Wednesday 9 January 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Maclay PA 5d

At the start of the war, Maclay brewed a very typical range of beers for a Scottish brewery: three strengths of Pale Ale and a Strong Ale. All of which were parti-gyled together in various combinations. Weakest of the bunch was PA 5d.

Scottish brewers seemed to have a thing about naming beers by price. At least those of Maclay, at least in 1939, related to something real. PA 5d really was the retail price per pint of this beer. While for Drybrough’s equivalent beer, 54/-, the price didn’t relate to anything still in effect. 54/- and 60/- – which did refer to the wholesale price of a hogshead in 1914 – were just names by the 1920s.

It terms of gravity, PA 5d looks very much like a post-war 60/-, though with a heavier rate of hopping. However, it’s still more lightly hopped than even a Mild would have been in London.

Very few of the ingredients used to brew this beer were Scottish. Only three of the ten quarters of malt used to brew it were local. The rest being made up of a combination of Californian and Australian. There are no malts other than the base, which was pretty typical in Scotland. The rest of the grist consists of flaked maize and No. 2 invert sugar.

It’s no surprise that none of the hops are Scottish. 80% are English, the rest Styrian. I’ve no idea how fresh they were, as there’s no indication of the year of harvest in the brewing record.

1939 Maclay PA 5d
pale malt 5.25 lb 77.78%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 7.41%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 14.81%
Styrian Goldings 90 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1032
FG 1010
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 68.75%
IBU 28
Mash at 149º F
After underlet 158º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

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