One of the great mysteries of British beer history is the darkening of some styles at the end of the 19th century. The main types affected were Mild and some types of Old Ale or Strong Ale. Like, for example, London Burton Ale. This version of XXK definitely looks darker than the one from 1887.
The grist is still pretty simple. There are still just two types of malt. But this time, in addition to the base malt, it’s brown malt rather than crystal malt. Brown malt is rare in styles other than Porter and Stout, but not totally unknown. It sometimes pops up in London Mild or Burton Ales. Probably because many London breweries, which started out as Porter brewers, had brown malt in stock anyway.
I’m guessing that the sugar was No. 3 invert or something similar. It could have been something paler, like, say No. 2 invert, in which case the colour would have been 15 SRM.
The hops are all English. As I don’t know which exact varieties, Fuggles and Goldings seem like a reasonable guess. The hopping as, as you can see, pretty heavy, leaving the beer not far short of 100 (calculated ) IBUs. Though it would have been lower when the beer was drunk, due to ageing.
I’d expect XXK to have been aged for at least six month in trade casks. Possibly even longer.
|1897 Fullers XXK|
|pale malt||12.25 lb||76.56%|
|brown malt||0.50 lb||3.13%|
|No. 3 invert sugar||3.25 lb||20.31%|
|Fuggles 90 mins||3.00 oz|
|Goldings 60 mins||3.00 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||3.00 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||1.00 oz|
|Mash at||150º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||58º F|
|Yeast||WLP002 English Ale|