Wednesday 17 April 2024

Let's Brew Wednesday - 2006 Courage Best Bitter

This is a rather strange one. A version of Courage Best Bitter brewed at Youngs. And, even weirder, it’s way stronger than Courage Best usually was. The standard OG being 1039º. I’ve no idea why this version is so much stronger.

The recipe looks remarkably like those of Youngs own Pale Ales. With a grist mostly of pale malt along with a little crystal malt. With the addition of a very proprietary ingredient: Youngs Special Mix. A blend of sugars put together especially for Youngs. It was a mix of glucose, molasses and caramel with a colour of 220 EBC. I’ve added the individual elements to the recipe.

There was just a single type of hops described as Donnington Court. Which doesn’t tell me a great deal. Given the small quantity, I decided to go with something higher alpha than Goldings or Fuggles. But that is purely a guess. They could have been pretty much any English variety. 

2006 Courage Best Bitter
pale malt 9.50 lb 79.50%
crystal malt 20 L 1.33 lb 11.13%
glucose 0.85 lb 7.11%
molasses 0.25 lb 2.09%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.02 lb 0.17%
Brewer’s Gold 60 min 0.50 oz
Brewer’s Gold 15 min 0.50 oz
OG 1055
FG 1013
ABV 5.56
Apparent attenuation 76.36%
IBU 15
SRM 10
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 60 minutes
pitching temp 63º F
Yeast Wyeast 1028 London Ale


Martyn Cornell said...

Donnington Court is in Herefordshire, for what that is worth …

Anonymous said...

A “bitter” with 15 IBUs.? I understand that it’s not hopped like an American IPA, but that’s kind of ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Looks quite interesting

Anonymous said...

I don't remember seeing Courage Best that strong - have they got a bit muddled, and thought they were brewing Directors.? Although, I seem to remember that Directors only managed 5.2%, later reduced to 4.8%

Christoph Riedel said...

What a fascinating recipe where they brewed practically a Young's bitter and slapped the Courage label on it. I'd guess they also used Young's yeast for it?

Nice touch with splitting the YSM into its parts. Did you guess the composition? I never managed to learn how much molasses was in there.

Thom Farrell said...

Could it be that they were brewing to a higher strength and then liquoring it down so that they could produce both Directors (4.8% ABV) and Courage Best Bitter (3.8 - 4% ABV) from a single brew?

Anonymous said...

Thom from what Ron told me on Monday I would assume so that parti gyling would happen with the Courage ales brewed under contract at Young’s.