Saturday, 9 June 2018

Let's Brew - 1963 Lees Strong Ale

There seems to have been quite a tradition of Strong Ales in the Manchester area. And ones that were properly strong, not just 5% ABV.

This beer from Lees is a good example. At over 7% ABV, it’s strong by pretty much anyone’s standards. So strong, that it almost certainly was exclusively a bottled. Though they did later produce Moonraker, a beer of a similar strength, on draught. So perhaps they did the same with this.

There’s nothing too exciting or odd in the grist, which is all pale malt except for a tiny dash of crystal and enzymic malt. Plus flaked maize, of course. And a whole host of different types of sugar: 1 cwt Invert, 3 cwt Nut Brown, 1 cwt HX, 1 cwt Solprima and 20 lbs C.D.M. I’ve interpreted that as a mix of No. 2 and No. 3 invert.

The hops were mostly English from the 1961 crop, though there was also a small amount of 1961 Styrians. If you want to go for full accuracy, you could drop the 90-minute Fuggles addition to 0.75 oz and add 0.25 oz of Styrian Goldings.

1963 Lees Strong Ale
pale malt 10.75 lb 71.29%
crystal malt 80 L 0.33 lb 2.19%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 1.66%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 6.63%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 6.63%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.75 lb 11.60%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
OG 1076
FG 1021
ABV 7.28
Apparent attenuation 72.37%
IBU 31
SRM 16
Mash at 147º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)


Mike Hoover said...

Is enzymic malt a high-diastatic power malt like distillers malt to aid in conversion? Or an acid malt to reduce pH?

Phil said...

Mmm, draught Moonraker. I've seen it once, in a big & recently-opened Lees house; I had a half & looked forward to repeating the experience on a fairly regular basis. Of course, the next time I went in it had gone, never to come on again - I guess shifting it on cask must be a problem.

Ron Pattinson said...

Mike Hoover,

I think it's malt with a high diastatic power.

Anonymous said...

I would like some clarification on what enzymatic malt is. Can anyone give examples that homebrewers could find?

qq said...

Interesting that strong ales are a historical thing in Manchester. It gives context for what I always thought was a bit of an oddity, Dunham Massey Gold (and Dam Strong from its sister brewery Lymm, Lymm Dam is a local hydrological feature). They only brew it 1-2 times a year and you only see it occasionally at festivals, but as a 7.2% ale that probably has a similar recipe to this without quite so much dark sugar, it makes sense as the inheritor of that tradition. I some ways it's closer to a tripel with English yeast than a trad British beer.