Thursday, 7 September 2017

William Younger beers in 1958

For the first time in several years, I visited the Scottish Brewing Archive a couple of months ago. One of the things I was keen on harvesting were more brewing records from William Younger’s Holyrood Brewery.

On earlier visits I’d concentrated on the Abbey Brewery, which was the older of their two breweries on the Royal Mile. But, especially in the 19th century, this produced a distorted image as most of the Pale Ales were brewed in the Holyrood Brewery. I also continued on after the Abbey Brewery had closed. Which is where this set come in.

As always, Younger has an unusually long list of beers. And, unlike as at most breweries in Scotland, they weren’t all just parti-gyles of a single Pale Ale recipe. Younger is notable for never parti-gyling in the 20th century.

They had a range of seven Pale Ales at four different gravities. I can guess what you’re going to ask: what’s the difference between them all? That’s easy to answer with the bottling versions (ones with “Btg” suffixing the name). They weren’t dry-hopped as the draught versions were.

William Younger beers in 1958
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl Pitch temp max. fermen-tation temp
XP Btg Pale Ale 1031 1006 3.31 80.65% 5.62 0.67 61º F 70.5º F
XXP Pale Ale 1033 1010 3.04 69.70% 4.04 0.49 62.5º F 67.5º F
XXPQ Pale Ale 1033 1012 2.78 63.64% 3.53 0.46 60º F 68º F
XXPS Pale Ale 1038 1011 3.57 71.05% 4.36 0.61 62º F 71º F
XXPS Btg Pale Ale 1038 1008 3.97 78.95% 4.34 0.60 62º F 70º F
XXPSL Pale Ale 1038 1012 3.44 68.42% 3.84 0.63 64º F 72º F
EXT Pale Ale 1046 1009.5 4.83 79.35% 4.39 0.77 60º F 73.5º F
3L Strong Ale 1044 1014 3.97 68.18% 4.36 0.70 61º F 69.5º F
3N Strong Ale 1045 1013 4.23 71.11% 4.36 0.73 61º F 62º F
3 Btg Strong Ale 1047 1013 4.50 72.34% 3.61 0.67 61º F 68.5º F
DCA Strong Ale 1057 1014 5.69 75.44% 4.07 0.88 59º F 71º F
1BW Strong Ale 1089 1027.5 8.14 69.10% 4.29 1.53 57.5º F 70.5º F
200/- BW Strong Ale 1100 1025 9.92 75.00% 5.57 2.29 57.5º F 75.5º F
XXX Mild 1033 1012 2.78 63.64% 4.17 0.53 63.5º F 68.5º F
BA Brown Ale 1031 1005 3.44 83.87% 4.17 0.48 62º F 68º F
EBA Brown Ale 1047 1012 4.63 74.47% 4.14 0.75 59.5º F 69º F
SS Stout 1034 1011 3.04 67.65% 2.38 0.30 63º F 68º F
William Younger brewing record  held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/3/134.

With XXP and XXPQ, it’s the colour. In addition to colouring beers up to different shades using caramel, Younger also brewed some beers to different colours. It’s all very confusing and not particularly obvious from the brewing records. Especially as there’s no mention of colour in them.

Luckily, I’ve phots of a document that lists the different colours for Younger’s Pale Ales. It’s from 1960, so almost exactly the same period as the beers:

Younger (Holyrood) colours in 1960
XXPS (old trade name P. 70/-) XXP, XXPQ, XXPV. (old trade name P. 60/-)
Brewery shade Tint. Brewery shade Tint.
C 21 C 21
* P 25 * P 25
* J 36 * J 36
Q 47
V 77
Colours are as brewed except when indicated by *

As you can see, XXPQ was a good bit darker than the standard XXP.  I haven’t yet found any examples of XXPV in the logs. That was brewed to the colour of Dark Mild. I can’t really see the point of the P shade. No customer would have noticed the difference between that and C shade.

There are a surprisingly large number of Strong Ales, five in all. Though three are variations on No. 3. My guess would be that the difference between 3L and 3N was the colour. Unfortunately, I have no documentation to confirm that.

DCA is Double Century Ale, a bottled beer introduced to celebrate Younger’s double centenary in 1947. Except 1747 isn’t really the year William Younger started brewing. In fact it’s almost certain William Younger never brewed at all.

Note that Younger have added the suffix “BW” to No. 1 and 200/-. I assume that stands for Barley Wine. I’m very surprised to see 200/-. No-one else brewed strong Shilling Ales after WW I. It’s probably a beer brewed for export. Most likely, for the Belgian market. There were only a couple of beers as strong as 10% ABV being sold in the UK in the 1950’s.

It’s interesting to see that Younger still brewed a genuine Mild ale and had two Brown Ales. The former is most likely because they sold quite a lot of beer in England, where Mild was still a standard beer. The stronger Brown Ale is probably for the Northeast of England, where they did a lot of trade, to compete with Newcastle Brown.

I was very disappointed to see that DBS, one of their oldest beers, has disappeared and been replaced by SS, presumably standing for “Sweet Stout”. It’s a funny beer, that doesn’t even contain any dark malt. But we’ll be going into that in more detail next time, when we look at the grists.

1 comment:

Tandleman said...

When I worked in a pub in the mid to late 1970s, we sold Double Cenury in bottle.