Wednesday 29 July 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1922 Wadworth XXXX

This is another one where I’m not 100% sure what it was. I have it marked down as a Mild Ale in my spreadsheet. Except 1056º is too strong for a 1922 Mild. Especially one brewed out in the sticks.

Wadworth had four Mild Ales in 1922: XX 1029.6º, XXX 1033º and XXXX 1040.7º

But this wasn’t a standard brew of XXXX. It’s usual OG was 1040.7º, this batch is much stronger. Why on earth suddenly brew a much higher OG version? In the comments section is says “Stk Sep 10”. Not sure at all what that means.

At this strength, XXXX looks very much like a Southern Old Ale. Which is basically just a stronger Mild Ale.

Base malt, maize and sugar. So many 20th-century British beers are made up of those three elements. The type of invest is a guess. I could be wrong. The hop variety is a guess, too. As are the mashing temperatures. The information I have is very basic. Not much more than a list of ingredients.

1922 Wadworth XXXX
pale malt 9.00 lb 76.14%
flaked maize 1.25 lb 10.58%
glucose 0.75 lb 6.35%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 6.35%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.07 lb 0.59%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1056
FG 1020
ABV 4.76
Apparent attenuation 64.29%
IBU 25
SRM 12.5
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley ale


Mike in NSW said...

Wadworth 6x was released in 1923. Perhaps this was a try-out for the new beer?

Ron Pattinson said...

Mike in NSW,

I doubt it. Especially as it was parti-gyled with XX Mild.

Michael Foster said...

Is 4.8% ABV still a mild? Just what exactly is a mild?

TJ said...

“stk sep 10” - “stk” sounds like “stock” used for mixing. “sep 10” though..! it’s not a date is it? The recipe is not from 20/9 is it? Perhaps I'm insulting your intelligence. I’ll go back to my beer.

Ron Pattinson said...


I wondered about that. But, as the beer was brewed on 9th January, September 10th seems too long after that. Unless it's when the beer came out of stock.

Ron Pattinson said...

Michael Foster,

just a decade earlier, before WW I, most London Mild was stronger than 4.8% ABV. Go back to the 1830s, and X Ame, the weakest Mild, was over 7% ABV and the strongest over 10%.

Mild has nothing to do with strength of bitterness levels. It's just an Ale that's sold young. It didn't even start becoming dark until the 1880s or 1890s.

Michael Foster said...

Fascinating--thanks for the reply! I absolutely love the blog, btw. Please don't stop writing.

Rob Sterowski said...

"Stk"? Stronger version? Obviously this was a Sticke Mild, a previously unknown hybrid style.

PeeBee said...

I'm a bit late with this comment!

Is the first comment here so unlikely? Looking at this by Brian Yorston (Wadworth, Brewlab, etc., etc.): ...

The bit about their existing two Wadworth XXXXs, a stronger (the one being discussed here) and weaker version. (The PDF doesn't replicate the brewery record photos too well).

A premium English "Bitter" (6X that is) morphing from an Edwardian Mild Ale? That should raise a few hackles. But I can't begin to guess where “stk sep 10” might fit into it.