Thomas and Gilbert Greenall

It's not what it used to be. Please share your knowledge of long lost breweries, pubs and sorely missed beers here.
Post Reply
John Murray
Advanced Member
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:51 am

Thomas and Gilbert Greenall

Post by John Murray » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:18 pm

I have now studied the very detailed notebook of Thomas and Gilbert Greenall for 1780-1810 with great interest. It reads like a diary, describing processes their father taught them, the dimensions of the copper, and the brewing process. It details their experiences with installing a new copper and also their trials of various brews that they then gave to their father and the local vicar to sample!

They used exclusively Kent hops and bought their malt from Stone in Staffordshire. The records show that in 1786 they bought 647 bushels of malt for £112-13-6 which then cost them £11-2-5 to transport to Stockton Quay near Warrington by barge and £4-2-6 for onward road transport to St Hellens (that is not a typo, it is spelt that way throughout the book which suggest it may be an old spelling).

All hops were added to the pan at the start.

The beers are simply referred to as 1, 2, 3 etc…. in ascending order of strength.

Their brewing process for a 19 barrel yield was:

Boil water for 5 minutes, then allow to cool to around 170°F (which took about 1-2 hours depending on ambient temperature), add the grain, stir the mash. It was underlit throughout and kept at 170-175°F through out. The tap would be opened after 2 hours and 10 minutes, after which the tun would be refilled with hot water twice and drained with a total mash and sparge time of 3 hours.

The fire under the kettle would be lit after the first run off. Once the whole was boiling, the hops and 7lb of table salt would be added and it would be boiled for 1½ hours. At the end of the boil 4lb of barm flour and a further 3lb of salt would be added.

The malt and hop quantities to yield 19 barrels are:

Beer 1 - 57 bushels malt 44 lb hops (est. ABV 7.7%)

Beer 2 - 72 bushels malt 56 lb hops (est. ABV 9.9%)

Beer 3 - 79 bushels malt 92 lb hops (est. ABV 10.9%)

1 malt bushel = 42 lb = 19.05 Kg

If you scale these to a typical 23 litre home brew batch:

Beer 1 - 8 Kg malt, 148g hops

Beer 2 - 10.2 Kg malt, 188g hops

Beer 3 - 11.2 Kg malt, 309 g hops

You would add 24g of salt to the boil and 10g at the end. You would also add 13g of barm flour.

Based on the RSC book, I tend to work on an approx 2% alpha level for those old hops, so you can adjust them for modern hops based on that.

The addition of barm flour is intriguing, This would make the beer cloudy and thick and I can’t imagine people accepting that today. Other breweries did the same around this time. Also the amount of salt is high, but then I guess people were used to the taste then.

Post Reply