Saturday, 7 May 2022

Let's Brew - 1897 Hancock XXB

We’ve now come to Hancock’s Pale Ales. Or at least I think we have. I’m fairly sure that the “B” stands for Bitter. But I’m not totally sure.

The hopping rate per quarter (336 lbs) of malt is slightly lower – 6.3 lbs compared to 7 lbs – than X. If XXB is a Pale Ale, you’d expect it to be the other way around. On the other hand, it is dry hopped and the water treatment, with a large amount of gypsum, is the same as for another Pale Ale, BA. On balance, I’d call this as a Pale Ale.

None of the base malt was from English barley. Just over half was Chilean, the rest Ouchak (spelt Ushak in the brewing record), that is, Middle Eastern. Quite a contrast with X, which was all English. It’s unusual to see all foreign barley. Usually, at least some was English.

It’s rather strange to see No. 3 invert sugar in a Pale Ale. The result is a colour which is pretty dark for a Pale Ale. No. 2 invert is a more normal sugar to see in this type of beer.

A single type of hop – East Kent from the 1896 harvest – was used in the copper. I’m guessing that’s also what was used in the rather heavy dry hopping.

1897 Hancock XXB
pale malt 8.25 lb 84.62%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.75 lb 7.69%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 7.69%
Goldings 120 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1046
FG 1005.5
ABV 5.36
Apparent attenuation 88.04%
IBU 30
SRM 10
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity



Phil said...

Was "pale ale" usually light-coloured, though? I wasn't around in 1897, but if in the 70s someone had poured me a pale ale (from a bottle, of course), I'd have been surprised and puzzled if it was pale.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Pale Ale referred to the use of Pale Malt as opposed to Brown Malt. So Black Pale Ale seemed to raise few eyebrows when it appeared in the 1870s.