One of the biggest remaining mysteries in beer history is when Mild became dark. And why. It seems to have been around 1890 to 1900 that the process started. It’s hard to pin down exactly, because that’s also when sugar was starting to be used in a big way. But brewing records aren’t often that specific about the type of sugar.
Often it will just say sugar or invert. The exact type of sugar will have a big impact on the colour of the finished beer. No. 3 invert is pretty dark and a reasonable amount will considerably darken a beer. While other types of sugar will add no colour at all.
Sugar use may be one of the reasons of the reasons for Mild getting darker. Dark sugars and caramel give the brewer complete control over the colour of his finished beer. It’s much easier to brew a beer with a more subtle shade, that is, not really pale or really dark.
With both brown malt and No.3 in the grist, this is darker for sure that Whitbread’s Milds in the 1870’s. Though somewhere between those dates, when they were vaguer about the type of sugar, the process could already have started.
Brown malt is pretty rare in Mild recipes. Barclay Perkins did occasionally use it in wartime. Why did Whitbread use it? Probably because it was something they were already using. Their Porter and Stout always contained brown malt.
Looks like an interesting recipe to me. I’d love to know how it tasted.
|1905 Whitbread XK|
|pale malt||11.25 lb||88.24%|
|brown malt||0.375 lb||2.94%|
|no. 3 invert sugar||1.125 lb||8.82%|
|Cluster 90 mins||0.75 oz|
|Fuggles 90 mins||0.75 oz|
|Fuggles 30 mins||1.50 oz|
|Mash at||150º F|
|Sparge at||175º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||61.5º F|