Wednesday 27 February 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Whitbread Double Brown

Parti-gyled with Whitbread’s draught Burton Ale, 33, Double Brown was effectively a bottled Burton.

Looking back at one of the random Whitbread archived documents, I noticed that Double Brown was one of the three beers Whitbread exported to Belgium, along with Extra Stout and Pale Ale, the latter two are still available there. I find it quite surprising that a Brown Ale was shipped to Belgium. It’s not one of the UK styles (Pale Ale, Stout and Scotch Ale) I associate with that country.

Whitbread’s Double Brown was quite different from most other Brown Ales. While many breweries just tweaked and bottled their Mild Ale, Double Brown was always its own brew. And a good bit stronger than the norm.

Whitbread did have a beer, Forest Brown, which was more typical. It’s a brand that they acquired with the Forest Hill Brewery in 1924. Not sure how it was produced before the 1950s, when it appears in Chiswell Street brewing records, as the Forest Hill Brewery was closed immediately. They were probably doing the usual trick of tinkering with their Mild.

The grist is pretty straightforward: pale and crystal malt, plus sugar. Not a huge amount to discuss there. It was only later in the war that Whitbread was forced to use unmalted adjuncts.

The hops were Worcester from the 1938 harvest, Mid-Kent from 1937, East Kent from 1937 and Sussex from 1936, the latter three all having been kept in a cold store. I’ve guessed Fuggles and Goldings.

1939 Whitbread Double Brown
pale malt 8.50 lb 76.85%
crystal malt 60 L 2.25 lb 20.34%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.25 lb 2.26%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.06 lb 0.54%
Fuggles 75 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.75 oz
OG 1054.5
FG 1018
ABV 4.83
Apparent attenuation 66.97%
IBU 39
SRM 18
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 75 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

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