Tony Leach is a home brewer based in Stockport and got in touch with us a while back for input on his attempts to clone Golden Age Boddington’s.
He had alread hashed it out pretty thoroughly on the Jim’s Beer Kit messageboard, including comments from Ron Pattinson, before we exchanged a few emails debating hop varieties, whether it was necessary to use any brewing sugars, and so on. He also spoke to someone who used to work at the brewery (on the phone, having been put through by the pub landlord) who advised him to use Nottingham dried yeast rather than the liquid strain that is supposedly the Boddington’s strain.
Here’s the recipe Tony eventually came up with:
Old Boddies Pre-1970 English Pale Ale Recipe Specs ------------ Batch Size (litres): 23 Total Grain (kg): 3.425 Total Hops (g): 54 Original Gravity: 1.036 Final Gravity: 1.006 Alcohol by Volume: 3.93% Colour (SRM/EBC): 6.6/13 Bitterness (IBU): 28.7 Efficiency: 75% Boil Time: 75 mins Grain ----- 2.5 kg Maris Otter Malt (73%) 0.5 kg Pilsner Malt (14.6%) 0.2 kg Golden Syrup (5.8%) 80g Carapils (Dextrine) (2.3%) 80g Torrefied Wheat (2.3%) 60g Flaked Corn (1.9%) Hops ---- 24g Northern Brewer (7.8% Alpha) @ 75 mins 24g Goldings (5.5% Alpha) @ 15 mins 6g Goldings (5.5% Alpha) for dry hop Misc ---- Single-step infusion mash at 65°C for 90 mins; mash PH adjusted to 5.3. Fermented at 18°C with Danstar Nottingham dried yeast Water: 'Stockport corporation pop dechlorinated with a crushy.'
This is his interpretation of the information at hand with some tweaks to suit modern materials and methods, with the primary success criterion being not complete historical verisimilitude but something more practical: the approval of some local drinkers who remembered Boddington’s at its best.
He brewed batches aiming for 28 and 30 IBUs but says:
Had the 28 IBU brew on at my local last night. For some reason it was only around 98% bright but that did not put people off having a go. Generally, it went down very well and brought some memories back for a few of the older boys. It’s dry — very dry, leaves you thirsty. Twenty-eight IBU is perfect, I would not go more. The dryness gets you and the bitterness hits the throat just right.
He’s keen for others to give his recipe a go; we will certainly be doing so later in the year.