Thursday, 24 May 2018

The London hop market in May 1898

Another little interlude. This time looking at the prices for various types of hops.

The table below is dead handy as it gives any idea of how much the various types of hops were valued by British brewers. Though much of what it tells me I alreadt knew. For example, that East Kent Goldings were the most prized. And that Belgian hops were cheap. Interesting to see that Alsace hops were some of the better liked continental hops.

You may be wondering why there are three columns for each year. They're the price of the differeng grades of hops, obviously working up from lowest to highest.

"Hops.—There is scarcely any feature of interest to observe in this market, which, since our monthly report of the 14th ultimo, has been very quiet, and business has been on a much contracted scale. Speculation, it is almost needless to say, has been entirely dormant, and as most of the brewers are fairly well stocked with hops, the demand from the trade has been confined to the making up of odd parcels and the completion of unfulfilled orders. English descriptions, wherever and whenever they can be procured, have been much preferred to other kinds, but owing to the absence of a proper assortment, few purchases of importance have taken place, and no fresh advance having been established, present rates remain the same as those of a month ago. All the best "yearlings ” have either disappeared or been worked off, as practically none are left to bear a quotation, and nothing is now to be had above £3 10s. per cwt. An inquiry has existed for Continental hops, and good qualities have realised firm prices ; but California growths have been less generally sought after, and their outturn and condition not being thoroughly satisfactory, this, with their comparative abundance, has induced holders to submit to rather lower terms, say £2 5s. to £5, for common to the finer grades. American hops, however, exhibit no alteration, and this day’s general currency in the Borough, as approved by the merchants there, rules as follows :-—

Hop prices in London May 1898
1898 1897 1996
£ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s. £ s.
East Kent Goldings 1897’s 4 15 5 10 7 0 2 0 3 0 4 10 1 15 2 16 4 10
Mid-Kents ,, 4 16 6 0 5 15 2 0 2 16 3 15 1 10 2 5 3 15
W. of Kent ,, 4 10 5 0 5 12 1 10 2 5 3 0 1 0 1 10 2 16
Sussex ,, 4 10 4 15 5 0 1 15 2 5 2 10 1 0 1 10 2 10
Worcesters ,, 4 5 4 10 5 0 1 10 2 10 3 0 1 0 2 0 3 10
Farnhams ,, 4 10 4 15 5 12 2 0 2 10 6 15 1 0 2 0 3 10
Country Do. ,, 4 10 4 15 5 10 2 0 2 10 3 10 1 0 2 0 3 10
Yearlings 1896's 2 5 3 10 - 0 10 2 0 - 0 10 1 0
Old Olds  1 0 1 10   0 5 0 10   0 5 0 10
Bavarians 1897's 4 0 4 10 5 10 1 18 2 5 3 10 1 10 2 0 2 10
Belgians ,,  2 2 2 10 3 3 1 5 2 0 - 1 10 2 0
Alsace ,,  4 4 4 15 1 12 2 0 3 10 1 0 2 5
Bohemia ,,  none. none. none.
Burgundy ,, 4 4 4 10 4 15 1 15 2 0 2 16 1 10 2 5 2 10
American ,, 3 0 4 0 5 10 - 2 14 3 15 2 0 2 16
Californian ,, 2 5 3 10 5 0   3 0 3 15 1 0 1 10 2 10
Foreign Old Olds 0 10 0 15 - 0 5 0 10 - 0 5 0 10 -
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 391.

Messrs. Tuchmann and Low, 11, Southwark Street, London, S.E., report as follows on the English and Foreign Hop market :— “Since Easter we have a better inquiry and more business doing. Good useful copper hops have been in request, and as the stock of those remaining unsold is small holders continue firm in their demand as to price. Continental hops are without much alteration in value. Pacific Coast hops the last few weeks have been receiving more attention, and some business has been done in these, the cheap prices at which the lower qualities were, being offered having stimulated business.”

Messrs. Bloch Brothers, of Nuremberg. write us on the 10th inst. as follows :—"Our market continues unchanged. Stocks are exceedingly reduced, and the volume of business is necessarily quite small; prices remain firm on the same basis as last month. The new hop plant is doing well so far, but, of course, it is too early to attach any importance to this fact.”
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 391.
Of the foreign hops, only Bavarian and Burgundy commanded close to the same price as English hops. It's just a shame that there were no Bohemian hops. I suspect they would have been rivalling English hops in terms of price.

The difference between the price of American and Californian hops is fascinating. I'm pretty sure the former are hops grown on the East Coast, mainly in New York state.

Old olds, if you're wondering, are hops more than two years old.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1958 William Younger XXX

Continuing my Watery Mild Month, here's an example from Scotland. AAt under 3% ABV, it definitely passes the watery test.

What’s the difference between XXX and XXPQ? Not very much, despite one being a Mild and the other a Bitter. William Younger were always a funny bunch.

The OG, FG and hopping rate of the two beers are identical. The only difference is the lack of candy sugar and a little more flaked maize in XXX. The only really big difference between the two beers isn’t visible in the brewing records: the colour. I know from Whitbread Gravity book analyses that the colour of XXX was around 19 SRM. Presumably this was achieved by the addition of caramel at racking time.

William Younger is unusual for a Scottish brewery in making a Mild at all. Most had dropped Mild before WW II. With coloured up 60/- Pale Ale operating as a substitute. I assume the reason Younger still brewed one was that they had quite a large amount of trade in England, where Mild was still king in the 1950’s.

1958 William Younger XXX
pale malt 2.00 lb 40.00%
flaked maize 2.25 lb 45.00%
cane sugar 0.75 lb 15.00%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1033
FG 1012
ABV 2.78
Apparent attenuation 63.64%
IBU 15
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 63.5º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

US Lagers 1955 - 1962

A little interlude from watery Mild recipes and travel tales. US Lagers from 50-60 years ago.

You may recognise a couple of the names. I think a couple might even still be brewed.

I was reasonably surprised to see that they mostly have pretty decent OGs. For the most part, 1048º or above. So a full 12º Plato. They're around the strength I'd excpect from continental European Pilsners of the same period. My guess would be that modern versions of Miller and Budweiser are more highly attenuated, but lower in gravity.

I'm not sure what the Lowenbrau beer is. It's not quite strong enough to be a Bock. But too strong for a pilsner. I assume - because of how it was listed in the Whitbread Gravity Book - that it was brewed somewhere in the US. Presumably under licence from the Munich brewery.

I'll be back to the same old boring shit next. Just thought I'd make use of these data shavings.

US Lagers 1955 - 1962
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour package
1955 Liebmann Rheingold Extra Dry Lager 1049.8 1011.6 4.97 76.71% 6 can
1955 National Brewery Beer 1050.9 1011 5.19 78.39% 10 bottled
1955 Pabst Blue Ribbon 1048.9 1011.7 4.84 76.07% 9 can
1956 Miller, Milwuakee High Life 1045.7 1012.3 4.33 73.09% 6 can
1960 Lowenbrau Light Special 1061.1 1014 5.89 77.09% 5 bottled
1960 Schlitz Beer 1048.6 1012.5 4.51 74.28% 5 bottled
1962 Ballantine Light Lager Beer 1047.9 1013.7 4.28 71.40% 4.5 bottled
1962 Budweiser Lager Beer 1048.7 1011.7 4.63 75.98% 4.5 bottled
1962 Miller High Life 1048.6 1011.2 4.67 76.95% 6 bottled
1962 Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 1049.3 1011.3 4.75 77.08% 5.5 bottled
1962 Schaefer Lager Beer 1049.2 1012.7 4.56 74.19% 6 bottled
1962 Schlitz Beer 1049.2 1012.5 4.59 74.59% 6.5 bottled
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Something dead cool

for you to buy. My recent books.

Not just clumsily thrown-together asemblages of blog posts, but proper books. Structure, start, finish. All that shit.

First, what I call the expansion pack to The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer. Loads more recipes, including ones cut from the original book. And loads of fun American and continental Lager recipes.
And, of course, there's the book of which I'm most proud - and even won an award - Scotland! Vo. II. Easily the best book ever written about Scottish beer, with a crazy number of recipes - around 370. 

I'm getting on dead well with the new book. Should be done in a week or two. Depending on how crazy I go with the recipes.

Back to Amsterdam

No need to get up too early. Just as well, as I'm feeling a little rough. I blame those two litres I drank yesterday afternoon.

That’s weird. It’s warm. Really quite warm. It must be over 20º C. Yesterday it felt like 5º C. From winter to summer overnight. The trees are still all totally bare. Which seems very odd when it’s this warm.

I plan going to Potbelly for a breakfast sarnie. But have a look on the way for a sit-down option. I go a slightly different way and pass the Peninsula. It has a breakfast for $21. A bit pricey, but I've not had a full breakfast on this trip.

It's pretty nice, but not great value for three eggs, two slices of bacon and sausage and two slices of toast. Plus coffee and orange juice. What the hell. It's just the once.

On the table next to me there's a mother with two young daughters. And grandma, who they call Oma. Must be some German blood in them. The kids are pretty noisy, but I don't mind. I can remember when my lads were like that. I've learned to be pretty tolerant of kids. But not so forgiving of miserable adults who whinge at the slightest kid noise. Don't they remember being children themselves?

Checkout is at noon. My flight is at 16:15. But I don't bugger about. Straight to the airport. Slight confession. Last I checked in after getting back from the pub. I was offered a paid upgrade to business class. Being a few drinks in, my willpower wasn't at its strongest. It wasn't crazily expensive, especially if you factor in . . .

I arrive at O'Hare at 12:40. The formalities of bag drop and security don't take long. It's not much past one when I waltz into the business class lounge.

It's quite nice. Great view of the runway. Loads of sandwiches. And self-service spirits. Time to recoup some of that upgrade spend. In bourbon.

To while the time away, while I nibble on sarnies and slurp on bourbon, I fire up my flippity-flop. Damn. It’s won’t start. Is there something wrong with the battery? I’ve been running it on mains power the whole time. But stupidly stuck the power cord in my check in bag. I decide to take the battery out and reinsert it to see if that helps. Amazingly, it does.

Dolores loaded up the first two series of Taskmaster before I left. Lovely woman that she is. I spark up series 1 episode 1.

I have two standard airport stiffeners: Jamesons and Jack Daniels. Depending on where I am. Both are on offer. It's seems only fair to alternate.

This isn't like being in an airport at all, really. No wonder the wealthy are such cocky, smug bastards. A couple more afternoons like this and I'd be there.

I’m feeling pleasantly mellow when boarding of my flight is announced. I finish off my whiskey, close down my computer and trundle off to the gate. It isn’t far.

Onboard, I take full advantage of the food and booze options made available by my upgrade. And watch some more Taskmaster before stretching out and getting my head down. Literally. A get a few hours of pretty decent sleep. I could get used to this.

I don’t wait long for my bag. Before I know it, a taxi is ploughing through the green polder with me in the back. I arrive home before Dolores leaves for work.

The Peninsula Chicago
108 E Superior St,
Chicago, IL 60611.
Tel: +1 312-337-2888

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Clubs in England and Wales 1931 - 1960

You can see that WW II temporarily put the increase in club numbers on hold, but as soon as the war was over they began to rise again.

Clubs in England and Wales 1931 - 1960
Date  Full Beer / wine Total Pubs  Registered clubs  total % clubs
1931 57,072 19,814 76,886 14,377 91,263 15.75%
1932 56,876 19,524 76,400 15,010 91,410 16.42%
1933 56,687 19,268 75,955 15,298 91,253 16.76%
1934 56,538 18,990 75,528 15,657 91,185 17.17%
1935 56,356 18,706 75,062 15,982 91,044 17.55%
1936 56,289 18,392 74,681 16,297 90,978 17.91%
1937 56,233 18,093 74,326 16,563 90,889 18.22%
1938 56,173 17,747 73,920 16,951 90,871 18.65%
1939 56,112 17,460 73,572 17,362 90,934 19.09%
1940 56,047 17,318 73,365 16,463 89,828 18.33%
1941 55,961 17,249 73,210 15,864 89,074 17.81%
1942 55,901 17,191 73,092 15,682 88,774 17.67%
1943 55,868 17,137 73,005 15,732 88,737 17.73%
1944 55,856 17,109 72,965 15,678 88,643 17.69%
1945 55,875 17,085 72,960 15,590 88,550 17.61%
1946 56,009 17,017 73,026 16,496 89,522 18.43%
1947 56,305 16,927 73,232 17,470 90,702 19.26%
1948 58,850 16,534 75,384 18,370 93,754 19.59%
1949 58,140 15,282 73,422 18,962 92,384 20.53%
1950 59,054 14,429 73,483 19,221 92,704 20.73%
1951 59,757 13,664 73,421 19,511 92,932 20.99%
1952 60,333 13,035 73,368 19,903 93,271 21.34%
1953 60,869 12,351 73,220 20,348 93,568 21.75%
1954 61,265 11,708 72,973 20,772 93,745 22.16%
1955 60,670 10,574 71,244 21,164 92,408 22.90%
1956 61,087 9,788 70,875 21,438 92,313 23.22%
1957 61,471 8,882 70,353 21,988 92,341 23.81%
1958 61,762 8,151 69,913 22,567 92,480 24.40%
1959 62,039 7,416 69,455 23,232 92,687 25.07%
1960 63,682 5,502 69,184 23,773 92,957 25.57%
"Brewers' Almanack 1971", page 83.

Clubs as a percentage of total on-licensees rose every year between the end of the war and 1960. By which time they had hit 25%. Why has so little writing been devoted to the topic of clubs when clearly were home a big part of many's drinking experiences.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Let's Brew - 1953 Elgood X

I've decided to make May Watery Mild Month here on the blog. I'm sure you're all pretty excited.

They certainly liked their Mild watery in the 1950s. Or rather, drinkers had no choice as that’s just the way it came.

Elgood’s Mild, X, makes their Light Ale look headily alcoholic. Which is quite an achievement. X was brewed at around the effective minimum gravity. No matter how watery your beer was, you paid the tax for a beer of 1027º. So there was no real economic point in brewing anything much weaker than that.

The grist is, er, interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen flaked barley and flaked rice used in the same beer before. Obviously, there’s the malt extract Elgood threw in all their beers. Then there’s a sugar just described as invert. And another called carmose. I’ll go out a limb here and guess that’s some sort of caramel.

The hops were all English and all quite old. This beer was brewed in October 1953 and the hops were all from the 1950 harvest.

1953 Elgood X
Mild malt 4.50 lb 76.14%
flaked rice 0.25 lb 4.23%
flaked barley 0.33 lb 5.58%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.33 lb 5.58%
malt extract 0.25 lb 4.23%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.25 lb 4.23%
Fuggles 95 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1026
FG 1006.5
ABV 2.58
Apparent attenuation 75.00%
IBU 20
SRM 20
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 176º F
Boil time 95 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold

Friday, 18 May 2018

Chicago day four

Another lazy start to the day. My first appointment is at eleven. Allowing 20 minutes for the taxi, I don’t need to fully gear up my arse until 10:40. Rising at nine gives me acres of time to farm.

For breakfast, obviously. On my stroll to the Clark Street Ale House yesterday I spotted a Potbelly. “We serve breakfast” it said in the window. “That’s handy.” I thought. Especially as it opens on Sunday. As there’s no diner nearby, that seems a good option.

It’s deserted when I enter. Even behind the counter. Slow time, I guess, Sunday morning.

When a woman pops up behind the counter I say: “I’d like breakfast.”

“We do a breakfast sandwich. Egg with various options.”

She reels off a long list of ingredients. I opt for egg, bacon and cheese. Mostly because those are the ones I can remember. And it sounds like a breakfast I’d want to eat*. With a bottle of orange juice and a coffee, it comes to under $8. Much better value than that ripoff Walgreens sarnie.

When I arrive at Goose Island, Ken and Mike are outside. No need to knock on the door. We immediately speed off to their barrel warehouse. Where mike pours some beer from the Keeping vat. It's lovely. Slightly vinous and firmly bitter. "It's only going to get better, Mike."

"I know. The test brew was more in your face. I guess that's why they blended it."

"They weren't stupid."


Ken and Seth are cameraman and sound man, respectively. They’re filming me and Mike for a promotional video. For or next collaboration. I met them when I was in London last month. They were witness to the Imperial Stout incident.

“Have you got over the death of your drone yet?”

“We’ve already got a new one.” The last one drowned tragically in the Thames.

I’m getting quite used to being miked up. Superstar that I now am. As they’re also going to record my talk, they don’t bother taking off the mike. Though I do make sure they turn it off. “In case I go to the toilet.”

When we get back to the taproom, a few punters are already in. They open at noon on Sunday.

“Any idea how many will be turning up for my talk?”

“Not really.” Mike replies. “We got a pretty good turnout last time.”

I make a quick trip to the bog just before I go on. Don’t want to get caught short halfway through.

When I return Ken starts setting up the sound. The mike has detached from my shirt and been pulled down. Must have happened when I was in the toilet. It’s been pulled down into my trollies.

“I’d be careful about touching that, if I were you, mate.” I warn Ken.

I drink a Midway IPA. One of the more successful transfers to larger AB plants, I’m told.

“It’s because they have vertical fermenters at the brewery where it’s made. Most AB breweries have horizontal ones because they’re meant for Lager brewing.” That’s an interesting take on the vertical vs. horizontal discussion.

My next beer is the Obadiah Poundage trial. It’s much sharper than the beer from the vat. Though that hasn’t had much ageing yet. The 11-month old Keeping must have been quite tart, as this blend is two-thirds Running Porter.

Mike disappears into the brewery and returns with one of his babies: a 20-litre oak cask made in Munich’s last cooperage. It’s filled with Helles and Mike will soon be tapping it. I’m relieved he does ask me if I’d like to. I’m dead wary since the Schumacher incident in our old flat. I cocked up tapping a 10-litre cask and Alt went all over our living room. After that, I had to tap casks in the bath.

Mike whacks in the tap like a pro and quickly fills a few litre glasses. For me, him, Ken and Seth. Usually, I’m not that keen on litres. But when they’re filled with refreshing Helles, it’s a different matter. Amazing how quickly the first litre slips down. So I get a second. There’s something about beer served Bayerischer Anstich.

Maybe knocking back two full litres just before speaking isn’t the best idea. But it’s only 30 minutes or so. Me talking about the history of Porter. Bare arsed.

Talking without the crutch of slides or any structural preparation. I find it quite fun. That shows how far I've come. Scary as shit, this used to be. Now, it's a sort of perverse fun. What am I saying, where am I going? Who cares? As long as the punters aren't buggering off, it's a winner for me. And when my crappy coarse jokes get a laugh, I must be doing something right.

Time to sell some books. After a quick wee. Those two litres are working their way through my system.

The bookselling goes OK. I’m left with just two. That’s not bad. I didn’t expect to shift any copies of Lager!.

When it’s obvious there are no more books to be sold, I join Mike and Ken at the bar. For some more Obadiah Poundage. It seems to have worked out well. Mike had worried about the high percentage of dark malts in the Keeper. Months in oak had mellowed any harshness out a treat. The production version will be different. Brewed to Truman rather than Barclay Perkins recipes.

Mike can’t stay too long. He’s a family man now, with a young child. It’s only right he spends the evening with them, rather than a beer obsessive.

Ken takes me out for dinner instead. No problem with that. I like Ken. And we’ve shared many pints. We go to Publican Anker, a nice fish place.

Oysters, then deep fried fish. What could be better than a fish and fish supper? A fish and chip supper, obviously. Technically, it is a fish and chip supper. As oysters aren’t really fish. And there is a chip element to the meal. No mushy peas, sadly.

I begin the drinks side of the meal with a mint julep. Because I’ve not had one before. Switching to beer, Cigar City Jai Alai, an IPA sort of thing. Pretty sure I’ve heard of it. Seems OK. In an Americaney IPA-ey sort of way.

We finish in Revolution Brewing. Another brewpub How many of them have I been in this trip? I’ve lost count. A lot, is the correct answer. It’s busy, but we find seats at the bar. Where we chat with a delightful young couple sitting beside us. All very civilised. And there’s beer.

I order a Deth’s Tar. Barely alcoholic at just 14.8% ABV.  As you’d expect from an Imperial Stout, it’s pretty damn black. Black as it would have been in those derelict cellars in Cincinnati if the lights had gone out.

Why do I always sit at the bar when drinking alone in the US? Much easier to start a conversation there. Either with the staff or fellow barleaners. Stuck at a table by yourself, the chat chances are checked.

Ken gets me an Uber back. Thanks, Ken. I stumble through the revolving door. Where's that Bourbon? Come here sleep. Give me a kiss. Goodnight.

* A breakfast I did eat, when working on Manhattan. There was a place on the way from the ferry terminal to my office that did a roaring trade in takeaway breakfast sarnies. I used to drop by occasionally. Well, more than occasionally. A few days every week, let’s say. My order was always just what I had in Potbelly: bacon, egg and cheese. I ate it at my desk on the 19th floor while working. That’s the sort of high-powered job I had. Not really. I wanted to be able to bugger off as early as possible. Eating on the job was just time-efficient.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
225 E Chicago Ave,
Tel: +1 312-837-4896

Goose Island Beer Company
1800 W Fulton St,
Chicago, IL 60612
Tel: +1 800-466-7363

Publican Anker
1576 N Milwaukee Ave,
Chicago, IL 60622.
Tel: +1 773-904-1121

Revolution Brewing
2924, 2323 N Milwaukee Ave,
Chicago, IL 60647.
Tel: +1 773-227-2739

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Unregulated clubs

As part of a debate on The Liquor Traffic (Local Control) Bill, Cosmo Bonsor made some interesting remarks about an unregulated club in the East End of London.

"If they were going to deal with the licensing question at all it was absolutely necessary that they should deal with a certain class of clubs; and he ventured to think that the right hon. gentleman had made a mistake in omitting them from his Bill. (Hear, hear.) There were clubs at present in existence in the East of London — in fact, all over the metropolis — which were absolutely uncontrolled by the State. They were called by various names. He would give an account of one in the East of London which he believed was patronised by hon. members of that House who sat for East London constituencies, and represented Radical opinions, probably everyone of whom would vote for the second reading of this Bill for the closing of licensed houses. The club to which he referred was conducted without any regulation at all as to hours, and his informant, a practical man, who visited it on a Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, when publichouses were closed, found there about 400 people, men, women, and children, and in three of the rooms gambling of various descriptions was going on, and in all the rooms drink was being consumed, and it was absolutely impossible to get even a biscuit, or any sort of solid refreshment. During the hour and a half his friend was in the club he was perfectly certain that two hogsheads of beer were drawn and consumed, besides an enormous quantity of spirits — (laughter) — and besides this a large quantity of spirits was carried out of the club to be consumed outside. If further legislation was going to be put on licensed houses, the houses regulated by the State, he was perfectly certain that this Bill would do more harm than good. (Hear, hear.) In London he understood there were 160 of them, and they were simply for the purpose of getting outside the hours during which licensed houses had to be kept open and closed. He anticipated that if this Bill became law, the gentlemen who were the members of these various clubs would be the first that would be called upon to vote for prohibition. They would not be under the law, they would not be closed themselves, but they would come out to prevent the competition of well-regulated and properly licensed traders."
The Brewers' Guardian 1893, page 68.

The Bill in question was about the possibility of having local vetoes, that is having local votes to decide on whether to ban all alcohol outlets. Cosmo Bonsor in addition to being an MP was also a director of the Combe brewery, so he wasn't exactly impartial in this matter.

That club sounds like quite a fun place. Especially for a Sunday morning. I used to hate Sundays. Everything was shut and the pubs only opened for two hours in the afternoon and another three in the evening. What were you supposed to do?

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1959 Adnams XXX

It’s May, the weather is wonderful – what could be more appealing than a nice watery 1950’s Mild?

And this version of Adnams XXX Mild, at under 3% ABV, is certainly pretty watery. Though perhaps not quite as watery as it looks. I have a Whitbread Gravity Book analysis for Adnams Mild from 1967 and that lists the OG as 1033.5º.  Yet a brewing record from the same year gives the OG as 1031º.

Why the discrepancy? Probably because of primings. Most breweries don’t bother listing them in the brewing record. When they do, 2º or 3º is typical for the gravity boost primings give to a beer of this gravity. Primings probably account for the difference between the calculated colour and the one given in the analysis, which is around 20 SRM.

To simulate this, you could add another 0.5 lb of No. 3 invert at racking time. That should get you somewhere near the colour and effective OG.

It’s surprising how different this recipe is from 1950 XX. The earlier beer contained amber malt and caramel, but no pale malt.

I know little about the hops, other than that they were English and from the 1957 and 1958 harvests.

1959 Adnams XXX
mild malt 3.75 lb 57.69%
pale malt 0.75 lb 11.54%
crystal malt 80L 0.75 lb 11.54%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 19.23%
Fuggles 95 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1030
FG 1008
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 73.33%
IBU 20
SRM 13
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 95 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold