Saturday, 21 February 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Barclay Perkins Sparkling Beer

It's been a while since the last Let's Brew. Kristen has been very busy, as have I.

Speaking of being busy, this post is a spinoff from a tricky project. Or my crazy project, as I call it. Can't tell you too much, as it's not 100% definite yet. Pretty sure no-one has ever done anything like it before.

The beer is a funny one. It's something Barclay Perkins started brewing in the 1930's and seems to have been mostly sold in canned form. Barclays were early adopters of the can. For export, it appears.

These cans were found recently in the middle of the North African desert, left there by British troops in WW II.

The beer is a decocted, amber Lager. With a pretty simple grist of just pilsner and crystal malt with 100% Saaz hops. I'm really not sure what style you'd call it. Vienna Lager, perhaps.

It has a fairly decent gravity and even in the 1950's and 1950's, was still 1045.5, well above average gravity and much stronger than most British Lagers. Perhaps this was because it was principally an export beer.

Anyway, here's my concise little recipe:

1939 Barclay Perkins Sparkling Beer
pilsner malt 2 row 9.50 lb 88.29%
crystal malt 80l 1.25 lb 11.71%
Saaz 90 min 1.25 oz
Saaz 60 min 1.25 oz
Saaz 30 min 1.25 oz
OG 1048
FG 1014
ABV 4.50
Apparent attenuation 70.83%
IBU 43
SRM 11.5
Mash at 158º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 45º F
Yeast Wyeast 2042 Danish lager
If you fancy decocting, these are the details:

L is the water volume, H the temperature and T the tap temperature. It's interesting that the crystal malt was only addedwhen the temperature was raised to 175º F. (There were 31 quarters of pilsner  and 4 of crystal in the original recipe.)

I may do some more recipes while I wait for Kristen to have time.


Atwick said...

While I don't have any problems with it, I think standard wisdom is that's "too much" crystal for that amount of pils. And then crystal + pils + saaz? What kind of madness is that?

Myself, I think it's an interesting mix and Barclay Perkins no doubt had an idea of how to make a good beer.

Please keep up with the Let's Brew. People need to see this stuff. I'm going to order your Home Brewer's Guide in the next day or two and I look forward to Volume II.

Kel Varnsen said...

So question about this recipe (as well as the ones in your book). You say in this one that pitching temp is 45 F. I was wondering if you use that for your fermentation temperature too, or do you let it warm up to the recommended temperature range? Because Wyeast tells me that for Danish Lager it should be 46-56F.

Ron Pattinson said...


pitched at 45º F, rose to a maximum of 56º F. Most of the fermantation was in the love 50'sº F.