Thursday, 18 August 2011

Let's Brew Wednesday - Fullers 1914 AK

You know my feelings about AK. Obsessive doesn't do them justice. Fanatical is too mild. All-consuming? No still doesn't go far enough.

Personal reminiscences and a bit of name dropping. I'll be weaving those into today's trousers. Hope I don't end up with my arse hanging out of them.

The hot summer of 1975. I was so disappointed when the bastards at the dole office found me a job. Until I found out it was in a brewery. Even though they didn't brew any cask beer. How many kegs did I fill with AK that summer? A lot. Definitely a lot more than with IPA. AK was the brewery's biggest seller. Just as it had been when it said Hole's rather than Courage above the gate.

I must have drunk Courage AK at some point. The stuff was ubiquitous. Courage owned all but five (four Home Ales, one Watney) of the 30-odd pubs in Newark. But I can't remember it at all.Was it hoppy? Malty? Sweet? No idea, I'm afraid. I can remember Barnsley Bitter. That was a lovely drop, dry and scorchingly bitter, in the steady persistent way of a good British Pale Ale.

Finding the truth about AK was one of the pushes that propelled me through the archive doors. Yet it wasn't in an archive that I first caught a glimpse of one through the trees. It was sitting in John Keeling's office the first time I dropped by Fuller's. He had one of their old brewing logs on his table. 1910 or thereabouts. John is an easy man to listen to. Full of stories and facts. But something pulled my attention away from his words like a freight train loco. Idly flicking through the log I saw the magic letters appear: AK. It's a moment I'll never forget.

Fuller's AK is a special beer to me for that reason. I'm delighted that we're able to present you with it today. Enjoy it.





Time for Kristen to do his thang . . . . . . . . .







Fullers - 1914 - AK
General info:








What a wonderful little AK. Nearly equal OG:BU ration made with simple pale malts, maize and a bunch of sugar. Such an easy drinking little number that this one will definitely be one of my house beers from now on. Very sessiony but not really a session beer with the alcoholski!
Beer Specifics

Recipe by percentages
Gravity (OG)
1.045

47.5% English pale malt
0% 0
Gravity (FG)
1.009

16.3% Continental pale malt
0% 0
ABV
4.78%

16.3% American 6-row
0% 0
Apparent attenuation
79.61%

5.9% Flaked Maize
5.9% Invert No1
Real attenuation
65.22%

0% 0
7.9% Invert No2
IBU
41

0% 0
00
SRM
5







EBC
9.1

Mash
95min@149°F
1.04qt/lb




95min@65°C
2.17L/kg
Caramel to add
0srm










Boil
1.5 hours













Homebrew @ 70%
Craft @ 90%
Grist
5gal

19L

20bbl

20hl

English pale malt
4.04
lb
1.837
kg
389.17
lb
150.36
kg
Continental pale malt
1.39
lb
0.632
kg
133.78
lb
51.69
kg
American 6-row
1.39
lb
0.632
kg
133.78
lb
51.69
kg
Flaked Maize
0.50
lb
0.230
kg
48.65
lb
18.80
kg
Invert No1
0.50
lb
0.230
kg
48.65
lb
18.80
kg
Invert No2
0.67
lb
0.306
kg
64.86
lb
25.06
kg





818.88



Hops








Cluster 7% 105min (31bu)
1.02
oz
28.9
g
126.58
oz
3.058
kg
Fuggle 5.5% 60min (6bu)
0.29
oz
8.1
g
35.62
oz
0.861
kg
Styrian Goldings 5.25% 20min (4bu)
0.30
oz
8.5
g
37.32
oz
0.902
kg
Goldings 4.5% dry hop
0.27
oz
7.6
g
33.41
oz
0.807
kg









Fermentation
67°F /19.4°C






Yeast
Nottingham

1968 London ESB Ale Yeast  - WLP002 English Ale Yeast









Tasting Notes:








Pomme and squishy fruit, biscuits and lady fingers, grainy. Spicy and hoppy. Loads of husk and grain. Long bitter biscuity with a touch of honey on the end.


Kristen’s Version:

Ingredients
Grist–Three malts, some maize and two sugars. Easy peasy. I really like Maris Otter hear, especially the last two years one with the ‘honeyed’ character. Any continental pale malt will do just fine but I really like the character of the Belgian stuff. The American 6-row really shines here as it brings out a lot of the husk and grain and complexity of this beer. The inverts are pretty much at a great proportion. Any less No2 you lose the hints of fruit and more would make them stand out too much. I tried Golden Syrup for the No1 and there was too much toffee character for my taste.

Hops–Lots of different hops here. American, Belgian and English. The Cluster really add a strong bitter that last long through the finish. The combo of StyrianGoldings and EKG really do a very nice job of being spicy and fruity. The little bit of hops on the end really come through well. You can swap out the beginning hops for really any ones but the end I think you need to stick with the Goldings combo.


Yeast – The Fullers yeast really works the best. If in a pinch, the Nottingham does a pretty good job also.

9 comments:

Adrian Avgerinos said...

Ah, splendid. I've found a style name for my house pale ale. The only difference is I dropped the use of 6-row (because the wife says the grainy flavor made it taste like cheap lager), my late hop additions were tripled, and attenuation is around 90% making for a very dry refreshing drink. I like using WLP023 yeast for this brew along with extra gypsum in the kettle. So a Burton style AK I guess.

dana said...

I miss Kristen's detailed notes. Never ever too much detail. Isn't that the secret theme of this blog?

Kristen England said...

I included them so don't worry. Looks like the formating came off weird also. I'm sure Ron will fix it shortly.

Ron Pattinson said...

Kristen, did you? I've only got a spreadsheet.

Kristen England said...

Yeah, I seem to have sent the wrong file. You have the proper one now.

StuartP said...

Can anyone point me to some instructions for making various invert sugars?
Thanks.

Adrian Avgerinos said...

Stuart,start here:

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

That should get you pretty close. From what I understand Ragus uses refined sugar plus blackstrap for their brewer's invert and they add glucose syrup with a DE (Dextrose Equivalent) value of 90 to encourage solidification when offering their invert in block format.

Kristen England said...

Stuart,

Adrian is right. My buddy Nic and I put that together to help people out that can't get proper invert. Be sure and experiment with different brands of black strap as some are darker with more character than others.

Also, there are no real 'color' given with nearly all blackstrap. A simple dilution with X amount of blackstrap in water to gauge the approximate color contribution. Eg if you need 20g of Black strap to get X volume of invert then use that much in the same volume of water. If its lighter than the expected invert you are going for, add more or less.

I make big batches as I find the black strap can vary by lot quite a bit. you don't have to be perfect. Just do you best and get close.

It'd be great to hear, on the comments under the instructions, on how things work out. We are working on a chart of Black strap by brand on color and character. Should be done in the next little bit.

Sam Barber said...

Have made this beer a couple of times and its fantastic, but just noticed the quantity of Cluster (29g) gives me 22IBU, rather than the stated 31 on the recipe.
I've brewed it like this (22IBU) and its a great beer, but would like to make it as close to the original recipe as possible, so if anyone could shed any light on whether the quantity or Ibu's are wrong (or theres something else i'm missing) i'd appreciate it.
thanks,