Saturday, 30 September 2017

Let’s Brew 1944 Barclay Perkins X

Apologies for the snail’s pace at which we’re progressing through WW II. It’s just that I want to demonstrate how often recipes had to change.

Of course, this is nothing compared to what was going on in Germany. By the time this beer was produced in December 1944, brewing had all but ground to a total halt in Germany. As this table shows:

Year UK Germany
production gravity production gravity
(barrels 1,000) (barrels 1,000)
1938 24,535 1041
1939 25,532 1040.9 31,326 1041
1940 25,499 1040.6 29,774 1037
1941 29,101 1038.5 28,733 1034
1942 29,170 1035.5 25,976 1030
1943 29,956 1034.3 26,496
1944 31,472 1034.6
1945 32,667 1034.5
1949 26,276 1033.4 8,648 1032
1951 25,087 1037 17,360
The Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 56
100 Jahre Deutsche Brauer-Bund 1871-1971, p.202
UK gravities are an average of all beer brewed
German gravities are for the strongest beer allowed. 

I’ve never been able to find figures for German beer output in the last two years of the war. I suspect it was an extremely amount. For the first couple of years after the end of the war, the only brewing that was allowed in the British occupied zone was for the British army.

But back to the beer in hand. The only real change to the recipe from the 1943 version is the replacement of the flaked and malted oats by flaked barley. As we learned last time, this wasn’t exactly a voluntary choice on the part of the brewer. Brewers continued to use flaked barley until the end of the 1940’s, when supplies to maize were resumed.

All of the base malt was SA malt, for which I’ve substituted mild malt.

Barclay Perkins continued to brew both X and XX, even though there were only 2 points difference in their gravities. Talking of which, the primings that X received at racking time raised its gravity to a mighty 1032º.

I’m not totally sure what the finished colour of this beer was. I assume dark. As brewed, it was 10 SRM. But in the front of this brewing book there’s a sheet giving the colour standards for all their beers date 1st April 1946. Both X and XX are listed at 21-22 SRM, meaning they were no longer making a semi-dark Mild. Whereas earlier in the war, X was dark and XX semi-dark.

The hopping is both pretty light and the hops quite old. A third were from the 1941 crop and two-thirds from the 1943 crop. I’ve reduced the amount accordingly.

1944 Barclay Perkins X
mild malt 4.25 lb 69.22%
amber malt 0.50 lb 8.14%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 5.37%
flaked barley 0.50 lb 8.14%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.50 lb 8.14%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.06 lb 0.98%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1029
FG 1009
ABV 2.65
Apparent attenuation 68.97%
IBU 14
SRM 12
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale


J. Karanka said...

Was the reduction in gravity a successful policy? I see the amount produced go up accordingly (so people were likely to be roughly as drunk). Interesting that you can predict the outcome of the war by the quality of the beer.

mike mulligan said...

Did hop usage go down a lot during the war as well as grain? I would hazard a guess there were things like pressure to convert fields to grain, labor shortages, import restrictions, but it would be interesting to hear. I guess with gravities plunging you didn't necessarily need so many hops too.

Ron Pattinson said...

mike mulligan,

yes, hop usage went down. Partly because of gravity cuts. But also through the direct effect of the war. In September 1940, during one of the first air raids on London, a quarter of that year's hop crop was destroyed. The governemnt ordered a 10% cut in hopping rates.

Ron Pattinson said...

J. Karanka,

it was just to save on ingredients. They still wanted there to be plenty of beer. It makes sense to me.

StuartP said...

Was BP still trying to market their Lager during WWII?

Ron Pattinson said...


of course. They brewed several Lagers all throgh the war years.

Chris Lee said...

Have you come across anything about reusing hops? I feel like I've read something on it before on this site but can't for the life of me track it down. Maybe it was in earlier parti-gyle efforts?
Any help? Don't currently plan on necessarily incorporating that into my brewing, but it is an interesting bit I'd like to know more about.

Ron Pattinson said...

Chris Lee,

yes. William Younger used spent hops in some of their weird sweet Stouts in the lat 19th century. They occasionally pop up in other records, for example, Barclat Perkins Table Beer.