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Ridiculous levels of detail. That's what I'm good at. There's going to be plenty of it as we browse through 80 years of Lees brewing records over the coming weeks. What fun we'll have.

Because I'm such a generous and thoughtful bloke, this time I'm throwing in a bonus table of Whitbread beers from the same time. So you can compare Northern and Sourhern beers at your leisure.

I got all excited when I spotted "C" Ale in the logs. It's a Manchester-specific type of bottled beer that appears to have left no ripples in the pond of history, save for a few labels. No-one seemed to have any idea what it was, other than quite strong. Well we do now. Have an idea of what it was. How would I describe it? Like a bottled Burton. Or a weakish Old Ale. Something like that. Dark and reasonably well-hopped.

Before you look at the tables, I've one last remark. One of the main effects of WW II seems to have been a standardisation of beer gravities. Something similar - but more extreme happened at the end of WW I. When prices were fixed by government depending on the gravity of the beer.

First the Lees beers:


JW Lees beers 1948 - 1951
Date
Year
Beer
Style
OG
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
barrels
lbs hops
qtrs malt
boil time (hours)
dry hops (oz / barrel)
colour
dry hops lbs
pale malt
black malt
crystal malt
glucose
other sugar
flaked barley
enzymic malt
18th Aug
1948
Bot. B
Mild
1030.0
5.32
0.66
112
74
13.9
1.75






76.94%
0.46%
3.66%
2.44%
12.21%
2.45%
1.83%
19th Aug
1948
B
Pale Ale
1038.0
6.02
0.95
109.3
104
17.266
1.75






86.07%
0.10%
0.00%
2.05%
10.25%
0.00%
1.54%
31st Aug
1948
K
Mild
1028.0
5.65
0.65
117
76
13.46
1.75






80.13%
0.98%
3.91%
0.00%
10.42%
2.61%
1.95%
2nd Sep
1948
B
Pale Ale
1038.0
6.14
0.95
111
106
17.266
1.75






86.07%
0.10%
0.00%
0.00%
12.30%
0.00%
1.54%
19th Nov
1948
C Ale
Strong Ale
1050.0
4.48
0.91
46
42
9.375
1.75
1.39


4
74.64%
1.44%
5.74%
3.83%
11.48%
0.00%
2.87%
3rd Dec
1948
K
Mild
1028.0
5.23
0.60
116
70
13.375
1.75
0.83


6
79.38%
1.17%
4.67%
3.11%
9.34%
0.00%
2.33%
13th Dec
1948
C Ale
Strong Ale
1049.0
5.55
1.11
47
52
9.375
1.75
1.36


4
74.64%
1.44%
5.74%
0.00%
15.31%
0.00%
2.87%
15th Dec
1948
BM
Mild
1032.0
5.95
0.78
41
32
5.375
1.75
0.78


2
73.85%
2.31%
9.23%
0.00%
12.31%
0.00%
2.31%
20th Dec
1948
Bot. B
Mild
1030.0
5.26
0.65
108
70
13.313
1.75
0.89


6
83.86%
0.50%
3.99%
0.00%
10.65%
0.00%
1.00%
4th Jan
1949
Bot. B
Mild
1030.0
5.26
0.65
108
70
13.313
1.75
0.89


6
83.86%
0.50%
3.99%
0.00%
10.65%
0.00%
1.00%
7th Jan
1949
K
Mild
1028.0
5.23
0.60
116
70
13.375
1.75
0.83


6
82.62%
0.98%
3.93%
0.00%
10.49%
0.00%
1.97%
10th Jan
1949
C Ale
Strong Ale
1051.0
5.40
1.13
46
52
9.625
1.75
1.39


4
75.35%
1.40%
5.58%
0.00%
14.88%
0.00%
2.79%
10th Feb
1949
B
Pale Ale
1038.0
5.79
0.90
111
100
17.266
1.75
0.86


6
86.07%
0.10%
0.00%
0.00%
12.30%
0.00%
1.54%
13th Apr
1950
K
Mild
1028.0
5.75
0.65
113.8
74
12.875
1.75
0.84


6
85.28%
0.51%
4.06%
2.71%
5.41%
0.00%
2.03%
21st Apr
1950
Bitter
Pale Ale
1041.0
5.40
0.90
110.8
100
18.516
1.75
1.73


12
87.07%
0.09%
0.00%
0.00%
11.42%
0.00%
1.43%
31st May
1950
K
Mild
1031.0
5.84
0.73
114.4
84
14.375
1.75
0.84


6
83.89%
0.91%
3.65%
2.43%
7.29%
0.00%
1.82%
20th Jun
1950
Best Mild
Mild
1035.0
5.82
0.84
104.4
88
15.125
1.75
0.92


6
82.22%
0.87%
3.50%
2.33%
9.33%
0.00%
1.75%
29th Jun
1950
K
Mild
1031.0
5.84
0.74
113.2
84
14.375
1.75
0.85


6
83.89%
0.91%
3.65%
2.43%
7.29%
0.00%
1.82%
9th Aug
1950
Best Mild
Mild
1035.0
5.46
0.78
107.6
84
15.375
1.75
0.89


6
80.00%
0.87%
3.48%
2.32%
11.59%
0.00%
1.74%
2nd Apr
1951
C Ale
Strong Ale
1053.0
4.27
0.99
40.3
40
9.375
1.75


112


74.64%
1.44%
5.74%
3.83%
11.48%
0.00%
2.87%
6th Apr
1951
K
Mild
1031.0
5.84
0.73
115.4
84
14.375
1.75


28


82.62%
0.98%
3.93%
2.62%
7.87%
0.00%
1.97%
13th Apr
1951
Bitter
Pale Ale
1041.0
6.10
0.98
91.7
90
14.76
1.75


20


86.15%
0.09%
0.00%
0.00%
11.97%
0.00%
1.79%
Source:
JW Lees brewing records

Now Whitbread's:



Whitbread beers 1948 - 1951
Date
Year
Beer
Style
OG
FG
ABV
App. Attenuation
lbs hops/ qtr
hops lb/brl
barrels
lbs hops
qtrs malt
boil time (hours)
boil time (hours)
Pitch temp
colour
pale malt
choc. Malt
crystal malt
MA malt
PA malt
no. 1 sugar
no. 3 sugar
other sugar
2nd Mar
1948
Ex IPA
IPA
1046.8
1013.0
4.47
72.22%
8.91
1.78
320
570
64
1.25
1.25
62
23
0.00%
0.00%
2.56%
0.00%
79.26%
18.18%
0.00%
0.00%
10th Feb
1948
PA
Pale Ale
1034.4
1011.0
3.10
68.02%
5.66
0.81
743
600
106
1.08
1
64
32
0.00%
0.00%
9.93%
0.00%
79.47%
10.60%
0.00%
0.00%
24th Mar
1948
IPA
IPA
1032.2
1005.5
3.53
82.92%
9.00
1.18
823
972
108
1.25
1.33
64
21.5
0.00%
0.00%
9.62%
0.00%
82.69%
7.69%
0.00%
0.00%
24th Mar
1948
XX
Mild
1027.7
1005.5
2.94
80.14%
7.07
0.80
1629
1308
185
1
0.75
65
12 + 40
55.14%
0.00%
7.57%
25.95%
0.00%
0.00%
8.65%
2.70%
22nd Mar
1948
PA
Pale Ale
1034.9
1010.0
3.29
71.35%
6.42
0.93
728
680
106
1.08
1.25
64
24.5
0.00%
0.00%
9.93%
0.00%
79.47%
10.60%
0.00%
0.00%
1st June
1950
PA
Pale Ale
1039.9
1012.5
3.62
68.67%
6.63
1.07
707
756
114
1.08
1
64
26.5
0.00%
0.00%
9.20%
0.00%
80.98%
9.82%
0.00%
0.00%
2nd June
1950
Best Ale
Mild
1031.7
1010.5
2.80
66.88%
7.27
0.89
810
720
99
1
0.75
65
17 + 40
0.00%
0.00%
7.07%
83.84%
0.00%
0.00%
6.06%
3.03%
2nd June
1950
IPA
IPA
1034.5
1005.5
3.84
84.06%
9.54
1.30
823
1068
112
1.25
1.25
64
24
0.00%
0.00%
8.33%
0.00%
84.26%
7.41%
0.00%
0.00%
2nd June
1950
Ex PA
Pale Ale
1055.3
1011.5
5.79
79.20%
9.00
2.04
331
675
75
1.08
1.25
62
25.5
0.00%
0.00%
2.90%
0.00%
79.71%
17.39%
0.00%
0.00%
5th June
1950
Best Ale
Mild
1031.7
1008.5
3.07
73.19%
7.29
0.90
1596
1440
197.5
1
1
65
15 + 40
0.00%
0.00%
7.09%
84.05%
0.00%
0.00%
6.08%
2.78%
5th June
1950
IPA
IPA
1034.6
1006.0
3.78
82.66%
9.54
1.30
821
1068
112
1.25
1.25
64
23
0.00%
0.00%
8.33%
0.00%
84.26%
7.41%
0.00%
0.00%
6th June
1950
PA
Pale Ale
1040.1
1011.5
3.78
71.32%
6.63
1.08
701
756
114
1.08
1.25
64
30
0.00%
0.00%
9.20%
0.00%
80.98%
9.82%
0.00%
0.00%
7th Jul
1950
DB
Brown Ale
1054.5
1012.5
5.56
77.06%
8.32
1.86
317
591
71
1
1.5
62
19 + 40
0.00%
1.41%
0.00%
0.00%
80.28%
0.00%
16.90%
1.41%
23rd Jan
1951
DB
Brown Ale
1053.6
1012.5
5.44
76.68%
8.38
1.88
315
591
70.5
1
0.75
62
15 + 40
0.00%
1.41%
0.00%
0.00%
80.57%
0.00%
16.96%
1.06%
22nd Dec
1950
Best Ale
Mild
1030.6
1009.0
2.86
70.59%
7.29
0.94
765
720
98.75
1
1.5
65
16 + 40
0.00%
0.00%
7.09%
84.05%
0.00%
0.00%
6.08%
2.78%
17th Apr
1951
PA
Pale Ale
1039.8
1007.0
4.34
82.41%
6.63
1.08
699
756
114
1.08
1
64
30
0.00%
0.00%
8.28%
0.00%
81.90%
9.82%
0.00%
0.00%
Source:
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives

Now let's taking a closer look. A ridiculously-detailed look. As warned.

First the 1948 ordinary Bitters:

1948 Lees Bitter 1038, 0.95 lbs hops barrel, 86% pale malt, trace of black malt, 12% sugar, 2% enzymic malt
1948 Whitbread PA 1034.4, 0.81 lbs hops barrel, 79% PA malt, 10% crystal malt, 11% sugar

Surprisingly, Lees Bitter was stronger and more heavily-hopped. Though, taking into account the differing gravities, the hopping level is about the same. More significant is the lack of any crystal malt in Lees Bitter.


Now the 1948 ordinary Milds:

1948 Lees K Mild 1028, 0.65 lbs hops barrel, 80% pale malt, 1% black malt, 4% crystal malt, 13% sugar, 2% enzymic malt
1948 Whitbread XX Mild 1027.7, 0.80 lbs hops barrel, 55% PA malt, 26% mild malt, 8% crystal malt, 11% sugar

These are much closer in profile. The gravities are near identical. The Lees is hopped a little less. And it also had only half of the crystal malt of Whitbread XX. But one of the biggest differences doesn't show up here: the colour. I know from later logs that K was only about 30-35 EBC. Whitbread XX was 80 to 90 EBC.


1950 ordinary Bitters:

1950 Lees Bitter 1041, 0.90 lbs hops barrel, 87% pale malt, trace of black malt, 11% sugar, 1.5% enzymic malt
1950 Whitbread PA 1041, 1.08 lbs hops barrel, 81% PA malt, 9% crystal malt, 10% sugar

The two beers now have exactly the same gravity.The biggest difference remains the lack of crystal in the Lees. Which is also hopped a little more lightly.


1950 ordinary Milds:

1950 Lees K Mild 1031, 0.74 lbs hops barrel, 84% pale malt, 1% black malt, 4% crystal malt, 10% sugar, 2% enzymic malt
1950 Whitbread Best Ale 1031.7, 0.90 lbs hops barrel, 84% mild malt, 7% crystal malt, 9% sugar

Another two very similar beers. Just a few more hops and more crystal in the Whitbread. And, of course, the base malt for Whitbread was mild ale malt.


There are a few generic differences. Like Lees use of a small quantity of enzymic malt. The sugar options differed, too. Lees going for a mix of glucose, invert and proprietary sugars. Whitbread used mostly No.1 and No. 3 invert.

Was that detailed enough? Hang on. I haven't got into the mashing schedules yet. I've already more than enough today. Perhaps tomorrow.


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