Wednesday 8 May 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1880 Whitbread XX xpt

I'm not about to drop my Mild theme now May has rolled around.Get ready for lots more Mild recipes over the next few weeks. Though, by jumping around eras, I should be able to keep them pretty varied.

This beer is a bit of a puzzle. The XX indicates that it was a Mild Ale, And I’m pretty sure “xpt” stands for export. So an Export Mild. But is that really what it is?

Because the level of hopping is crazy – almost 15 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt. That’s about the same rate as Whitbread’s Stock Ales and Pale Ales. And around double to rate of X Ale. It is an export beer, so you would expect it to be heavily hopped. But at this level?

The grist is very basic: two types of English pale malt and sugar. Which type of sugar isn’t explained, but I’ve chosen No. 2 invert. It could have been something more like No.1. Or something else entirely. It’s all very vague.

I know a little more about the hops. They’re all English. A third were from the 1879 harvest, the remainder from 1880. Making them mostly pretty fresh.

XX xpt, whatever it was, didn’t stick around much longer. It was last brewed in 1884.

1880 Whitbread XX xpt
mild malt 14.00 lb 84.85%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.50 lb 15.15%
Fuggles 105 mins 3.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 3.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 3.50 oz
OG 1078.5
FG 1025
ABV 7.08
Apparent attenuation 68.15%
IBU 105
SRM 12
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This is one of the dozens of recipes in my book Mild! plus. Which is avaiable in both paperback:

and hardback formats:


Kevin said...

Your article says: "I’ve chosen No. 2 invert. It could have been something more like No.2."

I'm guessing you chose 2 but it could have been 3? Or is it the other way around?

qq said...

Could it be for blending, either in a special for export as a blend, or like Guinness blending with a less sophisticated beer produced overseas?

Ron Pattinson said...


No. 1.

Ron Pattinson said...


I don't think so. They didn't really do that sort of thing then.

Barm said...

Do all the logs show the same level of hopping? I’ve seen logs where the hop quantities jump to double the amount used in the previous brew and then back down again. Which suggests to me that one brew was using previously boiled hops and the next fresh hops.

Ron Pattinson said...


no, it's at that level for every brew. English brewers rarely reused hops. Unlike those cheapskate Scots.

qq said...

@Ron Well they could have a special export blend surely? Trying to replicate domestic mild blends but with extra hops for export?

Ron Pattinson said...


they didn't blend Mild, as far as I am aware. The beer looks quite similar to their KK. I suspect it's really an export Burton.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron ,
I`ve not seen many Whitbread`s brewing records , but I know that Walker`s of Warrington were blending after primary fermentation ; in the Racking Square in their Milds with , Old Ale , Porter etc ; though, post rack ; individual brews may have been blended with other products , something which Walker`s were absolute masters of .
On the xpt note , it could be as simple as a short run exp brew / or a variation of the standard X X recipie ? ( Materials Specs rather than a substantial change in the intrinsic qualities of the XX ) ,
Cheers ,