Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1949 William Younger XXPS

Something light for the spring. That's what Kristen asked. So why not go with a light little Scottish number? XXPS.

One of the things I love about William Younger is that they brewed some of their beers forever. Or close enough. 150 years plus. Which means some hung around long enough for me to try them. This is one of them. It was usually called Scotch Bitter in the pub. It was OK in the late 1970's early 1980's. A run of the mill Ordinary Bitter.

Now here's the odd thing. There was a stronger Younger's Bitter called IPA (you can see it in the table below). But, back in the 19th century, Younger had two Pale Ales: XP and XXP. According to a price list, the weaker XP was marketed as IPA, XXP as Export Pale Ale. So which should be stronger - Pale Ale or IPA? Answers should be sent directly to the BJCP.

You're probably wondering about the "S", aren't you? I believe that stands for "Scots". Or the domestic version of the beer. In some of the older logs they just draw a little Scottish flag in the left margin. Very sweet.

Getting back to the beer in question, you'll note the exremely simple grist. Wondering where the crystal malt is? Crystal malt in British Pale Ales is a fairly recent phenomenon. Virtually unknown before WW I, not that common until after WW II.

The colour of the finish beer would have been higher than indicated below. That's because they would have adjusted the colour with some sort of caramel at the end of the process. You'll see below that the analyses from the 1960's have EBC vlaues between 24 and 31. Though, if they were anything like other Scottish brewers, they would have made several different coloured versions for different markets. Same beer, just different amounts of colouring material added.

Just a table, then I'm done:

William Younger XXPS 1906 - 1989
Year Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG colour ABV App. Atten-uation
1868 XP IPA 1013 1051 5.03 74.51%
1868 XXP Pale Ale 1014 1055 5.42 74.55%
1906 XXP Sc Pale Ale pint draught 1056.7 12.5
1964 XXPS Pale Ale 17d pint draught 0.04 1009.2 1038.8 24 3.70 76.29%
1965 XXPS Pale Ale 18d pint draught 0.05 1007.9 1037.4 30 3.83 78.88%
1967 Best Scotch Pale Ale 21d pint draught 0.11 1007.6 1036.7 31 3.78 79.29%
1972 IPA IPA 13.5p pint draught 1008.2 1043.5 4.59 81.15%
1977 IPA IPA pint draught 1043.2
1977 XXPS or Scotch Bitter Pale Ale pint draught 1036.2
1979 IPA IPA pint draught 1043.2
1979 XXPS or Scotch Bitter Pale Ale pint draught 1036.2
1981 IPA IPA pint draught 1043.2
1981 XXPS or Scotch Bitter Pale Ale pint draught 1036.2
1982 XXPS (Scotch Bitter) Pale Ale pint draught 1036.2
1982 IPA IPA pint draught 1042.2
1983 IPA IPA pint draught 1043
1983 XXPS or Scotch Bitter Pale Ale pint draught 1036.5
1986 IPA IPA pint draught 1042
1986 Scotch Bitter Pale Ale pint draught 1036.5
1989 IPA IPA pint draught 1042
1989 Scotch Bitter Pale Ale pint draught 1037
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002
Documents WY/6/1/2/21 and WY/6/1/1/14 of the William Younger archive held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.
Daily Mirror July 10th 1972, page 15
Good Beer Guides: 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1990

Time to pass you over to Kristen . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

There is really nothing to say about this beer. It’s so very simple choose what you really like for the malt and hops. Be sure to use the Flaked Barley as it adds a lot to the mouthfeel. I used Willamette and they worked wonderfully. If I made this again I’d definitely up the hops but this is what it is…still pretty damn drinkable.


Kristen England said...


The reason I left out the caramel is exactly what Ron says. There were many beers that were different by the amount added. To this beer, I'd add it to around 12srm(24EBC) or so. You can definitely leave it w/o if you'd like...or split it and see what people like best!

Seb said...

Call me old fashioned but can we have an 80 shilling at some point? Please.

Ron Pattinson said...

Seb, this is sort of a 70 shilling.

Anonymous said...

Are the given attenuation and fermentation temperature figures historically accurate? The other examples in the table have a bit higher attenuation...

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous, the degree of attenuation varied over time. The older examples are the most highly attenuated.

I'm afraid I'm away from home so I can't check the fermentation temperatures. Usually they'd pitch around 60 F and let it rise 10 degrees or so during fermentation.

Kristen England said...


For each recipe I include the attenuation and ferment temp. Sometimes I forget to change the ferment temp but us pretty close. The ferment temp is the least of your concern though for the vast majority of these beers for many reasons. Unless one has a PID controlled cooling jacket on their ferment rig, its not really going to matter anyway. If you keep things around 65F for pretty mcuh all the beers we do, you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

Am I reading this right, Mash for 120m, Boil for 1.75 hr?