Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Let's brew Wednesday - 1924 Barclay Perkins RNS

Temporary relief today from my dull holiday tales with a recipe. It's been a while, hasn't it, since the last one?

The summer having finally appeared, it seems a good time to publish a Stout recipe. Stout and summer are inextricably intertwined in my twisted mind. Why? Isn't it obvious? Sun, empire, set, West Indian Stout. See?

Barclay Perkins were lucky enough to have a couple of brewhouses of different sizes. At the main one they churned out their high-volume beers: X Ale, PA and XLK. In batches of more than 500 barrels.  While the New Brewery concentrated on smaller run beers. Export PA, KK, KKK and a whole bunch of Stouts. The brew lengths of these beers varied from just 30 to 200 barrels.

These are the Stouts Barclay Perkins brewed in 1924 and 1925:

Barclay Perkins Stouts in the 1920's
Date Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) dry hops (oz / barrel) colour
20th May 1924 RNS Stout 1055.1 1019.0 4.78 65.52% 7.49 1.75 2 1.75 0.00 320
26th May 1924 BSc Stout 1066.0 1020.5 6.02 68.94% 8.00 2.44 2.5 4.00 340
5th Jun 1924 IBS Stout 1061.0 1020.0 5.42 67.21% 8.50 2.21 2.5 2.00 340
11th Sep 1924 BS Ex Stout 1072.5 1024.0 6.42 66.90% 14.00 4.62 2.5 8.00
17th Dec 1924 IBS Ex Stout 1103.4 1040.0 8.39 61.32% 16.00 6.97 2.25 2 10.67 420
17th Dec 1924 TT blend Porter 1026.0 1007.0 2.51 73.08% 16.00 1.11 2.25 2 0.00
31st Aug 1925 BBS Ex Stout 1079.7 1029.5 6.64 62.99% 15.00 5.38 2.5 8.00 230
25th Sep 1925 OMS Experimental for bottling Stout 1045.6 1014.0 4.18 69.31% 8.40 1.66 2 0.00 200
25th Sep 1925 OMS for bottling Stout 1050.9 1017.5 4.41 65.59% 7.64 1.71 2 0.00 260
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/1/611

A word of explanation. BSc was a Stout brewed for the Scottish market. BS Ex was Export Brown Stout. IBS the domestic version of Russian Stout. IBS Ex the export version of Russian Stout. OMS was their Oatmeal Stout. TT was Porter. And RNS?

I'm fairly certain RNS was brewed for the Royal Navy. Hence the RN in the name. Not sure whether it made it onto ships. Hang on a minute. My dad was in the Royal Navy in the 1920's. I wonder if he ever drank RNS?

The grists for all the Stouts were generally similar, though only RNS BSc and OMS contained crystal malt. Black malt and roasted barley were swapped around a fair bit. One brew of a beer would use the one, another the other. Absolutely no pattern or consistency to it at all.

Dry hops vary quite a lot between the different Stouts. RNS, TT and OMS were the only ones to receive none at all. I can understand it in the case of the latter two. But why RNS wasn't dry hopped when similar Stouts were I've no idea. Apologies for being so little help.

I'm all ausgeworded. Let's give Kristen a chance to do his thing . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Notes: This one is going to be trouble for some of you b/c of the vast amounts of specialty malts. The three base malts are two proper English pale malts and a mild malt. Feel free to substitute for just a single one. If you go with a single mild, use English, not American. If you want to make it easy, a simple Maris otter will do marvelously. The amber and brown malt really do a great job of adding a lot of malty complexity in the toasty, cocoa range. The roasted barley gives a beautiful crimson hue to this bad boy so make sure and use your favorite. Oh, lest I forget. Do you see that ‘Roasted Barley – Copper’? That’s the amount of micronized (spice grinder) roasted barley you add directly to the copper. I found it doesn’t matter when you add it so just chuck it in at the start so you don’t forget! Don’t use American, you want something that’s sharp with character like Fawcett. The Invert No3 is mandatory*. You shouldn’t have a problem with this finishing too dry but be mindful of the yeast you choose as if its finishes too low it will gain a harshness to it. And yes, you read that right. Caramel. They added caramel to this dark bastard for whatever reason. It wasn’t a lot as you see but its there. Add it or don’t. Its up to you.

*re Invert No3 – Ok gents, if you don’t have invert 3, do not add plain sugar or golden syrup. You are much better off just going without for the whole thing. This will drop it down to a session stout for sure.


Alex R. Wilson said...

Out of interest Kristen, why can you not sub sugar/syrup for the invert#3 - how would it detrimentally alter the beer?


Kristen England said...


I don't think it would be a detriment to the beer, how I think it would 'water down' a lot of the flavors. What I mean is that Invert No3 brings a ton of flavor to the party. If you use plain white sugar or glucose syrup for that matter you are adding an awful lot of fermentables but nothing else. Make sense?

This is why I suggested just not adding anything unless you have the No3. Side by side the beer without any sugar is much closer to the original than one with plain sugar. I did the comparison and really didn't like the plain one much at all.

Alex R. Wilson said...

Cheers for that Kristen.

I wonder if I can get away with partially inverted golden syrup and molasses.

We'll see :)