Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1944 Barclay Perkins XLK

I should perhaps change the name of this series to "Brews from 1944", as that's what they've all been recently. I'm easily seduced by theming the recipes I publish. It makes my life easier in selecting recipes.

When WW II erupted, Barclay Perkins were producing four Pale Ales, in descending order of strength: PA, XLK (Trade), IPA and XLK (bottling). By 1944 just IPA and a single version of XLK remained.

The bottling XLK had always been lower in gravity than XLK (trade), which was the draught version. The single XLK brewed in 1944 was the same OG as pre-war bottling XLK. Effectively they had eliminated the draught version and used the bottling version for both. 1944 XLK, in terms of strength, looks like a typical post-war Ordinary Bitter.

The grist of XLK had become considerably more complex during the war. At the start it was just pale malt, PA malt and flaked maize. Plus some sugar, of course. The 1944 version was a combination of PA malt, SA malt (for which I’ve substituted mild malt), crystal malt, lager malt and flaked barley.

Excuse me if I’m repeating myself, but crystal malt wasn’t common in Bitter before WW II. Barclay Perkins only began to employ it in 1941. Perhaps to compensate for the fall in gravity. Lager malt appears in several of their beers around this point. I assume they just had some extra lying around that they wanted to use up.

The hops were Kent Fuggles from the 1943 harvest, Mid-Kent Fuggles from 1943 and 1944, Worcester Fuggles from 1942, plus East Kent Goldings dry hops from 1944.

1944 Barclay Perkins XLK
pale malt 3.00 lb 37.08%
mild malt 3.00 lb 37.08%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 6.18%
lager malt 0.25 lb 3.09%
flaked barley 0.67 lb 8.28%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.67 lb 8.28%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1035.5
FG 1010.5
ABV 3.31
Apparent attenuation 70.42%
IBU 20
Mash at 147º F
After underlet 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


G said...

So those hop amounts should be conversed from leaf to pellets, if I'm correct? Looks like a lovely recipe!

Ron Pattinson said...


yes. All my recipes are formulated with leaf hops.