Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Let’s Brew Wednesday – 1909 Barclay Perkins KK
This beer would have been sold as Burton and would have been one of the standard draught beers in their London pubs. Burton Ales were pretty common in London until the 1960’s, though in their latter days as a winter seasonal. Youngs Winter Warmer is the only survivor of this tradition.
K Ales, the keeping versions of X Ales, evolved during the 19th century, especially towards the end. Initially K and X Ales were identical, save for the hopping, with K Ales having approximately 50% more hops. The grists were achingly simple: pale malt. At Barclay Perkins, that changed in the 1880’s, when crystal malt was added to their X Ale grist but not to the K Ales. Instead, they contained No. 2 invert sugar.
Around 1900 there was another change to the K Ales grists, with SA malt (I think it stands for Strong Ale) being used as part of the base malt. After WW I the grists diverged even more at Barclay Perkins, leaving their Burton and Mild Ales as quite different beers.
At Fullers, it was different story. They were still part-gyling X Ale with their Burton or Strong Ales after WW II. Meaning their Burton was really just a stronger version of their Mild.
I’m pretty sure this would have been my drink of choice, had I been living in London a little over a century ago.
On that happy thought, it’s over to Kristen . . . . . .
Notes: Another week, another KK. This is the style of K-ales I really like. Absolutely loads of hops, lots of tasty dark sugar with a little higher finishing gravity to round everything out nicely. If you are in need of more K-ale’s in your life, this is for you. If not, this is for you. Seriously.
Malt: A few pale malts…English and American 6-row. Also, we have again here our ever sexy, never duplicated SA malt. Finishes pretty fat and sweet and tasty but we don’t have that. We’ve spoken of this before… so what I’ve done here is sub-out the English ale malt and SA malt with some nice English Mild malt. It won’t get you all the way there but it will definitely get you closer than just using pale malt. If you can’t find mild, they go ahead and go with something like Optic, that’s pretty nice and rich. The US 6-row I think is quite mandatory to these K-ales. Really lends some huskiness to bright up the rich malt character. I have crystal 120L on here but really you can use anything from 50 to 150ish. Pick your favorite English type because we aren’t talking ‘cara’ here…proper English caramel is all you need. Invert No2 is required; if you don’t have it, make it. If not, make something else.
Hops: Loads and loads of Goldings chucked into this baby here along with, surprisingly, a good amount of Hallertauer! We’re talking like +3#/bbl and that’s before all the dry hopping! The first addition should be first wort hopped, then follow along. Dry hops aren’t huge but a nice boost for the aroma at 0.5#/bbl or so. As always, they use different Goldings from different places but if you want to get this beer similar in character, you’ll keep your AA% low as you need that greenery to get the correct mouth feel and such.
Yeast: Same problem as always with these types of beers is trying to keep the gravity higher and not finishing too dry. As long as you are north of 1.015 or so I think it will be close enough. Any drier than that and it will get oppressive.
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.