Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1955 Flowers Stout

And finally we’re there. With the last in the set of Flowers beers. You can recreate an authentic 1950’s Warwickshire pub experience in the privacy of your own shed. Or your home, if you’re single.

I’ve argued several times that the idea that all English Stouts became sweet after WW I is way wide of the mark. Drier, quite highly-attenuated versions continued to be produced right through until at least the 1970’s. But I won’t deny Sweet Stouts were very popular. Especially in the 1950’s. This is a Stout of that type.

The lactose is a bit of a giveaway that this is a  Sweet Stout. Other than that, the grist has a fairly standard combination of pale, crystal and black malts plus sugar. The wheat malt I assume is for head retention. And, as always, there’s a touch of malt extract. The sugar in the original is something called Palatose, which I guess is some sort of proprietary dark sugar. Given the very dark colour of the finished beer, there must have been something pretty dark added. Perhaps just caramel.

Despite being a Sweet Stout, there’s quite robust hopping. Looks like they were going for the bittersweet of the stronger version of Mackeson. Which makes it more interesting than some Stouts of this type. No doubt it was eventually replaced by Mackeson after Flowers fell into Whitbread's hands. No point in competing with yourself.

The hops are a guess. All I know is that they came from Kent. Fuggles seem a good bet. This sort of Stout wouldn’t usually be a candidate for posher hops like Goldings.

1955 Flowers Stout
pale malt 5.25 lb 59.39%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 3.73%
No. 3 invert 0.67 lb 7.58%
lactose 1.00 lb 11.31%
wheat malt 0.67 lb 7.58%
black malt 0.67 lb 7.58%
malt extract 0.25 lb 2.83%
Fuggles 90 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
OG 1039.8
FG 1014.5
ABV 3.35
Apparent attenuation 63.57%
IBU 35
SRM 75
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale

I’ll have to think of another brewery now. What have I got? Fullers is a possibility. As is Ushers of Trowbridge. Or maybe I’ll just go 19th century.


Anonymous said...

Ron,how on earth have you got it as having 146.24% base malt?

Ron Pattinson said...


slight mistake there, now fixed.

Joseph said...

That's an amazing label. Some of the other Flowers labels you've shown have also been really striking. I'm astonished that so many modern US craft beer labels are so poorly designed -- I can't imagine the old British brewers spent any significant money on their designs, and there obviously was no computer clip art, so it suggests there must have been a pretty high level of ability among commercial artists to call upon at the time.