Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 William Younger XXX

Now I’ve started I may as well do the set of William Younger 1939 Mild Ales. This is the stronger version, XXX.

I’m not going to pretend that it’s hugely different from XX. It contains exactly the same ingredients, though the proportions are slightly different. Slightly less pale malt and a little more of everything else. It’s not a massive difference.

This beer slips perfectly into what I would call the Ordinary Mild slot. A beer that would have cost 5d a pint in London. In the late 1930’s, there were three types of Mild in London. 4d Ale at 1030º at 4d per pint; Mild at 1037º at 5d per pint and Best Mild at 1043º at 6d per pint. With the middle one being the most popular. Though not every brewery made all three types.

The crappy degree of attenuation – the lactose won’t help – leaves XXX at just over 3% ABV. So it must have been quite a full-bodied beer. An FG of 1014º is high for a beer with a relatively low OG. But clearly that’s what the brewery was aiming for. As I mentioned for XX, this is really a watered-down No. 1 Strong Ale. The grists are very similar, except there’s no invert sugar in the No. 1.

Again I assume that this was primarily sold south of the border. This class of beer didn’t exist in Scotland. At least I haven’t found another similar Scottish beer. William Younger seems to have stuck with brewing proper Milds – not just a low-gravity Pale Ale with added sugar – much longer than anyone else in Scotland. Extensive trade in England (not just the Northeast of England where many Scottish brewers were active and Mild was also a rarity) is the most obvious explanation.

Even by the standards of Mild the hopping rate is very low. Barclay’s X, a beer of a similar gravity, contained three times the volume of hops. While Whitbread X contained four times as many. Younger XX and XXX are some of the most lightly-hopped British beers I’ve ever come across.

1939 William Younger XXX
pale malt 5.25 lb 64.42%
crystal malt 60L 0.50 lb 6.13%
mild malt 0.40 lb 4.91%
grits 1.25 lb 15.34%
invert sugar 0.25 lb 3.07%
lactose 0.50 lb 6.13%
liquorice 0.25 oz
Fuggles 90 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1037
FG 1014
ABV 3.04
Apparent attenuation 62.16%
IBU 11
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

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