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27-05-2015, 07:07
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The final Mild recipe for May is one of mine. From one of the many breweries gobbled up and spat out by Whitbread. Good news for me, because Whitbread were very good at preserving the brewing records of the breweries they bought.

I could have drunk Strong’s beers as they didn’t close until 1981. Except I’ve never been to that bit of the country (Hampshire) and Strong’s beers never travelled far. Whitbread had bought them in 1965, along with 950 pubs.* They were still brewing a cask Mild at time of closure. It was probably the descendant of this beer, though the gravity was a little lower.

Speaking of which, 1033.5 is a little high for a 1950’s Mild gravity. I’ve just averaged the OG for the hundred Milds I have from the period and it came to 1032.5. What does that tell us? What I already knew. That British beer strength haven’t changed much in the last 60 years. At least not the established, traditional styles.

The recipe itself is unspectacular: base malt and sugar. No maize and no slops in this one. Note the complete lack of dark malts despite the reasonably dark shade of the finished beer. The colour all comes from the No. 3 invert and caramel colouring.

I realise that back in my home brewing days I got Mild recipes totally wrong, using black or chocolate malt for the colour. I now realise few Milds were ever brewed that way. Had Dark Mild developed a couple of decades earlier, that might not have been the case. Then again, it’s probably only because simple ways of obtaining were available after 1880 when the use of sugar exploded. It had been legal in beer since 1847, but the Free Mash Tun Act of 1880 seems to have boosted sugar use. Especially specialist brewing sugars.

The hops are a total guess. But, knowing as I now do that 75% of the British crop was Fuggles in the early 1950’s, it seems a reasonable assumption. Especially as most of the other 25% consisted of Golding types. And you wouldn’t usually throw Goldings into Mild. You’d save those for classier, more hop-focused beers like Bitter.

I like the fact that there’s a full fermentation record in Strong’s logs. Which means that not only am I pretty confident about the FG, I also know that Strong used the dropping system. The fermenting beer was dropped 2 days into a 7 day primary.

Right that’s me done. I need to write a stack of posts to cover my California trip.

1952 Strong XXX Mild

MA malt
3.75 lb

PA malt
1.25 lb

no. 3 sugar
0.50 lb

candy sugar
0.75 lb

malt extract
0.25 lb

Fuggles 90 min
0.75 oz

Fuggles 30 min
0.75 oz




Apparent attenuation



Mash at
151º F

Sparge at
160º F

Boil time
90 minutes

pitching temp
61º F

WLP007 Dry English Ale

*“The Brewing Industry a Guide to Historical Records” by Lesley Richmond and Alison Turton, 1990, page 317.

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