Saturday, 23 June 2018

Let's Brew - 1952 Shepherd Neame SXX

WW II was even more difficult for Shepherd Neame than other brewers. Because they were forced to use unmalted adjuncts, something they'd eschewed beefore the war. Once the shackles were off, they resorted to their pre-war habits.

Which were to brew all-malt Pale Ales. That doesn’t leave much to discuss about the recipe. It’s just a load of pale malt and a touch of malt extract. I assume that the latter was for extra enzymes in the mash tun. Though why you would need that in a beer without unmalted grains I’m not sure.

Shepherd Neame brewed an impressive range of Pale Ale, in ascending order: LDA (1030º), BB (1030º), BA (1035º), PA (1037º) and SXX (1041º). SXX was their Best or Special Bitter.

I find it strange that a brewery bang in the middle of England’s main hop growing area should use so many old hops. In this case around 85% of the hops were from the 1949 crop. Though, as they were all from its own hop garden, that might explain why. Were they just using up hops that they’d been saving for a rainy day?

Talking of hops, none of Shepherd Neame's Pale Ales were very heavily hopped. Again, not what you'd expect from a brewery in hop country.

1952 Shepherd Neame SXX
pale malt 9.25 lb 97.37%
malt extract 0.25 lb 2.63%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1041
FG 1008
ABV 4.37
Apparent attenuation 80.49%
IBU 26
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale


Jeff Renner said...

I wonder if the small amounts of malt extract in recipes like this were not enzymatic, unless that was specified, but rather something like brewing sugar. That is, highly boiled or otherwise manipulated to flavors that wouldn’t be produced by simply boiling pale malt wort.

Mike in NSW said...

I can't for the life of me remember where I read it, but it was recently as I've been doing a few heritage brews such as Boddingtons and Duttons that use small additions of extract; but I seem to recall that "enzymatic" malt extract was used to somehow adjust mash pH?

Ron Pattinson said...


found some records recently that definitely state that the malt extract was added to the mash tun. Brewing sugars were always added to the copper. I'm sure it's all about enzymes in the mash tun. Compensating for the lack of highly diastatic malt from US barley.

Or so they thought. Load of bollocks, really. But so many breweries bought into it. Reallly weird and irrational.

Edd The Brew said...

Hi Mike,
I tend to substitute Weyermann Acidulated Malt for Enzymatic/Dixon's Patent Malt,