Old British Beers and How to Make Them


Brewing methods for formulations in this book

The old recipes in this book were all made with malted barley, some 7-8 grades of roasted and caramelised malt and barley, and leaf hops. We do not think it is practical to try and duplicate this wide range of beers using the limited types of malt extract available.

However, for those beers made only from pale malt and hops a reasonable copy can be made using the palest available liquid or powder malt extracts and fresh hops. Such beers are unlikely to have the body and palate fullness of the same item produced directly from malted barley.

Method No.1 – Suitable for OGs up to 80

Add hot water to the ground grain to produce a stiff mash at 66°C (150°F). Maintain 66±1°C (150±2°F) for three hours then raise the temperature to 77°C (170°F) for 30 minutes. Sparge slowly with water at 82-85°C (180-185°F) to obtain the required volume. Boil with hops for 1 ½ hours. Cool. Strain and rinse the hops. Adjust to the required OG by the addition of cold boiled water or dried pale malt extract as needed. Ferment with good quality ale yeast. Dry hop with 1/10 oz Goldings.

Method No.2 – Suitable for OGs over 80

Traditionally these were made by using the first wort drained from a large batch of malt, the rest of which went into lower gravity beers.

2a) It is possible to duplicate this procedure on the small scale by:

i) using a very stiff mash

ii) sparging very slowly

iii) cease collecting wort when the gravity has dropped to a critical value – about 15 below the beer OG. Subsequent boiling with the hops for 1 ½ hours raises the gravity to that specified.

The wort remaining in the grain can be sparged out to make a second beer with an OG in the range 40-60. However, the making of a second beer can be avoided, if only the main beer is wanted, by using method 2b.

2b) Proceed as in method 2a until the wort collected has fallen in SG to 15 below the beer OG. Change the vessel receiving the wort and continue sparging slowly until the SG of the second wort drops to 50 below the beer OG. Boil the second, weaker wort until the SG (adjusted to room temperature) has risen to 15 below the beer OG. Add the first wort and raise to the boil. Add the hops and boil for 1 ½ hours.

Continue and complete the fermentation as in method 1.