Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1925 Barclay Perkins Dark Lager

What is it with all these Lager recipes I've been publishing? This one is on request, mind.

We're back in the early days of Barclay Perkins Lager-brewing adventure. Only a few years after their shiny new Lager brewery had only been commissioned.

I had this odd thought the other day. What if the success of their Lager brewing had been the cause of the brewery's downfall. It struck me that maybe Courage had really wanted to get their hands on Barclay Perkins' Lager brewery? It makes sense, because that's what Courage didn't have. Just a thought. Not sure if it's true or not.

Initially, Barclay Perkins only brewed two Lagers, Export and Dark. The former was a pale Lager in the Export style. The latter a British take on a Münchener. Later a weaker draught Lager called Draught was introduced. Exciting stuff, eh?

I'm intrigued by the differences in the grist of Export and Dark. Our beer today is all-malt, while Export had around 25% corn grits. Making it look more like an American than a Continental beer. Not that Dark has a grist like a Bavarian beer. Yes, it's all malt, but I don't think they would have used black and crystal malt in Munich.

The hopping definitely isn't along German. Pretty sure they would never have used American hops. Or Goldings, for that matter. Though 50% of the total is Saaz.

All in all, a bit of an odd mix of British and Continental ingredients. But still way more authentic than modern industrial British attempts at Lager.

That's me done, so it's over to me . . . . . .

1925 Barclay Perkins Dark Lager
pilsner malt 2 row 10.75 lb 81.13%
crystal malt 60l 2.25 lb 16.98%
black malt 0.25 lb 1.89%
Cluster 90 min 0.75 oz
Saaz 60 min 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
OG 1058
FG 1020
ABV 5.03
Apparent attenuation 65.52%
IBU 42
SRM 19
Mash at 156º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 48.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 2042 Danish lager

For those wishing to go the full decoction hog, here are the details of the mash:

Let me know if you're enjoying these Lager recipes.


dana said...

31 gallon recipe? I freaked out at the 1# black malt then saw the other quantities were very high.

dana said...

And any particular reason for the Danish lager yeast?

Anonymous said...

It looks like an awful lot of malts for a 5 gallon brew :)

Ron Pattinson said...

Er, sorry about that. I published the wrong version, for 1 US barrel.

Ron Pattinson said...


because I know, initially at least, they used Carlsberg yeast. AAnd their Lager brewer was Danish.

dana said...

The yeast and brewer is an interesting tidbit. Maybe you mentioned it in the past but it's new to me.

Gary Gillman said...

Interesting how the black malt thing in non-porter British brewing starts so early, in the 70's it is being put in Watney Red. At some 2% of the grist, not a huge amount, but its famous pungency would lend some flavour IMO, it isn' just a matter of colour adjustment. I wish modern brewers would forget about crystal and dark malts when they brew lager and pale ale, just use pale malt like they did in the 1800's (okay and maybe some sugar for England).


Anonymous said...

That looks like a great one to make, I'll have to add it to the queue. I love the mishmash of ingredients, very freeing from the usual homebrewing strictures -- I wonder what BJCP style it would fit, heh heh.

Ron Pattinson said...


my thoughts exactlry - what an odd mix of British and Continental ingredients and techniques.