Pre 95 Boddingtons anyone ?

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BridgeBrew

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Growing up in Manchester in the 70s/80s Boddies was the most beautiful beer that i can remember, creamy, easy drinking, wonderful stuff, i've tried it maybe twice since the old strangeways brewery closed in 95, and its total *****. Has anyone managed to emulate the old Boddies ? I was told the old brewery had it's own spring, and they had a special yeast strain. I can still taste it "the cream of Manchester"
 

Sadfield

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A bit before my time, and always thought 'Cream of Manchester' was a marketing thing for post 95 Boddies. Anyhow....



IIRC Marble Bitter is/or was reputedly Boddingtons of old.
 

Galena

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There is a recipe for the Strangeways Boddington's Bitter in The 1993 edition of Brew Your Own Real Ale at Home by Protz and Wheeler
I don't have time at the moment but if you wish I can post it up later. Interestingly it differs quite a lot from the recipe in The Real Ale Almanac 4th Ed by Roger Protz
 

soupdragon

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Recipe? Please, if you wouldn't mind? That would be good, thanks.

I'm slowly retuning my taste buds back to the more traditional malty beers, away from the fruitier ones that now seem to be taking over in some pubs and bars. Anyone remember Whitbread's Castle Eden? Used to love that back in the day. Oh and Wilson's bitter was another.
Oh the memories 😀

Cheers Tom
 

Hop_it

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A bit before my time, and always thought 'Cream of Manchester' was a marketing thing for post 95 Boddies. Anyhow....



IIRC Marble Bitter is/or was reputedly Boddingtons of old.
Interesting . . . . Have you brewed either of these yourself? And if so what was the verdict?
 

Hop_it

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I also remember the late 1970s and 1980s Boddingtons with some affection. I worked for a company with it's headquarters in the south east, but travelled quite often to one of the production plants in Thornton Cleveleys. I developed a liking for it in pubs in Fleetwood and Blackpool on those visits. I was later transferred up there permanently, and I can remember asking the owner of the local brew shop if he had any tips on how to make it. He told me that he had a kit which was a dead ringer for it. . . . . . . That was the last and the only beer kit that I have ever made 🤢
 

Northern_Brewer

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Recipe? Please, if you wouldn't mind?
Thing is, the magic of 1970s Boddies isn't really in "the recipe" as such, it's more about process and ingredients. In 1901 and 1987 it was essentially a SMaSH of pale malt and English hops, albeit rather stronger in 1901! Between those dates they had small amounts of a variety of adjuncts such as sugar and maize, but perhaps the defining feature of "classic" Boddies was the crazy attenuation they got, which could be over 91% (see the 1971 recipe) - and that was mashing at 66°C. So even if you're using a fairly high-attenuating yeast like Nottingham, you're going to need to help it with some adjuncts, and I think you'll have to mash lower than they did at Strangeways. All we know about the yeast is that it came from Tadcaster after Boddies were bombed in WWII, but I suspect something like Omega Gulo might be an interesting way to achieve the attenuation you need.

Ron Pattinson posted extensively about the decline of Boddies earlier this year, and it's clear that it wasn't any one thing that happened. They switched from using "traditional English" barley varieties to the more modern Triumph (around 1979 from memory), in the early eighties they started using much older hops, all sorts of small changes like that.

But if you want to get somewhere close, you want to aim for an ABV of around 4% so an OG in the high 1.030s depending on yeast attenuation, and BU:GU in the 0.80-0.90 range, which will probably mean in the ballpark of 32 IBU. They used a blend of hops from different farms, probably a mishmash of stuff like WGV and Target with Goldings as a dry hop, so use whatever English hops you have to hand but for simplicity you can never go wrong with all Goldings.

They were boiling for 90-120 minutes, but 60 minutes will be fine
Whatever weight of hops you used for bittering, add the same again at 30 minutes, and a third of that amount as a dry hop.

86% Maris Otter pale (mix in a bit of pilsner or MO extra pale if you have it to hand)
4% wheat
10% golden syrup

Mash at 66°C if you're using a diastatic yeast like Gulo, 63°C otherwise.
Yeast - highest attenuation one you can find, you're aiming for apparent attenuation over 90%.

But if you're seriously interested in recreating Boddies then you have to read Ron Pattinson's articles from earlier this year when he did a deep delve into the archives, see :

Also Orfy's thread on HBT :
 

Sadfield

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Interesting . . . . Have you brewed either of these yourself? And if so what was the verdict?
No, sorry. Just had these pages from Ron's site bookmark for future reference, after seeing him tweet about it early in the year.
 

Slid

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This is all very interesting. I used to drink Boddingtons Bitter in the first half of the 1980's. It tasted quite bitter and was very pale. No "aroma" really, as was the form in those days. To re-create now, a slightly older, higher gravity version, here is "something" I might go for, at 25L:

Pale Malt 4.5kg
Sugar 500g
English Hops to 40 IBU
French Saison BE-134 (!!)

I have the new hops Olicana and Sovereign opened and in the Freezer. The Saisons I did this summer with BE-134 attenuated immensely, seem jolly English, as opposed to Belgian and had none of the "Belle Saison" funkiness, so this could well be next Brewday.
 

Hop_it

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No, sorry. Just had these pages from Ron's site bookmark for future reference, after seeing him tweet about it early in the year.
Thanks for replying. To be honest I'm not entirely sure that I would like it as much now. My tastes in beer have changed over the years, but the thought of it brought back some good memories of getting pi55ed in Blackpool on expenses 🥴

I'm not a big fan of attempting to make clone beers because they are often a disappointment. I would rather make something "in the style of" with my own little twist to fit in with my current tastes. However, I think that if I do attempt it I would veer towards N_B's suggestions, and aim to get a high attenuation. It was always a dry tasting beer, which made it such a good session ale acheers.
 

Galena

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Recipe? Please, if you wouldn't mind? That would be good, thanks.
From the '93 Ed. of Brew your own real ale at home by Grahem Wheeler and Roger Protz

A remarkable, light, golden bitter, a fine quenching session beer from Boddongton's Strangeway Brewery, Manchester. Flinty dryness in the mouth, long, hard finish with hop bitterness and tart fruit.

OG: 1035

In the mash tun
Pale malt 3,700g (96.5%)
Black Malt 20g (0.5%)

In the copper

Cane sugar 120g (3%)
Fuggles 29g (start of boil)
Goldings 21g (start of boil)
Whitbread Goldings 13g (start of boil)
Northern Brewer 3g (15m)
Bramling Cross 5g (15m)
EKG 10g (15m)
Irish Moss 1 tsp (15m)

Brewing method C; Sinle infusion mash, top fermented.
Mash liquor: 9 litres Alcohol Content: 3.6%
Mash Temp: 65C FG: 1008
Mash Time: 90 mins Bitterness: 30 EBU
Boil time: 2 hours Final Volume: 23 Litres

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Real Ale Almanac from 1995 Protz has this information

Boddingtons Bitter
OG 1035 ABV 3.8%
Ingredients: pale ale malt (95%), patent malt ( 2%), cane sugar (3%), primed with cane sugar, 14 units of colour.
Fuggles, Goldings, Whitbread Goldings variety whole hops.

Tasting notes
Nose: Complex floral hops, lemon and spices aromas.
Palate: Flinty dryness in mouth, long hard finish with hop bitterness and tart fruit.

Comments: Remarkable well attenuated light gold bitter with complex hops and citric fruit character. Oldham Best Bitter is now brewed by Burtonwood: See following entry:..............................

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the 3rd ed. of Brew your own Real Ale by Graham Wheeler (Protz not credited)

The description is the same as above though he goes on to say "Currently brewed by Hydes in Manchester now that Boddingtons Strangeway brewery has closed.

This recipe seems to have been dumbed down quite a bit.

OG: 1035 Batch Size 23 litres

Pale Malt 3220g
Crystal malt: 200g
White sugar: 100g

Whitbread Golding hops 39g at start of boil
Fuggles 13g at 10 mins
irish Moss 3g @ 10 mins

Mash schedule 66C 90 mins
Boil time 90 mins
FG: 1008
ABV: 3.6%
EBU: 30
Colour: 14
 
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Hop_it

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From the '93 Ed. of Brew your own real ale at home by Grahem Wheeler and Roger Protz

A remarkable, light, golden bitter, a fine quenching session beer from Boddongton's Strangeway Brewery, Manchester. Flinty dryness in the mouth, long, hard finish with hop bitterness and tart fruit.

OG: 1035

In the mash tun
Pale malt 3,700g (96.5%)
Black Malt 20g (0.5%)

In the copper

Cane sugar 120g (3%)
Fuggles 29g (start of boil)
Goldings 21g (start of boil)
Whitbread Goldings 13g (start of boil)
Northern Brewer 3g (15m)
Bramling Cross (15m)
EKG 10g (15m)
Irish Moss 1 tsp (15m)

Brewing method C; Sinle infusion mash, top fermented.
Mash liquor: 9 litres Alcohol Content: 3.6%
Mash Temp: 65C FG: 1008
Mash Time: 90 mins Bitterness: 30 EBU
Boil time: 2 hours Final Volume: 23 Litres

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Real Ale Almanac from 1995 Protz has this information

Boddingtons Bitter
OG 1035 ABV 3.8%
Ingredients: pale ale malt (95%), patent malt ( 2%), cane sugar (3%), primed with cane sugar, 14 units of colour.
Fuggles, Goldings, Whitbread Goldings variety whole hops.

Tasting notes
Nose: Complex floral hops, lemon and spices aromas.
Palate: Flinty dryness in mouth, long hard finish with hop bitterness and tart fruit.

Comments: Remarkable well attenuated light gold bitter with complex hops and citric fruit character. Oldham Best Bitter is now brewed by Burtonwood: See following entry:..............................

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the 3rd ed. of Brew your own Real Ale by Graham Wheeler (Protz not credited)

The description is the same as above though he goes on to say "Currently brewed by Hydes in Manchester now that Boddingtons Strangeway brewery has closed.

This recipe seems to have been dumbed down quite a bit.

OG: 1035 Batch Size 23 litres

Pale Malt 3220g
Crystal malt: 200g
White sugar: 100g

Whitbread Golding hops 39g at start of boil
Fuggles 13g at 10 mins
irish Moss 3g @ 10 mins

Mash schedule 66C 90 mins
Boil time 90 mins
FG: 1008
ABV: 3.6%
EBU: 30
Colour: 14
The description is spot on . . . . . I am well on the way to being persuaded to give it a try. Although I think I would increase the bitterness a bit - perhaps to a calculated ~40 IBU. 🤞
 

soupdragon

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From the '93 Ed. of Brew your own real ale at home by Grahem Wheeler and Roger Protz

A remarkable, light, golden bitter, a fine quenching session beer from Boddongton's Strangeway Brewery, Manchester. Flinty dryness in the mouth, long, hard finish with hop bitterness and tart fruit.

OG: 1035

In the mash tun
Pale malt 3,700g (96.5%)
Black Malt 20g (0.5%)

In the copper

Cane sugar 120g (3%)
Fuggles 29g (start of boil)
Goldings 21g (start of boil)
Whitbread Goldings 13g (start of boil)
Northern Brewer 3g (15m)
Bramling Cross (15m)
EKG 10g (15m)
Irish Moss 1 tsp (15m)

Brewing method C; Sinle infusion mash, top fermented.
Mash liquor: 9 litres Alcohol Content: 3.6%
Mash Temp: 65C FG: 1008
Mash Time: 90 mins Bitterness: 30 EBU
Boil time: 2 hours Final Volume: 23 Litres

----------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Real Ale Almanac from 1995 Protz has this information

Boddingtons Bitter
OG 1035 ABV 3.8%
Ingredients: pale ale malt (95%), patent malt ( 2%), cane sugar (3%), primed with cane sugar, 14 units of colour.
Fuggles, Goldings, Whitbread Goldings variety whole hops.

Tasting notes
Nose: Complex floral hops, lemon and spices aromas.
Palate: Flinty dryness in mouth, long hard finish with hop bitterness and tart fruit.

Comments: Remarkable well attenuated light gold bitter with complex hops and citric fruit character. Oldham Best Bitter is now brewed by Burtonwood: See following entry:..............................

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the 3rd ed. of Brew your own Real Ale by Graham Wheeler (Protz not credited)

The description is the same as above though he goes on to say "Currently brewed by Hydes in Manchester now that Boddingtons Strangeway brewery has closed.

This recipe seems to have been dumbed down quite a bit.

OG: 1035 Batch Size 23 litres

Pale Malt 3220g
Crystal malt: 200g
White sugar: 100g

Whitbread Golding hops 39g at start of boil
Fuggles 13g at 10 mins
irish Moss 3g @ 10 mins

Mash schedule 66C 90 mins
Boil time 90 mins
FG: 1008
ABV: 3.6%
EBU: 30
Colour: 14
From the 1st recipe, what's the amount of Bramling Cross @ 15 mins? Was it mentioned or just a typo?

Cheers Tom
 

An Ankoù

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Just read Orfy's thread, following the link provided by NB, above. With the cara / crystal malt additions, Young's ale yeast and the predictably high FG, it looks a million miles away from the "flinty dryness" and mega-high attenuation referred to in the other recipes. No doubt it's a nice beer, but I have difficulty identifying with Boddington in its heyday.
 

Northern_Brewer

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To be fair to Orfy, that original recipe was published in 2007, before Ron's research had made clear just how attenuated Boddies really was (although obviously you could taste that it wasn't exactly sweet). A number of people made it and declared it to be pretty close, even if now we can look at original recipes (even if they're not particularly clear, as another of Boak & Bailey's articles makes plain.

But that HBT thread has evolved into a more general discussion on cloning Boddies, albeit mostly with USians who've never tasted the original.
 

trueblue

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Sure I read somewhere the yeast was changed somewhere along the way.
 

An Ankoù

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To be fair to Orfy, that original recipe was published in 2007, before Ron's research had made clear just how attenuated Boddies really was (although obviously you could taste that it wasn't exactly sweet). A number of people made it and declared it to be pretty close, even if now we can look at original recipes (even if they're not particularly clear, as another of Boak & Bailey's articles makes plain.

But that HBT thread has evolved into a more general discussion on cloning Boddies, albeit mostly with USians who've never tasted the original.
These links are a boon NB. I, too, have never tasted the original, but the description sounds right up my street so I'll be having a go at a highly attenuated and bitter pale ale in the near future.
 
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