Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1865 William Younger Ext

Here’s a special treat. A beer from the William Younger brewing record I hadn’t really looked at.

Younger had two breweries pretty much door to each other. Their original Abbey Brewery and the newer Holyrood Brewery. Each had its own brewing book. I’ve mostly stuck to the Abbey Brewery’s records, but do have photos of two Holyrood logs.

There’s a logic behind my decision. Holyrood was mostly a Pale Ale brewery. There are pages and pages of XP and XXP, with the occasional other beer. But it doesn’t look like they brewed anything close to the full set there. While at Abbey they brewed XP and XXP alongside their Shilling Ales, Stouts and Strong Ales. In other words, the full set. Or so I thought.

Giving the 1865 Holyrood book the once over, I spotted a beer that wasn’t in the Abbey records from that period: Ext. Which I’m pretty sure stands for Export. A Strong Pale Ale that they were still brewing in 1949, almost 100 years later.

Do you know what this beer looks like to me? A classic Burton Pale Ale. An OG in the mid-1060’s and lots and lots of hops. And a pretty high degree of attenuation for Younger. They mostly struggled to hit 65%, but this is over 75%.

The recipe is just pale malt and hops. A combination of US, Bavarian and Kent hops. With a huge amount of dry hops. There are some 20th-century Younger recipes that use fewer kettle hops than this beer has in dry hops. What a wacky place the 19th century was.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this beer was aged for months before sale. The hopping – especially all those dry hops – indicates to me a beer that wasn’t going to be drunk quickly. Meaning the FG, when drunk, would have been lower and the ABV higher, possibly by as much as 1-1.5%.

1865 William Younger Ext
pale malt 14.75 lb 100.00%
Cluster 90 min 2.75 oz
Goldings 60 min 3.00 oz
Goldings 30 min 2.00 oz
Spalt 30 min 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 2.00 oz
OG 1064
FG 1015
ABV 6.48
Apparent attenuation 76.56%
IBU 132
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 185º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Lee said...

Bloody hell! I shall throw a lack-o-grits party!
That is a shed load of IBUs.
Would this have been stored by a publican and bottled on site,or kept at the brewery until ready to serve?

Ron Pattinson said...


my guess is that it would have been stored at least 3-6 months at the brewery. Just checked the records. Ext was mostly filled into hogsheads and butts. Whereas the other Pale Ales mostly went into barrels. I think it's a sure sign that Ext was a Stock Pale Ale.

Lee said...

It looks like a cracker!

Jakesy said...

Hi, do you know if the dry hop would be added at the start of the aging period for its preservative benefit or later on for the aroma?

Ron Pattinson said...


the hops were added at the start of aging.

Jakesy said...

Ron, thanks for that. I guessed that was the case, quite different to today where they seemed to be added for a short time before packaging.