Monday 11 December 2023

Light Ale malts in the 1970s

How many malts did these beers use? Loads.

Though there is one that they all have in common. As all use a base of pale malt. There was one other base malt, lager, which appears in the Boddington version. Why? Because it was parti-gyled with their Bitter, which was extremely pale in colour.

The second most popular malt is quite predictable: crystal. It appears in four of the six beers. Not something you would have seen forty years earlier. As I keep banging on, crystal malt wasn’t common in Pale Ales before WW II.

Next in the popularity stakes was wheat malt. Or at least wheat in some form. In the brewing records it isn’t always clear what form wheat was in: malted, flaked or flour. I assume its presence is for head retention purposes.

Amber malt is a bit of an odd one in a style meant to be pretty pale. It’s another example of an ingredient that is purely there on account of parti-gyling with other beers.

Finally, there’s enzymic malt. An ingredient much beloved, especially by smaller brewers, in the 1950s and 1960s. I’m not sure what impact, if any, it had on the finished beer. 

Light Ale malts 1968 - 1984
Year Brewer Beer pale malt lager malt amber malt crystal malt wheat malt enzymic malt total malt
1977 Adnams LBA 73.29%           73.29%
1971 Boddington Bod 61.13% 16.09%     3.22% 3.22% 83.65%
1984 Eldridge Pope BAK 73.13%     10.45% 7.46%   91.04%
1968 Fullers LA 78.39%     1.94%     80.32%
1972 Shepherd Neame LA 62.30%   4.92% 4.92% 6.56%   78.69%
1969 Truman LK 80.37%     1.39%     81.76%
Adnams brewing record held at the brewery.
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/134.
Eldridge Pope brewing record.
Fullers brewing record held at the brewery.
Shepherd Neame brewing book held at the brewery, document number 1971 H-5O5.
Truman brewing record held by Derek Prentice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don’t worry you are right to highlight the notion that bitter needs crystal malt is rubbish.