Saturday, 13 October 2012

Maclays Beers 1938 - 1939

Scotland. Do you remember Scotland? Used to one of my themes, before Lager and North America got in the way. Time for another foray north of the border.

This is going to be one of my fun tabley posts. I know you all love them so much. Should I start with some general bullshit or dive right into the table? Let's try some general crap first.

There's a good set of Maclay brewing records the Scottish Brewing Archive. They cover most of the 20th century, right up until the Thistle Brewery closed in the 1990's. They aren't in the usual Scottish format, which is a relief. The one line per brew style record. They're a total pain in the arse, as the ingredients are written in tiny letters as column headers. It's one of the reasons we're looking at Maclay and not Drybrough records today.

Though I'm not convinced that the records that remain are the official brewing books. The earliest one in the archive is in a ledger with proper pre-printed pages. All the rest are just scribbled into notebooks. Very classy. They look more like someone's personal brewing book. Many brewers seem to have kept their own records.

The good thing is that the handwriting is legible and they contain pretty much everything I look for, except boil times. I can live with that. At least I don't have to pore over each page with a magnifying glass.

Here's the table:


Maclay beers 1938 – 1939
Date Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp max. fermen-tation temp length of fermen-tation (days) pale malt no. 2 sugar CWS sugar flaked maize
6th Dec 1938 IPA 6d IPA 1035 1014 2.78 60.00% 6.15 1.06 60º 65º 7 83.33% 16.67%
9th Dec 1938 IPA 7d IPA 1042 1015 3.57 64.29% 5.00 0.95 60º 66º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
9th Dec 1938 IPA 6d IPA 1038 1015 3.04 60.53% 5.00 0.86 60º 66º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
16th Dec 1938 IPA 6d IPA 1038 1016 2.91 57.89% 5.00 0.83 60º 66º 7 76.92% 12.82% 2.56% 7.69%
16th Dec 1938 IPA 5d IPA 1032 1014 2.38 56.25% 5.00 0.70 60º 65º 7 76.92% 12.82% 2.56% 7.69%
23rd Dec 1938 IPA 7d IPA 1045 1017 3.70 62.22% 5.00 0.98 60º 64.5º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
23rd Dec 1938 IPA 6d IPA 1038 1014 3.18 63.16% 5.00 0.83 60º 63º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
28th Dec 1938 SA Strong Ale 1075 1028 6.22 62.67% 5.00 1.65 60º 69º 10 77.42% 12.90% 9.68%
28th Dec 1938 IPA 6d IPA 1038 1015 3.04 60.53% 5.00 0.84 61.5º 67º 8 77.42% 12.90% 9.68%
10th Jan 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1014 3.18 63.16% 5.00 0.86 60.6º 65º 7 76.92% 15.38% 7.69%
10th Jan 1939 PA 5d Pale Ale 1032 1013 2.51 59.38% 5.00 0.72 61º 65.5º 7 76.92% 15.38% 7.69%
20th Jan 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1013 3.31 65.79% 5.08 0.84 61º 67º 7 83.33% 16.67%
31st Jan 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1014 3.18 63.16% 4.00 0.65 60.5º 67º 7 76.92% 15.38% 7.69%
31st Jan 1939 PA 5d Pale Ale 1032 1012 2.65 62.50% 4.00 0.55 59º 64º 7 76.92% 15.38% 7.69%
7th Feb 1939 PA 7d Pale Ale 1043 1015 3.70 65.12% 4.00 0.74 60º 67º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
7th Feb 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1014.5 3.11 61.84% 4.00 0.65 60.5º 67.5º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
21st Feb 1939 PA 7d Pale Ale 1043 1014 3.84 67.44% 4.00 0.73 60º 67º 7 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
21st Feb 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1017 2.78 55.26% 4.00 0.65 60º 67.5º 8 78.57% 14.29% 7.14%
3rd May 1939 SA Strong Ale 1089 1030 7.81 66.29% 5.00 1.90 60º 72º 9 77.42% 12.90% 9.68%
3rd May 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1015.25 3.01 59.87% 5.00 0.81 60.5º 68º 7 77.42% 12.90% 9.68%
18th Jul 1939 PA 6d Pale Ale 1038 1011.5 3.51 69.74% 6.00 1.00 60º 69.5º 7 76.92% 15.38% 7.69%
18th Jul 1939 PA 5d Pale Ale 1032 1010 2.91 68.75% 6.00 0.84 60º 68.5º 7 76.92% 15.38% 7.69%
Source:
Document number M/6/1/1/3 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive

Time for analysis now, I suppose. First point: note how in January 1939 the names suddenly change from IPA 7d, IPA 6d, IPA 5d to PA 7d, PA 6d, PA 5. It's another indication of how randomly and interchangeably IPA and PA were used in Britain.The beers remained the same. I'm not sure why I keep repeating this, given how little attention is paid. I keep hearing others assert that a Pale Ale is always weaker than an IPA and that the two styles are quite distinct. Neither of those is true. At least not in British brewing.

The range of beers Maclay brewed was incredibly narrow. Just three different strength Pale Ales and a Strong Ale. Note that, while there isn't a shilling in sight, there is another currency unit: the penny. Because these beers are named by their retail price per pint. Interesting that there's not a trace of Mild Ale. It was still brewed in Scotland in this period. Just not by Maclay.

Here are some London Pale Ales for comparison purposes:

London Pale Ales 1937 – 1938
Year Brewer country Beer Style Price size package Acidity FG OG App. Atten-uation
1937 Watney UK Pale Ale Pale Ale 7d pint draught 1049
1937 Watney UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.06 1012.5 1054.8 77.19%
1937 Wenlock UK Pale Ale Pale Ale 7d pint bottled 0.05 1007.6 1042.2 81.99%
1937 Worthington UK Pale Ale Pale Ale 8d pint draught 1054.3
1938 Barclay Perkins UK PA Pale Ale 7d pint draught 0.07 1011.3 1043.9 74.26%
1938 Charrington UK PA Pale Ale 7d pint draught 0.07 1007.2 1046 84.35%
1938 Courage UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.08 1012.7 1050.2 74.70%
1938 Courage UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.05 1011.7 1034.8 66.38%
1938 Mann Crossman UK PA Pale Ale 8d pint draught 0.07 1006.5 1052.4 87.60%
Source:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001

You can see that they are somewhat stronger than Maclay's Pale Ales.

The attenuation is rubbish, as often with Scottish beers. This, combined with modest hopping, would have left the Pale Ales appearing quite sweet.

Not much to say about the ingredients. They're simplicity itself: hops, pale malt, No. 2 invert sugar and flaked maize. That's it. Though They used several different kinds of pale malt in each brew: Californian, Scottish and from various maltsters, including Baird.

There will doubtless be more about Maclay's beers. Their records are easy to understand, after all. And I've a whole load of them.

1 comment:

Barm said...

Ah, the naming of beers after the price per pint. Horrific habit. Bernard’s did that too.