Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

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Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Wed Mar 02, 2022 8:48 pm

A sequel to my "Beers and Ales ..." thread!

Before attacking these periods, I needed a reliable source of INVERT SUGAR 'cos it was used a lot and contributed greatly to the flavour (and colour) of beers in those periods. (The coloured capitals are just an attention grabber).

I knew using white granulated sugar was wrong, I knew keen souls made their own, I knew some cheated and forked out for monstruous blocks of "Ragus" Invert (because UK brewers would use it these days) and I knew you could hand over a King's ransom and purchase some from the US.

I dismissed Ragus because not only was it impossible to purchase in small amounts, but it also became apparent (to me) that the stuff wasn't as "authentic" as people made out (20% of it is tasteless glucose powder added to make it into "solid" blocks). I wanted to make my own. But was terrified of slaving over seething cauldrons of intensely hot sugar syrup. Making the syrup "inverting" looked like the worse jobs, before the hours of simmering to get the colour right.

I homed in on using Lyle's Golden Syrup as a base; inverting is half done anyway, and will be fully done during processing, and it contains the necessary protien matter ("supermarket" pseudo-Golden Syrup does not). I bought an "Instantpot" (Airfrier) to make the job easier and should have some beer to show for it in a few weeks. A "1896 Rose AK" (No.1 & 2 Invert Sugar) and "1924 Barclay Perkins KK" (Burton Ale) (No. 3 Invert Sugar - making that should be fun). I'm not writing up my today's efforts making No. 2, you'll have to read it >here< for now.
20220302_155455_WEB.jpg
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Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by f00b4r » Wed Mar 02, 2022 10:34 pm

I’m over in the UK next month, ping me your details and I will send you a small sample of Ragus 1,2 and 3 so you can see if you think the flavours are similar to what you are getting. You can actually buy Ragus as a liquid too I think but the “adulteration” as you put it is, I believe, more about making it easier to work with than anything else.
There is a LOT of flavour in the various Ragus inverts and inverting certain sugars, with their “impurities”, may get you a hell of a lot closer than starting with other sugars. A few members have tried various sugars and methods over the years so know a lot more than me about it.

NB I have not actually tried invert 4 but was pretty impressed with 1-3.

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by Chris Brooks » Mon Mar 07, 2022 10:59 am

I'm new here so please do not think I am trying to teach anyone to suck eggs with this post. I have been using this method of inverting sucrose since the mid 1970's and it has never let me down yet. Inverting granulated sugar, wether white or brown, is fairly safe and you do not have to reduce it to a thick syrup.

My method borrows some of the liquor from the boil stage.

Use a large saucepan or pot (very large pot for a big brew) and weigh it first while empty. Note the weight.

Add 1 litre of water to every 1 kilo of sugar, then add just 1 teaspoon of citric acid to the mixture heat the pot stirring continously until all the sugar is dissolved. When the sugar is dissolved bring to the boil and then reduce to a very gentle simmer for 30-40 minutes. Then let cool....and that's it.

Now weigh the pot and contents. Subtract the weight of sugar you used and the weight of the pot. You now know how much water to subtract from the boil as 1kg=1litre of water. i.e. 1000g=1000ml.

Hope this helps

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by MashBag » Mon Mar 07, 2022 11:40 am

There was a chap on here..
https://stillsmarter.co.uk/forum/viewto ... d0936640b9

.. Did some interesting stuff with inverts & syrups. Might be with a read.

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Tue Mar 08, 2022 2:52 pm

MashBag wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 11:40 am
There was a chap on here...
This looked interesting, to start with! He was a little bit off track trying to make golden syrup: You can make a fair copy of the many supermarket Golden Syrups, but that isn't the same as Lyles Golden Syrup (Ragus make it too, but I've never seen it for sale) despite what people say about "you can't tell the difference" (you flippin' can!). I liked the suggestion to use exotic sugars to make invert sugars; all my attempts are to create the standard "No.1, 2, 3" invert syrups are because I'm following Ron Pattinson's researched recipes and he openly admits lists of unknown sugars and syrups have been clumped together as No.1, No.2, etc.

Reading on, I eventually figured why they were making Golden Syrup! It was to make alcoholic drink, but not beer! Dodgy bunch. Guess I should have figured it from the Internet address.


Ah yes; you can't make Golden Syrup 'cos it's made from the leftovers of the industrial refining of cane sugar (read about it here >Golden Syrup< from "History"). I'm hoping the "raw" aspects will provide the elements required for Maillard reactions, though perhaps I'll need some lime or something to reduce the acidity (Lyle's GS is about pH 5-6). The flowery flavours in Lyles GS is possibly due to Maillard reactions? Those flavours are absent in "supermarket GS" although some is made from cane sugar (highly refined cane sugar!).

The acidity may be useful to complete the "inverting" in the initial stages of baking (Golden Syrup is only deemed "partially inverted" because that is the result of processing, not some magical intention).
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Tue Mar 08, 2022 7:54 pm

BTW: The brew this is intended for (1896 Rose AK from Ron Pattinson's "AK!" book) was pitched 48 hours ago and is at 1.020. So, this has been a "practical" exercise.
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by MashBag » Wed Mar 09, 2022 12:43 pm

Fingers crossed then!

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Wed Mar 09, 2022 2:08 pm

Chris Brooks wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 10:59 am
I'm new here so please do not think I am trying to teach anyone to suck eggs with this post. ...
Cheers Chris. Welcome to the forum!

You won't convince me that boiling sugar syrup is "fairly safe", hence I'm mucking about with a "no boil" option (and optionally locking it away in an "Instantpot" too). I'm also not trying to make "invert sugar" (hence I'm using Lyle's Golden Syrup that's already part inverted, "Lyles" because I also want the components for potential "Maillard reactions" for flavours and colour), "inverting" is just incidental as I need the "fructose" (a product of "inverting") to caramelise and produce the colours; fructose caramelises at 110°C rather than the 160°C sucrose and glucose needs. I'm only interested in the colour and flavour that darker syrups (No.2, No.3) might bring to my ongoing project exploring historical beers.



For anyone who doesn't know: Fructose strongly causes light passing through it to bend anti-clockwise. Glucose and Sucrose bends light a bit clockwise. So if you convert sucrose to it's components of glucose and fructose, light passing through it will rotate clockwise until the amount of fructose in the solution overwhelms the sucrose and glucose, and light rotates anti-clockwise ... or is "inverted". Good grief! Look into it a bit more and your head can get dramatically screwed up.

That explanation screwed up my head, and I don't see why it shouldn't screw up other peoples heads too. If you know it already, look up how light is bent - that'll really mess up yer 'ead.
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Wed Mar 09, 2022 3:30 pm

MashBag wrote:
Wed Mar 09, 2022 12:43 pm
Fingers crossed then!
Oh aye ... this is a thread about beer, not Invert Sugar:

I think the yeast really hated that "No.2 Invert" I cobbled together. It tried to exit the fermenter:
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The batch was close to capacity (being 60 litres), but this fermenter would have 15-20L of headroom. "Blowoff" tube fitted, the fitting of which reminded me that this is quite normal for that W. Yorkshire yeast (WY-1469).

Recipe was close to Ron Pattinson's interpretation ("AK!" book) but Perle used for Hallertau (short supply at time), Golden Syrup instead of white granulated and Chevallier barley malt used.

Still fermenting (day three). still a bit short of intended FG (1.014) but close enough (it's easy to judge with Chevallier malt, but I guess I need more experience with it to judge FG with accuracy).
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The TiltPi:
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It's quite remarkable that the Tilt (pro edition) is producing reasonable results in all that yeast!
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Wed Mar 16, 2022 1:50 pm

Might have been a little early writing-off my FG guesstimate ("desired") of 1.014. Currently recording:
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Attenuation about 71%, or still in the documented attenuation for W. Yorkshire Wyeast #1469. But there was a lot of sugar (near 100% fermentable), the mash was actually lower temperature than I intended (65°C, not 67°C), and I think #1469 is less "averse" than my conclusion about it (i.e. "dextrin averse"). (That was an informational passage for uncertain brewers who still believe I can make valid judgments. :thumbsup: Good on you!).

Notice where the dry hops got added? That woke the beer up a bit. I've heard this can happen, but don't normally get a clear indication of it happening (dry hops added lunchtime 14th March btw, you must get the hang of screwy American dates in the graph - I can't change it!). Now why do dry hops do that?

I've been reading about sugar recently ("invert sugar" in particular) and could have made a wrong move replacing "glucose" with "No.1 Invert Sugar" (or "Lyle's Golden Syrup" in my case). Glucose (US corn sugar) was immensely popular in late 19th and early 20th Century apparently; it was used to "lighten up" beers to be ready sooner. Still, there won't be much flavour impact to worry about, and I didn't have glucose, but I've got lots of Golden Syrup!

Now when can I get off me bum and cask this lot ...
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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More on INVERT SUGAR (late 19th Century and early 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Fri Mar 25, 2022 11:29 am

(I originally posted this on THBF a week ago - but didn't get much reaction to it. So, over to you lot!).

I recently was looking up a bit of what was going on in Victorian times and early 20th Century. I started with easily accessible documents:
Invert‐sugar. (Part I.) - Heron - 1896 - Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing - Wiley Online Library
Invert‐sugar. (Part II.)* - Heron - 1896 - Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing - Wiley Online Library
... and (brewery centric rather than the refiners POV) ...
The Preparation of Invert Sugar in the Brewery - Baker - 1902 - Journal of the Federated Institutes of Brewing - Wiley Online Library
They are a bit heavy going, but what you should be able to pick up is:

No.1, No.2 and No.3 Invert Sugars refer to something entirely different back in those days to what is referred to now (often represented by the Ragus range, and Ragus didn't come on the scene until 1928). Back then the number referred to the quality of the sugar source whereas now it seems to refer to the colour of the finished product.

When did this happen?

Early on much was done to avoid caramelisation as it would reduce the extract introduced by the Invert Sugar. Inversion seems to have been a shortcut during the refining process to create a syrup for brewing (un-inverted it would crystalise at about 66%). Later it was speculated that having saved the yeast the effort of splitting (inverting) the sucrose, the yeast wouldn't be weakened over successive generations (i.e. the popular idea in the home-brewing community that yeast benefits from inverted sugar is still probably nonsense). Victorian "Invert" sugar was as clear as they could make it, they even pushed it through charcoal (animal bones!) to improve the lack of colour and reduce any flavours, but it was still a pale yellow and tasted of "honey".

I've just completed an AK recipe from Ron Pattinson's ("patto1ro") book ("AK!" - it was the 1896 Rose AK). It used "white sugar" and "Invert Sugar No.2". In his "Strong! Vol. 2" book, a book full of his "Let's Brew" sidelines (I've got loads of his books!), on one recipe ("1924 Barclay Perkins KK", a recipe I've got lined-up next for brewing next) he comments:
... There has been a change in the sugar. Whereas pre-war it had been No.2 Invert, it's now something called "Garston BS". O <sic> know it has to be something dark, based on the beers BS was used in. I've substituted No.3 invert. ...
He mentions something like this on other recipes too. So, in many of his recipes numerous un-known sugar compounds (possibly cane molasses based for colour) which have been clumped together as an Invert No.1, No.2, etc. (Caramel coloured?). I created a caramelised Invert Sugar No.2 for the recipe. Perhaps I should have used a darker coloured (molasses coloured) sugar and not a caramelised "Invert Sugar"?
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: More on INVERT SUGAR (late 19th Century and early 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Fri Mar 25, 2022 1:57 pm

Just to show it's not my screwed-up head inventing this disparity with "Invert Sugar":

As I continue to track down when Invert Sugar became graded by colour instead of quality (purity) I came across this from Ron Pattinson (Sugar 1920 - 1939 (part one)):
Invert sugar
This was created by the hydrolosis of cane sugar, which was transformed into equal parts of glucose and fructose. Depending on the degree of purification, three grades of brewing sugar were made: No.1, No.2 and No.3. It was sold either as a syrup or in solid form. Invert sugar was used both in the copper and as primings. No.1 and No.2 were used in Pale Ale, No.2 and No.3 in Mild Ale and No.3 in Porter and Stout.
See? ... "Purification", not "colour". Like in those Victorian "Heron" papers I linked in the preceding post.

I'm intrigued by the comment in that quote "sold either as a syrup or in solid form". That might mean the trick used by Ragus of filling the Invert Syrup with 20% of glucose powder, or vacuum evaporation of water (the Victorians were well aware of this method). It was most certainly not heat evaporation without vacuum (mentioned in this thread "Invert Syrups: Making Your Own Simple Sugars for Complex Beers" for making "hard candi") as that would have caused unwanted caramelisation and colouration (Fructose caramelises at 110°C).
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: More on INVERT SUGAR (late 19th Century and early 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Fri Mar 25, 2022 2:13 pm

As per my first post in this thread; I cheat making "invert" by just using a reputable brand of Golden Syrup (Lyle's in my case). But I am wondering now if using Golden Syrup as-is for "No.1 Invert" might be overdoing it? People complain that Golden Syrup in beer is too "caramelly" and, having been given a sample of Regus "No.1", I'd have to agree (Regus "No.1" tastes of nothing much except sweet sugar). Golden Syrup might best be diluted (with glucose?) before using it as a substitute for No.1? I guess today's "No.1 Invert" (as a syrup) is much like the Victorian "No.1 Invert" i.e. both being fairly (but not utterly) colourless and tasteless.

I'm also dismayed to learn the "reputable" golden syrups are fabricated to get the "partial inversion" state. I guess sugar refining has come on a long way since Victorian times and they no longer make the "waste" from which Golden Syrup was scavenged? I've not tried to make "No.3" from Golden Syrup yet (I will), so I'm just presuming there will be enough fructose to caramelise and get the colour.

And I do still believe "inverting" serves only one purpose for home brewing ... to create fructose. The fructose colours (caramelises) at lower temperatures and will help prevent syrups created from invert from crystalising. I've only come across one commercial suggestion that not saving the yeast the job of inverting the sugar itself will "weaken" the yeast, and that only because it will damage the yeast after several generations making it less fit to use in fermentations. I.e. Of no concern to home brewers except those very few who re-pitch their yeast for times on-end.


This is interesting, converting corn starch (and wheat starch?) to glucose:

The Manufacture and Use of Brewing Sugars in America

Note they are "converting" not "inverting"? No fructose (corn-starch -> maltose -> dextrose), so I guess no reversal (inverting) of optical rotation through the syrup?
Last edited by PeeBee on Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by Eric » Fri Mar 25, 2022 2:55 pm

I'd bet my that Garston BS was a processed sugar or a waste product from sugar refining in or near Liverpool. More, I'll bet Henry Tate, a Liverpool grocer who got involved in sugar refining, had at some time involvement in a company that processed it. In 1921 his company merged with Lyle's of Greenock, where named sugars that Ron Pattinson found, but couldn't recognise, were produced.

I think Ron compiled a list in his blog of brewing sugar names he'd come across, but couldn't identify. Some of those I identified as from Lyle's in Greenock and suggest that Garston was from Tate's, as Garston docks took the overflow from Liverpool when there was no more land free for development near the docks in the mid 19th century.

In 1941, after 3 Atlantic crossings and prior to the vessel traversing the Manchester Ship Canal to unload, my father was discharged at Garston. The ship next loaded a military cargo in the Clyde for North Africa. With the Italian Navy commanding the Mediterranean Sea, the Thistlegorm sailed round the Horn to the Red Sea to be bombed with its cargo intact, my father fortunately having joined another ship.
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Re: Beers (late 19th Century and 20th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Sat Mar 26, 2022 12:13 pm

It's cracking getting some (inadvertent) backup for my crazed ideas. This about "Brown Malt" in late Victorian/early 20th C. (very recent):

Brown Malt 1880 - 1914

That about "wire cylinders" for making the job less onerous has definitely got logged in the (remaining) brain cells.

Of course, not all comments are unintended: Cheers Eric :thumbsup:



[EDIT: Ah, most of my brown malt rambling is here viewtopic.php?f=2&t=83285. But the reason I split the thread was mainly due to what Ron is discussing in that linked Blog post of his.]
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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