Welcome to the very first Let's Brew Wednesday. Brought to you by Barclay Perkins in association with Kristen England of the BJCP. I do the bullshitting, Kristen does the work of actually putting the recipes together.
Today's recipe is an Courage X Ale from the early years of WW I. The original was brewed in the Horsleydown brewery, situated right next to Tower Bridge on the south bank of the Thames. The brewery building is still there, though nowadays it contains fancy flats rather than brewing kettles.
The war, other than making beer more expensive through tax increases, had little effect on brewing before 1917. Beers remained at pretty much their pre-war strength. At around 5% ABV, Courage X was considerably stronger than later Milds. Note that the darkest malt in the grist is crystal. Which is why the colour is a dark amber rather than brown.
These are Kristen's notes on the recipe:
Grist - 1 pale, 1 mild, 1 6-row and 1 crystal. Whomever you like to use, do so. I would have to say that the three base malts are all quite a bit different so do your best to mimic that.
Sugars - #3 invert syrup. If you dont have it you can mimic it by using dark brown sugar and inverting it. Invert sugar is made by mixing two parts table sugar to one part water, and adding two teaspoons lemon juice (1/4tsp tartaric acid) per pound of sugar. The mixture is brought almost to a boil and then reduced to a vigorous simmer for about 30 minutes.
Hops - Three different varieties are used. Fuggles and EKG are good substitutes for the UK ones but really any hop can be used that has an extended pedigree (read old). The ubiquitous Cluster American hops are a must.
Mash - Underlet the mash if at all possible (adding liquor to the bottom). If not, then a direct infusion will work just fine. You want a rate of 1.03qt/lb strike ratio. Do the two step infusion...if you aren't able, do a single infusion at 149F.
Liquor treatment - Salts are to be added to each gallon used.
Yeast - Any English will do well. One that particularly finished dry is one you want. Timothy Taylors yeast started at Courage so if you can get it, do so.
Ferment - This beer is a bit different in that its fermented at quite a high temperature. It averages right around 74-75F which is really quite high.
Here is a simplified version of just the recipe for 5 gal:
Grist (lbs) English Pale malt (Hutchinson) 3.06 English Mild malt (Hilton) 3.06 American 6-row malt (California) 0.90 English Crystal (75L) 0.44 Invert #3 syrup (Garton) 0.99
For a mere 25 euros, I'll create a bespoke recipe for any day of the year you like. As well as the recipe, there's a few hundred words of text describing the beer and its historical context and an image of the original brewing record.
Just click on the "Birthday Recipe" button below.
Guilt button - brewed my recipe commercially? pay me 100 euros. It really is the least you can do.