Saturday, 31 December 2016

Let's Brew - 1969 Truman LM

Ah, the happy hours I spent drinking this type of beer in the 1970’s. Ordinary, watery Mild. It’s sad that it’s become such a rarity.

Mild – especially cask Mild – is a cracking long drink. A beer to accompany, rather than dominate, an evening down the pub with your mates. I was reminded just how much I missed that sort of beer and that sort of session when I spent a Saturday evening with Jeff Bell in The Royal Oak in Southwark a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes you need to down at least half a gallon.

Earlier that same Saturday, appropriately enough, is when I collected this recipe. From a Truman’s Ale brewing book in Derek Prentice’s possession. It was great going through the book with him. He could explain exactly what all the Brewhouse names stood for.

I can’t help wondering how close this beer is to the cask Mild Truman introduced in the early 1980’s. The two have similar gravities: 1032º for this, 1034º for the 1980’s version. It’s strange. The 1969 Mild feels way in the past to me, as it’s before my drinking time. While the 1980’s version feels like an old friend, as I drank it reasonably often. Yet just 13 years separate the two. Perspective is everything.

Let’s crack on with the recipe. It’s quite an odd one in several ways. For a start, it’s coloured with roast barley, which isn’t a very common ingredient in Mild. In fact, it’s not a very common ingredient in English beer at all. Nor are roast malts that common in Mild. Not unheard of, but not that common. A spot of black or chocolate malt occasionally.

Impressively, the recipe boasts three types of unmalted barley. In addition to roast barley, there’s also flaked barley and – this is a first – pearl barley. Again, I was glad to have Derek at my shoulder. I’d have missed it, as it’s listed as “P. Brights”. In all, unmalted barley makes up 15% of the grist.  

You may have assumed that brown sugar is a substitute for some other type of sugar. It isn’t. The original really did contain Tate & Lyle brown sugar. Though it did make up slightly less than half of the total sugar. Most of the rest was liquid cane sugar. There was also a touch of something called B.C.L., which I’m guessing is some sort of dark sugar. I’ve substituted No. 4 invert.

More sugar, in the form of primings, was added to the fermenting vessels just before the end of primary fermentation. It would have upped the gravity by a degree or two. Not sure if Truman were still brewing cask at this point. If they were, the FG would have fallen a few more points before being sold. So don’t worry if your attenuation is a bit more than I’ve listed.

I know nothing about the hops, other than that they were English. Fuggles, which were the commonest hop grown in England, probably isn’t far wrong. They probably wouldn’t have wasted Goldings in a Mild. Feel free to use any traditional English hop variety.

1969 Truman LM
pale malt 4.50 lb 64.84%
crystal malt 0.75 lb 10.81%
roast barley 0.25 lb 3.60%
flaked barley 0.33 lb 4.76%
pearl barley 0.33 lb 4.76%
cane sugar 0.50 lb 7.20%
brown sugar 0.25 lb 3.60%
No. 4 invert 0.03 lb 0.43%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1031.9
FG 1011.6
ABV 2.69
Apparent attenuation 63.64%
IBU 17
SRM 22
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Lee said...

Recipe not there Ron

J. Karanka said...

Cool. It's almost like a "modern American dark mild" with the crystal and roast barley. And the middle of the road colour.

Anonymous said...

Don't suppose you have a 1929 bass princes ale recipe?

Ron Pattinson said...


No, I don't I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Cheers for replying! I'm sending in a bottle to the national collection of yeast cultures to see if they can revive anything.