I'll be honest. Younger's product range still confuses me. There are two separate sets of strong beers. There are the strong Shilling Ales, 120/- and 140/-, both around 1100º. Then you've No. 1, and No. 2 which are not far off that gravity. Basically there's a fair bit of overlap in terms of strength. Maybe one day I'll work out the difference. I would say that the numbered Ales were the Stock Ales and the Shilling Ales the Mild Ales, but I'm not so sure it's that simple.
My first spotting of the numbered Ales is 1859, in the form of No.3. I don't get to see the full set of 1 to 4 until 1868. I suspect that their inspiration lay in Burton. Several Burton brewers, most notably Bass, had numbered Ales. With another legendary beer, Bass No. 1, at their head. It was common for the sons of Scottish brewers to spend a brewing apprenticeship in England, often in Burton.
I know that at least one of the Younger family spent some time in Burton. I've seen the brewing notebook of William J. Younger from his time at Evershed in Burton in 1891-1892. Look, it's even got his signature in it:
If Younger's No.1 is their version of Bass No. 1, what does that make it in terms of style? Piece of piss that one. It makes it a Barley Wine. But what did Younger themselves call it? Now there's a funny one. They called it two different things. See that label at the top? There are two versions of it. I can see that it's for the Scottish market because it's called Strong Ale. On the English labels Strong is replaced by Scotch.
I'm getting back to a point I've made several times before: Scotch Ale and Burton Ale are variations on a theme. And basically the same thing.
I would tell you more about the later history of No. 1, but I'm saving that for later recipes. Did I mention that were doing a series of Younger's No.1 and No.3 recipes? No? OK, were doing a series of Younger's No.1 and No.3 recipes. There. You know now. It's fascinating stuff. Especially how they transformed themselves.
Oh, and if you believe all that grillox about Scotch Ales having only the faintest whisper of hops, take a look at the hopping on this baby.
I'll call it a day here ("It's a day.") and pass you over to Kristen . . . . . .
Happy new year time!!! Yeah….another year of historic beers and plenty more to come. This will be the first in the line of No1 and No3 that we bring you over the course a wee bit me thinks. Enjoy!
Grist – This beer is like a lot of the other Youngers. Two pale malts. Lots of Continental malt and then some Scottish (or English) chucked in for good measure. Pick your favorites. LOTS of malt though. The efficiency of their brewing this beer was pretty horrendous but for us we need not worry. The beer is a solid 1.098. Simple infusion. Easy to get there. The high mash temp will help keep the beer from fermenting out also.
Hops – Good old Youngers. Throwing monkey wrenches in peoples views of Scottish ales. No less than 5 hops go in this one but we’ll only count 4 of them as the itty bit of the other would get drowned out by the Cluster anyway. However, look at the list. Its kind of like the best of the best list from countries around Europe no!? A pretty heavy hand of dry hops also make this one pretty hop forward which is saying a lot for its gravity. I’ve made this with a single hop (Goldings) and then the combination you see in the recipe. The later was much more complex and enjoyable. Do your best to use them all.
Yeast – London III. No real replacement. You really need that low attenuation so do your best. Also, I underpitched by about 20% and it seemed to help also.