Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1909 Barclay Perkins KK

Do you know the era I’d most like to travel back to? For beer sampling purposes. Just before WW I. Variety and lots of strong beers.

By the Edwardian age, London-brewed Burton was turning to the dark side. Not the foggiest idea why. Before 1880, they were 100% pale malt. After the Free Mash Tun Act they start to change. More choice of ingredients. And though sugar had been legal since 1847, brewers hadn’t used it much. When they did start using it, they acquired far more control over the colour of their beer.

This is the little brother of the unacceptably-named KKK. Which was much the same, but 15 gravity points stronger. By this time Barclay Perkins had dropped KKKK and brewed only two Burton Ales.

The grist is typical of the period 1880 – 1914. Pale and crystal malt, maize and sugar. A Pale Ale grist would have been much the same, just without crystal malt. 10% and 10-15% sugar was pretty standard.

For once the hop additions aren’t a guess. Barclay Perkin occasionally listed them. One of the odd features of brewing logs is that foreign hop varieties are usually named, while only the region or grower is given for UK hops. In this case, EK or East Kent and MK Mid Kent. I’ve interpreted that as Goldings for EK, Fuggles for MK.

It looks a cracking beer. Plenty of hops, but plenty of body, too. Hang on. Wasn’t this, or something similar, the recipe for Pretty Things KK? I believe it was.

1909 Barclay Perkins KK
pale malt 10.75 lb 72.27%
crystal malt 0.50 lb 3.36%
flaked maize 1.50 lb 10.08%
caramel 0.125 lb 0.84%
No. 3 invert sugar 2.00 lb 13.45%
Fuggles 90 mins 3.00 oz
Hallertau 60 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.25 oz
OG 1073
FG 1021.1
ABV 6.87
Apparent attenuation 71.10%
IBU 112
SRM 38
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale


Unknown said...

There is a lets brew from October 21st 2015 with the Barclay Perkins 1909 KK already. Same OG and FG, so I am guessing it is the same beer.

Foggy Noggin Brewing said...

Foggy Noggin Brewing (Bothell, WA) brewed up a batch of this beer and will have it on tap in our tasting room this weekend.

Unknown said...

The IBUs on this seem crazy for the OG, but I know you’ve posted recipes with similar calculated IBUs before. Have you adjusted for possibility of poor hop storage and reduced AA and the like? I’m just wondering if they really were brewing beer so bitter. It’s an interesting recipe and I want to give it a go, but don’t want to make an undrinkable puckering bitter.

Ron Pattinson said...


I've left the hopping rate the same as in the original. It was brewed 7th March 1921 and most of the hops were not only from the 1920 crop, but had also been kept in a cold store. Some were from 1919, but has also been in a cold store. I know from analyses done a little later thet the reduction of alpha acid is minimal in the first year of hops kept in a cold store.

Though you also have to remember, those IBUs are are before sorage. They seemed to be racking it into casks for maturation. My guess would be 6-12 months secondary before bottling. In which time the IBUs would naturally decline.

Ron Pattinson said...


apologies, wrong beer. This one was brewed in December 1919. A third of the hops were from the 1909 crop, the rest from 1908 but kept in a cold store.