Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1959 Adnams LBA

This is an odd beer. It’s sort of the reverse of what most breweries did in the mid-1950’s.

When restrictions were removed on the strength of beer in the early 1950’s, many breweries took the opportunity to introduce a new, stronger Bitter. Something closer in strength to pre-war beers. Young’s Special is a good example. It was a way of offering drinkers a stronger beer but without generally raising the gravity of their standard beers.

Adnams did the exact opposite. In 1956 they introduced a weaker Bitter. Which is very odd as their existing Bitter wasn’t all that strong. Even before WW II it was only 1039º compared to 1048-1050º in London. That just seems to make less reasonable to start brewing a weaker beer. But that’s exactly what they did.

At just 1031º, it looks very much like a West Country Boy’s Bitter. These were Bitters with a gravity similar to Ordinary Mild and when Mild went into serious decline, they often took its place. Maybe that’s why this beer existed, too. Something cheap and cheerful for drinkers who didn’t want to sup Mild.

It’s another very simple recipe, consisting of just pale malt and sugar. And I’ve made it even simpler. The original contained three sugars: No. 1 invert, Hydrol and a tiny amount (7 lbs) of something called sucramel. I’ve just upped the No. 1 invert amount. The original also contained a small amount of enzymatic malt.

It looks like a nice light, easy-drinking Bitter. The stuff you’re meant to drink by the gallon.

1959 Adnams LBA
pale malt 5.50 lb 84.62%
no. 1 sugar 1.00 lb 15.38%
Fuggles 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1031
FG 1009.4
ABV 2.86
Apparent attenuation 69.68%
IBU 33
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 180º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold

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