Among the big pile of Guinness documentation we’ve been sorting through on behalf of its owner there is one item sexier than all the rest: a head brewer’s process chart, about a metre long, printed on canvas.
Here’s a photo:
On the back in pencil is written:
- PR 2/50/12
- Mr Shildrick’s Programme
- 10 am mash
From David Hughes’s invaluable reference A Bottle of Guinness Please we know that Mr Shildrick was Major Lance Shildrick, Guinness head brewer from 1949 to 1953. From that, and the code written on the back, we’d guess that this chart was produced in 1950, but that is only a guess.
Because this document is such an odd shape, and is fairly battered, it proved challenging to scan until we bit the bullet and did it one tiny section at a time using a small portable device.
We then tried to stitch it together automatically using various bits of software but none worked.
In the end, we had to manually fit the pieces together in Photoshop, lining them up, nudging them this way and that, straightening and rotating by tiny degrees.
We then converted it to black and white and inverted the colours it to make it, we think, easier to read.
The end result isn’t perfect, but it’s not terrible either.
We’ll be trying to make some sense of this ourselves but in the meantime would welcome insight and commentary from brewers, or anyone else who can glean useful info from the chart.
* * *
Scanning, stitching and tidying up this document took something like five hours so we must once again thank Patreon subscribers like Mason Singleton, Sam Schwab and Tom Furniss whose ongoing support encourages to spend our free time on this kind of thing.