Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1852 Barclay Perkins X

It’s a special day as Kristen returns with another 1850’s recipe. This time from everyone’s favourite, Barclay Perkins.

Mild. It certainly wasn’t always meek or mild-mannered. The Milds of the early 19th century were big, burly beers, simple, but robust. And very uncomplicated. Much like the people who would have drunk them. For Mild was the favourite both of the new industrial working classes and agricultural labourers.

And where would they have been drinking Mild Ale? Quite likely in an Ale House, the new class of pub created in 1830 that could only sell beer, not spirits. The licences weren’t issued by local magistrates, but by the Excise directly. And automatically, if a few basic conditions were met. Thousands of such pubs suddenly sprouted up. The authorities spent the next 100 plus years trying to eliminate them. The miserable bastards.

Beer Houses caused a surge in demand for Mild Ales. So much so, that all the big London Porter brewers started to brew Ales in the 1830’s. And whereas before they had only tied their pubs on Porter and Stout, now they also tied them for Ales. It was a big change in the London pub trade. And the start of a long, slow decline in Porter’s popularity.

Not much to say about the recipe. Except that the grist was all Hertfordshire white malt. The hops were all Mid Kents from the 1852 season (the original beer was brewed 28th December 1852).

Time to throw you over to Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Notes: New Years. Time to look forward, to all the good things this last harvest produced. Specifically tasty fresh hops and some nice chewy malt richness for balance…a little mild ale for your libating pleasure.

Malt: Two pale malts. Pick two. I threw chucked in some mild malt here because it’s delicious and doesn’t get used nearly as much as it should.

Hops: Quite the dose of hops for a beer with a moderate gravity. That being said, let them shine and pick some beauties from this last harvest. You can really use anything you’d like. Pick your favorite or choose one you haven’t played around with much. The most important thing is to have the bang on fresh. There is no dry hop in this beer at all but if you wanted to want around, its damn near spot on number-wise for a proper IPA. Chuck in maybe 0.5-1lb/bbl (~2-4g/L) while she’s just about finished fermenting to make this baby extra juicy. Just make sure you use fresh ones. Fresh.

Yeast: Really your choice. Pick something pleasant or something you have around or something you want to try. It wont be hard to get this beer to finish.

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.


StuartP said...

That is just proper, proper beer.
Who wouldn't want that?

The Beer Wrangler said...

Hi Ron

I'm doing a bit of research into 19th century beers and I'm wondering why these pale, hoppy 'X' Milds were not sold as being different from domestically sold IPAs. Where IPAs destined for UK sale aged significantly longer than these milds of the day? Would the general consumer know this just from the name?



Ron Pattinson said...


domestic IPAs were Stock Ales, usually aged for at least 3-6 months before sale. Drinkers in the 1850's would have expected a PAle Ale to be a Stock beer.