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03-11-2013, 07:18
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It's a sad day, as another series of posts reaches its conclusion. 1973 is the end of the road for Whitbread's Mild. At least for the version brewed at Chiswell Street. I think it's still produced somewhere in the UK.

It probably did live on a couple of years longer, until 1976 when the brewery closed. But the final brewing book is missing. Bit annoying that. It may just be that they've got it catalogued incorrectly. (Well, I know it's miscatalogued, because all their brewing books are. If you order using the LMA's catalogue you'll get a brewing book for a different year than you wanted. That's why I use my own catalogue, which is correct.) So it may be in the archive somewhere.

I'm quite glad that I divided the years for this series. Because, while the last set showed a total stability in the recipe, this time it's all over the shop. But we'll be getting to that later.

The decline of Mild is clear to see in the brewing records. There are fewer batches of Mild and those batches are smaller, mostly 200 to 400 barrels. Which, admittedly, is still quite a lot of beer. I would guess that the vast majority was sold in keg form. I remember that, while in the North and Midlands cask Mild was pretty common, it had virtually disappeared in London by the mid 1970's. Only a few Young's or Fuller's pubs still kept it.




Whitbread Mild Ale 1965 - 1973


Date
Year
Beer
OG
FG
ABV
App. Attenuation
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
boil time (hours)
boil time (hours)
Pitch temp
length of fermentation (days)
colour


26th Mar
1965
Best Ale
1030.7
1008.7
2.91
71.66%
5.54
0.68
1
0.75
64º
7
105


24th Mar
1966
Best Ale
1031.1
1009.6
2.84
69.13%
4.75
0.65
1
1.25
64º
7
100


22nd Feb
1967
Best Mild
1030.5
1009.5
2.78
68.85%
5.25
0.64
1
1
64º
6
110


21st Jul
1968
Best Mild
1030.5
1008.5
2.91
72.13%
5.25
0.65
1
1
64º
6
120


22nd May
1970
B. Mild
1030.8
1007.9
3.03
74.35%
3.42
0.43
1
1
64º
7
130


17th Dec
1971
B. Mild
1030.8
1008.4
2.96
72.73%
3.07
0.40
1
1
64º
7
110


17th Feb
1972
B. Mild
1030.9
1007.8
3.06
74.76%
3.22
0.43
1
1
64º
5
115


26th Jan
1973
B. Mild
1030.8
1010.8
2.65
64.94%
3.42
0.44
1
1
64º
6
110


Sources:


Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/132, LMA/4453/D/01/134, LMA/4453/D/01/135, LMA/4453/D/01/137, LMA/4453/D/09/140 and LMA/4453/D/09/141.



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The gravity was rock solid at a few points either side of 1031º. Though because the attenuation never quite reached 75%, it was mostly a little under 3% ABV. I sometimes wonder how anyone in the past could get pissed on these piss-weak beers. Maybe they didn't ever get more than a little merry. Or had a double whisky with every pint.

The grists. There's so much to talk about here. So much, I couldn't fit it all in one table. Amazingly, there's only one ingredient common to this set of beers: crystal malt. If you can remember back as far as the last set, every single beer had the same four ingredients in the grist: mild malt, crystal malt, No. 3 invert and the proprietary sugar Hay M.



Whitbread Mild Ale grists 1965 - 1973


Date
Year
Beer
OG
hops
pale malt
choc. Malt
crystal malt
MA malt
flaked barley
torrefied barley
no. 1 sugar
no. 3 sugar
other sugar


26th Mar
1965
Best Ale
1030.7
KT and Worcester hops.


5.88%
80.00%



10.98%
3.14%


24th Mar
1966
Best Ale
1031.1
MK and Worcester hops.


7.25%
64.05%
13.60%



15.11%


22nd Feb
1967
Best Mild
1030.5
MK and KT hops.


7.82%
68.46%
13.69%

7.17%

2.85%


21st Jul
1968
Best Mild
1030.5
MK and WGV hops.
68.46%

7.82%

13.69%

7.17%

2.85%


22nd May
1970
B. Mild
1030.8
MK, KT and EK hops.
78.39%

7.65%

5.64%

5.37%

2.95%


17th Dec
1971
B. Mild
1030.8
MK and Hants hops.
65.88%
3.23%
9.04%


9.47%


12.38%


17th Feb
1972
B. Mild
1030.9
MK and Hants hops.
68.81%
3.76%
9.14%


10.04%


8.24%


26th Jan
1973
B. Mild
1030.8
Hallertau and Worcester hops
69.09%
3.64%
9.09%


10.00%


8.18%


Sources:


Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/132, LMA/4453/D/01/134, LMA/4453/D/01/135, LMA/4453/D/01/137, LMA/4453/D/09/140 and LMA/4453/D/09/141.



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The biggest change is in the base malt, which changed in 1968 from mild malt to pale malt. Why did they do that? Probably just to standardise across their range. And, as Mild became less important in terms of sales, buying a separate base malt for it probably seemed frivolous.

More surprising than that was the change from No. 3 to No. 1 sugar. With the exception of WW I, it had been a constant in Whitbread's Mild since the 1890's. Not that No. 1 lasted long. It was dropped in 1971, when Whitbread switched to all proprietary sugars. Several of them. LP5, CDM and WSM. I think I know what that last one means: Whitbread Special Mix. Not sure about the others, but I suspect CDM is a dark sugar containing caramel.



Whitbread Mild Ale other sugars 1965 - 1973


Date
Year
Beer
OG
Duttson
Hay M
raw cane syrup
WSM
LP5
CDM


26th Mar
1965
Best Ale
1030.7

3.14%






24th Mar
1966
Best Ale
1031.1

3.02%
12.09%





22nd Feb
1967
Best Mild
1030.5
2.85%







21st Jul
1968
Best Mild
1030.5
2.85%







22nd May
1970
B. Mild
1030.8
2.95%







17th Dec
1971
B. Mild
1030.8



10.76%

1.61%


17th Feb
1972
B. Mild
1030.9




6.45%
1.79%


26th Jan
1973
B. Mild
1030.8




6.67%
1.52%


Sources:


Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/132, LMA/4453/D/01/134, LMA/4453/D/01/135, LMA/4453/D/01/137, LMA/4453/D/09/140 and LMA/4453/D/09/141.




Another big change in the 1970's was the addition of chocolate malt. I think that might well be the first time they'd ever used a dark grain in their Dark Mild. That's one of the things that cracks me up when I see homebrew Dark Mild recipes that use black or chocolate malt. Few of the Dark Milds I've come across in brewing records got all their colour from dark malt. And a majority got all of it from sugar and caramel.

In the previous set, the crystal malt content was around 6%. You can seet that increased to almost 8% in 1966 and 9% in 1971. That would presumably have added body and sweetness to the beer.

I've just been thinking about one of the things missing from Whitbread logs: priming sugars. I know that Whitbread primed their beers from the 1920's onwards, because Sydney Nevile mentions suggesting it his book "Seventy Rolling Years". Which means the gravity of the Mild would have been a little higher than the brewing records indicate. Hang on. LP5 . . . . could the LP stand for Liquid Primings?

For me, one of the most striking features of post WW II brewing records is the almost total absence of American hops. Very few foreign hops at all make an appearance. Usually in the form of fancy Continental hops like, in this case, Hallertau, or Saaz. You'll know why if you were paying attention during my series on hops. http://barclayperkins.blogspot.nl/2013/07/the-collapse-of-uk-hop-growing.html After WW II Britain was pretty much self-sufficient in hops for the first time in almost 100 years. Until the collapse of the British hops industry which, funnily enough, started in 1974, just after the period I'm covering here.

I just took the trouble to look at the hopping rate. It dropped by about 50% in 1970. Less than half a pound a barrel really is bugger all.

Right. That's Mild done. What should I do next? There's PA, IPA, a couple of Brown Ales, Strong Ales, Stouts and my personal fave, Gold Label. Suggest away. No guarantee I'll pay any attention, mind. Or do you want me to reveal the origins of Whitbread Trophy first?

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