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Chevallier – the forgotten malt

26
May

We have been lucky enough to source some special malt.  Chevallier malt has been resurrected from the world seed bank and is once again been grown in small amounts.  In the UK, it was at peak utilisation in the late Victorian era covering some 80-90% of the barley area, it fell out of favour due to newer varieties.  ‘I tasted the malt grains at a brewers roadshow in Nottingham last month and the depth of flavour blew me away’. We will be brewing a traditional English  golden bitter but as ever with a twist.  Burton ales which were popular at that time were generally hopped using Fuggles and Goldings.  We will be using a Slovenian hop called Cellia as its parent hops were Fuggles and Goldings.  We’ll probably also brew a more trad darker brown ale to let the malt flavour shine through’

How Chevallier became the go to malt of the 19th Century…

Chevallierwas selected by the Rev. John ‘Barley’ Chevallierof Aspall Hall, near Debenham, Suffolk, UK.
From a manuscript history of Debenham:
“About the year 1820 John Andrews, a labourer of Mr Edward Dove, of UlverstonHall, Debenham, had been threshing barley, and on his return home at night complained of his feet being uneasy, and on taking off his shoes he discovered in one of them part of a very fine ear of barley –it struck him as particularly so –and he was careful to have it preserved. He afterwards planted the few grains of it in his garden, and the following year, Dr [John] and Mr Charles Chevallier, coming to Andrews’s cottage to inspect some repairs going on (the cottage belonged to the Doctor), saw three or four ears of the barley growing. He requested it might be kept for him when ripe. The Doctor sowed a small ridge with the produce thus obtained, and kept it by itself until he grew sufficient to plant an acre, and from this acre the produce was 11½ coombs* (about the year 1825 or 1826). This was again planted, and from the increase thence arriving he began to dispose of it, and from that time it has been gradually getting into repute. It is now well known in most of the corn markets in the kingdom, and also in many parts of the Continent, America, &c., and is called the Chevallier barley”

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