Today's the turn of Stock Ales. The mighty 120/- and 140/-. Beers so mighty, in fact, that I've struggled to find exact English equivalents. At times in the 19th century William Younger brewed half a dozen different beers with a gravity over 1100º.
One difference I have noticed between William Younger and London brewers is that brewed more strong Mild Ale. The London brewers tended to brew the stronger Ales mostly as Stock Ales. By the end of the 1800's they had concentrated 100% on X Ale and discontinued the stronger Mild Ales such as XX, XXX and XXXX. While Younger still brewed a 100/- Ale at 1074º in 1899.
I wish I'd been around in the glory days of Stock Ales. These beers look right down my Straße. I suspect they'd be appreciated in the USA, too. High ABV and a bucketload of hops (I have literally tipped bucketloads of hops into a copper, so I know what I'm talking about).
I suppose you want to take a look at the beasts. Here they are. Just remember not to poke any peanuts through the bars. They may rip your arms off.
|Date||Year||Brewer||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Attenuation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp||max. fermen-tation temp|
|5th Mar||1832||Truman||XXXK Ale||Stock Ale||1097.5||1034.3||8.36||64.77%||14||6.67||60||79|
|2nd Jan||1837||Whitbread||KXXX||Stock Ale||1098.6||1032.7||8.72||66.85%||7.49||3.29||2||2||3||64||78|
|13th Mar||1837||Whitbread||KXXX||Stock Ale||1098.9||1034.9||8.46||64.71%||7.64||3.24||2||2||3||59||78|
|10th Mar||1832||Truman||XXXK Ale||Stock Ale||1099.7||1026.0||9.75||73.89%||14||7.29||59||79.5|
|17th Feb||1837||Whitbread||KXXX||Stock Ale||1100.3||1033.2||8.87||66.85%||7.65||3.26||2||2||3||59||76|
|3rd Mar||1837||Whitbread||KXXXX||Stock Ale||1112.7||1036.6||10.08||67.57%||8.07||3.95||2||2||3||59||75|
|12th Mar||1832||Truman||XXXXK Ale||Stock Ale||1118.0||1052.6||8.65||55.40%||14||8.91||60||78|
|6th Jan||1832||Younger, Wm. & Co||120/-||Stock Ale||1117||4.07||2.79||1||54||70|
|30th Dec||1831||Younger, Wm. & Co||140/-||Stock Ale||1135||5.42||5.16||1||52||70|
|Whitbread brewing book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/001|
|Barclay Perkins brewing book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/550|
|William Younger brewing book held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document WY/6/1/2/1|
|Truman brewing book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/115|
As you can see, none of the London beers quite matches the gravity of Younger's 140/-. Which makes a true direct comparison impossible.
Let's go through the main points of comparison again: hopping rate, boil time and fermentation temperature.
Younger's 120/- is the most lightly hopped beer in the table, despite being the third strongest. With 2.79 lbs per barrel, it contains a little over half the average of the London beers. Though you'll note the large variation amongst the London beers. Most of the Whitbread examples only have a half pound more hops per barrel. Truman's Stock Ales are much more heavily hopped, averaging over 7 lbs per barrel.
Younger's 140/- on the other hand, is more heavily hopped than any of the Whitbread beers, though it should be remembered that it is stronger. It doesn't match up to the Truman beers. The Truman beer closest to it strength contains almost 4 lbs of hops per barrel more.
Overall, a slightly confusing picture. If we just compare Younger with Whitbread, there's little difference in hopping. Truman, with their prodigious hopping, skew the London averages. Based on these small samples, I find it hard to draw any real conclusions.
This is much simpler. Younger's beers were boiled for a much shorter time than the London beers. Just one hour. While the London beers all had a two hour boil for the first two worts and three hours for the third. It's the same pattern as we saw with the Mild Ales. And it concurs with the descriptions of early 19th century Scottish brewing which emphasise the nees for a short boil to preserve hop aroma.
It's clear that in the 1830's William Younger boiled their worts much more briefly than London brewers.
Here, too, a clear pattern is emerging: the Younger's beers were pitched cooler and the maximum fermentation temperature lower. In the Stock Ales, the difference between the English and Scottish pitching temperatures and maximum temperatures was about the same, around 8º F. Which is getting close to the 10º F usually quoted.
My conclusion? In the 1830's William Younger fermented cooler than London brewers. Between 4º and 9º F.