Saturday 22 July 2023

Let's Brew - 1959 Watney Dairy Maid Sweet Stout

A bit of an odd one, this. It’s a Watney beer, but it wasn’t brewed in London. This is a beer that was brewed there, but I have none of those brewing records. Luckily for me, Usher in Trowbridge also brewed some Watney beers. And I have some of their records.

A typical watery postwar Stout, you might say. But, being a Watney beer, it wasn’t as simple as that. 680 barrels were brewed. But then another 108 barrels of various shit were added at raking time. Bottoms, returned beer – all the crap brewers were so keen on not wasting.

In addition, there were also 2.25 gallons per barrel of candy sugar added. The net result being a rise in the effective OG by 3.6º to 1034.º. I’ve added a half pound of candy to account for this.

The base recipe looks normal enough. There’s a mild malt base with black malt for colour. The sugar is split between granules, which I assume is just plain white sugar and CDM (Caramelised Dextro-Maltose). For the latter, I’ve substituted mostly No. 3 invert, along with a little caramel.

Odd is what’s missing: lactose. The names “Dairy Maid” and “Sweet Stout” imply its presence. But I’m pretty sure it contained none, as it’s not mentioned the Whitbread Gravity Book analyses. Which usually made a point of doing so.

Weirdest ingredient is ginger, 26 oz of which were added to the 680 barrels. Which for this size of batch works out to bugger all.

A fairly typical underlet mash process was employed.

action barrels strike heat tap heat
mash 85 154º F 146º F
underlet 10 154º F 149º F
sparge 1   170º F 152º F
sparge 2   160º F 156º F

A single type of East Kent hops from the 1958 harvest was used. 

1959 Watney Dairy Maid Sweet Stout
mild malt 5.00 lb 67.80%
black malt 0.67 lb 9.08%
flaked maize 0.25 lb 3.39%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.50 lb 6.78%
cane sugar 0.33 lb 4.47%
candy sugar 0.50 lb 6.78%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.125 lb 1.69%
ginger pinch  
Goldings 45 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 15 mins 0.50 oz
OG 1034
FG 1012
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 64.71%
IBU 14
SRM 33
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 45 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP023 Burton Ale


Rob Sterowski said...

I only assume that beers contain lactose if they’re actually labelled Milk Stout. Once brewers realised they could recycle ullage into Sweet Stout, they needed to pasteurise the beer to avoid contamination, and if you’re doing that there is no reason you can’t just sweeten the beer with sucrose.

Anonymous said...

Milk stout can not be used in the UK it can across the water in Ireland, as O Brother brewing call their nightcrawler a milk stout and I am inclined to agree.

Rob Sterowski said...

Anonymous, that’s not true. There is no UK law forbidding the name Milk Stout. I have looked for it and been unable to find it.

In Newcastle in 1944 there were two prosecutions of brewers in which the prosecution claimed the term was misleading according to the Food and Drugs Act 1938. This has never been tested in court, however, as the brewers pled guilty to avoid bad publicity.


Daniel Boisvert said...

I guess ginger might have considered a yeast nutrient at the time. I have a bunch of bread recipes from that era that uses ginger for that reason. You do not see that in modren recipes. Given the amount, it sure wasn't for flavor.

Anonymous said...

You learn something new every day.