Wednesday 16 August 2017

Let’s brew Wednesday - 1918 Barclay Perkins Ale 4d

The next big change in Barclay Perkins wartime Mild Ale was also provoked by a change in the rules.

Average gravity was cut again in early 1918:

April 1 1918: Conditions changed by provision that average gravity of all beer brewed shall not exceed 1030º for great Britain and 1045º for Ireland, and that no beer shall be brewed below 1010º: and prices fixed at 4d. per pint below 1030º, and 5d. per pint for 1030º to 1034º.
Source: "The Brewers' Almanack 1928" pages 100 - 101.

The effect was immediate. X Ale (OG 1046º) and GA (OG 1038º) were both discontinued and replaced by a single new beer, Ale 4d. As the name implies, this fell into the sub 1030º bracket.

They may have dropped the gravity considerably, but the number of ingredients increased. There are now four types of malt: pale, brown amber and crystal. Plus two types of sugar. What I’ve represented as No. 4 invert was “Martineau’s BS” in the original. I assume it’s something similar.

With several dark malts, two types of dark sugar and caramel, unsurprisingly the colour has darkened. Quite possibly to make drinkers think it was stronger than it really was. Though you’d have noticed when, after five or six pints you weren’t getting intoxicated. It must have come as quite a shock to a generation used to Milds over 5% ABV.

Surprisingly, Ale 4d didn’t disappear with the restrictions on brewing. Even when X Ale returned in the summer of 1919, Barclay Perkins continued to brew it. Clearly there was a market for a watery Mild. It finally disappeared in 1943, when the gravity of X Ale had dropped to almost the same level.

1918 Barclay Perkins Ale 4d
pale malt 3.25 lb 58.77%
brown malt 0.33 lb 5.97%
amber malt 0.75 lb 13.56%
crystal malt 60 L 0.33 lb 5.97%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.33 lb 5.97%
No. 4 invert sugar 0.50 lb 9.04%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.04 lb 0.72%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.33 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.33 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.33 oz
OG 1027
FG 1006
ABV 2.78
Apparent attenuation 77.78%
IBU 14
SRM 19
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This recipe isn't in my new book. But over 200 are:

Please buy my new recipe book. It's dead good. And Andrew is about to go to University.

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