Saturday, 18 June 2016

Let's Brew 1891 Barclay Perkins KK

Here’s another recipe that will feature in volume II of Strong! Though who knows when that will come out. It’s behind vol. II of Scotland! in the queue. The queue of books I have to finish, that is. I’ve several in various states of completion. I still plan a huge update of Decoction! when I can be arsed.

It’s amazing to think that this KK was an everyday drinking beer. One of the standard features of a late Victorian London bar. Also amazing to think that in the 20th century draught Burton, which is what this is, went from on sale everywhere in London to totally forgotten in just a couple of decades (1955 to 1975).

Even I wouldn’t be able to put away many pints of a beer this strong. Victorians must have been made of stronger stuff. Or just total pissheads. Having read plenty of newspaper reports of drunken disorder, I suspect the latter is true.

The grist is typical of Barclay Perkins grists after the 1880 Free Mash Tun Act: 75% malt, the rest split evenly between an adjunct and sugar. Initially, they preferred flaked rice as an adjunct but switched to flaked maize around 1900. My guess would be because of the price. Flaked maize was used by most breweries in England, an exception being Whitbread which only used malt and sugar. Many Scottish brewers preferred their maize in the form of grits.

The hops are an interesting mix of English and German. As is often the case, the foreign hops are named by variety, while the English hops only mention the region where they were grown. In this case Mid Kent. So they could be Fuggles, but my money would be on something classier, such as a form of whitebine. Of which Goldings are the most easily available modern variety.

At this time KK was almost certainly aged for a couple of months before sale. Probably in trade casks, i.e. the cask in which it would be shipped to the customer. This seems to have been the usual practice for K Ales. While Stouts still tended to be aged in vats.

You’ll note that this Burton is still relatively pale. That changed around 1900, when, like X Ale, KK started to become darker. Don’t ask me why. I have no hard evidence, just half-arsed guesses.

1891 Barclay Perkins KK
Mild malt 11.00 lb 69.84%
crystal malt 60L 0.75 lb 4.76%
flaked rice 2.00 lb 12.70%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.00 lb 12.70%
Hallertau 90 min 3.50 oz
Goldings 60 min 2.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 2.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1074
FG 1019
ABV 7.28
Apparent attenuation 74.32%
IBU 106
SRM 13
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1098 British ale - dry
or Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

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