Sunday 3 March 2019

Let's Brew 1941 Fullers PA (Special)

Following on from yesterday's post about odd over-strength versions of Fuller PA, here's a recipe for one of them. A tiny parti-gyle of PA that was way stronger than the normal version of the beer. You have to go back to the 1890s, when it was still called IPA, to find a version as strong as this.

Which begs the question: who was it brewed for? It seems to be a one-off and there were only 9.75 barrels of it, in a total parti-gyle of over 500 barrels. Was it brewed for a special event? For a specific customer? Who knows? It is intriguing.

It is about when Fullers dropped all their pre-war Pale Ales – PA, XK and AK – and replaced them with a new low-gravity beer called PA No. 2. Perhaps this was brewed to mourn the passing of full-strength Pale Ale.

There are some other odd features to this brew. Like the lack of any adjunct – it’s just malt and sugar. Which definitely how Fullers brewed. Their beers always contained some sort of adjunct. Pre-war it was flaked maize, during the war mostly flaked barley. The modest amount of sugar employed means that the grist is over 95% malt. Very odd in a wartime beer.

The hops were, of course, all English, most from the 1940 harvest, but also with 20% from 1938. 1940 English hops are a bit of a rarity, a third of the crop having been destroyed in a single air raid in September of that year.

1941 Fullers PA (Special)
pale malt 12.25 lb 96.88%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.25 lb 1.98%
glucose 0.125 lb 0.99%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.02 lb 0.16%
Fuggles 90 min 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.75 oz
OG 1056.5
FG 1017.5
ABV 5.16
Apparent attenuation 69.03%
IBU 36
Mash at 147º F
After underlet 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale


Thom Farrell said...

Maybe it was a stronger brew designed for the directors and senior staff; similar to the origins of Courage Directors.

Rob Sterowski said...

A third of the crop destroyed? Presumably already harvested and in storage in Southwark somewhere?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, they had very unwisely stored a large percentage of the crop in warehouses in Southwark.

Ron Pattinson said...

Thom Farrell,

that would be one of my guesses.