Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1952 Strong SAK

You might be starting to notice a theme here. Or two themes. Or three. I’m not quite sure how many of them there are myself.

It’s good to stray outside London every now and again. I’m gradually building up a better set of provincial brewing records. Because the capital wasn’t always typical of the country as a whole. Porter is a good example. Draught Porter was gone from most of England, Scotland and Wales by 1900. Yet in London it limped on until WW II.

Pre-WW I there seems to have been more regional variation in strength. Some country brewers had products considerable weaker than their London equivalents. But two world wars and pretty standardised prices (in some periods regulated prices) flatten those variations out. By the 1950’s there was little difference between the gravity of a beer in London and elsewhere.

But everything still wasn’t completely standard around the country. In the 1950’s you’d expect Mild to be the weakest and cheapest draught beer on offer in a pub. That wasn’t the case at strong. Their weakest draught was an AK, or Ordinary Bitter.

Take a look:

Strong draught beer prices 1955
beer style OG price per pint
SAK Bitter 1030.5 13d
XXX Mild 1033.5 14d
PA Best Bitter 1036.6 15d
SSB Strong Ale 1045.4 20d
Strong brewing record, document number 79A01-A3-3-27
A Strong & Co, price list dated 4th July 1955.

Which makes Strong SAK an unusually weak Bitter. Looks rather like Boy’s Bitter, the West Country style of weak Bitter that seemed to fill the slot taken by Mild in the rest of the country. A Bitter of barely 3% ABV intended to be drunk by the gallon.

It’s a pretty simple recipe, just base malt and sugar. Now if Kristen were here he’d be telling you about how light and crisp the beer is. Or somesuch. I’m not him. So I’ll tell this beer is particularly crisp and light. It’s bound to be with the high level of attenuation and  all that sugar. Should make a very pleasant summer supping beer.

I’ll leave it there and pass you over to  . . . . . me (again)

1952 Strong SAK
mild malt 4.00 lb 55.17%
PA malt 2.25 lb 31.03%
no. 3 invert sugar 0.125 lb 1.72%
table sugar 0.50 lb 6.90%
candy sugar 0.25 lb 3.45%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.72%
Fuggles 90 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.50 oz
OG 1030.5
FG 1006
ABV 3.24
Apparent attenuation 80.33%
IBU 22.5
SRM 7.5
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale

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