Thursday, 17 December 2020

Scottish Strong Stout before WW II

You can probably guess which part of my next book I'm working on currently. Yes, it Scottish beer during WW II.

I've only recently acquired the data needed to write it. After finally finishing off William Younger's records after what seemed like several years transcribing, I had everything I needed. Or just about. I'm missing the Abbey Brewery's records for 1945. I do have those from the Holyrood Brewery, but they mostly only brewed Pale Ales there, along with some No. 3.

Good research is very time-consuming. Just as well I'm unemployed and have plenty of time on my hands.

In addition to watery, super-sweet Stouts, there were also a few which resembled more those brewed in England. These had OGs over 1050º and a more reasonable rate of attenuation. Which left some well over 6% ABV. Which is stronger than most Stout brewed in England, other than a few oddities like Russian Stout.

Note that most of these beers are also called Milk Stout, despite not being all that sweet, judging by the FG. I know that in the case of William Younger, the quantity of lactose employed was quite small – less than 5% of the total fermentables.

For colour, William Younger relied on a little roast barley and crystal malt, plus a big dollop of caramel. I don’t know if other brewers employed similar materials. For those brewers conjuring up Stout from a Pale Ale brew, various sugars would have been their only option.

Scottish Stout before WW II
Date Year Beer Price per pint (d) OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1937 Calder  Milk Stout   1055.8 1022.3 4.32 60.09%
1936 McEwan Milk Stout 12 1064.4 1013.1 6.70 79.66%
1933 Younger, Wm. Stout 8 1052.6      
1936 Younger, Wm. Milk Stout 10.5 1063 1014.7 6.30 76.67%
1937 Younger, Wm. Milk Stout   1068 1020 6.24 70.59%
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Thomas Usher Gravity Book held at the Scottish Brewing Archive, document number TU/6/11.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.


Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm going string shopping for next Friday, and I've forgotten how much I'll be needing.

Is it 217 pieces? And what kind of eggs? Are fish eggs OK?

Ron Pattinson said...


don't worry, this Christmas's Drinkalongathon requirements will be published soon.