Russell’s was a decent-sized regional brewery based in Gravesend, Kent. It was purchased by the Russell family in 1856, became a limited company in 1893. When Truman bought the company in 1930, Russell owned 223 tied houses.
4d Ale, as a type, is a hangover from WW I. A low-gravity Mild Ale in the weakest price-controlled gravity band. In London it was only brewed in small quantities, out it the sticks, it was more popular. Presumably amongst the price-conscious dinkers.
I keep banging on about how simple old recipes were. And how Dark Mild didn’t contain any dark malts. But here’s an old beer that contradicts both those assertions.
With three different malts – four if you count the English and Californian pale malts as different – the bill is quite varied. Three types of sugar, glucose, invert and Tintose, complete the picture. These appear as glucose, No. 3 invert and caramel in the recipe below.
The hops were English from the 1926, 1927 and 1928 harvests, Poperinge from 1928, Oregon from 1927 and samples. The cheapskates. The first time I encountered generic “samples” was in a wartime record and I assumed it was an example of making do. Since I’ve spotted them in records from unstressed times, as here.
|1929 Russell 4d Ale|
|pale malt||5.00 lb||76.34%|
|crystal malt 60 L||0.25 lb||3.82%|
|black malt||0.125 lb||1.91%|
|flaked maize||0.75 lb||11.45%|
|No. 3 invert sugar||0.125 lb||1.91%|
|caramel 2000 SRM||0.05 lb||0.76%|
|Cluster 90 mins||0.25 oz|
|Strisselspalt 90 mins||0.25 oz|
|Fuggles 60 mins||0.50 oz|
|Fuggles 30 mins||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||144º F|
|After underlet||146º F|
|Sparge at||167º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||62º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale|
I'm totally aware that the label is for a totally different brewery.
This is one of the dozens of recipes in my book Mild! plus. Which is avaiable in both paperback:
and hardback formats: