Showing posts with label truman's brewery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truman's brewery. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Finally - #IHP2015 Truman's Double Stout

This past Saturday, Mrs V and I hosted a little soiree at our place, ostensibly to christen the patio we had built last autumn, but it pissed down from about 11am so we were restricted to the kitchen, which is where the best parties happen anyway.

At the beginning of the day I wasn't sure whether my version of the 1860 Truman's Double Stout would be ready. Having tired of bottling batches of beer, I have started using my 1 gallon cubitainers, which I refer to as 'caskitainers', more and more, and I had 2 caskitainers of stout sitting in my cellar. As I say though, I wasn't sure if I wanted to inflict the beer on friends without having tried it myself, beyond the sample from packaging the beer, which was pretty damned delicious.


A few jars to the good later, I decided to throw caution to the wind and pulled out my little homemade beer engine and the first of the caskitainers. With everything hooked up, I poured myself a sample...


My goodness, this was nice. Huge great dollops of bittersweet chocolate, kind of like the 1lb bars of Belgian dark chocolate you can buy at Trader Joe's. In the background lingered a roasty bite that stopped the beer from being cloying, and the came through in the finish an assertive hop bite. The body was full and luscious, bordering on lascivious, and the densely creamy head could almost convince the unknowing drinker that it had been served through an abomination nitro tap, actually there was a little kink in the line which caused an effect not unlike a sparkler, the natural way to drink cask ale anyway.


Suitably emboldened, I offered our friends glasses of the beer, which went down very well, much to my relief, and so we finished off a caskitainer and a half. Thankfully I still have half a cask in the beer engine, and with no extraneous oxygen getting in, should still be in fine fettle when I finish it off tonight...

Every prospect pleases, and I might have to brew more of this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#IHP2015 - How Not To Get Project Done

There is a carboy in my basement filled with a wonderful looking black liquid that promises much, if the raw wort was anything to go by. The carboy is still holding my version of the International Homebrew Project 2015 beer, a double stout from the 19th Century originally brewed by Truman's in London.

I have no defense other than being mildly frustrated that the Prime Dose bottle conditioning product from Northern Brewer is out of stock (an excellent product that has cured all my packaging woes, and works great for cask conditioning as well!) and I haven't seemed to find the time for packaging beer of late, including the Extra Alt-Pils that is still in the lagering tank!

Anyway, while I may suck at shit done and organised, others do not, including Szabolcs from Hungary who wrote about his version of the beer here, as well as taking some seriously nice pictures.

If any of the other brewers that made the beer have written up posts about their versions, drop me a line or put a link in the comments.

As for me, I will package it one evening this week into my little casks and write about it in a couple of weeks once it is properly conditioned.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#IHP2015 Brewday Reminder

This weekend is the brewday for those of us taking part in this year's International Homebrew Project, where we brew an 1860 Double Stout from the Truman Brewery in London.

The full details of the recipe can be found here.

As things stand, I know of people from the following countries participating:
  • USA
  • Ireland
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • Israel
  • Czech Republic
Anywhere I have missed from that list?

It's is a long weekend for me as a result of Presidents' Day, so I might even squeeze in two brewdays as it is time to do my annual lager.

UPDATE: As you can see form the comment, Austria is coming to the party too!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

#IHP2015 Double Stout Fun

The masses have spoken...well, 16 of them.

This year's International Homebrew Project returns to the Truman Brewery, but this time to their London location, to brew their Double Stout recipe from 1860.

The grain bill is is fairly simple:
  • 81% Pale 2 row malt
  • 16% Brown malt
  • 3% Black malt
The hop selection likewise is simplicity itself, just Goldings, but lots of them. 130 IBUs worth to be precise.
  • 52 IBU for 90 minutes
  • 49 IBU for 60 minutes
  • 29 IBU for 30 minutes
For yeast, Wyeast 1098 or 1099, British Ale - Dry and Whitbread respectively.

Strike temperatures for the single infusion mash is at 164°F and sparge at 175°F. The boil is 90 minutes.

You should be targetting the following stats:
  • OG - 1.079/19° Plato
  • FG - 1.025/6.3° Plato
  • ABV - 7.1%
  • SRM - 28
For fuller details of the mashing schedule, see Ron's book The Homebrewer's Guide to Vintage Beer.

The schedule for the project this year is:
  • Brewday - Weekend of February 14/15th
  • Writing - Monday March 23rd

Friday, April 26, 2013

#IHP2013 - The Tasting

Finally the day arrived, the day to drink my recreation of a beer from 1877 - a beer which was commercially brewed 136 years ago. The beer in question was the Truman's No 4, from a brewery which was once the biggest in the world.


Number 4 was a Burton Ale, which in 1877 meant it was pale, bitter and sweet all at the same time. In 2013, my recreation looked like this:


The beer poured a rich amber, which surprised me given the grain bill of 100% pale malt (I wish I could get my bitter the same colour from a single grain). The nose was sweet toasted malt laced with traces of spice, toffee and a touch of boozy orange peel - think of a rum baba made with a pinch of white pepper and caramelised brown sugar and you are in the right ball park.


Tastewise, sweet malt juiciness dominates, kind of, balanced by a bitter tang that threatens to give balance to the beer but ultimately makes it like biting though the rind of an orange in your morning marmalade - marmalade was very much a theme running through this beer, specifically thick cut Seville orange marmalade, preferably from Marks and Spencer.


This is a full bodied, smooth, beer which fails to be either cloyingly sweet or overwhelmingly 'hoppy' - as in lots of late addition hops that make you feel like you are sucking your way through a grapefruit grove. As cheesy as it may sound, it really is very well balanced, the malt sweetness is there, and the hops play off it to perfection, giving a smoothness that belies its, calculated, 125 IBU.

In short, this is a very drinkable beer, especially given its strength and the amount of hops that went into it, and from a brewing perspective, one of the best beers I have made in quite some time.

This post is about another homebrewer who made the beer, thanks Derek for taking part! If you also brewed the beer, post a link in the comments, or tell us how it turned out!

Friday, April 19, 2013

#IHP2013 One Week Reminder

It has been a while since those of us that took part in this year's International Homebrew Project actually brewed our recreations of the Truman's No.4 Burton Ale from 1877.

I am sure that many of us have sampled a bottle or two as it has conditioned, for scientific and quality assurance purposes you understand.

Well, this is just a quick remember for those that brewed the beer that next Friday is the date set for blogging about how it turned out.

Naturally I will be posting about my brews - I will also review the failed version that came in at 4.5% and bears an uncanny resemblance to early 20th Century British IPAs.

In common with previous years, other brewers and bloggers should link to their posts in the comments thread to my post, and I will also tweet your links, again using the hashtag #IHP2013.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Brewday Disaster

There is a story that when Robert the Bruce was on the run, between 1306 and 1307, he spent some time hiding in a cave on Rathlin Island, off the coast of Northern Ireland. Whilst hiding out, so the story goes, he watched a spider spin a web. and every time the spider failed. Rather than give up and take up quilting, which let's face it spiders are not exactly equipped to do, the spider would begin again until he succeeded. Inspired by the spider, Robert the Bruce returned to Scotland, eventually defeated the English and resumed his reign, which lasted until 1329. The story is told to illustrate the maxim 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try again'.

Today I will be channelling the spirit of that spider as I brew my International Homebrew Project recipe again, though with a couple of changes. Given that the target gravity of the beer is 1.079, I used my 5 gallon cooler as the mash tun on Friday when I initially brewed the beer, rather than my normal smaller one. I am not convinced that my 5 gallon cooler holds the temperature very well, and as such I got terrible conversion and ended up with an original gravity of just 1.044. Having substantially dropped short of my gravity I decided to ferment my wort with a different yeast, and so I have 2.5 gallons bubbling away with Munton's and Fison's Premium dry yeast. Also, the hoping is crazy, calculated at 135 IBU.

The changes I am making for today's brew are really very simple, I am going to do a smaller mash in my 2.5 gallon cooler, which I know holds the temperature very well and gives me about 75% efficiency rather than the 53% of the 5 gallon job. I will then supplement that mash with a couple of pounds of extra light malt extract to reach the target 1.073.

Once I am done, I think I will drink the final bottle of last year's International Homebrew Project which I found in the back of the cellar the other day...

Friday, February 15, 2013

IHP 2013 - 1 Week Warning

This is just a friendly reminder for those planning to brew as part of the International Homebrew Project for this year that next weekend is the designated timeframe for brewing Truman's No. 4 Burton Ale.

I will be brewing on Friday, assuming all goes to plan. I have my Cluster hops, my EKG, my London Ale yeast from Wyeast has been fermenting batch 3 of my bitter project this week, and I will be re-pitching it after I bottle the bitter and clean the yeast.

For those who do 5 gallon batches, I have scaled up my recipe on Hopville, you can see it here.

Let me know in the comments if you are planning to brew!

Monday, February 11, 2013

International Homebrew Project - Water

Those of you planning to take part in this year's International Homebrew Project will know that next weekend, February 24th/25th, is when we will be brewing the 1877 Truman's No. 4 Burton ale which topped the poll I ran last month. Hopefully most of you will already have sourced your ingredients, but a question which has been asked of me several times is in regard to the ingredient most of us tend to take for granted, our water.


Although Truman's is best known as a London brewery, they did have a Burton operation and it was there that the No. 4 would have been brewed. As such, they would have been using the famous Burton water, which is high in alkalinity, pretty hard and with a moderate sulfate content. A representative breakdown of the mineral content of Burton water reads like this:
  • Calcium (ppm):294
  • Sulfates (ppm):800
  • Magnesium (ppm):24
  • Sodium (ppm):24
  • Chloride (ppm):36
  • Carbonates (ppm):200
The accepted method of adjusting your water is through the use of gypsum and Epsom salts, although you can also buy specific Burton Water salts.

For the purposes though of the International Homebrew Project I really don't want to make Burtonising your water a requirement. Feel free to do so if you know the appropriate changes to make in order to replicate Burton's water, but don't feel as though you need to. One of the interesting things, at least from my perspective, about the project is reading the differences between the finally beers based on the same recipe and obviously water contributes a lot to that.

Still on the IHP theme, but nothing to do with the actual brewing, I have recently been in contact with Truman's Beer, the company which bought the rights to the Truman's name from Scottish and Newcastle and is in the process of returning to the East End of London. They were excited to know that homebrewers from around the world were recreating one of their old recipes and asked if it would be possible to have samples sent to them so they can see how they turn out. This is mainly, I imagine, for the UK and Ireland brewers, but if you are interested in sending some samples to Truman's drop me an email and I can give you the relevant details.

I am looking forward to brewing the Burton Ale, and decided to get a headstart on the yeast by brewing my latest batch of bitter using Wyeast 1028 on Friday so I will have a nice healthy yeast cake to pitch the wort on to when I brew.

Monday, January 28, 2013

International Homebrew Project Recipe

Ten days ago I posted my annual poll to decide what would be the International Homebrew Project beer for this year. In previous years we have brewed an American Pale Ale, a Milk Stout and a 19th Century Scottish Mild, this year I decided to return to brewing history and brew an iteration of the Burton Ale style.

As I discussed in a couple of posts, heavily informed by Martyn and Ron, Burton was a style that went through many changes between the 1820s and its eventual demise in the 1960s. For some, the apogee of Burton Ale came in the late 19th Century when it was a pale beer with a healthy dose of hops.


In the end, the poll result wasn't even close. The winner was the beer I described as '1870s English, from Burton', which in the real world was a beer by Truman called No. 4. If you know your beer history you will know that Truman was a brewery from the East End of London, they occupied the Black Eagle Brewery near Brick Lane in the Spitalfields area, and were renowned for their porter. In 1873 they purchased the Phillips Brewery in Burton upon Trent, which is where the No. 4 was brewed. At this time, Truman was the largest brewing company in the world, but it was eventually bought by Grand Metropolitan, which was itself bought by Diageo, though the Truman's brand ended up at Scottish and Newcastle. As a footnote to the story, Truman closed down in 1989, but in 2010 the brand was purchased from Scottish and Newcastle and spring of this year will see a new Truman's brewery in the East End of London, I believe their beers are currently brewed at Everards in Leicester.

So, to the recipe itself, which has been provided by Ron Pattison and dates from 1877. The vital statistics are:
  • O.G. - 1.079 (19° Plato)
  • F.G. - 1.024 (6° Plato)
  • ABV - 7.3%
  • SRM - 6 (Gold to Copper)
  • IBU - 125
The recipe is simplicity itself:
  • 100% Pale malt
  • 83 IBU of Cluster for 90 minutes
  • 42 IBU of Kent Goldings for 30 minutes
  • Wyeast 1028 London Ale/White Labs WLP013 London Ale
Basically, use what pale malt you can get hold of on this one. I am planning to use Maris Otter, though I have played with the the idea of Golden Promise. As you can see, this is a big bastard of a 'hoppy' beer. The hop additions should be the same weight for both additions. I did some research and British brewers can get Cluster online at The Home Brew Shop, for those that can't get Cluster, feel free to substitute with Galena, Eroica or Cascade.

With regards to the process, mash at 152°F, sparge at 170°F and then boil for 90 minutes. Talking about the water aspect, if you know the mineral composition of your water, then make the necessary adjustments to match the water of Burton, otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about it, after all one of the interesting things about the International Homebrew Project is the differences between beers brewed in different places.

Probably the most important ingredient for this recipe is the yeast strain, and being a Burton Ale that was actually brewed in Burton, and after consulting with Ron, I would recommend using either Wyeast 1028 London Ale or White Labs WLP013, both of which are reputed to be the Worthington White Shield strain. When I put the recipe into Beer Calculus it was giving me an ABV of 7.9%, so you might want to under pitch the yeast to under attenuate the beer a little to finish out at 7.3%.

The plan is to brew the beer on the last weekend in February, to give people enough time to source ingredients where necessary. I am looking forward to brewing this monster and hopefully it will come out as tasty as last year's 120/- ale!

For those interested in the other recipes, they were:
Picture credit: I got the picture of the Truman's Brewery and Brick Lane from Pub Diaries.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...

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