Wednesday 31 May 2023

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1911 Russell Light Dinner Ale

By the start of the 20th century most breweries were producing a range of Pale Ales at different strengths.

Light Dinner Ale was their second Pale Ale with a gravity under 1050º. This has a gravity more typical of an AK. While their own version of that style was a good bit weaker. Good that they were getting drinkers used to this strength of Pale Ale. They’d be seeing a lot more of them after WW I.

Note that Russell didn’t do any parti-gyling. All their beers were brewed single-gyle. Allowing them to vary the recipes between their Pale Ales. Which is exactly what they did. Here there’s around a third less invert sugar than in their AK, replaced by base malt. The tiny amount of caramel leaving it with the same colour as its weaker sibling.

A slightly higher hopping was also possible. 8 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt rather than the 7.5 lbs of AK. Leaving the bitterness a fair bit higher.

The same hops were used: English from the 1908 and 1910 seasons. 

1911 Russell Light Dinner Ale
pale malt 7.75 lb 79.32%
flaked maize 0.75 lb 7.68%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.25 lb 12.79%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.02 lb 0.20%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1046
FG 1011
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 76.09%
IBU 36
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast Wyeast 1768 English Special Bitter


Anonymous said...

It could easily be a modern bitter

PeeBee said...

Was this all destined for bottling (a take-home "carry-out" - as the name suggests) and therefore "sparkling", or was some casked for serving in a pub?

Ron Pattinson said...


at this point, probably both, but possibly only bottled.