Saturday, 2 July 2016

Let's Brew - 1898 William Younger 80/-

You might think that you know what 80/- is. You don’t. Or at least you don’t know what 19th-century 80/- was. Because it has no connection with the modern style, other than originating in Scotland.

The modern style is just the Scottish version of Best Bitter and only emerged between the wars. The Scots did brew Pale Ales in the 19th century and they did often have shilling designations. But they were usually 54/- or 60/-. Don’t think I’ve ever seen an 80/- Pale Ale from before WW I.

In the 19th century 80/- was usually an Ale. More specifically, a type of Mild Ale. William Younger’s set in 1898 went from 60/- to 160/- in increments of 20/- with gravities from 1051º to 1111º. You might be surprised to see Mild Ales with such high gravities, but it wasn’t that unusual back then. And as they were sold young, Mild Ales is what they were.

Younger brewed two parallel sets of Mild Ales. Ones with a shilling designation and one with X’s, like in England. 80/- was basically the same as XX,  but with a couple of significant differences. 80/- was intended for bottling. It was racked into hogsheads, half hogsheads and quarter hogsheads which were immediately dispatched to grocers and publicans, who would bottle the beer. XX was filled into hogsheads, barrels and half barrels and was sold on draught.

The recipes were very similar, but 80/- wasn’t dry-hopped, but XX was. And while 80/- was all malt, XX contained grits and sugar.  But the biggest difference was the level of attenuation. 74% for XX and just 56% for 80/-. I think I know the reason for that. XX needed to be ready for immediate consumption while 80/- would have needed some fermentables for bottle conditioning.

It’s another very simple recipe, not quite SMaSH, but pretty close. In this period Younger only used English and American hops, about a third of the former to two thirds of the latter. Interestingly two types are listed: American and Pacific. Presumably that’s East and West Coast respectively.

Here’s the recipe.

1898 William Younger 80/-
pale malt 14.25 lb 100.00%
Cluster 90 min 2.25 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1061
FG 1027
ABV 4.50
Apparent attenuation 55.74%
IBU 54
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 59.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Dan Klingman said...

Ron, if this beer was not going to be bottle conditioned, would you want to let it attenuate down to ~1.020 or the high teens?

Anonymous said...

What percentage of grits and sugar in the mild version? I might have to brew both for the national home brew conference hospitality suite next year.

Ron Pattinson said...

Dan Klingman,

about 1020.

Ron Pattinson said...


wait until Wednesday.