I'm still slowly ploughing my way through my giant table of Whitbread beers. It's time for the next instalment of my analysis of their Pale Ales. At this rate Ui should be finished just in time for Christmas . . . 2015.
The hopping, there's something I can tell you about that. Just before this period, there was a considerable change in the hopping of PA. In 1907 it was reduced from 12 lbs per quarter to 9 lbs. That knocked down the hops per barrel from over 3 lbs to 2.4 lbs. Oddly, the hopping for the weaker Family Ale (FA) remained the same at 11 lbs per quarter. Which meant that despite having a considerably lower gravity - 1048º as opposed to 1060º - it contained a similar quantity of hops per barrel as PA. The export PA, with 14-15 lbs of hops per quarter, retained a 19th-century level of hopping.
In terms of strength, the three Pale Ales are much better differentiated than in the 19th century. At times there had only been 7º difference between the weakest and the strongest. At other times FA and 2PA had virtually the same gravity. The spread here is much better: 1048º, 1053º and 1060º. Fa is a particularly interesting case. It demonstrates that even before WW I there was a move to lower-gravity Pale Ales.
The calm before the storm. That's what this period leading up to WW I is. In the next four years there were more changes to Whitbread's beers than in the previous 50. That's what's coming next. I bet you're as excited as I am.
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