Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1881 Whitbread SSS

Fluttering proudly at the top of the Whitbread Black Beer flagpole was SSS. Probably known as Treble Stout. That’s the way it usually goes: Single, Double, Treble and, at the very top, Imperial Stout.

Not much to say, recipe-wise, this being parti-gyled with SS. Hence an identical recipe, just more of everything. Instead, I’ll give you the gyling details. Three worts of different gravities, blended to hit the required gravities for SS and SSS:

barrels gravity gravity
63 41.4 1114.7
87 25.5 1070.6
67 23 1063.7
217 29.4 1081.4

barrels gravity gravity
148 41.4 1114.7
99 25.5 1070.6
26 23 1063.7
273 33.9 1093.9

As you would expect, SSS received a greater proportion of the strongest wort – more than half of its total volume. While in SS it’s less than a third.

Surprisingly, Whitbread brewed more SSS than SS: 14,366 barrels in 1881. Only 9,143 barrels of SS were made during the same year.

SSS was discontinued in 1917, along with SS. I would have expected that to be the end of it. Except, with wonderfully poor timing, it was revived in 1939. And, inevitably, disappeared forever early in 1940.

1881 Whitbread SSS
pale malt 14.50 lb 69.05%
brown malt 3.50 lb 16.67%
black malt 1.00 lb 4.76%
No. 3 invert sugar 2.00 lb 9.52%
Goldings 90 mins 2.50 oz
Hallertau 90 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1094
FG 1024
ABV 9.26
Apparent attenuation 74.47%
IBU 102
SRM 42
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale



Matt Boothman said...

Were the SS and SSS always parti-gyled? If so, how did they brew more of one and not the other? In general, how did breweries manage different demand of the range of ales when they were part-gyling?

Ron Pattinson said...

Matt Boothman,

yes SS and SSS were always parti-gyled. Parti-gyling meant they could brew as much of each as they liked. It's how Fullers could brew just 4 or 5 barrels of OBE in a 300-barrel brew house.

Look at the gyling details I provided. The quantities of SS and SSS weren't the same. Brewers just fiddles with the blend of worts to get the quantity and gravity of beers they wanted.