Hopping Rates For Burton IPA’s

I spent yesterday searching for charts on hopping rates for various Burton brewers, but it all came to naught. The only one I’ve managed to dig up are IPA hop rates from Designing Great Beers. These figures were compiled into a book by Amsinck called Practical Brewings and put into a table in Designing Great Beers. I’ve spent a good two hours today trying to locate the original figures from Amsinck online since I know there is more info that Daniels left out of his book. Sadly Practical Brewings is not in any online archive yet and since it was published in 1868 and doesn’t seem to have been rereleased there seems to be no chance of snagging a copy.

The figures in this table are from 1868 (the year it was published) and also from Burton brewers. From the late 1700’s through the 1800’s strong ales and heavily hopped beers were more in vogue so these figures by no means represent the rates of original London IPA’s

OG Hops (lbs per bbl) Water Dry Hops Apparent Attenuation
1.052 8 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 68%
1.058 6.25 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 69%
1.064 7 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 78%
1.064 5.75 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 80%
1.067 8.5 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 78%
1.067 8.125 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 69%
1.067 7.5 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 65%
1.067 7.25 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 73%
1.067 7 lbs soft water 1.5 lbs 63%

It’s worth noting that Amsinck narrows the field on what an IPA is apparently not on wether it was named IPA or exported to India, but rather on these 9 obscenely high hop rates. This skews the hop figures for IPA’s

6 Responses to “Hopping Rates For Burton IPA’s”

  1. Capital Taps says:

    Can you make a rough translation to IBUs or some other modern comparison that will be comprehensible to those who don’t home-brew?

  2. Jared says:

    Homebrewers deal with ounces, not pounds, so I wouldn’t know the IBU’s of the top of my head. 8 lbs is so astronomicaly large to me. I plugged them into my recipe calculator and it came up at over 200 IBU’s (spreading the hops out more I managed a 115 but that’s extraordinarily high for a beer of this gravity). This doesn’t make sense to me since the book makes a mention of ESB’s or something like that having 5 lbs of hops and porters 4-5. The British have had several different standards for what a pound weighed prior to the 1800’s so I’m not really sure if that’s playing a factor. Also the number of gallons in an English beer barrel has fluctuated prior to 1800 as well.

    Another possibility could be that they were green hops which yeild lower IBU’s and aren’t taken into acount by recipe calculators.

    The OG’s present a general gravity range of about 5%-7% ABV

  3. Beermented says:

    Hmmmmm… well…

    16 ozs in a lb. x 7 lbs = 112
    60 gallons in a Barrel/ 112 ozs of Hops = 1.9 ozs per gallon

    That would be 9.5 ozs of hops per 5 gallons! That’s a lot of hops, but what was the AAU’s of those hops? 2 or 10 AAU’s? ;-}

    At 3% AAU that would be an IBU of 48.
    At 5% AAU that would be an IBU of 64.

    Based on a balanced but hoppy hop additions. 3 additions of hops. Bittering/ Mid/ Aroma. Hoppy but not obnoxious.


  4. Jared says:

    The hops mentioned were east-Kent and mid-Kent, so around 5%

    When did 1 bbl = 60 gallons? in the US 1 bbl = 31 gallons. In 1800’s England 1 bbl most likely = 36.

    I double checked the figures and apparently 5-5.5 lbs was normal for London ale and “treble” stouts. if treble means triple then these pale ales were far more hoppy then I imagined they were proving myself wrong. I was using IBU’s for modern English IPA’s as quoted in most articles on the topic. If the reality is that IPA’s were just un drinkable hop bombs then that changes everything.

  5. Beermented says:

    Oops! Thinking Wine Barrel! Duh, that was stupid on my part.

    Barrel = 31.5 U.S. gallons or 1.17 hectolitres. In the UK, 1 Barrel holds 36 imperial gallons or 1.63 hectolitres

    Yep… Hop bombs! Just think, the NW beers are just catching up to England. They’re only 140 years behind the times…

  6. Graeme says:

    Interesting stuff – thanks. Of note, many of the obscenely heavily hopped beers were matured for quite some time (the keeping properties of the hops exploited to help prevent spoilage) during which time the bitterness mellowed substantially. Besides, there’s only so much bitterness you can actually get into a beer (between 100 and 120 I think?), and humans can’t taste anything more bitter over a certain limit which is about the same kind of value. The real benefit of the high hop rates was to get all the hop flavour into the beer, and you eventually get some mellowed flavours at these high rates that just can’t be replicated by other means.

    I just (yesterday) made Amsinck’s 1868 East India Pale Ale which has theoretical IBUs of 190 – hop rates of 3oz/Gallon (Imperial) for a 1063 beer (that’s 6.75lb/bbl). Even for stout porters (1090) with hopping rates of 4-5lb/bbl, the beer is often surprisingly well balanced after only 3-6months.

    A “treble” stout is not a triple as in the Belgian pale style, but it would have been an extra strong stout – probably comparable to a Russian Imperial in strength (OG1080-1100 ish).

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