I’m surprised to see how little the gravity changed over the years. 1045º in 1913, 1046º in 1939 and 1041º in 1949. That’s quite unusual. I’d have expected the OG to be under 1040º. And because the degree of attenuation increased, the ABV of the 1949 version is barely lower than the other two.
There were some big changes to the beer over time. Most of them involuntary. Younger didn’t drop the grits and start using flaked barley from choice. Maize, which was imported mostly from the USA, became unavailable during WW II. And the government forced brewers to use flaked barley. Barley production increased enormously during the war, meaning there were reasonable supplies for brewers. The idea behind using flakes was to save the fuel expended in the malting process.
The war is also the reason for the change in hops. During both wars supplies of US hops dried up. But, due to the fall in gravity, the UK became self-sufficient in hops. This continued after WW II meaning there was no need to import hops.
If you look at the chart below you’ll see one truly massive change: the level of bitterness. Which fell dramatically between 1898 and 1913 and again between 1913 and 1939. Though remember these are just calculated IBU numbers. Even so, the quantity of hops used was hugely reduced which must have had a big impact on the bitterness of the beer.
|Younger LAE 1898 - 1949|
|1898||85% pale malt, 15% grits||Cluster and Fuggles||1051||1014||4.89%||72.55%||160|
|1913||56% pale malt, 44% grits||Cluster and Fuggles||1045||1013||4.23%||71.11%||78|
|1921||58% pale malt, 42% grits||Cluster, Saaz and Fuggles||1047||1013||4.50%||72.34%||68|
|1933||57% pale malt, 43% grits||Cluster and Fuggles||1046||1013||4.37%||71.74%||51|
|1939||74% pale malt, 26% grits||Fuggles||1046||1013||4.37%||71.74%||26|
|1949||91% pale malt, 9% flaked barley||Fuggles||1041||1010||4.10%||75.61%||24|
|1949 William Younger LAE|
|pale malt||7.75 lb||91.18%|
|flaked barley||0.75 lb||8.82%|
|Fuggles 90 min||0.75 oz|
|Fuggles 60 min||0.50 oz|
|Fuggles 30 min||0.50 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||155.5º F|
|Sparge at||160º F|
|Boil time||75 minutes|
|pitching temp||60.5º F|
|Yeast||WLP028 Edinburgh Ale|