Wednesday 18 September 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1944 Whitbread XX

Two tie-ins with this recipe. For starters, it's an example of the Whitbread wartime Milds I discussed recently. Secondly, it was brewed just about exactly 75 years ago, in September 1944.

Whitbread’s X Ale started the war on the weak side for a standard London Mild. Obviously after a few years of war, it wasn’t going to have got any stronger.

Though the gravity of, what by then, was called XX Ale stabilised from 1942 onwards at just a shade under 1030º. I wish I had more analyses of the finished beer as I suspect that it was primed at racking time. One stray analysis I have from 1945 has an OG that is about 1.5º higher than the gravity shown in a brewing record from the same month.

Whitbread didn’t go in much for complicated recipes and this iteration of XX Ale is no exception. The grist consists of just three elements: mild malt, crystal malt and flaked barley. The latter being a government imposition on all breweries.

In addition there are two types of sugar: No. 3 invert and something simply described as “Hay”. From what I’ve seen in other Whitbread records, I’m guessing that this means Hay’s M, which was a type of proprietary caramel.

There were four types of hops used. Whitbread from the 1944 harvest, Kent from 1943, Worcester from 1943 and Oregon from 1942. Though the quantities of Whitbread and Oregon hops were pretty small: 57 and 86 lbs, respectively, out of a total of 570 lbs.

1944 Whitbread XX
mild malt 4.50 lb 70.64%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 7.85%
flaked barley 1.00 lb 15.70%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.25 lb 3.92%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.12 lb 1.88%
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Cluster 60 mins 0.125 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1028.5
FG 1007
ABV 2.84
Apparent attenuation 75.44%
IBU 18
SRM 14
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 60 minutes
pitching temp 65º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

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