Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Let’s brew Wednesday - 1941 Barclay Perkins X

We’ve now moved on to the war years, and the effect of the conflict is easy to read. There are the sure signs of supply difficulties with some ingredients.

Barclay Perkins had been enthusiastic users of unmalted adjuncts since they were first allowed in 1880. Usually in the form of flaked maize. It made up about 14% of the grist in 1935, but in this version there’s none. There’s also far less sugar, down from over 10% to around 3.5%. Neither of these recipe changes would have been voluntary.

To compensate for the reduction in sugar and maize, the percentage of base grain has increased from around 60% to over 80%. Many would tell you that this would have improved the beer, but I’ve become much less snobby about adjuncts. I doubt the brewery or its brewers necessarily thought raising the malt content was improving the beer.

No. 3 invert is a guess. There’s no indication of the sugar type in the brewing record. Which leads me on to another, indirect impact of the war. This record is less complete than pre-war examples. The colour isn’t listed and neither are details of when the beer was racked. Was this due to less experienced personnel working in the brew house?

One thing that hadn’t changed was very heavy priming, three quarts per barrel. Which raised the OG by three gravity points to 1034.3. Though that still leaves it with a lower gravity than the 1935 version had before priming. A general reduction in the brewery’s gravities left X Ale not much stronger than Ale 4d. Eventually the gravity differential would dwindle to virtually nothing, dooming Ale 4d to being dropped.

1941 Barclay Perkins X
pale malt 0.33 lb 4.78%
mild malt 5.50 lb 79.59%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 4.78%
amber malt 0.33 lb 4.78%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.26 lb 3.76%
caramel 0.16 lb 2.32%
Fuggles 105 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1031.3
FG 1006.5
ABV 3.28
Apparent attenuation 79.23%
IBU 18
SRM 16
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

No comments: