Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Let’s Brew Wednesday – 1890 Adnams XX

This is becoming a regular Wednesday event again. Hope it lasts. Though if Kristen gets too busy again I’ll try to keep things ticking over.

Today’s recipe comes from the second oldest brewing book Adnams have retained. It’s wonderfully minimalist, with just the barest details of ingredients and mashing temperatures.

Which means, as they couldn’t be arsed to fill in the fermentation section, that there’s no FG recorded. Kristen has just had to guess. I’d usually say that I’d expect the degree of attenuation to be less than 80%, but this beer has a really high percentage of sugar. Even a not totally refined sugar like Demerera is going to be pretty damn fermentable.

Being used to London beers, the gravity looks very low. But I was aware that London beers were generally stronger that those brewed elsewhere, especially the countryside. And Southwold is quite a way from any major urban centre.

Here are a few entry-level London Milds for comparison purposes:

London Mild Ales 1887 - 1890
Year Brewer Beer OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation hops lb/brl
1890 Barclay Perkins X 1059.0 1016.6 5.61 71.83% 1.32
1890 Whitbread X 1060.9 1015.0 6.08 75.39% 2.18
1887 Fuller X 1054.6 1020.5 4.51 62.44% 1.63
1890 Truman X Ale 1058.2 1.62
Sources:
Brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/586, LMA/4453/D/01/056 and B/THB/C/171.
Brewing record held at Fullers brewery.


Though, surprisingly, given its lower strength, Adnams XX was more heavily hopped than most of those London Milds. It had 1.8 lbs per barrel.

While we’re on the subject of hops, in the brewing record they’re given as Altmark and Sussex. The former are North German, Altmark once being part of Brandenburg (though it’s currently in Sachsen-Anhalt). No idea what variety they grew there. As for Sussex, they could be Goldings, but my guess would be Fuggles.

I don’t have that much to say today. Except to say maybe we should try to fit in a Carlsberg Mild before the end of May.




Over to Kristen . . . .








Kristen’s Version:

Notes: Pretty much the same thing I said last week. Not dark malts. Not really ‘dark’, just a bit of colorant! Not a whole lot to say about this beer other than the most simple, are always the hardest to make great.

Malt: A single malt and sugar. Nothing is listed other than the amounts so I would use something nice like a mild malt if you can. Haven’t used it in a while so lets do that. If not, any pale will do as long as its great. The sugar is of the unrefined variety so get something close and make sure it tastes good as it’s pretty damn high percentage.

Hops: Opposite of last week, this one is pretty hop centric. Choose something that is very bright and fresh. Feel free to change the finishing hops if you want to move them more toward the end, I think that would work just fine. Same for dry hop, you want to add a little bit, do so.

Yeast: I have some of the loverly Southwold yeast in storage so I’m going to use that. You, however, can choose any yeast you’d like. Pick your favorite or pick something you haven’t used before. Preferably something Englishy.

Cask: 
Standard procedure:
1) let the beer ferment until finished and then give it another day or so. For me right around 5-7 days.
2) Rack the beer to your vessel of choice (firkin, polypin, cornie, whatever).
3) Add primings at ~3.5g/L
4) Add prepared isinglass at 1ml/L
5) ONLY add dry hops at 0.25g/l – 1g/L.
6) Bung it up and roll it around to mix. Condition at 55F or so for 4-5 days and its ready to go. Spile/vent. Tap. Settle. Serve at 55F.

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