Saturday, 25 May 2019

Let's Brew - 1917 Whitbread Government Ale

And here’s the beer that replaced X Ale, the first iteration of Whitbread’s Government Ale.

It must have been a bit of a shock for drinkers when they first got to try Government Ale. Just a few months earlier Whitbread’s X Ale had still been over 5% ABV, around 1.5% ABV stronger than this beer.

The recipe, despite the lower gravity, is very similar to the final version of X Ale. It’s just pale malt and sugar. Whitbread really weren’t into complicated grists. By not using maize, as most other UK brewers did, they were under less pressure to modify their recipes due to wartime supply difficulties. Maize, which at the time had to be imported, was unavailable in the later war years.

While this version of Whitbread GA was watery compared to pre-war Milds, at least it still contained enough alcohol to be intoxicating. As long as you drank enough of it. That wouldn’t be true  of some later wartime Milds.

1917 Whitbread Government Ale
pale malt 6.25 lb 89.29%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 10.71%
Goldings 105 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1033.5
FG 1005
ABV 3.77
Apparent attenuation 85.07%
IBU 28
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This is one of the dozens of recipes in my book Mild! plus. Which is available in both paperback:

and hardback formats:

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