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26-12-2012, 08:18
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I hope you're enjoying this series as much as I am. And we haven't even got to the most exciting bit yet: Robert Younger's recipes.

Today's beers, at least the Pale Ales, nicely frame WW II. I'm pretty sure that the 1940 Pale Ale is also 60/- PA. It is only 0.25 of a degree lower than the 60/- PA from 1939 we looked at last time. It highlights nicely the effect on beer gravity of the war. Average gravity continued to drop after WW II, hitting its nadir in 1947:




Average OG 1939 - 1951


Year
OG


1939
1040.93


1940
1040.62


1941
1038.51


1942
1035.53


1943
1034.34


1944
1034.63


1945
1034.54


1946
1034.72


1947
1032.59


1948
1032.66


1949
1033.43


1950
1033.88


1951
1036.99


Source:


Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 50



It's revealing that the 1947 80/- is a similar gravity to the 1940 60/-. Basically the war had knocked 20 bob off Pale Ales.

How can you call a beer of 1028º a Stout? With a lot of cheek and the hope that the punters have forgotten that the word means "strong" in a beer context. The example from 1953 is a bit better in terms of gravity, but a pathetic degree of attenuation leave it even weaker in alcohol terms, a puny 2.38% ABV. Folköl, really.

And finally we have those Strong Ales. A bit weak compared to some of the others we've seen from Scottish breweries. The colour of the second, 16 + 40, is dark. Very dark. Just short of Stout territory.

The next part of this series will be dead, dead exciting. That's when I open up Robert Younger's brewing records and take a peek inside. Because there was something odd about the way they brewed. Logical, in a twisted way, but still odd.




Robert Younger's beers in the 1940's and 1950's


Year
Beer
Style
package
FG
OG
colour
ABV
App. Atten-uation


1940
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1008
1037.75

3.90
79.47%


1946
60/- Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1008
1028.5

2.65
71.93%


1946
60/- Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1011
1027.5

2.19
61.82%


1946
60/- Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1006
1027.5

2.79
78.18%


1947
80/- Ale
Pale Ale
bottled
1010
1038.5

3.76
75.32%


1947
Stout
Stout
draught
1008
1028

2.66
73.21%


1953
Sweet Stout
Stout
bottled
1017
1035.7
1 + 12
2.38
51.82%


1948
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
bottled
1015
1048

4.34
69.79%


1953
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
bottled
1017
1066.3
16 + 40
6.45
74.66%


Sources:


Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive


Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002





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