Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1868 William Younger Bg

I'm still on my Younger jag. Though we've swapped George for William, in our second Scottish recipe. Hope you enjoy it.

I'll start by saying I haven't a clue what this beer was sold as. I can only guess based on the ingredients. The grist of pale and black malt says Porter or Stout. Given the low gravity, Porter is more likely. What Bg might stand for, I'll leave you to guess. Best I can come up with is Bottling.

Now it's confession time. I'd missed this beer. Completely overlooked it. In my defence, amongst the hundreds of beers in the William Younger logs, I can find only one occurrence of Bg. So not one of their more popular beers. And it's only a partial brew. Just 55 barrels rather than the 80 to 90 barrels brewed of other beers.

Younger wasn't that big on Porter and Stout. They brewed two Stouts, BS and DBS, with gravities of 1046º and 1062º respectively. Though sometimes they seem to have called BS P, which I guess stands for Porter. One beer in the records has both designations used for it. P is also around 1046º. The big difference is that BS (or P) abd DBS both contained amber malt. Maybe I can get Kristen to do one of those recipes at a later date.

I've talked myself into this being the bottling version of Porter. I hope I'm right. Because that's me all out of words for now.

Over to Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

So, this is going to be a very short one this week. This recipe is dead easy with very minimal amount of detail. It’s a simple infusion mash with no gyling at all. It very much reminds me of Guinness 250th anniversary beer than came out a few years ago. Pretty bloody nice indeed.


Grist – For the English pale malt I again chose the ubiquitous Maris Otter as it does such a nice job in dark beers. Fawcett’s Black patent is by far my favorite English black malt and I just got some more in house.

Hops –  Very boring hopping. A Fuggle-y type of hop in two simple additions. Beginning and one towards the end. Lends a great amount of hop bitterness and flavor. Any lower AA% hop would work equally as well.

Yeast – I really like the London III for types of beers like this. Does such a nice job of lending a bit more malt and fruit and doesn’t finish as dry as the other strains do.


Oblivious said...

"It very much reminds me of Guinness 250th anniversary beer than came out a few years ago."

ha, the did not eve bother releasing it in Dublin !

Barbarrick said...

Could 'Bg' simply indicate 'for Bottling' ie, in the way, for instance, Worthington's casks would be marked "BE" to indicate "E" pale ale intended for bottling as opposed to the draught? Just a thought.

Am enjoying the getting Younger everyday courtesy your blog. If only I could sup Younger's No3 still every day.

Bailey said...

Another great recipe and perfect -- all we've got in is pale and black malt! We'll be giving this a go.

Have you two sorted a book deal yet?

Kristen England said...


Really!? I didn't know that. I drank my weight in that stuff. So much better coming off CO2 than bloody nitro. Well here is your chance then!


Its wicked hard to say with Younger. The names are all over the place in the logs. They have shilling indications for some but that actually didn't indicate what the beer was actually sold as.

More importantly, might just do No3 for next week so you have something light and something heavy to drink!!!

Graham Wheeler said...

Barbarrick said...
"Could 'Bg' simply indicate 'for Bottling'"

I am fairly sure that Bg stands for Bottling Grade. A good clue to to support that is the high mash temperature. "Bottling Grade" is a term that was frequently used in old-time brewing parlance.

However, in those days it would have been rare to bottle anything under 1050; even in these days it is rare to bottle anything under 1050 without filtering or pasteurisation. So I suppose it could be said that the jury is still out on that one.

Kristen England said...


Brilliant! I absolutely agree with the gravity and bottling comments. Especially a beer such as this with the relatively high finish gravity for the starting gravity.

Non-filtered, non-pasteurized beer would be a beast to do let alone is this 1868. The crown cap was what about 25 years away from its patent and I don't see a beer this small getting proper corked...although that may have happened it just doesn't fit the bill.

That being said, i would infer it was indeed for bottling as the 'packaging' units are 50:50 for hogsheads (54gal) and butts (108gal). I've only seen butts, or tuns, used in logs when things are going to get bottled from them...especially the Scots logs.

Ron Pattinson said...

Kristen, while in some ways the Younger's logs are annoying, including details of what the beer was racked into is dead handy. As in this case, where it's all put into large casks.

What threw me was the specific abbreviation. Usually Younger used Btlg.

Barbarrick said...


Look forward to seeing No.3 in the flesh sometime.
Good luck with the deciphering.

Kristen England said...


A little butt tonne of hops. Think of it as a Scottish Double IPA. Its probably the hoppiest historical beer I've ever seen. I've seen some writings about beers with more hops but I've never seen a lot that has more hops than this one. Not what you are going to expect either.

I hope someone out there is making all of these and can put together a great set of taps of proper 19century Scots beers!!!

Ron Pattinson said...


a series of No. 3 recipes would be instructive. I've got them spanning about a century.

Someone should be brewing one of these beers professionally soon. Can't say who yet.

Kristen England said...

Perfect! Sounds like a plan.

We'll be doing one of the No3 at the brewery for sure once we get going.