When I saw Half and Half, something immediately came into my mind. And it was totally wrong. I’d thought something like a Black and Tan. Here’s what Half and Half really was:
“Half and Half
Brewing custom in America since repeal has popularized the half and half mixture, for which purposes the mixture of American stock ale with the American mild Pilsener beer gives a very satisfactory result. Such beer will have an ale character subdued considerably by the beer and pleases the palate of many consumers. (See analysis on Half and Half Type Beer.)”
"Beer from the Expert's Viewpoint" by Arnold Spencer Wahl and Robert Wahl, 1937, page 173.
So it was really a mix of Ale and Lager. Wasn’t that also called Cream Ale? The idea being, as described, to tone down the Ale character and produce an easier-drinking beer. It makes me wonder what other blending was going on.
Now here’s a question. Did they ever parti-gyle in the USA after Prohibition. I’ve evidence for a simple sort of parti-gyling in the Vassar records from the 1830’s, where Single Ale and Double Ale were often brewed together. But in the Amsdell records from around 1900 there’s no trace of the technique. Was the technique dropped when the German influence began to take hold in American brewing?
Presumably, as with Vienna Lager, the blending was done after maturation and lagering. If you can remember back that far, Mild Pilsener had an OG of 11.95º Balling and Stock Ale 16.32º Balling, meaning a 50-50 mix would give a gravity of 14.135º Balling. Or just about exactly the OG for Half and Half in the table below.
What else can I say? Nothing much, really. So I’d best shut up. Something I very rarely do.
|HALF AND HALF|
|Reported by Wahl Institute, February 22, 1936|
|This beer is composed of the following substances, reported in percentages or pounds per hundred:|
|Alcohol (by weight)||4.55|
|Real extract (dry substance)||5.1|
|The real extract (5.1) is made up of the following substances:|
|In Percentage||In Percentage|
|of the beer||of the extract|
|The following are important brewing figures:|
|Specific gravity of beer||1.012|
|Original balling of wort||14.2|
|Apparent extract of beer (balling)||3.05|
|Fermentable sugar in the wort||10.63|
|Alcohol (by volume)||5.69|
|Percent of extract fermented||64.1|
|Percent of extract unfermented||5.9|
|Percent of sugars in original wort||74.8|
|Percent of non-sugars in original wort||25.2|
|Carbonic acid by volumes||2.7|
|Beer from the Expert's Viewpoint by Arnold Spencer Wahl and Robert Wahl, 1937, page 179.|
I was going to say that was it for the Wahls’ book. Then I remembered there was something about beer colour that caught my attention. But after that we will be able to move on/ to another article about brewing in 1930’s America. Then there’s the Wahl and Henius book from 1902 that I’ve been OCRing. So lots, lots more about the USA to come.