Went to see a "professional"

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schultan

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Alright all, I'm throwing this out there for some help on gathering legitimate references to support my argument... I'm not sure if I'm in the right spot...I apologize if not.

I went to a local professional meeting tonight than had a talk on the chemistry of brewing beer. Prior to the talk, a member of my dissertation committee (I'm Ph.D student in chemistry) stated that IPA was developed to survive the trip to India, upon which I corrected him, stating that Hodgeson developed it as an other beer...it just happened to age well on the trip.

However...during this "professional" talk, the speaker stated that the opposite was true. At my level, I didn't challenge the speaker, but would love some solid citations to show this committee member that I as right. Any info is appreciated.

TIA

T. Schultz
 

Grinder12000

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Well - I believe you are wrong actually but . . . . .I have no proof - was not there.

Perhaps common knowledge is false. Perhaps man DID walk with dinosaurs. :)
 

McKBrew

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It looks like the OP's claim has some merit. I always thought IPA's were specially developed for the trip, but some quick googling mentions other strong beers that survived as well. Depends on what site you go to, some say IPA's were developed specifically for the market. Probably it's another one of those beers like porter that doesn't have a clear story.

India Pale Ale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

brrman

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keep in mind Wikipedia (while I do use it on occasion) is not always the most accurate source of fact.
 

Warpig75

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keep in mind Wikipedia (while I do use it on occasion) is not always the most accurate source of fact.
it's my understanding that due to hops perservative nature, beer (namely english pale ales) shipped to India was strongly hopped for the long voyage.

whether it's true or not I dont know - although I do feel this is the general concensus among beer drinkers.

the statement from wikipedia: "The October beer of George Hodgson's Bow Brewery was the world's first India Pale Ale." is rather pretentious IMHO - beer has been around far too long for an 18th century brewer to claim any sort of "first".

Strongly hopped pale ales are called IPA's due to their reknown demand in India and the East India Company and whether it was done for perservation's sake or simply a trend is just a moot point.
 

Jesse17

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I'm not an expert by any means, but I understood it that when the Brits started sending beer to the Indian stationed troops, they used extra hops as a preservative (because it would 'sour' before it got there otherwise) and the flavor actually caught on. Hence, it became it's own style.

Just my .02 dollars worth.
 
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schultan

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here are a couple websites that concur with the myth theory...however, you guys are right in that probably no one can really know. most sites reference George Watson's The Compleat English Brewer to support their claims.

Beervana: The IPA Myth

Myth 4: George Hodgson invented IPA to survive the long trip to India « Zythophile
From the above site:
"No, Hodgson didn’t “invent” India Pale Ale, and 18th century brewers before Hodgson were making beers that could survive a journey to India, and further.

A myth has developed that Hodgson, who brewed at the Bow brewery to the east of London, close to the Middlesex-Essex border, “invented a new style of beer, brewing it to a high alcohol level and using more hops than any previous beers.” There is no evidence whatsoever that Hodgson “invented” or “developed” a new beer especially for the Indian market: no record that he did so, no 19th century commentator saying he did so. India Pale Ale was not even, in fact, a particularly strong beer for the time, being about 6.5 or seven per cent alcohol, around the same strength as porter.

Despite some modern commentators’ declaration that India Pale Ale needed to be invented because the big-selling beer in the late 18th century in Britain, porter, would not survive the four-month journey to the East, porter was perfectly capable of lasting on board a ship much longer than that, as this passage from the journal of Joseph Banks on August 25 1769, when he was on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook in the South Pacific, shows:
If a cask of porter could be “excellently good” after a year at sea, there is no reason to suppose any other sort of similar-strength beer would have to be specially invented to last the four-month journey from Britain to India. Brewers before Hodgson knew how to make strong, highly hopped beers that would keep for an extended period: the anonymous Every Man His Own Brewer of 1768 gives a recipe for two hogsheads of October “malt wine” made from the first two mashes off 22 bushels of malt, with six and a half pounds of hops per eight bushels of malt to ensure “a year’s keeping”.

George Watkins, author of The Compleat English Brewer, first published in 1767, said that October ale was brewed at a substantial 16 to 20 bushels to the hogshead, though “those with 20 bushels are too heady and some go as low as 10 to 12 bushels.” Even at 10 bushels per hogshead, or 6 2/3rd bushels a barrel, this would still give an OG of 1140 or more. October beer would be ready for bottling after 12 months, Watkins said, and should be kept in bottle for a further year, making it two years old before it was fit to drink.

Hodgson’s involvement in the India trade seems to be based on two lucky chances. The first was that the docks for the merchant ships that went to and from India, the East Indiamen, were at Blackwall on the Thames, just a short distance via the River Lea from his brewery. When the captains of the East Indiamen went looking for beer to sell in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, alongside a host of other goods from England including everything from china, to hams to furniture, they went to their nearest brewer, at Bow, rather than one of the big London concerns.

What evidence there is suggested that Hodgson made a number of beers, including porter, and an October-brewed “stock” bitter ale, of the kind described by Watkins, and that this stock ale was one of the beers the East Indiamen ships’ captains bought off him to sell in India. The Calcutta Gazette from January 20 1822, for example, contained an advertisement for the “select investment of prime London goods just landed from the HC [Honourable Company] ship Sir David Scott”, including “Hodgson’s warranted prime picked pale ale of the genuine October brewing, warranted fully equal, if not superior, to any ever before received in the settlement.”
The second lucky chance was that on the four-month voyage out to India via the Cape of Good Hope Hodgson’s October stock ale underwent the sort of maturity in cask that would have taken two years in a cellar, and arrived in the East in prime condition. There is no evidence Hodgson planned this from the start or knew it would happen: he was just lucky.

Another myth is that English brewers were eager to break into the Indian market. In fact at the start of the 19th century the market was extremely small, just 9,000 barrels a year, equal to less than half a per cent of the two million barrels brewed in London alone every year. Hodgson probably had around half of the Indian market, but that probably in large part because his brewery was close to where the East Indiamen docked, and because he was willing to allow the East Indiamen ship’s captains extended credit, up to 18 months, on the beer they bought from him."
 

Streblo

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Aside from the IPA issue that the speaker raised, did he have anything interesting to say about the chemistry of brewing beer? Any tips for improving things?

Bob
 

McNasty

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I'm not an expert by any means, but I understood it that when the Brits started sending beer to the Indian stationed troops, they used extra hops as a preservative (because it would 'sour' before it got there otherwise) and the flavor actually caught on. Hence, it became it's own style.

Just my .02 dollars worth.
This was the story I was told while taking a brewery tour. Then when the troops returned, they requested the hoppy stuff so they started making it regularly.
Whatever the truth may be, the important thing is that IPA's are delicious.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Interesting. The late great Michael Jackson advocated in one of his books that the journey inspired the style. Forgot which book tho'.
 

Anbrew

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here are a couple websites that concur with the myth theory...however, you guys are right in that probably no one can really know. most sites reference George Watson's The Compleat English Brewer to support their claims.

Beervana: The IPA Myth

Myth 4: George Hodgson invented IPA to survive the long trip to India « Zythophile
From the above site:
"No, Hodgson didn’t “invent” India Pale Ale, and 18th century brewers before Hodgson were making beers that could survive a journey to India, and further.

A myth has developed that Hodgson, who brewed at the Bow brewery to the east of London, close to the Middlesex-Essex border, “invented a new style of beer, brewing it to a high alcohol level and using more hops than any previous beers.” There is no evidence whatsoever that Hodgson “invented” or “developed” a new beer especially for the Indian market: no record that he did so, no 19th century commentator saying he did so. India Pale Ale was not even, in fact, a particularly strong beer for the time, being about 6.5 or seven per cent alcohol, around the same strength as porter.

Despite some modern commentators’ declaration that India Pale Ale needed to be invented because the big-selling beer in the late 18th century in Britain, porter, would not survive the four-month journey to the East, porter was perfectly capable of lasting on board a ship much longer than that, as this passage from the journal of Joseph Banks on August 25 1769, when he was on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook in the South Pacific, shows:
If a cask of porter could be “excellently good” after a year at sea, there is no reason to suppose any other sort of similar-strength beer would have to be specially invented to last the four-month journey from Britain to India. Brewers before Hodgson knew how to make strong, highly hopped beers that would keep for an extended period: the anonymous Every Man His Own Brewer of 1768 gives a recipe for two hogsheads of October “malt wine” made from the first two mashes off 22 bushels of malt, with six and a half pounds of hops per eight bushels of malt to ensure “a year’s keeping”.

George Watkins, author of The Compleat English Brewer, first published in 1767, said that October ale was brewed at a substantial 16 to 20 bushels to the hogshead, though “those with 20 bushels are too heady and some go as low as 10 to 12 bushels.” Even at 10 bushels per hogshead, or 6 2/3rd bushels a barrel, this would still give an OG of 1140 or more. October beer would be ready for bottling after 12 months, Watkins said, and should be kept in bottle for a further year, making it two years old before it was fit to drink.

Hodgson’s involvement in the India trade seems to be based on two lucky chances. The first was that the docks for the merchant ships that went to and from India, the East Indiamen, were at Blackwall on the Thames, just a short distance via the River Lea from his brewery. When the captains of the East Indiamen went looking for beer to sell in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, alongside a host of other goods from England including everything from china, to hams to furniture, they went to their nearest brewer, at Bow, rather than one of the big London concerns.

What evidence there is suggested that Hodgson made a number of beers, including porter, and an October-brewed “stock” bitter ale, of the kind described by Watkins, and that this stock ale was one of the beers the East Indiamen ships’ captains bought off him to sell in India. The Calcutta Gazette from January 20 1822, for example, contained an advertisement for the “select investment of prime London goods just landed from the HC [Honourable Company] ship Sir David Scott”, including “Hodgson’s warranted prime picked pale ale of the genuine October brewing, warranted fully equal, if not superior, to any ever before received in the settlement.”
The second lucky chance was that on the four-month voyage out to India via the Cape of Good Hope Hodgson’s October stock ale underwent the sort of maturity in cask that would have taken two years in a cellar, and arrived in the East in prime condition. There is no evidence Hodgson planned this from the start or knew it would happen: he was just lucky.

Another myth is that English brewers were eager to break into the Indian market. In fact at the start of the 19th century the market was extremely small, just 9,000 barrels a year, equal to less than half a per cent of the two million barrels brewed in London alone every year. Hodgson probably had around half of the Indian market, but that probably in large part because his brewery was close to where the East Indiamen docked, and because he was willing to allow the East Indiamen ship’s captains extended credit, up to 18 months, on the beer they bought from him."
Wow, very good info. I wouldn't doubt you being right. It seems like most of the common beer history that we hear and love is actually not 100% true, such as the Ben Franklin quote (I know, I know, say it ain't so:confused:)
 
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S

schultan

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The guy had plent of good info, but it wasn't anything that you can't find either here or within the literature. It was a basic talk on the history of beer as well as an introduction to the mash process and the various isomers of the acids found in hops. Either way, it was nice to see homebrewing entering the realm of the professional meeting.
 

brewt00l

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At my level, I didn't challenge the speaker, but would love some solid citations to show this committee member that I as right. Any info is appreciated.
I'm just curious why? I can understand wanting to know the facts but is there a point to going back and correcting one rather inconsequential element of a talk on the chemistry related to brewing?

On the topic at hand, looking at the way that most brewing lore develops over time, I am inclined to believe the Zythophile blog until I see something credible that contradicts his info. IPA + Hodgson = Porter + Harwood.
 

faber

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The guy had plent of good info, but it wasn't anything that you can't find either here or within the literature. It was a basic talk on the history of beer as well as an introduction to the mash process and the various isomers of the acids found in hops. Either way, it was nice to see homebrewing entering the realm of the professional meeting.
I do that, too, from the humanities side of things. I have a talk I give about the history and archaeology of ancient/medieval brewing every now and then. Breaks up the--ahem--tense conference vibe. Mostly now I just do it to help student organizations raise money. It's fun. (For this year's I'll actually brew some Egyptian beer to go with it, and maybe that Phrygian recipe from BYO (Penn/Dogfish Head).)

As far as the "truth" of IPA's origins....does it matter? If we introduce it as "popular belief" and explain why an objective truth is impossible to discern in this instance, then we can let the audience enjoy the urban myth with us, and perhaps understand something more about late-18th C. brewing in England, which is more than they would have known otherwise.
 

jay4e

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if i was to make an educated guess i would say the ipa style was not specifically for the india transport but became popular due to it. there were many beers brewed in these times that would handle long term storage just fine. i suspect this just happen to be the one that caught on for the task. given that they already new how to brew the beer that would last it points to the beer being produced before being used for this purpose.
 

cubbies

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I'm not an expert by any means, but I understood it that when the Brits started sending beer to the Indian stationed troops, they used extra hops as a preservative (because it would 'sour' before it got there otherwise) and the flavor actually caught on. Hence, it became it's own style.

Just my .02 dollars worth.
That has always been the way I was told too. Then again, I was always told that the black roasted beer we all love was called a stout because it was a "stout porter" or a strong porter. Some would argue that that is not true.

I guess the moral of the story is that in most cases the documentation is not there for anyone to know for sure.
 

Reverend JC

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the statement from wikipedia: "The October beer of George Hodgson's Bow Brewery was the world's first India Pale Ale." is rather pretentious IMHO - beer has been around far too long for an 18th century brewer to claim any sort of "first".
I may disagree with you.

18th century would be the 1700's and we all know of beer styles first developed after that.

the main one that comes to mind is the Bohemian Pilsner, 1842 i think. Germans loved that light colored lager so much then came the German Pils. Cali common anyone?

So, it may be possible that Hodgson was infact the first person to add a butt load of hops to a beer and then actually give it a name.
 
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