Wednesday 13 July 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1913 William Younger No. 1

William Younger was an odd brewery. Even for Scotland.

In 1913 they brewed around 30 different beers. Just at the Abbey Brewery. And that’s not including Pale Ales, which were brewed at their Holyrood brewery. It’s a bewildering range. One that has me scratching my head as to what the difference is between many of them.

Then there’s their love of grits. Quite a few Scottish breweries used them in preference to the flaked maize popular in England. It seems an odd choice, as grits are more trouble. They require a preliminary cereal mash, unlike flakes which can just be dumped in the mash tun with the malt.

What’s unusual about Younger is the quantity of grits that they used. As much as 45%, in some cases. This has the least of any of their 1913 beers, just 40%. It does leave me wondering what these beers tasted like. That’s an awful lot of grits. Though, now I think about it, the 1939 Younger’s No. 1 I brewed with Pretty Things had quite a lot of grits in it and that tasted OK.

Just has a quick look at some RateBeer reviews of that.

"Really one of the best Scotch Ale caramelized malt flavors I’ve ever experienced. The downfall is that the finish is marred by too much roasted grain husk, as though there’s an unfortunately high percentage of dark chocolate malt";
"Taste is sweet, chococaramel, light peat.";
"a finish that lingers with cocoa and roasted malt";
"Flavor is malty with light caramel, hints of nuts, light toffee, and light peat.";
"Caramel, up front, with the herbal, peat and earthy elements arriving in the middle"

Amazing how expectations can colour our experiences. The darkest malt in the recipe was crystal. The colour all came from sugar, the wort wasn’t caramelised and there certainly wasn’t any peat in it. And it contains lactose, which not one reviewer spotted. It’s one of the reasons I don’t guess ingredients in my beer reviews sketches.

Back to the 1913 versions. What can I say about the recipe? A shitload of grits, two and a half shitloads of US hops, a little bit of sugar. Complex it isn’t. But it is an authentic Strong Scotch Ale.

1913 William Younger No. 1
pale malt 12.00 lb 55.17%
grits 8.75 lb 40.23%
No. 3 invert 0.50 lb 2.30%
Glucose 0.50 lb 2.30%
Cluster 90 min 6.00 oz
Cluster 60 min 6.00 oz
Fuggles 30 min 4.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.75 oz
OG 1097
FG 1037
ABV 7.94
Apparent attenuation 61.86%
IBU 216
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Jeff Renner said...

I don't see lactose in the recipe. Is it what you listed as glucose?

Ron Pattinson said...


the lactose is in the 1939 version.