Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1941 Whitbread Strong IPA

The takes were upped again in early 1941, when Whitbread brewed another couple of souped-up IPAs. This time even stronger than the last. Just about exactly double that of standard IPA.

As in 1940, there’s a reference to liquoring back in the log. I assume to the standard strength, as the hopping rate after watering down matches. What sort of effect would adding about the same volume of water have on a beer? Not a good one, I would have thought.

I haven’t noticed any other beer being treated this way? Why pick on IPA? I suspect because it was weak, cheap and an exclusively bottled beer. It would have gone into a conditioning tank where it would have been easy to dilute it. Though I suppose beer isn’t racked into casks direct from the fermenter, either.

Unlike in 1940, the recipe is the same as the standard beer. Which only confuses me more. Surely, you’d want to compensate for all that water?

The hops were again a right mix: Mid-Kent from the 1937 harvest (cold stored), East Kent from 1938 (cold stored) and 1940, plus Worcester from 1939.

Unless everything I thought I knew about brewers is wrong, I’m sure this would have been sampled before watering. Just for quality control purposes, obviously.

Even if no-one ever got to drink this IPA as brewed, I still think it’s worth inclusion for its novelty. And an example of how, perhaps, a UK brewer might have gone about brewing a strong IPA in the 1940s.

1941 Whitbread Strong IPA
pale malt 13.75 lb 88.71%
crystal malt 60 L 1.00 lb 6.45%
No. 1 invert sugar 0.75 lb 4.84%
Fuggles 90 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1068.5
FG 1019
ABV 6.55
Apparent attenuation 72.26%
IBU 52
SRM 10
Mash at 147º F
After underlet 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 64º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

1 comment:

qq said...

Life was tough in 1941 - I wonder if these were trials to see if they could reduce their energy consumption by not heating up so much water?

Whilst we're on the topic of random strong stuff, I recently came across a strong ale that Boddies brewed for their bicentenary in 1978 - any sign of that in their records? Was it a modern-day CC or what?