Ten years back, I could only dream of getting hold of so many AKs As you're probably aware, it's long been an obsession of mine. After a decade of research, I've got a pretty good handle on the style. I'm also certain that I understand the origin of the term.
To quickly recap on that, here's my theory on the meaning of AK. The "A" is a strength indication, which is one step below X. The gradations being, in ascending order, T, A, X, XX, XXX, XXXX. The "K" stands for "Keeping" and indicates that the beer is a Pale Ale rather than a Mild Ale. Despite the fact that the whole point of AK was that it was a Light or Running Bitter. Which meant it was aged before sale.
AK is often described in price lists as a "Dinner Ale" or "suitable for family use" or something similar. Indicating that it was a light beer intended to be drunk with meals at home. When you wouldn't wasnt something to heavy or cloying.
All the examples in the have gravities in the 1040's, with the exception of Rose, which is a little over 1050º. A Reasonable degree of attenuation leaves them all between 4% and 5% ABV.
Most are hopped at around 8 lbs per quarter, which is about the same as a London Mild Ale of the same period. But a good bit below the rate of a Stock Pale Ale or IPA. Exceptions to this are the Adnams and Kirkstall examples which have over 10 lbs per barrel.
Next time we'll be looking at the recipes.
|AK 1878 - 1911|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl||Pitch temp|
|1896||Eldridge Pope||AK||1048.5||1011.6||4.87||76.00%||7.33||1.50||60º F|
|1896||Eldridge Pope||BAK||1048.5||1011.9||4.84||75.43%||7.03||1.44||59.5º F|
|1911||Eldridge Pope||BAK||1044.3||1012.7||4.18||71.25%||8.09||1.56||60.25º F|
|Adnams brewing record held at the brewery.|
|Fullers brewing record hels at the brewery.|
|Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/125.|
|Russell brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/RUS/8|
|Eldridge Pope brewing record.|
|Rose brewing record.|