Wednesday 31 July 2019

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1944 Barclay Perkins KK (bottling)

The bottled version of KK was one of the strongest beers in London in 1944. When it retailed at 13d for a half-pint. Though it probably wasn’t that easy to find.

Marketed at No. 1 Southwarke Ale, it had been a mighty 1069º before the war. But by 1944 the war had pushed it to below the pre-war strength (1056º) of the draught version of KK. London wouldn’t be seeing draught beers that strong for quite a while.

Surprisingly, the grist is quite different from draught KK. For a start, the base is a 50-50 split between SA and PA malt. And there’s no amber malt or flaked barley. Looking more closely, draught KK has a grist that’s quite similar to their Milds. Which makes sense, as some of Barclay’s London rivals – Courage and Fullers, for example – parti-gyled their Mild and Burton Ales. The presence of PA malt and the lack of adjuncts betray that this was a high-class beer.

On the other hand, the sugar content is much higher here. Almost 20% of the total opposed to around 8% in the draught version.

The hopping is also quite different: all Goldings. Another sign this was a classy beer. The hops in draught KK cost 387/- and 336/- per cwt. While for the bottling version they were 417/-, 424/-, 432/- and 435/- per cwt. Most were from East Kent, but there were also some Worcesters. All were from either the 1943 or 1944 harvest.

1944 Barclay Perkins KK (bottling)
pale malt 4.00 lb 36.78%
mild malt 4.00 lb 36.78%
crystal malt 60 L 0.75 lb 6.90%
No. 3 invert sugar 2.00 lb 18.39%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.125 lb 1.15%
Goldings 90 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1053.5
FG 1022
ABV 4.17
Apparent attenuation 58.88%
IBU 38
SRM 20
Mash at 150º F
After underlet 154º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


James said...

Ron, I was under the impression that the use of unmalted grain (e.g. flaked barley or, as we have learned, roasted barley) was mandatory in 1944. Was this beer brewed before or after that mandate was in effect, or was there some loophole that Barclays could use? Did sugar qualify as an unmalted fermentable?

Anonymous said...

I was a bit surprised to see so much sugar. In the US, sugar was pretty strictly rationed even though the US had a lot of sugar beet production and easier access to sugar from the Carribean and South America. In fact, the US tried to promote the use of malt syrup by bakers in the place of sugar as a way of reducing sugar use.