Over the course of the war the gravity of Double Brown fell 11 points, or around 20%. Though an increase in the rate of attenuation in the later war years meant that the ABV wasn’t much lower in 1945 than 1939. I’m sure drinkers appreciated the extra alcohol, but it must have considerably changed the character of the beer, leaving it with much less body than pre-war versions.
Anything over 4% ABV was pretty strong by the end of the war. In 1945, average OG was just 1034.5º. And most Mild Ales barely scraped in at 3% ABV.
There was also a 20% reduction in the hopping rate, from 8.5 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt to 6.25 lbs. This was the result of a reduction of the quantity of hops made available to brewers in June 1941.
|Whitbread Double Brown 1939 - 1945|
|Date||Year||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl|
|Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/107, LMA/4453/D/01/108, LMA/4453/D/01/111 and LMA/4453/D/01/112.|