I've started going through the Whitbread gravity book I photgraphed on Tuesday. For no particular reason, I've started with the entries for Bass bottled beers.
Oddly enough, the 1960's were the one decade of the 20th century for which I had no real hard facts. Brewing logs and the Truman Gravity book have provided information on all the earlier decades. From the 1970's onwards, the CAMRA Good Beer Guide provides gravities. Now, thanks to Whitbread's industrial espionage, I can fill in the missing decade.
What can we learn from these figures? That Bass No 1 barley Wine has always had a massive OG, for one thing. They also blow one of my pet theories out of the water - that Barley Wine had a Bitter-like colour. The gravity book gives its colour as 100 and 110 - about the same as their Brown Ale. It's far darker than the Pale Ales, which are around 20.
Talking of Pale Ales, Blue Triangle was a filtered and pasteurised beer, Red Label was bottle-conditioned. Red Triangle was later just relabelled Worthington White Shield and was eventually dropped. An sad fate for the beer that had been the most famous Pale Ale in the world (as painted by Monet on the Folies Bergeres bar). You'll notice that the FG of some samples of Red Triangle is very low - 1003 to 1004. I think we can assume it was pretty dry.
I was surpised at the strength of the beers; the weakest are just a tad under 5% ABV. Remember that at this time the average OG was about 1037 equivalent to an average ABV of 3.7%.
I've never heard of Gold Triangle or Gold Label (thet appears to be the same beer). If anyone can remember it, please let me know.
Fermentability and mash temperature - When I wanted to make some low alcohol beers by producing a low fermentability wort a colleague dug out a paper for me relating mash temperature to ferment...
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