Wednesday, 5 December 2012

X Ale grists in the 1880's

It's now time to take a look at the grists from the 1880's X Ales. Dead exciting, I know. But try not to get too enthusiastic. There are a few more instalments in this series still to come.

The grists are beginning to get a bit more exciting, but not much. With one exception: Fullers X and XX. Which use amber malt as a base. That could be a tricky one to recreate, distatic amber not being the easiest malt to lay your hands on. That aside, the brown malt in the one Barclay Perkins X Ale is the only malt other than pale malt in the London Milds. The majority are just pale malt and sugar.

Half of the provincial X Ales, those from Tetley and William Younger, have the simplest grist of all: 100% pale malt. The beers from Usher and Hodgson both contain a smidgen of black malt, presumably as colouring. The Usher beer also has some high-dried malt., whatever that means. It's such a vague term - apparently covering everything from slightly darker pale malt through to almost brown malt. I'll leave you to guess which end of the spectrum this malt lies at.

I'd expected the sugar content in London Milds. All but one Barclay Perkins X Ale contain some. In the 15-20% range that you would expect. But where are the adjuncts? Not a single beer has any maize or rice. I'm surprised.

The provincial brewers seem to have been less keen on sugar. Truman's Burton brewery used a little. Only Hodgson used an amount similar to the London brewers. What they did use though was a bit of black malt. A couple of them. I've seen odd examples very small quantities used in X Ales from the first half of the 19th century. It got more common towards the end of the century, but was still by no means universal.

Unfortunately, in many cases the brewing records don't specify the type of sugar. Is it No. 1 invert or No. 3 invert? Or is it something completely different? No idea is the only answer I can give you. I'd need to go rummaging through their purchase records or stock books (if they still exist) to work that out.

Next time it'll be 1900 or so. At least that's the plan. But you know me. My plans are elastic.

London X Ale grists in the 1880's
Date Year Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl pale malt brown malt amber malt no. 1 sugar no. 3 sugar Other sugar
4th May 1886 Barclay Perkins X Mild 1055.0 1010.0 5.96 81.87% 6.42 1.61 81.82% 18.18%
24th Jun 1886 Barclay Perkins X Mild 1064.0 1015.0 6.49 76.63% 8.00 1.97 72.57% 27.43%
3rd May 1887 Barclay Perkins XX Mild 1078.0 1024.9 7.02 68.04% 16.00 5.85 85.71% 14.29%
19th Oct 1886 Whitbread X Mild 1061.2 1015.8 6.01 74.21% 9.11 2.38 91.40% 8.60%
12th Nov 1885 Whitbread XL Mild 1071.2 1020.8 6.67 70.82% 8.13 2.48 92.31% 7.69%
19th May 1886 Truman X Ale Mild 1052.6 8.0 1.88 86.30% 13.70%
19th May 1886 Truman X Ale Mild 1058.7 8.0 2.09 86.30% 13.70%
23rd Apr 1887 Fuller X Mild 1054.6 1020.5 4.51 62.44% 6.64 1.63 78.75% 21.25%
23rd Apr 1887 Fuller XX Mild 1064.8 1023.3 5.50 64.10% 6.64 1.93 78.75% 21.25%
Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/051 and LMA/4453/D/01/052.
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number ACC/2305/1/584.
Truman brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number B/THB/C/166.

Provincial X Ale grists in the 1880's
Date Year Brewer Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl pale malt black malt sugar high dried malt
11th May 1888 Tetley X Mild  1046.0 1016.1 3.96 65.06% 4.31 0.69 100.00%
11th May 1888 Tetley X1 Mild  1053.7 1016.6 4.91 69.07% 5.31 1.02 100.00%
14th May 1888 Tetley X2 Mild  1063.2 1016.6 6.16 73.68% 8.40 2.02 100.00%
13th Jun 1888 Tetley X3 Mild  1071.2 1016.1 7.29 77.43% 12.00 3.57 100.00%
22nd May 1885 William Younger X Mild 1048 1009 5.16 81.25% 5.29 0.99 100.00%
24th May 1885 William Younger XX Mild 1056 1012 5.82 78.57% 6.19 1.53 100.00%
1st June 1885 William Younger XXX Mild 1065 1021 5.82 67.69% 6.67 1.86 100.00%
9th Jan 1885 Thomas Usher X Mild 1050 1013 4.89 74.00% 9.00 2.00 94.55% 0.47% 4.98%
18th Jan 1887 Truman (Burton) A Mild 1052.1 1012.2 5.28 76.60% 7.19 1.40 95.74% 4.26%
18th Jan 1887 Truman (Burton) 8 Mild 1054.0 1013.9 5.31 74.36% 7.19 1.45 95.74% 4.26%
8th Feb 1887 Truman (Burton) 7 Mild 1061.2 1016.6 5.90 72.85% 5.90 1.46 94.74% 5.26%
19th Jan 1887 Truman (Burton) 6 Mild 1066.5 1019.9 6.16 70.00% 6.64 1.95 89.55% 10.45%
8th Jan 1886 Hodgson XX Mild 1063.71 5.23 1.32 81.13% 0.44% 18.44%
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds document number WYL756/44/ACC1903
William Younger brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive document number WY/6/1/2/31
Thomas Usher brewing record held at the Scottish Brewing Archive document number TU/6/1/1.
Truman brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number B/THB/BUR/11.
Hodgson brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives document number ACC/2305/08/253.


Unknown said...

I love the X ale series. I just brewed my first beer (yes extract, and I know this makes it different), having brewed several batches of mead, and modeled the style off of some of the X ale grists listed.
5% amber malt
5% no. 2 sugar (homemade, yes it was turbinado)
10% caramel ~75L (M&F)
80% extract mix of M&F light and Marriss otter LME
I know the crystal is out of place but I wanted some caramel toffee flavor which I think would have been in the originals via kettle caramelization.
I think this will come out similar (as close as extract can get) to what would have been common around the 1860-1880 period.
It's bubbling away right now.
O.G. 1.065, IBU 45 (I think it's a bit low but I want that big malt flavor)
Keep up the awe-some research and publishing.

Ron Pattinson said...

Bob, let me know how it turns out.

Crystal isn't necessarily out of place. It does sometimes turn up in Milds of the period.

Unknown said...

The gravity reading tasted incredible. Bread pudding with toffee sauce! In a beer!!! Bread flavors, raisins, toffee, floral resin, and a slight spice (the last two are EKGs at their finest). Down to 1.030. I want it down to 1.018, we'll see if it gets there.
There's a nice malt flavor and complexity developing which may allow aging, even though milds are supposed to be young beers.

Martyn Cornell said...

I've seen either maize or rice - can't remember which, it was decades ago - being used by Harmans of Uxbridge in the late 1800s, in a story in the Brewers' Journal. So certainly at least one brewer in the London area was at it.

(Thinks: that's really not very helpful, is it ...)

Unknown said...

Come to think of it, my ale realy doesn't fit this period.
What do think would best describe it; for labeling purposes.
80% extract Marris otter and Muntons light DME (which I think is MO)
10% M&F caramel malt ~75L
5% Amber malt
5% homemade no. 2
A little bit of chocolate for color <1%
OG 1.065, FG 1.018, IBU 45
Maybe more towards 1900-1920, XX for that time period.

Ron Pattinson said...

Bob, you're getting close to a KK from about 1900-1910.

Unknown said...

I thought topping rates for K ales were much higher? If I dry hopped this would it pretty much be a K ale? Honestly I love the flavor as is, so I may label it Mild just because it should be drank young. I haven't seen any K ale grists from that period on here so I'll keep an eye out.