Friday, 4 January 2013

Robert Younger's beers in 1957

Another year, another set of details from a defunct Scottish brewery.

Sadly, the Scottish Brewing Archive only has three of Robert Younger's brewing books. They cover the 7 or 8 years before the brewery's closure in 1961. But they've still been useful in helping me get my head around Scottish brewing after WW II. In conjunction with Maclay's records. It's quite different from what I've seen in England.

My first impression was: what a lot of Pale Ales they brewed. Five in all, with a spread of just 17 gravity points. To be honest, they didn't brew a great deal of most of them. Over 50% of what they brewed was 60/-. Here's a table to demonstrate

Beer barrels brewed % of total
54/- 155.8 4.76%
60/- 1754.5 53.60%
70/- 279.8 8.55%
80/- 237.5 7.26%
Export 564.3 17.24%
OEA 31.0 0.95%
Sweet Stout 250.8 7.66%
Total 3273.5 100.00%

It's not totally scientific, the way I've assembled that table. It's just what was on the half dozen or so pages of the brewing log I went through. But I think it gives a reasonable rough idea of how much of each beer they brewed.

Notice something odd about the Pale Ales? The FG is the same for most of them. English brewers usually aimed for about 75% attenuation in most of their beers. Robert Younger seems to have been aiming for a specific FG number, rather than a degree of attenuation. Which means that their lower-gravity Pale Ales have higher FG's than equivalent English beers.

You may be asking yourselves "What the hell is the difference between 80/- and Export?". Why have two beers of such similar gravity? And isn't 80/- Export, anyway? They weren't the only brewery to do this. In the 1950's, Drybrough had XXP at 1043º and Export at 1045º. Weird, isn't it?

Old Edinburgh Ale was a dark beer. As was the Strong Ale. How they brewed them and the Sweet Stout is, er, interesting. I'm sure there are some that would call them fake beers. I prefer the adjective ingenious. We'll be going into that in more detail next time.

Robert Younger's beers in 1957
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation hops lb/brl
54/- Pale Ale 1028 1008 2.65 71.43% 0.50
60/- Pale Ale 1030 1012 2.38 60.00% 0.60
70/- Pale Ale 1035 1011 3.18 68.57% 0.67
80/- Pale Ale 1043 1012 4.10 72.09% 0.83
Export Pale Ale 1045 1012 4.37 73.33% 0.86
Old Edinburgh Ale Old Ale 1044 1012 4.23 72.73% 0.71
Sweet Stout Stout 1030 1014.5 2.05 51.67% 0.57
Strong Ale Strong Ale 1070 1024 6.09 65.71% 1.22
Robert Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive document number RY/6/1/2.

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