I can now say, without fear of contraception, that I know what that Amber Ale was. It's not difficult to work out. Usher only brewed two beers with a gravity of 1040º: Mild Ale and PA 60/-. There's a good reason why it can't be the Mild. That's way too dark, with all sorts of dark sugar in it. You expect that, since it was parti-gyled with the Stout. My suspicion is confirmed: Amber Ale is PA 60/- with less caramel.
I'm really excited about the Brown Ale. They have a habit of not turning up in brewing books because of the way many breweries produced them. Basically by fiddling with another beer, usually Mild. Usher's is different, and all the more fascinating for that. It's full of sugary goodness, as we'll discover next time when I go through the grists in the agonising detail that must surely one day drive you to dive off the top of a multi-storey car park. It was parti-gyled with another iteration of Mild Ale.
The four Pale Ales and the IPA are, unsurprisingly, basically the same beer. They were parti-gyled in all sorts of combination. IPA was a newcomer to the product range in the early 1930's. I can see why they might introduce a lower-gravity beer - hard times and all that. But why call it IPA? I think I know the answer: because that's what the punters expected an IPA to be like, a light Pale Ale.
Going through the pages of the brewing log has given me a good idea of how much of each beer Usher brewed. The vast majority was PA 60/-, followed by IPA and PA. I've added up how much of each beer was brewed in four pages of the brewing book, covering 1st October to 20th November. Here's a nice little table of the results:
|Beer||Barrels||%age of total|
Usher didn't use dark malts at all as far as I can tell. The darkest was crystal, which went in the Brown Ale, Mild Ale and Stout. All the real colour in these three came from dark sugars.
Next time we'll be looking at the grists of these beers.
|Thomas Usher's beers in the 1930's|
|Date||Year||Beer||Style||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||boil time (hours)||Pitch temp||max. fermen-tation temp||length of fermen-tation (days)|
|20th Nov||1931||Brown Ale||Brown Ale||1055||1016.5||5.09||70.00%||4.26||1.89||1.75||1||60º||º|
|6th Oct||1931||PA||Pale Ale||1034||1012||2.91||64.71%||5.98||0.83||1.75||2||2.5||60º||67º||7|
|6th Oct||1931||PA 60/-||Pale Ale||1040||1013||3.57||67.50%||5.98||0.97||1.75||2||2.5||60º||67º||7|
|5th Oct||1931||PA 70/-||Pale Ale||1047||1013.5||4.43||71.28%||5.98||1.43||1.75||2||2.25||2.5||60º||67º||6|
|12th Nov||1931||PA 80/-||Pale Ale||1055||1012.5||5.62||77.27%||6.02||1.35||1.75||2||2.25||2.5||60º||67º|
|2nd Oct||1931||Stout 80/-||Stout||1052||1023||3.84||55.77%||3.75||0.80||2||1||60º||67º||7|
|Thomas Usher brewing record document TU/6/6 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive|