Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1868 William Younger No. 2

On the right day, if a week or two late. You can blame Kristen. He's been sunning himself on some tropical island while I've been snowed into my flat. The world's a very unfair place. That's all I can say.

Back to beer. Beer recipes to be exact. You may remember we were part way through a series of Younger's No. 1's and No. 3's. We're going to split the difference today and go with a No. 2 instead. We're doing it to demonstrate these beers belonged to a larger set.  Sorry, that's a slight proof improvement. Kristen couldn't find a No. 1 in the 1868 set that I sent him.

I can hear your question: "What's a number two, Ron?" I could easily come up with a pathetic joke in reply. But I'm too mature for that sort of thing. Oh yes. I'm going to give you a serious adult answer. It comes between No. 1 and No. 3.

Bass also brewed a set of numbered beers, 1 to 7 in their case. And, like at Younger, No. 2 seems to have lived in the shadow of his big brother, No. 1. I've only ever found a couple of trade references to Bass No. 2. None that I can recall for Younger No. 2. Especially in the case of Younger's, punters either went 1 or 3. Both beers survived well past WW II (No. 3 still exists). I'm not even sure No. 2 scraped into the 20th century.

So what was No. 2? Barley Wine Light. Or Ordinary Barley Wine to No. 1's Best Barley Wine. I'm just making this up, as you might have guessed. These beers don't fit neatly into any modern style straightjacket. You can try hammering them in, but they'll only spring out again. Strong ale, Edinburgh Ale or Scotch Ale is how it would have been marketed at the time.

I realise it's probably not worth mentioning, but notice the typical Scottish characteristics of this beer: the virtual total lack of hops, the 7-hour boil and the freezing fermentation temperature. Yes, it has none of those. Because it's a real Scottish beer, brewed in Scotland.

Kristen time . . . . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

See Youngers 1868 No3 for instructions.

Note – the only big difference in this one is the hops. Make sure you get proper spalter and not Spalt select which is not the same thing. Breed from a different lineage and such. You may also make this 100% Spalt if you like as the AA% between Spalt and Fuggle aren’t that far off. You can use really any German noble hop in the place of Spalt but the outcome will be pretty different. Just make sure and use fresh hops whatever you do.

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