Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1837 Whitbread KXXXX

The strongest of Whitbread’s Stock Ales, KXXXX, was real loony juice at around 11% ABV. You wouldn’t be drinking eight pints of it in a session.

The recipe is as simple as that of its weaker siblings: base malt and English hops. But that’s just the way things were in the first half of the 19th century. Crazy strong beers with uncomplicated recipes.

London brewers didn’t stick with the strongest Ales for very long. Both XXXX and KXXXX had been discontinued by 1845. Not that very much of them had ever been brewed. No more than a couple of hundred barrels a year, at most.

I've lowered the FG from the racking gravity given in the brewing record as, after a year or so with Brettanomyces slowly chewing its way through the sugars Saccharomyces couldn't ferment, it would have been much lower when the beer was sold.

1837 Whitbread KXXX
mild malt 22.50 lb 100.00%
Goldings 120 mins 3.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 3.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.50 oz
OG 1099
FG 1025
ABV 9.79
Apparent attenuation 74.75%
IBU 65
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This recipe is in my two new books, Strong! vols. 1 & 2 and Strong! vol.2.


StuartP said...

Out of interest, what was the racking gravity? Ta.

Ron Pattinson said...


1044. Obviously way short if real FG.