Friday 27 January 2017

When did Scottish Pale Ale stop being biiter?

I have wondered for a while when Scottish Pale Ales took on their current malty form. Then I realised that I had the information. I just needed to put it together.

For my new Scottish book I've assembled over 250 recipes so far. Including a load from William Younger. Which means I've calculated IBUs for their Pale Ales covering about a century. Isn't that cool?

I assembled the table for the new book. Which is coming along very nicely, thank you. I aim to have a complete first draft completed in two or three weeks. That's if I can keep my current pace. I've managed to bang out 7,000 words so far this week. Another 12,000 or so and I should be done.

Getting back to the topic, the table below makes it very obvious when all the bitterness was sucked out of Scottish beer. And what a surprise - it turns out to be WW I. With a further, smaller drop in the 1930's. Though there was also a considerable reduction between the 1850's and the 1860's.

There's one more question answered. Just another 9,488,277 to go.

William Younger Pale Ale bitterness 1851 - 1949
Year Beer OG IBU
1851 XP 1058 180
1851 XXP 1072 217
1858 Ex Pale Ale 1063 142
1868 XP 1051 73
1868 XXP 1052 73
1879 XP 1052 99
1879 2XP 1046 76
1885 XP 1054 100
1885 XP Scotch 1055 87
1898 XP Scotch 1053 80
1913 LAE 1045 78
1914 SLE 1055 83
1921 XXPS 1046 36
1933 XXP 1043 34
1933 Expt 1054 53
1933 XXPS 1049 33
1039 XXPS 1046 13
1940 XP Btlg 1033 18
1949 XXP Btlg 1031 14
1949 XXPS 1037 21
1949 XXP 1031.5 19
William Younger brewing records held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document numbers WY/6/1/2/3, WY/6/1/2/28, WY/6/1/2/31, WY/6/1/2/45, WY/6/1/2/58, WY/6/1/2/63, WY/6/1/2/70, WY/6/1/2/76 and WY/6/1/2/88.


J. Karanka said...

It's quite a sudden drop. Have you checked the IBU / OG ratio? It's ok for this kind of stuff. Drops from 1.5 to 0.6 following WWI and to a further 0.5 or so after WWII. It must have been very noticeable, specially taking in the concurrent gravity drop. Do we have any written accounts by Edwardian drinkers? They must have really have really missed a good old pint of SLE.

Anonymous said...

One of my favourite blogs did a write up on an old malting study from the 1800's I think you might like.

Might be one of the reasons for low attenuation.

and the main piece