Saturday, 16 March 2019

Let's Brew - 1867 Barclay Perkins XXX Ale

A very special treat today. A Mild worthy of March or May. Or even Middlemarch.

Because this is a beer specifically mentioned by George Eliot in one of her essays:

"German ennui must be something as superlative as Barclay's treble X, which, we suppose, implies an extremely unknown quantity of stupefaction."
I think it's safe to assume that the beer she means in Barclay Perkins XXX. For which I obviously have several brewing records. Including this lovely one from 1867.

By this point Barclay Perkins was no longer the largest brewery in the world, but it remained huge by the standards of the day. In 1867 it brewed 423,444 barrels, and was second in London after Truman, which brewed an impressive 554,955 barrels that year.*

You probably won't be surprised to learn that this was Barclay's strongest Mild Ale. It is a pretty powerful beer. Though not one that was around much longer: it was discontinued sometime in the 1870s. If I'd got my arse in gear and photographed the records between 1870 and 1880, I'd be able to give you a more precise date. But I didn't so I can't.

There's not much to the recipe: one type of pale malt and Mid-Kent hops from the 1866 harvest. A shitload of hops. I've knocked down the quantity a little for the recipe. But, as this was brewed in March 1867, the hops were pretty fresh.




* "The British Brewing Industry, 1830-1980" T. R. Gourvish & R.G. Wilson, pages 610-611.


1867 Barclay Perkins XXX Ale
pale malt 21.00 lb 100.00%
Goldings 75 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 4.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 4.00 oz
OG 1093
FG 1034
ABV 7.81
Apparent attenuation 63.44%
IBU 132
SRM 9
1st Mash at 153º F
2nd Mash at 159º F
Sparge at 188º F
Boil time 75 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

8 comments:

Lee Haseley said...

May well try this one, bet ferment with wlp Burton. Brew in april and lay it down til November.

John said...

The thing that is stopping me brewing recipes like this is achieving the low attenuation, as I bottle all my beers, and would be worried about the yeast starting up again and creating bottle bombs. The highish mash temps would help, with the right yeast but it would still worry me a bit. Not a problem you would have if doing it properly and packaging in cask, if course!

oldbobscoo said...

With 132 ibus, was this intended to age and be used as a stock ale? A pint of this would be quite a challenge to get through with that bitterness.

Ron Pattinson said...

oldbobxcoo,

of course not. It's a Mild Ale. It would have been drunk a few weeks after brewing at most.

Their Stock Ales were much more heavily hopped.

Pierce said...

John, I wouldn't try to stop the fermentation if you bottle or keg. Just let it finish and bottle it. I think that might get you a closer result to what would be served than you'd think, or is suggested by the brewery records.

At least with the Scottish stuff, I think something is going on with how they measure FG. Like, they're packaging before fermentation is complete. (Ron, please correct me if I'm wrong about this.)

Momo said...

This is rad. This is why I adore your site.

RHB2 said...

I'm not sure if this is a stupid question or not, but I'd like to know if it is:

Can attenuation that low be achieved by a really high mash temp?

Ron Pattinson said...

RHB2,

the real FG would have been lower than the one given, which is the racking gravity. As this was a cask conditioned beer that would have spent a week or two conditioning before sale, there would have been some further fermentation.