Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Whitbread Ales 1881

Back to the London Metropolitan Archive. More specifically, Whitbread Ales from the brewing year July 1880 to July 1881.

The overwhelming majority of beer brewed - some 80% of the total - was X. None of the other Ales could manage more than 6%. If you're wondering why there's no figure for the amount of KK brewed, it's because they seem to have lumped XX and KK together. For some reason FA is completely absent from the production figures. That one I can't explain.

The hopping rates (if you look at the pounds per quarter of malt figure) fall into two groups: the lightly-hopped X and XL (approx. 7.5 pounds per quarter) and FA, XX, KK, KKK and PA all hopped at between 12.5 and 15 pounds per quarter.

All of the beers must have been light-coloured as only pale malt and sugar were used. The sugar percentages are quite weird, with X and XL containing the least (around 5%) and PA and FA the most (over 25%). I would have expected it to be the other way around.

If you compare the strengths with those of Whitbread's beers in 1933, you'll notice that FA, the weakest beer in 1881 at 5.5% ABV, is stronger than the strongest beer from 50 years later (DB at just 5.09% ABV).

How different if we compare 1881 and 1911. In 1911 FA was 1048º, X 1057º, PA 1061º, KK 1071º and KKK 1077º - that is around 4º weaker than in 1881, except for KKK which was 8º weaker.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I was just reading about these Ales in Michael Jackson's World Guide to beer. He's still turning people on to good beer even after he's left us :-)