hist-brewing: re: IPA

Dave Magnenat davemag at gocougs.wsu.edu
Wed Jul 11 20:25:05 PDT 2001

At 04:00 AM 7/11/01 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>I am desirous of brewing an IPA like one that would have been brewed in
>Eastern USA at about 1850-1900.  I have read Wahl and Henuis' Handy Book of
>Malting and Brewing and have also looked at some old advertisements run by
>the Evans Brewing Co. around 1900.
>What I have learned is that both 2-row and 6-row barley were available for
>malting and that the product may have been all-malt.  How common were
>all-malt brews in USA during that period?  If brewing without adjuncts,
>would 2-row malt have been favored?
>Wahl and Henius make no mention of hop varieties, which is quite irritating.
>Was Cluster the only thing being grown in any quantity?  How likely would it
>have been for an easern-NY brewery to have been importing hops from Europe
>or the Pacific NW?  When did refrigerated hop storage become the norm?

Hiya -

Michael Jackson's "Beer Companion" describes Ballantine's pale ale of about 
1830 (Albany, NY) that was aged in wood for as long as a year. MJ mentions 
flavor profiles of the beer from tastings in the 1960s, 70's and 80's; it 
moved from a 1070 gravity and 60 ibu to 1078/45 in the 1970's. The 70's 
version was purportedly dry-hopped as well. The 80's version was down to 
35-40 IBU, he reports, and a gravtiy of 1054...pretty weak in my opinion 
for an IPA.

And earlier section of the text claims that IPA's were heavily hopped: 4-5 
pounds per barrel with 1-2 pounds more for dry hopping. Intriguingly, 
though, MJ also claims that hops then were not as bitter as today's varieties.

I'm no expert, but I believe hop production was a pretty big part of New 
York agriculture around the turn of the century. If hops were readily 
available it might be sensible to believe that local hops were used rather 
than importing them. There's a New York Hops page on the web at 
:  http://www.nyhops.com/

Hope this helps,
Dave Magnenat

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