Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday – 1946 Fullers X

Another of Fullers brews from the immediate post-war years. This time what would have been their top seller: X Ale. Or ordinary Mild. Or Hock, as it was also called.

I had some wonderful pints of Hock in the 1970’s. A lovely beer when looked after well. And there was the problem. In most pubs it didn’t sell well enough to be in good condition. Inevitably, it was discontinued as a regular beer. Sadly, I can’t ever see it being in Fullers regular line up again.

Typically, this beer contains no dark malt at all, just pale malt, flaked barley and sugar. And not really that much of the latter. Why? Sugar was still rationed in 1946. Brewers couldn’t use as much as they would have wished. About 7% of the grist is made up of sugar. In normal times it would have been double that.

While we’re on the topic of sugar, I’ve had to make substitutions again. The original has something called PEX and another called intense. I’ve substituted No. 2 and No. 3 invert respectively. But you’ll also need to add caramel to get the right colour.

I’ve simplified the mashing scheme. The original had an initial mash temperature of 147º F which was held for 25 minutes, then raised to 155º F by water added through the underlet and stood for another two hours. It’s a really typical London mashing method, used for most of the 20th century.

The hopping, as you would expect, is quite light. It’s not a beer intended to challenge the drinker, but to be slurped back by the gallon. Did I mention I once managed to drink 5 pints of Hock in a half-hour lunch break? I think I did the beer justice.

Here’s the recipe:

1946 Fullers X
pale malt 5.50 lb 78.57%
flaked barley 1.00 lb 14.29%
glucose 0.25 lb 3.57%
No. 2 invert 0.125 lb 1.79%
No. 3 invert 0.125 lb 1.79%
Fuggles 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
OG 1030.7
FG 1009
ABV 2.87
Apparent attenuation 70.68%
IBU 15
SRM 20
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Next time it’s the unfortunately-named BO.

1 comment:

Ed said...

I'm mightily impressed by your five pints in half an hour. Excellent work!