Wednesday 2 August 2023

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1975 Elgood Lager

Keg!, my book on beer in the 1970s will contain a few recipes. This is the first one I've written

We have here a really good example of the pseudo-Lagers brewed by smaller UK breweries in the 1960s and 1970s. Not having the equipment to brew a proper Lager, they simply brewed a very pale top-fermenting beer.

Which is exactly what we have here. The recipe is very simple: lager malt, flaked rice and a tiny bit of malt extract. I assume that rice has been chosen as the adjunct in order to keep the colour as pale as possible. There’s really not a lot more to say about the grist.

In reality, this is a Golden Ale, just artificially carbonated, stuck into kegs and served cold.

A typical underlet mashing process was employed. Nothing even vaguely resembling a decoction mash. Though much the same as the scheme used for their other beers.

action barrels strike heat initial heat mins stood
mash 16 147º F 144º F 20
underlet 3 200º F 151º F 100
sparge 1 20 170º F    
sparge 2 15 160º F    

There was a single type of English hop from the 1973 harvest. 

1975 Elgood Lager
lager malt 6.50 lb 87.60%
flaked rice 0.67 lb 9.03%
malt extract 0.25 lb 3.37%
Fuggles 95 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
OG 1034
FG 1008
ABV 3.44
Apparent attenuation 76.47%
IBU 20
SRM 2.5
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale


Lee said...

Interesting Pseudo Lager. I remember drinking lagers like Fosters in the late 90s in London and finding them to have a fruity flavour. I enjoyed them at the time, but noticeably different from continental lagers.

I am very keen on a book about the 70s. I've been interested lately in the lower-gravity post war milds and bitters.
Do you ever find recipes going into the 80s and 90s? Or is that just getting into trade secret territory?

Dan Klingman said...

Is the 0.04oz of dry hop correct? That would be like adding the dust left in a hop packet. Seems hardly worth it.

Anonymous said...

Does that make British style golden ale a hybrid style Ron?

Ron Pattinson said...

Dan Klingman,

a misreading of the brewing record. Now corrected to no dry hops.

Ron Pattinson said...


I don't even have that much from the 1970s Let alone tthe 1980s and 1990s.

Ron Pattinson said...


not really. It's just a very light-coloured Pale Ale. The term was already used in the 19th century.

Though you could consider the pseudo-Lagers as a hybrid style.

Anonymous said...

Oh thanks steam beer would be hybrid as is Kolsch.

Matt said...

The best thing about the British pseudo lagers of the seventies was their cod German names, often based on that of the breweries where they were produced: in the North West you had Einhorn from Robinson's Unicorn Brewery in Stockport, Holtenbräu from Holt's in Manchester and Grünhalle from Grenall Whitley in Warrington. Holt's also brewed a beer called Regal, which is just lager spelt backwards!

arnie moodenbaugh said...

In the US, "ales" brewed with lager yeast were common through the 70s. In the industry, the term for them was "bastard ale". I think it could make sense to call those ale yeast brewed lager imitators "bastard lagers".

Rob Sterowski said...

There isn’t really any such thing as a “hybrid”, just because a particular beer doesn’t fit into the categories set down by beer writers. No German brewer thinks of Kölsch as a hybrid. The confusion arises only because Anglo-Saxon writers have conflated two separate things – bottom-fermenting yeast and cold conditioning – into one concept: “lager”. (In any event loads of “ales” nowadays are cold-conditioned too, so this is nothing unusual).

Bribie G said...

As an Australian I remember when Fosters in the UK first got brewed under licence and that was around 1982 as I saw the new tall cans there on a trip back to the old Dart.

They were free to use local malt and hops but the only requirement, IIRC, was that they used the Fosters B Strain lager yeast. Australian mainstream lagers are generally fermented at a higher temperature than the Euros, around 13 degrees for ten days then lagered for ten days. This would tend to produce more esters than the low and slow Euro methods and probably accounts for the fruitiness.

Bribie G said...

Would the small amount of malt extract have been diastatic malt extract as opposed to the modern version from the home brew shop? This could have been added to the mash to aid in the conversion of the rice, maybe varying from brew to brew depending on how diastatic the current batch of lager malt was?

Boddingtons did something similar due to the fair amount of adjuncts, according to a post war recipe from Edd a couple of years back.