Don’t get the idea that I’m blaming them or anything. Brewers had no option but to brew very low-gravity beers in the immediate aftermath of WW II. It was called Austerity Britain for a good reason.
This beer is a real, real rarity. Especially in the difficult years after the war. Because it’s essentially an all-malt beer. The tiny percentage of diastatic malt extract I’m sure is just there for mash efficiency purposes. The percentage is so tiny it couldn’t have contributed anything to the flavour or character of the beer.
After the Free Mash Tun Act of 1880 almost no-one brewed all-malt. I’m straining my mind to think of any that I’ve seen. The occasional one-off, but that’s about it. Whereas Shepherd Neame used only malt in their Pale Ales from 1920 right through to the 1960’s. With the exception of WW II, when they were compelled to use flaked barley by the government.
The relatively high attenuation of this beer might have left it tasting a little thin. Though maybe the fact there were no adjuncts helped thicken up the body.
Around half the hops are designated “SN” in the record. I assume this means that they were from Shepherd Neame’s own hop gardens. The dry hops are a guess as the records don’t list them. It would have been strange indeed if a Bitter weren’t dry hopped.
|1947 Shepherd Neame BB|
|pale malt||7.00 lb||99.01%|
|malt extract||0.07 lb||0.99%|
|Fuggles 120 mins||0.75 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||0.50 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.25 oz|
|Mash at||152º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||120 minutes|
|pitching temp||62.75º F|
|Yeast||a Southern English Ale yeast|