Monday, 13 July 2020

William Younger being weird again

I've spent the last couple of days extracted information from a set of photos I took ages ago, but hadn't really looked at.

I've accumulated so many photos of brewing records that I mostly only process them when I need them for a book project. I've gone through every single one for WW I and WW II. And most post-WW II ones as well. Because those were the periods I've been writing about in the last couple of years.

I'd not got around to William Younger's 1888 brewing book, despite having written a whole book on Scottish beer. The reason I hadn't bothered was that I'd already done a brewing book from just a few years before, 1885. Others appeared more useful.

Why have I finally become arsed? Because I'm throwing together Strong Ale recipes for a new edition of my book "Strong!". Not wanting to repeat Younger's recipes that were in "Scootland! vol. 2", the simplest way was to use records that I knew I'd never used before.

I'm glad that I could be bothered. Since I found some more weirdness.

William Younger was an odd brewery. They had an immense range of beers, many very similar to each other. For example, in addition to the numbered Strong Ales, they also had a set of strong Shilling Ales.

In the brewing book I've found 29 different beers. Which is way more than most breweries produced. It's not even the full set. As it only includes a couple of Pale Ales and they had far more than that. But that's because the brewing book is from the Abbey Brewery. Their other plant, the Holyrood Brewery, was where most of the Pale Ales were brewed.

William Younger beers in 1888
Beer Style OG
1 Strong Ale 1105.0
2 Strong Ale 1091.0
3 Strong Ale 1081.0
100/- Ale 1080.0
120/- Ale 1090.0
140/- Ale 1106.0
160/- Ale 1118.0
3 Sp Strong Ale 1081.0
3 Stg Strong Ale 1101.0
3 Wk Strong Ale 1061.0
50/- Ale 1038.0
60/- Ale 1053.0
80/- Ale 1068.0
DBS Stout 1076.0
H 60/- Ale 1047.0
P Pale Ale 1051.0
S Ext Pale Ale 1071.0
S1 Stout 1078.0
S1 Sp Stout 1076.0
S2 Stout 1068.0
S3 Stout 1055.0
Special S1 Hong Kong Stout 1077.0
T Table Beer 1032.0
T Table Beer 1034.0
X Mild 1063.0
XP Pale Ale 1057.0
XPS Pale Ale 1057.0
XX Mild 1061.0
XXX Mild 1071.0
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/34.

What's the weirdness, then? I hear you ask. With No. 3. They brewed a standard a strong and a weak version. The strong one being just about as strong as No. 1. So why not just brew No.1? I really can't see the point. As for the weaker one, why not simply call it No. 4? A beer which they had brewed at one point.

William Younger numbered Strong Ales in 1888
Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl dry hops (oz / barrel)
1 1106.0 1038.0 9.00 64.15% 22.73 11.73 14.08
3 Strong 1101.0 1033.0 9.00 67.33% 12.80 6.30 19.78
2 1091.0 1035.0 7.41 61.54% 9.4 4.17 10.00
3 Sp 1081.0 1022.0 7.81 72.84% 12.43 4.59 0.00
3 1080.0 1030.0 6.61 62.50% 10.50 3.91 9.38
3 Weak 1061.0 1018.0 5.69 70.49% 8.17 2.11 0.00
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number WY/6/1/2/34.


qq said...

Were the different #3's labelled as such, or you just found #3's that were stronger and weaker? Maybe for blending into batches that went wrong? Or different tax regimes?

Edd The Brew said...

Hi qq,
I'd have said probably for both blending and different target markets