Nut Brown Ale 17 1032.9 1010.5 2.90 68.09% 20 Ushers Brown Ale 18 1032.3 1010.7 2.80 67.03% 22 Friary Meux Brown Ale 20 1030.2 1011.6 2.40 61.59% 19 Tolly Cobblold Country Brown Ale 20 1031.5 1012.2 2.50 61.43% 23 Strong Rumsey Brown 20 1032.1 1009.7 2.90 69.78% 20 Watney Brown Ale 20 1032.1 1011.2 2.70 65.11% 16 Greene King Burton Ale 20 1033.4 1011.7 2.80 64.97% 16 Truman Trubrown Brown Ale 20 1034.7 1013.8 2.70 60.23% 27 Truman Trubrown Brown Ale 20 1035.2 1015.1 2.60 57.24% 25 Simonds Berry Brown Ale 20 1035.1 1015.7 2.50 55.27% 20 Carlisle State Management Nut Brown Ale 20 1040.6 1012.8 3.60 68.60% 20 Fremlins Double Elephant Brown Ale 21 1033.4 1011 2.90 67.07% 17 Courage & Barclay 'Doctor' Brown Ale 21 1034.7 1013 2.80 62.54% 26 Whitbread Forest Brown 21 1035.5 1012.3 3.00 65.35% 28 Georges Brown Ale 22 1035.1 1011.9 3.00 66.10% 20 https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2015/10/brown-ale-in-1960.html
  5. Unfermented Matter The proportion of unfermented matter is often increased

    above the normal 25% by the addition of a small amount of strong sugar solution. This gives a little sweetness and, in draught beers, stimulates the yeast to produce some extra ‘condition’ . A high figure for percentage of unfermented matter usually indicates a sweet type of beer, with appreciable ‘body’.
  6. Index of Hop Bitter Hops are used in beer to

    provide bitterness, aroma, and as an anti-bacterial preservative. An Index of Hop Bitter has been determined which, whilst giving no exact comparison, serves as a useful guide to the general level of bitterness, at least within each class of beer. The higher the value of the index the more bitter the beer. Within any one brew there is likely to be moderate variation from month to month.
  7. Whitbread Forest Brown Ale ‘The acquisition of the Forest Hill

    Brewery in South London in 1923 led to an important development. Until this date all Whitbread’s beer had been naturally matured in glass. The Forest Hill Brewery was a pioneer in carbonating techniques whereby beer was matured and filtered before bottling. Whitbread’s used the Forest Hill Brewery name to market a brightly filtered beer. It was decided to do this as ‘the process was in the nature of an experiment, and in view of the fact that the Company’s reputation for bottled beer had been built up on the ‘naturally matured’ article, it was advisable for the present to keep the two articles quite distinct’. Forest Ale and Stout continued to be bottled at Forest Hill and sold under the Forest Hill Brewery Co. Ltd. name until the end of 1926.’ THE STORY OF WHITBREAD PLC 1742 – 1990 By Nicholas Barritt Redman. Company Archivist, p31
  8. Whitbread Chiswell St - Liquor Treatment All liquor going into

    the brew is treated Liquor • 1.7 oz/brl Sodium Chloride (non iodised salt) • Translates to 0.29 g/L so for 24 L = ~7 g London water pretty soft - so all good for a brown beer. Perhaps use Martin Brungard’s Bru’n Water Full Brown profile https://www.brunwater.com/
  9. 1961 Whitbread Forest Brown Recipe O.G. 1.0355 F.G.1.012 IBU 21

    EBC 104 ABV 3.0% Batch 24 L 75% efficiency Water - NaCl 7 g in Copper % Materials 81.2 Mild Ale or Vienna malt 11.3 Sugar Invert No.3 5.9 Medium Crystal (176 EBC) 1.6 Caramel Colour Mash 70°C (158°F) 90 mins. Boil 70 mins. 31 g Fuggles 4.3α First Wort Hopped. Add sugar and caramel at 15 mins. Whirlfloc at 5 mins. Yeast WLP017 Whitbread Ale or Wyeast 1099 or Bluestone London BSY029, or dry Safale S04, Lallemand ESB Pitch at 17.4°C (64°F) let rise to 22°C (72°F) then drop to 16°C (61°F) Carbonate ~ 2.0 vol. LMA-4453-D-01-129 1961-62 Ale BB
  10. Making No.3 Invert Sugar I use a Thermomix TM31 to

    make the White Sugar Invert syrup base. Ratios • 500 g sugar to 500 g water • 2 ml 88% lactic acid per 1 kg sugar • 100 ml corn syrup per 1 kg sugar # 1 Add 1,052 g + 250 g (boil off) say 1,300 g of water 100°C @ Speed 1 for 5 mins 2 Add 4 ml Lactic Acid 3 Slowly Add 1,052g White Cane Sugar and let dissolve 4 Set Speed 2 @ Varoma ~ 115°C for 20 mins. # I make my invert on the day so don’t need to store 5 Then once done add 48 g Blackstrap Molasses and stir 100°C @ Speed 2 for 12 mins Use a good tasting Molasses The Dilution Method Making Invert Sugar in a Thermomix https://youtu.be/MOwuyFWh87g
  11. Forest Brown Ale • No Finings added • Priming made

    an important contribution to Forest Brown • 1 gallon of Priming (Cane) Sugar @ 1.124 with 35 gallons of 1.033 Brown Ale gave a 36 gallon brl • After Priming O.G. 1.035.5 • Bottled Beer was pasteurised. • Colour in 1954 was 95 – 115 EBC which is a pretty dark brown Whitbread\LMA-4453-D-02-011 1962-69 Brewing Manual page CT3
  12. 1959 Watney’s Brown Ale brewed by Ushers O.G. 1.031 F.G.1.010

    IBU 21 EBC 100 ABV 2.8% Batch 24 L 75% efficiency Water – Brown Full Bru’n Water % Materials 81.1 Mild Ale or Vienna malt 6.0 Flaked maize 4.1 Sugar Invert No.3 4.1 Medium Crystal (176 EBC) 3.4 Roasted Barley 1.4 Caramel Colour Mash 67°C (153°F) 90 mins. Boil 70 mins. 31 g Fuggles 4.3α First Wort Hopped. Add sugar and caramel at 15 mins. Whirlfloc at 5 mins. Yeast WLP017 Whitbread Ale or Wyeast 1099 or Bluestone London BSY029, or dry Safale S04, Lallemand ESB Pitch at 16°C (60°F) let rise to 21°C (69°F) then drop to 14°C (57°F) Carbonate ~ 2.0 vol. Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre 1075/252/6, 1959 WBA Ushers No 56 04-09-1959
  13. Mann’s Brown Ale 2.8% 2023 Dark rich full bodied luscious

    flavour hints of roasted creamy toffee https://www.marstonsbrewery.co.uk/product/beer/manns-brown 2005 Pale, crystal, touch roasted barley, sweet toffee and light sultana fruit aroma finish sweet and not cloying hopped with Target Roger Protz, 300 Beers to try before you Die!, Mann’s Brown Ale, p48
  14. 1970 Mann’s Brown Ale brewed by Crowley O.G. 1.031 F.G.1.010

    IBU 21 EBC 134 ABV 2.8% Batch 24 L 75% efficiency Water – Brown Full Bru’n Water % Materials 69.3 Mild Ale or Vienna malt 9.7 Sugar Invert No.2 8.7 Torrefied Barley 8.1 Medium Crystal (176 EBC) 2.6 Caramel Colour 1.6 Roasted Barley (1400 EBC) Mash 69°C (156°F) 90 mins. Boil 70 mins. 27 g Fuggles 4.9α First Wort Hopped. Add sugar and caramel at 15 mins. Whirlfloc at 5 mins. Yeast WLP017 Whitbread Ale or Wyeast 1099 or Bluestone London BSY029, or dry Safale S04, Lallemand ESB Pitch at 16°C (61°F) let rise to 20°C (68°F) then drop to 14°C (57°F) Carbonate ~ 2.0 vol. Hampshire Archives 37M86/11, Gyle 310 - 23/06/1970
  15. Challenges and thoughts • A 2.8 – 3.0% ABV beer

    could be hard to brew • Possibly brew a slightly higher gravity and dilute say to a max of 20% • Or brew a Whitbread Double Brown as Chiswell St is EC1 • Base malt – Mild Ale or Vienna or a higher dried Pale ale malt or even Dark Malt Extract? • Some English medium crystal malt 176 EBC • And some lovely No. 3 Invert Sugar perhaps to 15% of the fermentables • Caramel is your friend for the DARKNESS and/or a tad of Roast Malt • Use a lesser attenuating yeast e.g. Lallemand ESB (72%) or Safale-04 (75%) Ferment to 20°C for some fruity character?
  16. 1930s Whitbread Double Brown Recipe O.G. 1.052 F.G.1.014 IBU 59

    EBC 40 ABV 5.1% * Batch 23 L 75% efficiency Water - NaCl 7 g in Copper % Materials 45.7 TF Maris Otter Pale malt 32.0 6-row Pale malt 20.7 Sugar Invert No.3 1.6 TF Chocolate Malt Mash 68 - 71°C (155 – 165°F) 90 mins. Boil 70 mins. 48 g EKG 4.75α at boil. 48 g WGV or (Fuggle) 6.0α at boil. Add sugar at 15 mins. Whirlfloc at 5 mins. Yeast WLP017 Whitbread Ale or Wyeast 1099 or Safale S04 or Lallemand ESB Pitch at 17°C (63°F) let rise to 22°C (72°F) then drop to 16°C (61°F) Cold condition and dry hop if you like say 0.69 g/L EKG. (4oz/brl) Carbonate ~ 1.5 vol. * Based on being primed
  17. Recipes • The Brewfather® recipes are on Slack in pdf,

    and BeerXML format • 75% mash efficiency • Note my system settings are in essence BIAB no sparge with my aim 32 L pre boil, 6 L boiloff ending up with 24 L in Copper, less 4 L trub and shrinkage, so 20 L into the fementer and 1 L loss voila 19 L for the keg. Body, Caramel, Sweet and Maltiness! No hop aroma or flavour.
  18. References and links • Ant Hayes presentation on Southern English

    Brown Ale given to the BJCP in 2008 in Cincinnati https://legacy.bjcp.org/cep/nhc08_SEBA.pdf • 2007 BYO Article by Terry Foster https://byo.com/article/brown-ale/ • Ron Pattinson, Let's Brew Wednesday, 1966 Drybrough Brown Ale (Mann’s) http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2020/01/lets-brew-wednesday-1966-drybrough- mba.html • Martyn Cornell, https://zythophile.co.uk/2011/03/31/why-theres-no-such-beer-as- english-brown-ale/ and Amber Gold and Black, Chapter 9 • Making Invert unholymess archived site https://web.archive.org/web/20201130084838/http://www.unholymess.com/blog/bee r-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert • Ron Pattinson, Let's Brew Wednesday - 1968 Whitbread Forest Brown http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2016/12/lets-brew-wednesday-1968- whitbread.html • 1996 Zymurgy, Vol.19 Vol 3, Brown Ale in a Can, Seeley & Mansfield, p45—51 • And just for some contrast BJCP2021 London Brown Ale 27A https://www.bjcp.org/style/2021/27/27A/historical-beer-london-brown-ale/
  19. Peter Symons Brewing since 1998 Graduate Certificate in Brewing –

    Ballarat University Siebel Institute’s WBA Concise Course BJCP Recognised Judge Researching old beers since 2009 Author of three books about brewing historic beers.
  20. My Books Print on demand https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/prsymons YouTube Channel - Tritun

    Books https://tinyurl.com/yjauw6pf email me [email protected] Facebook @bronzedbrews More on my website https://prstemp.wixsite.com/tritun-books