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09-03-2016, 08:52
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I thought for a minute that I’d finished with Whitbread’s beers of the 1950’s. Then remembered that I hadn’t done the Brown Ales. Or the ordinary Mild. Without them, how would you recreate a 1950’s Whitbread pub?

I’ll admit to having a bit of a thing about Double Brown. It is a fascinating beer. A type of Brown Ale which has been forgotten. Sadly, in my opinion as it looks like a cracking beer. Dark, but quite hoppy and a good bit stronger than most post-WW II Brown Ales.

It was introduced in 1932, when it had a very respectable gravity of 1058º. And a grist very different from Whitbread’s Mild Ales. A more expensive grist, using pale ale malt as its base, as did their, er, Pale Ales. At 10 lbs of hops per quarter of malt, it was one of their most heavily hopped beers, ranking above PA (6lbs per quarter) and just behind IPA (11 lbs per quarter). Two things are clear: it wasn’t a cheap drink and it wasn’t based on Mild.

DB managed to survive WW II, though its OG did drop to the low-1040’s. By 1950, it was almost back to its pre-war strength, at 1055º. But it wasn’t to last long. DB was discontinued either in late 1955 or early 1956. And Whitbread concentrated on their other Brown Ale, Forest Brown. A watery beer based on Best Ale, Whitbread’s standard Mild.

You can’t accuse the recipe of being over-complicated. There’s just the base malt, a smidgin of chocolate malt and some No.3 invert sugar. There was a small amount of a proprietary sugar which I’ve replaced by more No. 3. The hops were a combination of Kent, Mid Kent and Sussex. I’ve assumed they were all Fuggles, but feel free to swap some for Goldings.

Whitbread went in for very short boils after WW II and this beer is no exception, being boiled for just 60 minutes.

No time to piss around, just to give you the recipe . . .

1954 Whitbread Double Brown

pale malt
9.00 lb

chocolate malt
0.125 lb

no. 3 invert sugar
1.75 lb

Fuggles 60 min
1.25 oz

Fuggles 40 min
1.25 oz

Fuggles 20 min
1.50 oz




Apparent attenuation



Mash at
150º F

Sparge at
168º F

Boil time
60 minutes

pitching temp
62º F

Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

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