Wednesday 29 May 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1950 Whitbread Best Ale

The rather inappropriately-named Whitbread Best Ale was introduced in the Autumn of 1949. Unbelievably, despite only having a gravity of 1029.1º, it really was a Best Mild, as their existing beer, XX, was a mere 1026.3º.

The two only seem to have very briefly been brewed in parallel. By 1950 XX was gone, and Best Ale was left to fly the Mild flag alone.

The main difference between Best Ale and Whitbread's pre-war Mild (apart from the lower gravity) was the amount of crystal malt. In 1939 X Ale, over 13% of the grist was crystal malt. In 1950, it was just about half that. As is typical for mass-produced Milds of the period, the colour comes from dark No.3 invert sugar and caramel.

The grist retains the typical Whitbread simplicity: mild and crystal malt, plus No.3 invert and caramel. There were, however, two types of mild malt and two of crystal malt.

The hops were English: Mid-Kent from the 1948 and 1950 harvests, plus Essex hops from 1949.

1950 Whitbread Best Ale
mild malt 6.00 lb 87.27%
crystal malt 0.50 lb 7.27%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.25 lb 3.64%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.125 lb 1.82%
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1031
FG 1009
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 70.97%
IBU 18
SRM 21
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 60 minutes
pitching temp 65º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

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

and hardback formats:

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