Wednesday 8 July 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1837 Whitbread KXX

I've been very concentrated on the 20th century for the last couple of years. And I've realised that I've published very few London Stock Ale recipes from the 19th century. So here's one.

In the early days of brewing Ales in London Porter breweries, they didn’t use all K’s to designate their Stock Ales. Instead they used X’s, as for Mild Ales, with a single K as a prefix. Whitbread only shifted to all K’s in 1865.

Early 19th century recipes are masterpieces in simplicity. This beer, for example, only contains two ingredients other than water and yeast. Just base malt and two types of hops. English, obviously.

The level of hopping is surprisingly low for a Keeping Ale. 7.6 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt is really bugger all.  I’d have expected almost double that. But there’s a reason why the hopping rate is low. This example was part5i-gyled with X Ale, a Mild.

In the brewing log, the “starting”, i.e. racking, gravity is listed at 1032.7º. I’ve guessed at a much lower number, assuming that there would have been a Brettanomyces secondary fermentation during the many months of ageing which would have knocked that down a fair bit.

1837 Whitbread KXX
mild malt 20.50 lb 100.00%
Goldings 120 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1090
FG 1022
ABV 9.00
Apparent attenuation 75.56%
IBU 59
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

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