Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1934 Kidd XXX

Don't be so surprised. We do sometimes get our act togeteher and post a Let's Brew Wednesday recipe on a Wednesday. Two weeks in a row is unusual. Don't let it raise your expectations too much.

We're continuing with the beers of Kidd and Sons of Dartford in Kent. (A brewery that was taken over and closed by Courage in 1937. Which is how come I have photos of a couple of their brewing books. Because they are in the Courage archive.) They brewed a typical set of draught beers for the period: Mild, Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Ale and Stout. Today's beer is XXX or their Strong Ale. It was probably sold under the name of Burton.

Quickly trawling through my collection of interwar Strong Ales for comparison purposes, I've come to these conclusions. The strength is fairly typical: a little over 1050º, 5%-ish ABV. The hopping rate is middle of the road at about 1.75 lbs per barrel. Amongst similar beers, the rate varied from 1.25 to 2 lbs per barrel.

The grist is quite untypical. Barclay Perkins equivalent beer, KK,contained pale malt, mild ale malt, SA malt, crystal malt, No. 3 invert sugar and flaked maize. Whitbread's XX was simpler, pale malt, a touch of chocolate malt and No. 3 invert sugar. Courage's XXX contained pale malt, No. 3 invert sugar, caramel and flaked maize. Do you see the recurring theme there?  No.3 invert. Kidd's XXX, however, used No. 2 invert.

I can't say this often enough: I wish this type of beer would make a comeback. I'd certainly drink it.



That's me done for now. So over to Kristen . . . . .











Kristen’s Version:

As I said in the intro, this baby is a bigger and richer cousin of the session milds of which we have done so many. After doing this one a few different times it very much is one I can see as going on a great house ale at any pub, cellar or basement. Its not so much brown rather than a wicked deep crimson, mahogany.

Ingredients

Grist – This type of beer really begs for a big rich malt like Optic or Cocktail. If you want something a little more fruity but still a little biscuit go with Golden Promise. Because of the large use of Invert No2 the huskiness from the 6-row really helps cut through all that dark invert ‘character’. I’ve tried swapping a pils malt out for the 6-row and it works alright. Not as husky for sure. If you go this route, make sure you choose one that’s not very elegant nor has a lot of DMS to it. Standard flaked maize works well and at such a low percent you don’t get a lot of character from it. I’ve swapped it out for straight corn sugar (after calculating equivalency) and didn’t find there to really be a comparable difference. I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it again. Get/make invert No2. I tried this straight swapping golden syrup and wasn’t pleased with the results as the beer was overly toffee and kinda one-dimensonal.

Hops –  I think Kidd got a deal on the Brambling’s because they show up many times in these 1934 logs. I used them again and even more of that curranty character came through. Much deeper this time as it played off the invert really well. This beer is quite bitter and full of resiny goodness so don’t be surprised when you try it how much hop comes through. It really drys out the dark fruit character very well. Same advice as before, if you can’t get Brambling’s go with Brewers Gold or Cluster.

Yeast – Same goes for the AK if it fits your fancy. This may get too fruity for some drinkers so if that’s you, try something not fruity. If not, give the ole Ringwood a try.




Processes

Advanced Mash – There was a short underlet but the single infusion worked pretty much exactly like the multi-infusion. Really, nothing special.

14 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

Is this a million miles from the likes of bottled Hobgoblin?

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, never having drunk bottled Hobgoblin, I'm not in a position to say.

Kristen England said...

Beer nut, yeah, kinda light year-ish. Hobgoblin, last I saw was a good portion of crystal malt with a bit of chocolate malt chucked in. This really has none of that dark crystal, cocoa you find in Hobgoblin. More along the lines of Henleys dark mild if anything.

Joe Stange said...

I just had a bottle of Hobgoblin in... Cuidad de Panamá, of all places. Miracle of miracles. But the recipe here looks a lot more interesting to me.

Kristen England said...

This is definitely one of those beers to make to see what Invert No2 really does in a beer. How it comes across, etc. I've made this with Invert No3 in equal amounts to the No2 and it just seemed to be too much and over the top. One would think they did such research then also!

So if you haven't monkeyed around with making your own invert, this is the perfect time to start!

Ron Pattinson said...

Fullers Past Masters XX has quite a bit of No.2 in it. That's how come I've tasted the real commercial stuff. It had way more flavour than I expected.

Jeff Renner said...

Kris - Have you posted how to make the three grades of invert? If not, can you do so? I am assuming that they are not available in the US. I haven't been able to find them.

Kristen England said...

Jeff,

Absolutely.

http://www.unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert

If you know a baker, they should be able to get a few different types of invert! ;)

mc said...

Would french strisselspalt work for a substitute as finishing hops? I've noticed they have a similar aroma to Brambling Cross.

Kristen England said...

Strisselspalt would be fine. Its much more elegant than Bramblings. They are usually very very low in alpha acid thought so double check that out.

Jeff Renner said...

Thanks, Kris. I've posted a proposal at the web page for using a pressure cooker at 10 psi, which will maintain 240F with less fuss. Details there.

Andrew said...

Brewed and blogged about this. Thanks Ron and Kristen. I can't get enough of this stuff.

http://rudeboybrewing.blogspot.com/

Ron Pattinson said...

Andrew, interesting brew day.

Brew Burton. That's my new slogan.

Anonymous said...

I'm planning on putting this XXX together some time soon. Have put a No.1 and a No.2 invert together successfully in the past, but have not used caramel.

Is it a make yourself ingredient?

If so, how?

And ... how do you calculate the correct colouring?

Oh, so many questions!