Wednesday 3 April 2019

Let's brew Wednesday - 1880 Truman 40/- Ale

As time is ticking down towards May, it’s time for another Mild recipe. Though it isn’t Mild as you know it.

Of all the UK beers styles, it’s Mild that has undergone the biggest transformations over the last 200 years. A Georgian drinker wouldn’t recognise a modern iteration of the style: it’s just changed too much.

Early 19th-century Milds, even the weakest ones, were powerful beers, clocking in at over 6% ABV. And were often hopped at what to modern eyes looks like an insane level. The term Mild, despite what many today might believe, had nothing to do with strength of the level of hopping. It merely indicated that it was a beer sold young, usually no more than a couple of weeks after brewing.

In the final decades of the 19th century, the big London brewers had mostly trimmed down their range to a single Mild, known as X Ale. These had an OG of around 1060º. Truman, however, had retained a slightly stronger, one, too. Originally it fitted in between X Ale and XX Ale, but when XX was dropped in the 1870s, it became Truman’s strongest Mild.

The name refers to the wholesale price. In a system similar to that used in Scotland. Except in this case it referred to the price of a 36-gallon barrel, not a 54-gallon hogshead, as in Scotland.

The recipe is typically simple, just base malt and sugar. Rather a lot of sugar, in this case. Which doubles helped it a achieve a healthy degree of attenuation. The high percentage of foreign hops was very common at this point. In this case Cluster from the US and Belgian hops from Poperinge.

1880 Truman 40/- Ale
mild malt 9.25 lb 71.84%
cane sugar 3.625 lb 28.16%
Cluster 90 mins 3.25 oz
Poperinge 90 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 4.00 oz
OG 1068.7
FG 1015.5
ABV 7.04
Apparent attenuation 77.44%
IBU 116
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This is one of the dozens of recipes in my book Mild! plus. Which is avaiable in both paperback:

and hardback formats:


Chris Pickles said...

Would 'cane sugar' here be white sugar or brown?

Boguś said...

Regarding sugar, cane especially, I have just brewed our 6th Burton Ale, called, as a matter of fact-sooner or late-Brexit Burton Ale, 22blg, 8,7vol, 40 IBU, hefty hoppiness, sublime sweetness, Perle hops galore, addition of craft honey more than necessary. Fermented with tokaji yeast for better honey experience.

Rule Britannia!

Humble greetings from Poland

Ron Pattinson said...

Chris Pickles,

I think brown, but I'm not 100% certain. The term "cane sugar" is ambiguous. Sometimes it's used to mean sugar derived from sugar cane, others to mean pure sucrose.

Unknown said...

Surely cane sugar merely differentiates it from beet sugar?