X Ales were one of the mainstays of American Ale breweries in the 19th century. With their origin obviously lying with English X Ales.
The term Mild Ale doesn’t seem to have been used much in the USA. “Present Use”, a slightly old-fashioned term in the UK by 1900, was used to signify the same thing. But mostly they were just called Ales. Usually XX or XXX, for some reason. X Ale, the most popular Ale in England, doesn’t seem to have been a thing in the USA. Probably just breweries bigging up their Ales.
Amsdell’s XX has about the same gravity as a London X Ale of 1900, though the bitterness is a bit lower. (Refer back to 1899 Barclay Perkins X for a full comparison. I can’t be arsed to do it for you.)
The grist has the same ingredients as usual as Amsdell. Except there’s also a little black malt, presumably for colour. It doesn’t specify where it was added, so it could have been in the copper. Where it would have added more colour than in the mash. What was added in the copper was 20 lbs of salt. Which is slightly less than an eighth of an ounce for a recipe of the size below.
|1900 Amsdell Winter XX|
|pale malt||8.25 lb||65.32%|
|black malt||0.05 lb||0.40%|
|Cluster 30 mins||2.25 oz|
|Mash at||156º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||30 minutes|
|pitching temp||58º F|
|Yeast||WLP051 California V|
This recipe is one of many North American ones in my outstanding collection of historic recipes: