Saturday, 4 February 2017

Let's Brew - 1918 Thomas Usher X 60/-

To prove that WW I wasn’t all doom and gloom, here’s a Mild that’s not so watery.

The date is important, mind. The Government Ale recipe from Usher also dates from 1918. But it’s from November, while X 60/- is from January. A lot had happened between those two dates. Ironically, the watery GA, which was brewed on 13th November, is technically a post-war beer. In April 1918 the average gravity of all beer brewed by brewery was limited to 1030º*. I wonder if drinkers realised what was about to happen to their beer at the start of 1918?

What is a Mild? It’s a question I often ask myself, especially when looking at Scottish beer. Why do I classify this as a Mild? Because of the X in the name, really. But it all gets messy when you consider what this was parti-gyled with: PA. A beer that’s pretty obviously supposed to be a Pale Ale. Even more confusingly PA was weaker than X 60/-.

One reason I wanted to share this recipe with you is that it’s about the last period Mild was being brewed in any quantity in Scotland. Unusually, Usher continued to brew small quantities of a beer called MA until at least the 1930’s. Most other breweries produced nothing but Pale Ale, Strong Ale and the odd Stout.

It’s another very simple grist. The sugar type is a guess. It’s something called Greenock in the records. No idea what that was. But, as it’s in pretty much all their beers, I doubt it was a very dark type of sugar.

The hop variety is a guess, too. Usher didn’t bother specifying the hops in their logs at this point. Which is a bit frustrating. But by the late war years just about exclusively English hops were being used as there were more than enough to go around.

* "The Brewers' Almanack 1928" page 100.

1918 Thomas Usher X 60/-
pale malt 8.75 lb 92.11%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.75 lb 7.89%
Fuggles 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1043
FG 1014.5
ABV 3.77
Apparent attenuation 66.28%
IBU 27
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

1 comment:

Tandleman said...

Tate and Lyle had a large sugar refinery in Greenock.Abram Lyle was born there. Guess it was simple refined sugar from that refinery, unless of course there was a specific sugar called Greenock Sugar.