Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1937 Courage KKK

A special treat as Kristen return for the first time in ages. I blame him for having a proper life. Unlike me, who lives under the stairs, only emerging to make tea and visit the toilet.

Courage was a funny brewery. Especially in the range of beers brewed by its original brewery in London. Because it didn’t brew Pale Ales of any variety. Rather than invest in a brewery in Burton as many London brewers did, in 1872 Courage signed a contract with Flowers of Stratford to provide Pale Ales. In 1886 the contract was moved to Fremlins and in 1903 Hall & Co. of Alton was purchased. Alton had similar water to Burton and was the perfect spot for brewing Pale Ales.

Which meant Horsleydown, Courage’s London brewery, only need concern itself with Porter, Stout, Mild Ale and Burton Ale. Meaning it had all of two recipes: one for Porter and Stout and another for all the Ales.

KKK was their top of the range Burton Ale. It was probably mainly, or even exclusively, a bottled beer. Barclay Perkins bottling version of KK was a similar beer, with a slightly lower OG at 1067º. Barclay’s winter seasonal, KKKK, was sold on draught and was even stronger at 1077º. Courage’s KKK is about exactly between those two in terms of gravity.

It’s not just in terms of gravity that Courage KKK resembles Barclay Perkins Burton Ales. The recipes are very similar, too. English and Californian pale malt, crystal malt, flaked maize and invert sugar. Even the percentages are similar. The only real difference was that Barclay Perkins used No. 2 rather than No. 3 invert.

So a pretty standard London-brewed Burton. Well, a strong one. Probably just the sort of beer I’d have been knocking back by the pint.

With that, it’s time to welcome back Kristen . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Hey there sports fans!!! Hopefully you are reading this half drunk and if not half drunk, thinking about being so… Man, its been awhile and you have my apologies. In all truth, its my wife’s fault … her roller derby dominates our lives and especially my imbibition. Anyhoo…where the hell did the summer go? I just got done picking 250 liters of apples for cider and I had to where a damn sweatshirt. I came inside to grab a beer and all I had was delicious Pilsner Urquel to drink…yeah, its really great but when its chilly, I want something with more power to it … something specifically, actually exactly, like this beer. Make you some this. Don’t mess about trying to change or ‘improve’ the recipe with your patented ‘house flavor’. Make it right, then change it if you don’t like this style of beer. ¡DALE!

Starts with a solid amount of pale malt. A few different English ones will be nice…make sure Maris Otter is in there, or not, its just veery noice. The more loud, proud and in your face US 6-row kinda makes a mark in this beer…in a good way. Adds that husky dimension the more refined monocle-wearing English stuff doesn’t. A decent amount of crystal. This beer will change drastically depending on your choice. We are not a home to Mr. Cockup so make sure and pick the right one. Anywhere from 55L to 120L if using a single variety will work well. You can mix two also. I would suggest against using the American type crystal because they really lack the depth and complexity of the UK/European models…we want flavor coming to the party, not just ‘brown’.

Here’s the simple truth, if you use higher alpha acid hops in this beer, you’ll lose a lot of the character. That being said, do as you wish. Please refrain from using Citra or Mosaic. If you feel required to go more American, try a lot of Nugget.  You’ll see loads of dry hops I’ve added here. It was not listed in the log but along the lines of how other 3K’s were dry hopped so give it a go if you’d like.

The rub on this trucker is the really high final gravity. Look, you can try to use a less attenuative yeast. You can mash higher and mash thicker. My guess is you’ll maybe be able to keep this around 1.016 or so. That’s ok. I actually prefer them drier than whats listed here. All in all, do your best it’s just not a very pleasant beer if it gets too dry.

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.

1 comment:

StuartP said...

Just in time for Christmas!