Saturday, 23 September 2017

Let’s brew - 1942 Barclay Perkins X

We’re only one year further into WW II, yet there have been some significant changes to Barclay Perkins X Ale.

Most obviously, the gravity has been dropped around 4 points to 1027.5º. Personally, I’m pretty dubious of anything with an OG under 1030º. Though the primings added at racking time did raise that to 1029.5º. But at less than 3% ABV, you’d need to be very determined to get very tipsy.

Flaked maize was a very popular adjunct before WW II. From what I’ve seen, at least 75%, if not more, of brewers used it. With imports of maize drying up or being used for other purposes, brewers had no option but to drop it.

However, a couple of years into the war UK barley production was soaring. So the government decided to compel brewers to use flaked barley as an adjunct. Skipping the malting stage saved on energy. Brewers seem to have used flaked barley in much the same way as they had flaked maize. This beer also has another adjunct, torrefied barley. Not sure why that might have been. Possibly just because it was available.

This is an even stranger wartime recipe. Looks like they were just using whatever ingredients they had. Surprisingly, the adjuncts weren’t really any cheaper than malt. As I can see since the brewing record lists the prices:

grain price per quarter (shillings)
Torrefied barley 215
amber malt 280
crystal malt 235
MA malt 190
MA malt 225
lager malt 125
flaked barley 205

It looks like the lager malt, given its low price, was something that had been bought before the start of the war. And doubtless that’s why it was included here: they were just using it up.

The hops, as you would expect, remain all English. Three types of Mid-Kent Fuggles.

The colour is given as 12 SRM in the brewing record, but I know that, while there had been semi-dark and dark versions of both X and XX before the war, the semi-dark X and dark XX had been dropped early in the war. Meaning you’ll need to colour this up to 20 SRM with caramel.

1942 Barclay Perkins X
mild malt 3.75 lb 60.98%
amber malt 0.50 lb 8.13%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 5.37%
lager malt 0.25 lb 4.07%
flaked barley 0.50 lb 8.13%
torrefied barley 0.25 lb 4.07%
no. 3 sugar 0.50 lb 8.13%
caramel 0.07 lb 1.14%
Fuggles 105 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1027.5
FG 1006
ABV 2.84
Apparent attenuation 78.18%
IBU 18
SRM 12
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

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