Wednesday 2 October 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 William Younger No. 3

Another survivor from Younger’s original 19th-century set of numbered Strong Ales was No. 3. A beer of which they brewed a surprisingly large amount.

I say surprising, because, while plenty of stronger than average beers existed, they were rarely brewed in the quantities that No. 3 was. For example, in 1939, Whitbread brewed just 17,073 barrels of their Burton Ale, "33" out of a total production of 590,695 barrels. Amounted to a mere 3.7% of their production. 

While at Younger’s Abbey Brewery, No. 3 was getting on for 20% of output. Admittedly, Younger did also have their Holyrood Brewery, but No. 3 was also brewed there. Extrapolating from the total amount of beer Younger brewed in the 1939-1940 brewing season, I reckon they brewed around 33,000 barrels of No. 3 just in the Abbey Brewery.

No. 3 was available in both draught and bottled form. At this point they were the same beer, but in the summer of 1940 it was split into bottling and draught versions, at 1051º and 1048º, respectively.

In their London pubs, No. 3 took the place of Burton Ale. And it did share many of the general characteristics of that style, being around 5% ABV and dark brown in colour.  Looking at the list of ingredients in the brewing record, that might seem baffling. But I remember No.3 as a dark beer. And an analysis in the trusty Whitbread Gravity book confirms that it was, indeed, dark brown. I’m guessing that it was coloured with caramel at racking time.

I’ve taken the FG from the same 1939 analysis. In the brewing record, it’s listed as 1017º, but that was the cleansing gravity, not the real final gravity.

There’s not much to the grist, which is just pale malt and grits. Though there were four different types of pale malt, made from Californian, English, Scottish and “Mariot” barley. The hops were all from Kent from the 1937 and 1938 harvests.

1939 William Younger No. 3
pale malt 10.25 lb 82.83%
grits 2.00 lb 16.16%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.125 lb 1.01%
Fuggles 105 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1053
FG 1011
ABV 5.56
Apparent attenuation 79.25%
IBU 11
SRM 22
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Jeff Renner said...

Only 11 IBU! That’s just at or below the threshold of perception.

Anonymous said...

What is cleansing gravity? Is that gravity before the last sediment settles, or is it before a final amount of fermentation occurs?