Mild Ales 1080º to 1089º. That's the technical description of this set. Special Mild is the shorthand for that. You've probably noticed how strong Milds Ales were back in the day. Recreations of these beers puzzle the pants off the more dogmatic contemporary drinkers. How can a beer of 9% ABV be a Mild? I've heard that question asked several times in relation to Pretty Things XXXX Mild. Maybe I shouldn't bang on too much about Mild's intoxicating past. Or the style nazis will start insisting Mild has to be at least 8% ABV to be authentic,
Blethering. I've been doing a fair bit of it today. Not that you can see it. Not published yet. I've already rattled off two posts today. I must be in a chatty mood.
Back to Milds. Strong Milds. There's one difference between England and Scotland that doesn't come across in the direct comparisons. While a range Milds were brewed North and South of the border, the most strength of Mild was quite different. In London the vast majority of Mild produced was X Ale, with a gravity of around 1070º. The stronger Milds, especially XXXX, were only brewed occasionally. William Younger's most popular Mild was 100/- Ale - a beer with a gravity of 1100º. Just thought I'd share that with you.
Let's get on with the numbers:
|England vs Scotland early 1850's Mild 1080º - 1089º|
|Date||Year||Brewer||Beer||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp||max. fer-ment-ation temp||length of fer-ment-ation (days)|
|21st Mar||1851||Truman||40/- Ale||1084.2||6||2.40|
|28th Sep||1850||Truman||40/- Ale||1087.3||9||3.98||61|
|3rd Jul||1850||Truman||40/- Ale||1088.9||9||3.59||62|
|28th Oct||1851||Younger, Wm.||XX||1081||1037||5.82||54.32%||6.64||2.37||1.5||55||69||8|
|25th Nov||1851||Younger, Wm.||XX||1081||1032||6.48||60.49%||9.00||3.60||1.33||56||68||9|
|14th Oct||1851||Younger, Wm.||XX||1082||1029||7.01||64.63%||6.67||4.76||1.5||56||67||8|
|14th Dec||1851||Younger, Wm.||XX||1082||1035||6.22||57.32%||9.16||2.42||1.5||56||67||9|
|4th Oct||1851||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1086||1034||6.88||60.47%||7.00||2.93||1.5||1.5||56||68||9|
|22nd Oct||1851||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1086||1034||6.88||60.47%||6.81||2.74||1.25||1.5||57||68||10|
|29th Apr||1853||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1086||1038||6.35||55.81%||8.00||3.46||1.5||57||69||8|
|30th Oct||1851||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1087||1037||6.61||57.47%||6.50||2.60||1.25||1.25||56||67||8|
|18th Nov||1851||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1087||1035||6.88||59.77%||5.00||2.00||1.33||56||68||9|
|21st Jun||1854||Younger, Wm.||110/-||1087||1040||6.22||54.02%||7.85||3.00||1.67||57||69||6|
|22nd Jun||1854||Younger, Wm.||110/-||1087||1040||6.22||54.02%||8.81||3.50||1.5||59||69||5|
|9th Oct||1851||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1088||1036||6.88||59.09%||7.00||2.97||1.25||1.5||56||69||8|
|26th Jul||1852||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1088||1038||6.61||56.82%||7.00||3.06||1||1.33||59||70||7|
|18th Nov||1853||Younger, Wm.||XXX||1088||1040||6.35||54.55%||8.94||4.00||1.33||56||68||8|
|1st Dec||1853||Younger, Wm.||XXX||1088||1038||6.61||56.82%||8.00||3.69||1.5||57||68||7|
|7th Nov||1851||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1089||1036||7.01||59.55%||5.00||2.18||1.5||1.75||56||66||7|
|27th Mar||1852||Younger, Wm.||80/- K||1089||1034||7.28||61.80%||8.00||3.33||1.08||1.25||54||67||8|
|22nd Apr||1853||Younger, Wm.||80/-||1089||1036||7.01||59.55%||8.22||3.79||1.33||1.5||55||66||7|
|23rd Jun||1854||Younger, Wm.||110/-||1089||9.94||3.75||1.5||58||63|
|William Younger brewing record document number WY/6/1/2/5 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|
|Whitbread brewing record document number LMA/4453/D/01/014 held at the London Metropolitan Archives|
|Truman brewing record document number B/THB/C/132 held at the London Metropolitan Archives|
. . . followed by more blether.
Hopping rates to kick off. The average OG of both sets is very similar, making this a sensible comparison. And what do we see? On average, the London beers have about 6% more hops. Though the two most heavily hopped were both from Younger. There's a difference, but it isn't huge. My wishy-washy conclusion: in the early 1850's Younger's Special Mild Ales were on average a little less heavily hopped than equivalent London beers.
I'll run through you boil times at a canter. (Or at least what passes as one for me. A short sprint, followed by bending double and gasping for breath. I won't be trying that again in a hurry.) Not many English numbers to work with, but the Younger's beers are still consistently displaying shorter boil times. The lid of the first-running syrup story is now will and truly nailed down. And, as I took the precaution of driving a stake through its heart, it won't be coming back to life any time soon. I'll say unequivocally: in the early 1850's Younger's Special Mild Ales had shorter boils than equivalent London beers.
The same pattern of fermentation temperatures presents itself again: Younger's beers were pitched cooler and the temperature increase during fermentation was smaller. The figures here are about bang on the average: Younger's pitching temperatures were 4º F lower and the maximum temperature 8º F lower. Split the difference and the result is: in the early 1850's Younger's Special Mild Ales were fermented on average 6º F cooler than equivalent London beers.
The length of fermentation also show a clear pattern. Younger's beers took longer to ferment. On average, more than two days less. Simple: in the early 1850's Younger's Special Mild Ales took about two days longer to ferment than equivalent London beers.
With a figure for just one London beer, it's hard to say much about attenuation. Except that, at an average of 58%, the attenuation of Younger's beers is low. Based on other data, I know that sole Whitbread beer is about typical in terms of attenuation. Which means I can make a tentative claim: in the early 1850's Younger's Special Mild Ales were less attenuated than equivalent London beers.
That's one small step . . . closer to the finish line. I just try to get on with it without thinking. Else I'd despair at the enormity of the task.