Monday, 15 July 2019

London Brown Ale during WW II

Yes, I am still working on my new book. After lots of interruptions due to travelling like a crazy thing. Hopefully, I'll have the bastard done by next year.

By 1944, most London Brown Ales were lucky to hit even 3% ABV. Looking at the beers in the table below, most look like bottled Ordinary Mild. Many gravities clearly just fell along with the general fall in gravity. 

To put the gravities into context, in 1939 average OG was 1040.93 and in 1944 1034.63. That's not really so bad a drop, when you think about what happened in WW I. Though if you compare this set to the pre-WW II one, you’ll see that most examples have moved down a class. From a Best Mild type gravity in the low 1040ºs, to an Ordinary Mild type strength of around 1030º.

All are reasonably dark. On this colour scale, a typical post-WW II Dark Mild would be 8-100. But in this period, Mild was often pale than that. Darker than Bitter, but not truly dark. In the 40-60 range on this scale.

The attenuation is a bit on the low side. Quite possibly the result of primings added before bottling. As, unlike with cask Mild, which would undergo a secondary fermentation, Brown Ale was a brewery-conditioned beer. Before bottling, it was chilled and filtered to prevent a secondary fermentation.

London Brown Ale during WW II
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1940 Barclay Perkins Doctor Brown Ale 1036.8 1010 3.47 72.82% 70
1944 Barclay Perkins Doctor Brown Ale 1034 1010.9 2.99 67.94% 105
1944 Beasley Dark Brown Ale 1033.1 1012.4 2.67 62.54% 85
1944 Charrington Brown Ale 1029.2 1011.6 2.27 60.27% 95
1944 Hammerton Nut Brown Ale 1028.7 1006.8 2.84 76.31% 68
1942 Mann Brown Ale 1035.6 1009.4 3.40 73.60% 77
1941 Watney Brown Ale 1034.3 1009.9 3.16 71.14% 87
1944 Watney Brown Ale 1031.6 1010.4 2.74 67.09% 80
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/623.

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