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Victorian Bitter

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Zephyr259

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All this talk if Chevallier malt made me go and hook up my keg of Tetley's Victorian ale. It's been conditioning for 18 days @ 13°C. It's really good; surprising bitter for its modest 38 IBU. Saaz / Golding's is a great combo.
Saaz/EKG is the blend I use in my "British" pale ale, really nice combo, actually need to brew that again sometime.
 

peebee

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All this talk if Chevallier malt made me go and hook up my keg of Tetley's Victorian ale. It's been conditioning for 18 days @ 13°C. It's really good; surprising bitter for its modest 38 IBU. Saaz / Golding's is a great combo.

Just looking at my brew log, I subbed Baird's 1823 Maris Otter for the pops as this is my stock pale ale malt and has similar characteristics, and Fawcets Vienna for that German rubbish :laugh8:

It's lovely. …
My Tetley's Victorian Ale (XK) was casked yesterday, which is a teeny bit late for Christmas but will probably make an appearance then. Haven't dry hopped it yet. Is the dry hopping worth it? Seems okay as it is. Only 10g Saaz/Golding mix per Corny keg (there's two) so just leaving them in the keg is possible okay?

I must dig out my cane and top hat for the occasion.

Crisp's Maris Otter in place of the other pale malt options and Crisp's Vienna in place of the foreign stuff. >JOSHUA TETLEY & Sons , X K BITTER BEER 1868<. FG 1.014 so not far of the published 1.013, but an OG of 1.060 makes it a tad on strong side; I think I've the hang of mashing that Chevallier malt ("Hochkurz"-like mash again) so should put my expectations back to 75% efficiency rather than 72%. The Yorkshire yeast (WYeast) was sulking and opted to stay in the fermenter this time.
 

An Ankoù

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I'm glad this thread's bumped back up, as with one thing or another, I'd quite forgotten about it and I've got a sack of Chevvallier to play with.
By the way, it's not this, is it?
1606905062616.png
 

peebee

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You've got to admire our Australian cousins, calling a lager, 'Bitter'. :laugh8:
We're not much better? We call something that is not bitter "bitter". Apparently foreigners don't get this, so there is a current marketing trend to rub out "bitter" and call it "amber ale" (Marsden's mainly I think). Stuff and nonsense!

Pedigree-Bottle.png

@An Ankoù; Two "v"s hasn't gone un-noticed! In a better Victorian age we'd get you deported to Australia!
... where you can join @phillc who has probably been sent there 'cos he can't spell Australia (Location:)!
 
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An Ankoù

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We're not much better? We call something that is not bitter "bitter". Apparently foreigners don't get this, so there is a current marketing trend to rub out "bitter" and call it "amber ale" (Marsden's mainly I think). Stuff and nonsense!

View attachment 36770

@An Ankoù; Two "v"s hasn't gone un-noticed! In a better Victorian age we'd get you deported to Australia!
... where you can join @phillc who has probably been sent there 'cos he can't spell Australia (Location:)!
Here in the frozen wastelands of Brittany, Amber ale or bière ambrée bears no relation to anything like Pedigree. It's an insipid brownish, sweetish, liquid a bit like fizzy Bisto gavy browning. As for my transportation to Botany Bay, I've already done my time there, thanks.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Apparently foreigners don't get this, so there is a current marketing trend to rub out "bitter" and call it "amber ale" (Marsden's mainly I think). Stuff and nonsense!
It's nothing to do with foreigners, and everything to do with the rise in popularity of golden ale on the bar. Now obviously there are some parts of the country where "bitter" has always been the colour of this :
1606919583387.png

But as golden ale has spread the likes of Black Sheep and Spitfire have introduced golden ales under the parent brand, which raises the question of how to describe the original in a way that differentiates it from the golden version. Hence "amber".
1606919671001.png
 

peebee

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It's nothing to do with foreigners, and everything to do with the rise in popularity of golden ale on the bar. …
Interesting. Not the explanation, but your willingness to self-destruct in the eyes of the readers by identifying yourself as a marketing guru (death-nell in social diaries) 😁

Hum, I had it explained that "foreigners" (Americans mainly?) had negative thoughts from the description "bitter". But I'm happy to go with both ideas. I'm not happy with the gradual disappearance of "bitter"! However, the thread is about resurrecting Victorian bitter; perhaps in 100 years home-brewers will be resurrecting Elizabethan (II) bitter?

Perhaps a home-brewing descendant of @Clint will be resurrecting recipes for Boddington's bitter?
 

jjsh

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It's nothing to do with foreigners, and everything to do with the rise in popularity of golden ale on the bar.
I suppose if we were going to be massively pedantic, we could blame the increased popularity of golden ales on American Pales, so it's sort of down to foreigners. ;)

Mind you, we've been confusing folk with our Pale Ales, many of which are brown, for over a hundred years so I guess we shouldn't grumble.
 

Clint

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Interesting. Not the explanation, but your willingness to self-destruct in the eyes of the readers by identifying yourself as a marketing guru (death-nell in social diaries) 😁

Hum, I had it explained that "foreigners" (Americans mainly?) had negative thoughts from the description "bitter". But I'm happy to go with both ideas. I'm not happy with the gradual disappearance of "bitter"! However, the thread is about resurrecting Victorian bitter; perhaps in 100 years home-brewers will be resurrecting Elizabethan (II) bitter?

Perhaps a home-brewing descendant of @Clint will be resurrecting recipes for Boddington's bitter?
I had considered having a go at a Boddingtons clone in view of a mate who used to come round,arms full of the sickly yellow tins...always turning up..since March, nothing,no texts,calls,nothing,and he only lives 100 yds away...so having regained some peace and quiet I decided not to brew it as I might encourage visiting again..
 

peebee

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My Tetley's Victorian Ale (XK) was casked yesterday, which is a teeny bit late for Christmas but will probably make an appearance then. …
Flip', revisiting the recipe I notice I'm not a "teeny bit late", it wont be half way through the maturing time Tetley used too give. I had the "Amber Small Beer" (Durden Park Beer Club recipe) in me head (there's not a lot in me head but things can still get jumbled). The "Amber Small Beer" recipe pre-dates Queen Victoria's time on the throne so it's "off-topic"! Still, that's just gone on a pump for weekend so it can start getting me into the approximate era.

Something I find handy with these Victorian recipes is they stand up to a bit of time, making them great for home-brew. Some modern day recipes get a bit tired towards the end. I guess this is to do with the extra strength and hops? But the disadvantage is the extra time to come right.

Still, can't postpone Christmas so the XK will get cracked then anyway. The second keg will get the right time and I get to see if 3-4 weeks is enough. There's plenty of other stuff about if not. It was casked a "teeny bit" murky (one of my teeny bits, so you can take that as "clear as mud"). So it will probably need the two months, not short of four weeks.
 

St00

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I know it's not Victorian, but I made an ESB last week. For just the 30g of Chocolate malt it's rather dark. Definitely the easiest, most relaxing brewday ever and I hit all my numbers. I don't trust it, it's bound to be a disaster. I *shudder* used non-UK bittering hops as they were free and I have to use them up. It'll be on the beer engine in a couple of weeks, once it's conditioned.

 

An Ankoù

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It's great to have a forum where members' trials and errors actually inspire a new brew. This thread by @peebee is one very close to my heart in that I love these old beers, too, but browsing the Durden Park booklet invariably leaves me spoilt for choice- especially with many months wait for maturation.
Ron Pattinson is interesting, but I get the impression his goal is to to reproduce a beer even if the original was a thoroughly awful beer, nevertheless I love reading his stuff. I don't know what to make of Make Mine a Magee's. Again, fascinating detail, but I don't get how he arrives at the fine details of the ingredients, especially the malts and yeasts. In fairness I've never made one up.
So, to cut a long story short, I looked at Morrell's Bitter 1889 and then remembered that I'd seen a very interesting comment in one of @Northern_Brewer 's posts about using massive doses of fuggles. I'm a Ringwood Old Thumper man (or was before they watered it down) and the Morrells is a tad limp-wristed so back to the Durden Park book reveals recipe #18 Pale Ale (1886) Joshua Tetley. OG1065 and 1.9 oz of Fuggles per gallon. Looking at the quote that @Northern_Brewer quoted, below, I'm not sure that 1.9oz per gallon is the massive amount Steve Dunkley is referring to, but without further clarification, it seems a step in the right direction. So, the mash is in the tun for a 10 litre batch using 100% Chevallier, Fuggles and M42 yeast. It seems I'll be able to try it this time next year.

It's also worth thinking about old favourites in new ways eg :

Steve Dunkley of Beer Nouveau and Temperance Street Brewery in Manchester has experimented with larger volumes of Fuggle hops and reports incredible results. Beer Nouveau specialises in brewing historic and heritage beers, rebrewing recipes from as far back as Ancient Egypt and the time of the Vikings. Steve tells me that he used Fuggles in the recreation of a recipe from the 1800s. “The sheer volumes of hops that they used meant that the essential oils that carry the aromas couldn’t escape in steam during the boil, they recirculated back into the bulk of the wort and isomerised there” he explains. “Beers we’ve brewed like this have smelled as fresh 18 months later as they did when we first brewed them.” He goes on to explain that Fuggle is a great hop for understanding the impact of this effect. “When you use it in small quantities, like it has been done recently, it’s pretty average. But when you use a lot of it, you get wonderful mango/stone fruit aromas and flavours.” Steve tells me that the difference is so pronounced that the profile has confused many who have taken a sip. “Drinkers trying it without knowing the hops have guessed that it’s an NZ hop.”
If anybody has tried this recipe, I'd be very keen to hear from them.
 

peebee

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… the Morrells is a tad limp-wristed so back to the Durden Park book reveals recipe #18 Pale Ale (1886) Joshua Tetley. OG1065 and 1.9 oz of Fuggles per gallon …
What! How dare you, you ... bounder! If my choice of the 1889 Morrel's Bitter is "limp wristed" you can pick another Morrel's bitter out of that Durden Park book; No: 34 1899 XXXX, 1.95oz Fuggles per gallon ... and OG1.080. That trumps your fairy wishy-washy dish water 1886 Pale Ale.
 

peebee

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I know it's not Victorian, …
And you've been reading too much of Mr Wells' "Time Machine"! ESB? Suffering nonsense, whatever next? Creatures made out of bits of other creatures? (Ah, no, that's another of Mr Wells' outlandish fantasies).
 

Clint

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What's the yeast choice for recreating these old beers?
 
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