Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1915 Courage Imperial Stout

Before WW I, many London brewers had an Imperial Stout in their portfolio. Most, like that of Courage, either didn’t survive the war or stumbled on in the interwar years at a much-reduced strength. 1915 was the last years Courage Imperial Stout was brewed. A couple of years before massive cuts in gravity were enforced.

To avoid any confusion, this wasn’t the ancestor of Courage Russian Stout. That was the successor to the Imperial Stout of Barclay Perkins, a brewery bought up by Courage in the 1950s.

No surprises in the grist, which is the London holy trinity of pale, brown and black malt. As is often the case, the type of sugar wasn’t specified in the brewing record. I’ve guessed No. 2 invert. Mostly because No. 3 or No. 4 results in a beer which seems too dark. Though in 1916 Courage did use No. 4 invert in their Porter and Stout.

Two types of English hops were used, one from the 1914 harvest, the other from 1913, but cold stored. So, all pretty fresh, really, considering this beer was brewed in March. I’ve guessed for Fuggles and Goldings, as they seem the most probable varieties.

1915 Courage Imperial Stout
pale malt 12.50 lb 58.82%
brown malt 4.25 lb 20.00%
black malt 2.25 lb 10.59%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.25 lb 10.59%
Fuggles 90 mins 2.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1094
FG 1025
ABV 9.13
Apparent attenuation 73.40%
IBU 47
SRM 60
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale




RCairns86 said...

Would this have had a long secondary/vatted with brettanomyces?

Anonymous said...

Have you had a recreation of one of the Imperials from this era? I'm wondering what they're like with such a big percentage of dark malt.

DBhomebrew said...

I brewed the 1914 version of this. Bottled clean, no Brett, it was right at about 1.030FG. I tasted one bottle after four weeks and it tasted great if not a bit green. Full of chocolate, coffee, toffee. I used Kristen's heavier hopping rates and it didn't taste overly bitter at all. I'm very much looking forward to a six month tasting when a buddy comes visiting in a few weeks.

ts said...

comments say #2 invert, but recipe says #3.

DBhomebrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KilianG said...

I brewed the 1914 version a while back, which has no sugars, and it was great, way smoother than one would imagine

Ron Pattinson said...


well spotted. I've fixed it.

Ron Pattinson said...


yes. It was probably aged for at least 12 months.