Saturday, 28 May 2016

Let’s Brew 1937 Greene King XX

Just time to squeeze in one last Mild recipe in May. And a special one.

As this is a brand that still exists. Sort of. Greene King still produce a Mild called XX, but, other than the name, it has no connection with this beer. Greene King rationalised their Milds a while back and in order to decide which recipe to keep, they did a taste off. Hardy & Hanson’s won and was renamed XX.

Thinking about it, it’s strange that they picked Kimberley Mild. Unless they’ve changed the recipe a lot since the 1980’s. It was far too sweet. Very unlike the other Nottingham Milds. One of the few cask Milds I really didn’t care for.

Wondering how come I have a Greene King recipe? I’ve Ed to thank. He visited Greene King recently and in a blog post about it included a photo of a brewing record. I’ll take brewing records wherever I find them. I’m starting to get quite a collection.

The beer itself is a classic 4d Mild. Amongst London brewers, the standard Mild Ale was a 5d or 6d beer of 1037º and 1043º, respectively. But out in the sticks, the standard version was often weaker. I can still remember a few breweries well away from the big cities having Milds of a little under 1030º in the 1970’s. Most bumped up the gravities a degree or two when CAMRA published OGs.

Just looked through my analysis spreadsheet and I see that in 1968 XX had an OG of 1026.8º. Which really is taking the piss. If XX was already under 1030º, I wonder what the hell they did during WW II? It couldn’t have got much weaker. Literally. Because of the way the tax system worked there was no point dropping the gravity below 1027º. However weak a beer was, you always paid a minimum of the tax for one of 1027º.

The grist is what I would expect: base malt, crystal malt, flaked maize and sugar. With Kent and Mid-Kent hops.

Nothing more for me to say really.

1937 Greene King XX
pale malt 4.75 lb 79.17%
crystal malt 60L 0.25 lb 4.17%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 8.33%
table sugar 0.25 lb 4.17%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.25 lb 4.17%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1028.8
FG 1005.5
ABV 3.08
Apparent attenuation 80.90%
IBU 20
SRM 10
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold


Ed said...

Amazing. I'll have to look through my pics when I get home and see if there are more

Martyn Cornell said...

Lovely beer - I've drunk plenty of pints of this one. And sold in bottle as "Burton Ale", bizarrely, I believe.

Brian said...

I still have a bottle of Greene King Burton that I kept for old times sake. It was regarded more as a brown ale rather than a mild and I can remember when ordering a brown ale whether I wanted a Burton or a Harvest