Saturday, 15 October 2016

Let's Brew - 1947 Shepherd Neame LDA

Now I’ve started I may as well finish the full set of low-gravity Shepherd Neame Pale Ales. And this is the weakest of the set.

In fact, it has the lowest gravity you’ll ever see in post-WW I beers. No-one brewed a beer below 1027º because however low the gravity was, the minimum beer duty was set at 1027º. It made no sense to make a weaker beer as you’d be paying the tax for a 1027º beer anyway. It the late 1940’s you see quite a few beers at this minimum level. Shepherd Neame had three: this, Mild and Stout.

LDA was always parti-gyled with something else. In this case BB, the one step up Pale Ale. Interestingly, this recipe is different from the single-gyle brew of BB in that it contains No. 3 invert sugar. And quite a bit of it: 20% of the grist. Which means the BB from this brew must have been darker in colour.

Or did it? Just had a closer look at the brewing record. It clearly shows that all the No. 3 was in the second copper with the weaker wort. And the BB only had 6 barrels (of 121 in total) from the second wort. Meaning the No. 3 was really only in the LDA. Ah, the joys of parti-gyling.

For some reason LDA is always written in red in the brewing books. Why is that? At first I thought it may have been because it was a bottled beer. But surely the Stout was only bottled, too. And that isn’t written in red ink. Bit of a mystery, that one. Red ink usually indicates something unusual, something that changed in that brew or something that went wrong.

There can’t have been a huge amount of drunkenness in the late 1940’s, judging by the strength of most beers. I doubt anyone over the age of 8 could get pissed on this one.

Almost forgot to tell you what style this is. It’s a Light Ale. LDA usually stands for “Light Dinner Ale” which around this time was shortened to just Light Ale.

1947 Shepherd Neame LDA
pale malt 3.75 lb 67.57%
flaked barley 1.00 lb 18.02%
no. 3 sugar 0.75 lb 13.51%
malt extract 0.05 lb 0.90%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1027.1
FG 1007.2
ABV 2.63
Apparent attenuation 73.43%
IBU 15
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62.75º F
Yeast a Southern English Ale yeast

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