Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1955 Flowers IPA

I’m sticking with my 1950’s Flowers theme. There is sort of a point to it. No, not sort of. There is a point.

To show the full range of beers coming out of a brewery in the 1950’s. In some cases, it’s surprisingly few. Not at Flowers. They brewed at least nine beers 4 Pale Ales, and one each of IPA, Mild, Brown Ale, Strong Ale and Stout. Though, a bit like many modern English brewers, they had several Pale Ales of fairly similar gravities. One of which we’re looking at now: IPA.

I don’t know if this was a draught beer as well as bottled. But it looks very similar to a type I sometimes call “Southern IPA”. A couple of London brewers, at least, made one. Like Whitbread. Theirs from 1955 has the same gravity as this, 1034º, but is more highly attenuated and more heavily hopped*. Barclay Perkins brewed this type of low-gravity IPA, too. Though I’m not sure if it survived as long as 1955.

Talking of hopping, this is the most heavily hopped of Flowers Pale Ales, in terms of pounds per quarter. Which is the best way, as it takes gravity out of the equation. 7.5 lbs in the case of IPA, 7.25 lbs for Green Label and OB, 6 lbs for PX and LA. It’s not a huge difference, but it is there.

The recipe is uncomplicated: pale malt, sugar, malt extract and Goldings. Not a huge amount I can say about that, is there? No. 1 is a guess, as the log just says “invert”. There’s a touch of some sugar called DSI, too. No idea what that is.

Er, that’s it. Nothing left but to pass you over to me for the recipe . . . . . .

1955 Flowers IPA
pale malt 7.00 lb 93.32%
No. 1 invert 0.38 lb 5.01%
malt extract 0.13 lb 1.67%
Goldings 90 min 0.75 oz
Goldings 60 min 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1034.2
FG 1009
ABV 3.33
Apparent attenuation 73.68%
IBU 36
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale

* Whitbread brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/01/122


Gary Gillman said...

Notable low use of sugar here and decent hopping. Attenuation tends to modern but it always was relative probably for exported pale ale. Creditable, early (50's) acknowledgement to history except for ABV.


Andy said...

Any idea what gives with the use of malt extract?

A Brew Rat said...

I am still trying to figure out the reason for the small amount of malt extract they added to these 1950s ales.

Ron Pattinson said...

I really don't know why they used a bit of malt extrract. My only guess is that it was highly diastatic and they used it as a substitute for malt from Californian barley. Flowers weren't the only brewery up to this in the 1950's. Strong, Ushers, Robert Younger, Maclay, Drybrough and Eldridge Pope all did, too.