Friday, 8 September 2017

William Younger grists in 1958

It’s time to look at those exciting William Younger grists. Well, they might well be not what you expect. But, if I’m honest, they are rather dull.

Because they are, with one exception, just pale malt, flaked maize and sugar. Not much excitement there, is there? The one exception is EBA, a strong Brown Ale, which has almost 25% crystal malt. Other than that, there are no coloured malts at all. Not even in the Stout.

In total, there are seven different types of sugar, though five of those were only used in a single beer. It’s a shame that they’re so vague about the type of invert sugar. It may not even always be the same type of invert. In No. 1 and 200/-, I’d guess that it was No. 3 invert. In the others, it may be No. 1 or No. 2.

CDM, I know from other brewing records, is a dark proprietary sugar. It would need to be to get SS to the right Stout-like colour.

The flaked maize content, mostly around 30%, is very high. Usually it’s no more than 10-15%. Though it isn’t as bad as Younger’s recipes from earlier in the century, which were 40% grits. They were weaned off their grits habit in WW II, but gradually slipped themselves back into flake maize dependency in the 1950’s.

Note what isn’t present: roast barley. It almost never shows up in Scottish brewing records. Despite what some claim about its use.

William Younger grists in 1958
Beer pale malt crystal malt flaked maize caramel lactose Cane Candy Invert Lamberts CDM
XP Btg 61.22% 30.61% 8.16%
XXP 65.85% 29.27% 4.88%
XXPQ 60.00% 26.67% 4.44% 8.89%
XXPS 63.53% 31.76% 2.35% 2.35%
XXPS Btg 62.16% 32.43% 5.41%
XXPSL 58.62% 27.59% 6.90% 4.60% 2.30%
EXT 60.94% 29.69% 6.25% 3.13%
3L 64.95% 30.93% 4.12%
3N 64.95% 30.93% 2.06% 2.06%
3 Btg 68.67% 21.69% 9.64%
DCA 61.48% 31.97% 1.64% 3.28% 1.64%
1BW 60.00% 32.00% 8.00%
200/- BW 76.12% 17.91% 5.97%
XXX 60.87% 30.43% 8.70%
BA 57.35% 30.88% 11.76%
EBA 67.50% 22.50% 10.00%
SS 61.54% 23.08% 5.13% 10.26%
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/3/134.


keithpip said...

Very surprised about your comment regarding the lack of roasted barley. In his book on Scotch Ale all Noonan's recipes contain some roasted barley for color and flavor (usually about 2%). The Scotch Ales I've made all contain RB in the same amount. And I thought my Scotch Ales were authentic.

Ron Pattinson said...


my recipes come from original brewing records. No idea where Noonan got his. Of the several hundred Scottish brewing records I've looked at, roast barley appears just a handful of times.

Ron Pattinson said...


if you want some authentic Scottish recipes, my recently-published book Scotland! vol. 2 has 370-odd.

Anonymous said...

The Noonan book was written in 1993, which is a different world compared to homebrewing today. I think back then it was a stretch in a lot of places to get any kind of pale malt besides basic two and six row, and many might carry at most a dozen or so types of malt.

The base of available research was a lot thinner then too, and I wouldn't be surprised if Noonan was left trying to backwards engineer recipes based on limited information (very possibly mixed with some badly sourced beer folklore) and going on the assumption that readers might not be able to get many different ingredients. It's sort of like looking at a cookbook of Thai recipes printed in the US forty years ago -- you can expect a lower level of authenticity than what you might see today.