Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Let's brew Wednesday - Whitbread 1918 IPA

Two WW I posts in a single day. You're so lucky. I don't have much to say on this one. Except it's good to see a recipe for a proper, traditional English IPA.

The gravity, 1033º is no arbitrary number. This is the period of price control. Beers with an OG between 1030º and 1034º cost 5d a pint (in the public bar).

I'll now leave you in Kristen's capable hands.

Future recipe notes:
From here on out I'll be using values for fresh hops as its easier for most people. I'll include the avg AA% from the actual log for the ones that want to make a beer more traditional. After numerous requests I'll also be adding a craft size recipe in both metric and standard. Additionally, Ill add a little blurb with tasting notes. Now to the beer...

Whitbread 1918 IPA

Only one year later than last weeks recipe and this beer has gone into the toilet. The gravity has dropped by about a quarter and the hops nearly in half. Its a vague representation of what it was.

Here are a few notes on the differences in the two beers, 1917 and 1918 IPA:

Not entirely different here. Nearly the same percentages of the different grains. Spanish is out and in its place is twice the amount of California 6row. You'll notice that the malt isn't as old in the 1918 version which should make the character a little more fresh and malty than grainy. The sugar is in pretty much the same proportions (~20%) but it will dry out even more than the 1917 version. They start using the invert #1 rather than glucose which will give it a touch of
caramel character.

Same method in both cases. Quite thick with large sparge volume.

There was a glut of hops towards the end of WWI so I'm not sure why they cut them by half. The 1918 hops are also fresher than the 1917 edition. Both are similar EKG varieties. I think this is a very good time to bring up something that many people get confused about historic recipes. The difference between hops per quarter and hops per barrel. In nearly every recipe I've seen they give the hops in hops per quarter and only the later years do they start doing hops per barrel. So lets look at these two recipes as an example:

1917 IPA
2.42lb/ bbl
11.94lb/ qtr

1918 IPA
1.7lb/ bbl
11.88lb/ qtr

As you can see the lb/ bbl is an indication of the actual bu where lb/qtr is an indication of ONLY the ration of the weight of hops to the VOLUME of grist. I don't know how many 'expert' beer writers tomes I've read that indicate beers with 25 or even 30lb/ bbl which is ridiculous.

Tasting Notes
Pour deep golden and releases a subtle resinous nose. Some grassy, herbaceous hops with lots of candied fruit. Grainy sweetness on the palate turns into a hint of toffee drops on the end. Finishes quite dry lending a pithy, tart character.

1 comment:

Gary Gillman said...

Excellent! Except for the gravity, that taste note describes very well the export version of Greene King IPA which claims historical research to make a true IPA.