Saturday 21 January 2017

Let's Brew - 1959 Ushers (Trowbridge) IPA

This is really odd. I’d just started putting together a recipe for this beer when I realised that I’d already written one. A plunge into the murky waters of my blog archive failed to find an associated post.

I never published it. At least I can’t find it. Do you think I can remember every post I’ve written? There are more than 4,500 of the things. It’s only natural that a few should have slipped through the grate of my memory like ashes. I do wonder why it didn’t make the blog before. Probably just me being distracted by a new shiny thing.

Did I mention that I’d created my own new style? English Watery IPA I’ve called it. I needed a new definition because the standard BJCP definition of English IPA doesn’t really fit any IPA brewed in the UK before 1996. Unfortunately, Usher’s IPA doesn’t fit either mine of the BJCP’s definition of an English IPA.

What it looks most like to me is a classic post-war Best Bitter. But who really cares? IPA has been used to describe beers of very different characters in the past. So much so that the term is essentially meaningless, unless limited to beers like Worthington White Shield and Bass Red Triangle. Beers which retained some similarity to the IPAs from before WW I.

Returning to Usher’s IPA, the grist is simplicity itself, consisting of just one type of malt, sugar and malt extract. Not sure exactly what type of invert sugar was used, as the log isn’t specific. No. 2 is just my guess, but it could just have easily been No. 2 invert. Use whichever suits you best.

The caramel is there for colour adjustment. Without any crystal to darken it, the finished beer would have been pretty pale otherwise. Not sure what the point of the malt extract is. Probably for the enzymes. Though that does seem odd in a beer with no unmalted adjuncts in the mash.

Not sure what purpose the ginger serves. It’s a tiny amount, about a fifth of a gram for the 6 US gallons, 5 UK gallons that’s the batch size of the recipe below.

The hop varieties are again guesses. All I know is that the copper hops were from Kent and the dry hops from East Kent. Bramling Cross or Northern Brewer would be just as appropriate. But do please stick with English hops.

1959 Usher (Trowbridge) IPA
pale malt 9.25 lb 91.29%
No. 2 invert 0.75 lb 7.40%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.23%
caramel 0.01 lb 0.08%
ginger pinch
Fuggles 75 min 2.00 oz
Goldings 30 min 2.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1044
FG 1013
ABV 4.10
Apparent attenuation 70.45%
IBU 53
SRM 13
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 75 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity


J. Karanka said...

It does have a decent IBU kick compared to most "watery IPA" examples. In that sense it does look like a scaled back Edwardian IPA.

StuartP said...

Looks like a solid beer.
I might even brew it.
Why the super-high gravity yeast?

Ron Pattinson said...


because that's the Eldridge Pope yeast. A brewery from the same region.

Skyvalley said...

I notice the ratio of Bitterness to OG is pretty high here. I have this one in the fermentor at the moment.

Unknown said...

Hi Ron. Can I ask where you got the recipe from? Ushers was the brewery in the neighbouring town to the one I grew up in and am keen to find more information and recipes.

Ron Pattinson said...

Mark Shergold,

I didn't collect them myself. I was given some photos. The original record is in the Wiltshire Archives at Chippenham.

If you visit and take some photos, I'll be happy to help interpret them.

Mark Shergold said...

Thanks Ron