Wednesday 12 June 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1944 Lees Bitter

Another beer from 1944 to bring back that D-Day feeling.

Five years of war have taken their toll on Lees Bitter. Mostly in the form pf a 9-point drop in OG.

There have been some changes to the grist. Most notably in the form of flaked barley. This wasn’t a voluntary change. Brewers were compelled by the government to use flaked barley in the later war years. It replaces a small amount of the pale malt, but almost all of the glucose. The proportion of invert sugar and black malt is much the same as in 1939.

The hops remain all English, but come from two different harvests: 1942 and 1943. Though the bulk – a little over 90% - were from the earlier year. I’ve no idea what variety they were.

The materials – malt, sugar and hops – for this brew cost £170 18s 8d. Which for 118 barrels, works out to a little under £1.50 a barrel. In a pub today, you’d be lucky to get a half pint for that amount.

Lees Bitter remained at this strength for the remainder of the 1940s, before being increased in 1950 to 1041º. Happy days.

1944 Lees Bitter
pale malt 6.75 lb 78.90%
black malt 0.01 lb 0.12%
flaked barley 1.00 lb 11.69%
glucose 0.125 lb 1.46%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.67 lb 7.83%
Fuggles 105 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1038
FG 1008
ABV 3.97
Apparent attenuation 78.95%
IBU 20
Mash at 149º F
After underlet 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)


Tandleman said...

Nice one. Paul Wood, brewer at Lees, reckons the Boddies yeast is super attenuating. so presumably might over dry the beer? (My take).

Looking elsewhere you are likely to get over 80% from such a yeast.

qq said...

Boddies yeast changed some time around WWII, it went from a normal-ish attenuation (70-75%) before to anything up to 90% after.