Thursday, 31 January 2013

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1897 Eldridge Pope XXXX

The Let's brew posts are coming thick and fast. Or at least on a regular basis. Thank you Kristen.

This time we're looking at the strongest beer in Eldridge Pope's portfolio in the 1890's, XXXX Ale. It's a beer that had real legs, still being brewed in 1964. I've just realised something very unusual about Eldridge Pope. In 1967 they brewed two beers stronger than XXXX: Goldie Barley Wine and Hardy Ale. I can't imagine there was another brewery in Britain whose strongest beer in 1967 was stronger than their strongest in the 1890's.

(You'll have to excuse the crap prose today. I've a stinking cold and my brain isn't functioning at 100%. Not that it ever really functions at 100%. But today it's only around 10%. God, I love numbers.)

Back to the bullshit. Strength-wise, XXXX is about the same as a London KK. Though rather less heavily hopped. Whitbread KK and Barclay Perkins KK both had around 4.5 lbs of hops per barrel, XXXX 3.2 lbs. The grist of XXXX was simpler, too. Barclay Perkins KK contained crystal malt and Whitbread's brown malt. Whereas XXXX, as you can see in the recipe below, was pale malt, flaked maize and sugar.

Did beers of this type start getting darker in London first? Possibly. But I'd need a stack more evidence to really start claiming that. But it's a point I'll keep in mind during my excavations.

One small point. A third of the hops in the original brew were described as "Californian". I'd advise changing 50% of the first hop addition to Cluster.

Over to Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Malt: Keeping with the theme of the ELP beers, very simple grain bill. This one is utterly pale and full of tasty ass English pale malt. Let’s do something fun this time shall we? Let’s use some Pearl. I haven’t used that stuff in ages. You want bready? This sucker is bready!

Hops:  I really like Goldings in this recipe. Some really fresh ones, or some First Gold. They are really signing this year so lets use those if you can. Goldings are just as good…just a bit different.

Yeast: Same for the other ELP beers. If you want to use the Eldridge Pope/Hardy’s yeast, use the WLP099 Super High Gravity. This yes is a pretty strong fermenter but you can limit it by reducing the amount you pitch and the oxygen you give by about 1/3rd. If you want another yeast, anything that gives a nice bright beer with a good note of lighter fruits. Nothing weird here. Try your favorite stout yeast. My guess is you are gonna have to crash cool your beer to get it anywhere near finishing towards 1.019!


Kristen England said...

Ron is correct. I cocked it up somehow. Just swap out the first bit of Goldings for Cluster and match the BU. You'll definitely need less...probably around half as much.

Arctic Alchemy said...

Excellent looking recipe Kristen, I am hoping for a bit more color in this one too,with a 2.5 hour boil it should darken a bit.

Oblivious said...

What abour Windsor as a dry yeast option?

Unknown said...

FYI, I brewed this a couple weeks ago (as a 3 gallon batch), with WLP099. I hit all the marks correctly, although the color is a bit darker. Fermented at about 66, but that yeast is a monster, even after under-pitching. I do wish I had crash cooled it last week, though, as it looks like it'll be finishing at 1.002. Wow!