Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1956 Tennant's Rock Ale

Tennant’s Mild had the rather odd name of Rock Ale. There was a simple explanation, according to Frank Priestley:

"Tennant's produced four draught been and five bottled beers. The draught beers were: Bitter Beer (BB), Best Bitter Beer (BBB), Rock Ale, which was a dark, mild ale and Queen's Ale. Rock Ale probably originated at the Nottingham Brewery (see later). The Nottingham cellars had been excavated out of the solid rock on which the old town stood. Beers stored in the cellars were known as Rock Ales."
"The Brewer's Tale" by Frank Priestley, 2010, page 11.

The beer itself is a pretty typical post-war Dark Mild. Not all that dark, with the colour all deriving from sugar. The high degree of attenuation must have left it tasting quite dry.

It’s another simple grist, with just base pale malt and a dash of enzymic malt. Plus loads of sugar of various types. The No. 3 is my substitution for SBS and CWA. I’ve no idea how accurate that is.

The hops are all classic English varieties: Kent Fuggles (1954), Worcester Fuggles (1953 and 1954 CS), Worcester Goldings (1955 CS) copper hops, plus Kent Goldings (1955) dry hops.

The original mashing scheme started at 143º F, then raised to 148º F, presumably by an underlet, and held there for two hours.


1956 Tennant's Rock Ale
pale malt 5.50 lb 76.44%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 3.47%
malt extract 0.07 lb 0.97%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.125 lb 1.74%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.00 lb 13.90%
caramel 500 SRM 0.25 lb 3.47%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 40 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 40 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1033
FG 1006
ABV 3.57
Apparent attenuation 81.82%
IBU 15
SRM 16
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

3 comments:

Jack Frost said...

Many of your readers will not know about the connection between Nottingham and Rock,
The central part of the City sits on a sandstone eminence which can be clearly seen near the Castle which lies at the top.The rock is sandstone and easily tunneled yet remains stable. So underneath Nottingham are miles of artificial caves.Nobody has a clue how many or there they all are.
These caves are ideal for beer cellaring (and indeed for living in) because the temperatures are steady all year, and are dry.
In fact the tunnels are so extensive that the pubs on the Mansfield Road had beer delivered directly underground as all the cellars were linked along an underground roadway.
Many pubs have brick or stone facades yet the drinking areas are in artificial caves.The best known is the Trip to Jerusalem but the Hand on Heart on Derby Road is quite spectacular.

John said...

Ahhh, the Hand on Heart - the pool table at the back was so sandy it was like playing on a beach! Is it still a pub?

Jack Frost said...

John, very much so. Try Google and see what it is like these days.