Analysing the changes is complicated by the fact that there was no Mild which Barclay Perkins brewed for the whole of the war years. Their single pre-war Mild, X Ale, was discontinued in 1918 and was out of production for around a year. GA, Government Ale, put in a cameo appearance in 1917 and 1918. While Ale 4d only appeared in 1918, where for a while it was the only Mild they produced, replacing both X Ale and GA.
Here’s a handy table:
|Barclay Perkins Mild Ales 1914 - 1921|
|Date||Year||Beer||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||Pitch temp|
|11th Apr||1918||Ale 4d||1026.7||1006.4||2.69||76.14%||5.00||0.53||61º|
|18th Sep||1918||Ale 4d||1025.8||1006.6||2.53||74.23%||6.01||0.67||61º|
|26th May||1919||Ale 4d||1029.4||1007.2||2.94||75.50%||5.24||0.64||61º|
|2nd Jun||1919||Ale 4d||1026.4||1004.7||2.87||82.16%||5.26||0.57||61º|
|21st Nov||1919||Ale 4d||1028.4||1006.6||2.88||76.59%||5.52||1.51||61º|
|20th Feb||1920||Ale 4d||1028.3||1006.4||2.90||77.49%||5.00||0.60||61º|
|1st Apr||1921||Ale 5d||1028.4||1007.0||2.83||75.35%||6.00||0.68||62º|
|Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/01/603, ACC/2305/01/604, ACC/2305/01/606, ACC/2305/01/607 and ACC/2305/01/609.|
There was surprisingly little change to the gravity of X Ale between the start of the war and spring 1918, when it was dropped. In that period the gravity fell by around four points, from 1051º to 1047º. When it returned in 1919, it had a gravity much like GA had in its final days. It did creep up a little more in the early 1920’s, when it finally settled on a level in the low 1040’s.
Ale 4d, the cheap and cheerful Mild of the final war years always had an OG in the high 1020’s. At a smidgin under 3% ABV, it was just about an intoxicating drink. If you were determined. Amazingly, it hung around all through the interwar years before WW II finally put it out of its misery.
The hopping rate of all the Milds was very consistent at 5 to 6 pounds per quarter of malt. Which is a fairly reasonable rate, though, unsurprisingly, lower than the brewery’s Pale Ales, which contained 7 to 9 pounds per quarter of malt.