Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1850 Truman KXXX

If you’ve been getting bored with my weedy 1950’s recipes, here’s something with a little more oomph. Quite a lot more oomph, actually.

The early 1800’s were a simpler time. Recipes were very simple, partly because there was a sort of Reinheitsgebot until 1880 (though after 1847 sugar was allowed). But partly just because they liked to keep things simple.

Truman brewed two parallel sets of Ales: Mild Ales X, XX, XXX and Keeping Ales KXX, KXXX and KXXXX. Hard as it may be to believe, this wasn’t the strongest beer in their range. The gravities of the Mild and Stock versions were the same, only the hopping differed. You’ll note that even the bottom-level X Ale had a pretty hefty gravity.

Interestingly, there’s an Export India Pale Ale in the 1850 set. Guess what it’s OG was? 1055º. Considerably weaker than the weakest Mild. Just thought I’d mention that to remind you that, far from being brewed stronger for the trip to India, IPA was one of the weakest beers around. About the only thing weaker was Table Beer.

Obviously, Stock Ales were aged before sale. Though I’m not sure how this took place at this time at Truman. I suspect probably in vats, though smaller ones than for Porter, as the quantities brewed were much smaller. At the end of the 19th century it seems that Stock Ales were often aged in trade casks in the brewery cellar.

Here’s a nice table of Ales:
Truman's Ales around 1850
Beer Style OG hops lb/brl
X Ale Mild 1079.8 1.94
XX Ale Mild 1093.1 4.34
XXX Ale Mild 1108.0 5.34
KXX  Ale Stock Ale 1094.7 6.16
KXXX Ale Stock Ale 1103.3 8.26
KXXXX Ale Stock Ale 1114.1 11.94
Truman's brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers B/THB/C/127 and B/THB/C/132

And now over to Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:
Notes: Sometimes there is a log that comes along that is so damn simple, it lends the ability to have an infinite number of variations. That would be this log. Spartan, would be understatement when it comes to this log. Pages are mostly blank but it’s so simple maybe that’s why. I would suggest highly aging this beer, specifically in wood, absolutely specifically not in X-booze barrels. Cake on cake doesn’t taste better than cake.

Malt: One malt. The End. Make a good choice. Or a combo of choices. This is the time to get the very best tip top, spendy hard to find, floor malted, air dried, whatsahoosit. Spend the money.

Hops: One Hop. There was no info about dry hopping so I added it. This beer begs a nice dry hopping. If you are planning to age this for an extended period, I prefer to dry hop after aging as I really don’t like oxidized hops in beer. You really can choose anything but if you wont have the same beer if you use higher alpha acid hops. This has a massive amount of hops so be mindful with how much beer you will actually be losing.

Yeast: You should have no problem with the beer finishing too dry with this one. The high mash temp, along with no sugar, should be easy to have a nice, rich finish. Just make sure it doesn’t finish too sweet!! A nice London ale yeast that lends some nice fruit but also will ferment this thing where it needs to finish. 

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.


Anonymous said...

Yeah well, once again, this beer sounds too good to be true. Another top piece of research, Ron. I'll have a half or two of this later on in the evening. Looks absolutely yummy on paper. Can we persuade someone to brew a few bottles/casks of this? Shame about Pretty Things finishing... Cheers! Benj65

Kristen England said...

I'm be doing a bunch putting it in quarter casks to age for about a year for next Xmas release for sure. Maybe 20bbl worth. We'll see.

A Brew Rat said...

This reminds me that I brewed the 1846 Truman XXXXK recipe in the Vintage Brews book back in March, that has been sitting in a keg in the basement. Think I will go tap that for the holiday season.

J. Karanka said...

Does look pretty damn good! Surely some British brewery should start a proper aging plant of some sort. I can only think about Wild making stuff a bit on this direction but their beers tend not to be neither that strong nor bitter.

Ron Pattinson said...

J. Karanka,

I can think of one brewery that does age the old-fashioned way: Greene King. Now issn't that weird? In the US loads of breweries are investing in wooden vats. It would be nice if some in the UK did, too.

Lady Luck Brewing said...

Is the 162 mash temp correct?