Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1913 William Younger No. 1

It's Wednesday and here's a recipe again. Wow. Two weeks in a row on time. Doubt it'll happen again any time soon.

We've the recipe for the big brother of last week's No. 3 - Younger's No. 1. As I've doubtless told you before, this is a legendary beer. The type of powerful beer that gave Scottish beer its reputation. You're looking at one of the final versions at full strength. By the early 1920's the gravity had dropped to 1082º

I'll give you the usual warning about the colour. I'm not sure what the finished colour of this beer was. I do have colour analyses from the 1920's. One is 70 EBC the other 80 EBC. Definitely a dark shade of brown. Feel free to colour this beer as much as you like.

There's little doubt in my mind that No. 1  - and the similar products from other Scottish breweries - are the origin of Belgian Scotch Ale. The only difference being that the examples produced in Scotland (and England, oddly) for the Belgian market retained gravities at a pre-WW I level. So like this beer.

What did Younger themselves call this beer? Depends on which side of the border you were. It was marketed as Strong Ale in Scotland and Scotch Ale in England. Now here's another question: what would I call it? I can't see anything wrong with calling it Scotch Ale. Or Strong Ale for that matter. Or Barley Wine. All are equally valid.  My personal preference would probably be Strong Ale. Nice and vague.

I'm intrigued by the level of hopping combined with a high FG. I don't think I've ever drunk anything quite like this. So, if you brew it, think about me. I'd be very grateful for a bottle or two.

I've not much to say this time. Straight on to Kristen . . . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

See the Youngers 1913 No. 3 for all the info you need. Hold 100% true for this one also. This is a beast, good luck!


Gary Gillman said...

Ron, I'm surprised by the very large amount of grain adjunct which, with the sugar additions, is almost to half the mash bill here. (I wonder if inexpensive international lager ever achieved such high levels of adjunct).

Would this not reduce the richness of the palate? Apparently it does not, presumably this is due to the triple effect of low attenuation, high alcohol and heavy hopping.

The No. 1 style and similar beers were surely the inspiration for modern Belgian Scotch Ale but I'd think most of the latter were all-malt or at least used lower levels of adjunct.


Arctic Alchemy said...

I am no longer surprised by these confounding recipes with corn, sugar and other adjuncts. Just not what I was told about Scotland's beer before, thanks Ron and Kristen !