It must have been introduced around 1953, a typical time for stronger beers to be introduced. I say that because it isn’t in their 1952 brewing book, but is in the 1956 one.
This is a difficult beer to categorise. In my gravity spreadsheet, I’ve classified it as a Pale Ale. Based mostly on its colour, which is pretty pale at around 10 EBC / 5 SRM. Which you’ll note is much paler than the calculated colour in the recipe below. That will be on account of the gyling. In reality, the proportion of No. 3 invert sugar would have been lower.
OK back to the drawing board. That’s clearly come out wrong. Abbey Ale contained very little of the second wort – only 4 of the 98 barrels. Assuming all the No. 3 went in the second copper, that drastically reduces the percentage of the sugar in Abbey Ale. From 25% to 9%.
As I was saying, a difficult one to categorise, this one. I’ve got it down as a Strong Ale in my brewing log spreadsheet. That was mainly because it was parti-gyled with a couple of Brown Ales. I’d assumed that it was darker than it was. I think I’ll standardise on Pale Ale. Though it is weird that it wasn’t parti-gyled with the Pale Ales.
Ah. I think I know why it wasn’t parti-gyled with the Bitters. Abbey Ale was a bottled beer, as were all the beers it was parti-gyled with. That probably explains it. And also the presence of wheat malt. For head retention, is my guess. Something more important in a bottled beer.
Not much else to say, other than that the attenuation isn’t great. I was going to say tank conditioning before bottling would have lowered that a bit. But having looked at the two analyses of Abbey Ale I have, I’m not so sure. The one from 1954 is, indeed, more highly attenuated at 76%. That from 1961, however, is only 67% attenuated.
|1956 Shepherd Neame Abbey Ale|
|pale malt||7.75 lb||85.45%|
|wheat malt||0.50 lb||5.51%|
|no. 3 sugar||0.75 lb||8.27%|
|malt extract||0.07 lb||0.77%|
|Fuggles 105 mins||1.00 oz|
|Goldings 60 mins||0.50 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||153º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||105 minutes|
|pitching temp||60.25º F|
|Yeast||a Southern English Ale yeast|