Saturday, 23 April 2022

Let's Brew - 1897 Hancock X

I’m not quite sure what had been going on at Hancock. It was odd that in 1888 they were only brewing XX. No X Ale, as well as no XXX and XXXX. But a mere 9 years later they were brewing a full set of X Ales. It’s all a little odd.

Compared to a London X Ale, the gravity is much lower: more than 10 points. Though a very high degree of attenuation means that the ABV isn’t that much lower.

It’s not just the range of Mild Ales which has changed. The recipes were quite different, too. And, against the usual trends, had become simpler rather than more complicated. This X Ale is almost, but not quite, a SMASH beer.

There was just a single type of malt, described simply as “English”. And while most 1888 recipes contained massive amounts of sugar, this X Ale is all malt. I wonder what caused their change in mind. It’s a pretty massive change in how they brewed.

Two types of hops were used, East Kent from the 1896 harvest and Kent from 1894.

1897 Hancock X
pale malt 9.25 lb 100.00%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
OG 1040
FG 1004
ABV 4.76
Apparent attenuation 90.00%
IBU 27
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity

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