Monday, 21 July 2008

Bottled Stout 1959

Another very specific post today. I just hit a rich seam in the Whitbread Gravity Book. Loads of Stouts, all analysed on September 3rd 1959. The beers came from an array of regional breweries across the Midlands, North and Scotland. A couple are even still around.

The Stouts have broadly similar OG's - between 1039 and 1049 - yet are remarkably diverse in ABV and apparent attenuation. They range from Holt's Brown Stout at 4.7% ABV and 83% attenuation to Younger's Capital Stout at 2.8% ABV and 51% attenuation. The other beers are spread pretty evenly between these maximum and minimum figures.

What does that tell us? That British Stouts were very diverse. The ones at the bottom end of the attenuation scale must have been pretty sweet. The word "Sweet" in the names of many of these beers is a bit of a giveaway on that count. On the other hand, anything with over 80% attenuation must have been dry. These are how they break down:

>80% attenuation 3
70-80% attenuation 4
60-70% attenuation 16
<60% attenuation 15

From which I deduce that a majority of these Stouts were quite sweet. A significant minority - 18% - were dry.

What's the purpose of this? Just me hammering away at the point "Not all British Stout was sweet".

1 comment:

Kristen England said...

Anything on the correlation between the 'sweetness' and the ingredients? Meaning, stouts with certain grain bills are sweeter than dry and such? From practical experience I have found that stouts with more brown malt tend to be sweeter and ones with more roasted malts tend to be drier...this is all form moderate gravities.

Stouts with a lot of crystal malt will be sweet b/c of the inherent sweetness left therein. What about location? Do you see that there is a sweet/dry preference across the country? Maybe industrial city centers vs country brewers?