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02-03-2016, 07:14
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Continuing my series of post-WW II Whitbread Stout recipes, we’ve arrived at the granddaddy of them all: Mackeson.

Why have I jumped forward a few years? There’s a very good reason. It’s all to do with how Whitbread added the lactose. It wasn’t added until post fermentation and doesn’t appear in the brewing log at all. I think it’s because of the deal Whitbread had with the excise on lactose. That effectively they didn’t pay any duty on the gravity die to lactose. By adding it after fermentation, it wouldn’t appear in the gravity reading taken for tax purposes before fermentation.

Normal sugar primings added at racking time were taxed. For them, tax was paid on the gravity of the sugar solution in exactly the same way as for a wort.

Getting back to my point, because of the way Whitbread added the lactose, I have no idea how much. But, I do have analyses of the finished beer. By looking at the difference in OG between that and the version in the brewing log, I can work out the quantity of lactose used. Simple, eh? The first post-war analysis I have is from 1954, so that’s the year I’ve picked.

As for the recipe, it was the same as Whitbread Stout and Extra Stout with which it was parti-gyled. The only real change in the grist from the late 1940’s Stouts is the replacement of pale malt with more mild malt. The No.2 invert is in place of a proprietary sugar called Duttsons in the log.

In the 1950’s Mackeson was amazingly popular. This probably comes from around the peak of its fame. Whitbread produced the beer in just about every brewery it controlled. It’s suffered a sharp decline since then but remains one of the few big bottled beer brands from the 1950’s that is still on the market.

Oh. Nearly forgot. You’ll need to add caramel to get that colour.

Here’s that lovely recipe . . . .

1954 Whitbread Mackeson Stout

mild malt
6.50 lb

brown malt
0.75 lb

choc. Malt
0.75 lb

no. 3 sugar
0.75 lb

no. 2 sugar
0.25 lb

0.75 lb

Fuggles 75 min
0.75 oz

Fuggles 40 min
0.75 oz

Goldings 20 min
1.00 oz




Apparent attenuation



Mash at
148º F

Sparge at
170º F

Boil time
75 minutes

pitching temp
64º F

Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

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