Thursday, 12 April 2018

Let's Brew - 1930 Barclay Perkins Dark Lager

Another week, another Lager recipe from Kristen. I’m personally getting all excited about Lager, what with the Historic Lager Festival in St. Louis just over a week away.

Right from the word go, Barclay Perkins brewed both a Pale and a Dark Lager in their shiny new Lager brewhouse. With its gravity of 1057º, their Dark Lager looks very similar to a Munich Dunkles of the period. Which I’m sure isn’t a coincidence.

It’s odd that British-brewed Dark Lagers seem to have died out after WW II, just when Lager was starting to take off. I’m sure that most people in the UK now associate Lager with a very pale colour, but that wasn’t always the case. It’s a shame dark versions died out. I’m very partial to a Dunkles, myself. Or Lager Dark Mild as I like to call it.

I’m not sure how authentic the grist is for the Munich style, as there’s no Munich malt. And I’m not so sure Bavarians would use crystal malt in this type of beer, either. Obviously roast barley would have been illegal in Germany. As Barclay Perkins Lager brewer was a Dane, I doubt he was hung up with the whole Reinheitsgebot thing.

The hops – Saaz and Hallertau – are pretty authentic. Though UK brewers didn’t just use them in continental-style beers. They were two of the foreign hop types that they rated and quite often used them in classy beers. Especially just after the end of WW I when it looks like there was a glut of hops in Central Europe. Not surprising, given that brewing came to almost a total halt there in the last two years of the war.

That’s me done, I’ll now pass you over to Kristen’s tender care . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:
Notes: More Blahger lovers action this week kiddos! Seems like a simple recipe from the get go but its gets wonky pretty quick so above is the barebones recipe, thar be some weird deets here.

Malt: Starts off pretty normal. A pale lagery malt, a crystal and a dark roasty thing. This really starts off smelling like a Czech Tmavé with all the dark crystal and the like kiss of roast. Choose whatever you’d like. Since this is an English lager, I’d stick right with the standard English crystal malt, mid-range or so (55-75). I’d also stick with roasted barley but choose your favorite brand, or whatever you’ve got laying about your cupboards…its just a touch anyway.

Mashing: Now she starts getting a bit weird (vol/temp depend on your system).
Dough-in: Only the base malt is use.
Rest 1: 120F (49C) x 40min
Rest 2: Boiling liquor is added, as well as steam, to bring it up to 147F (64C). The crystal malt and roast malt is then added.
Rest 3: As soon as Rest 2 is mixed in, hot liquor is added to bring up to about 157F (69C). Rest 10 min.
Rest 4: Boiling liquor is added to bring to 168F (78C). Rest for 30 min.

Summary: Rest 1 (40min), Rest 2 (2 min), Rest 3 (10 min), Rest 4 (30min).
As you can see this is a really weird way to go about things. A normalish protein rest using only the base malt, then adding hot liquor to bring you up close to sack rest and loosen the mash to mix in your crystal/roast and then enough hot liquor to bring you up to a higher sacc rest. That rest is pretty short seeing that the mash was infused to sacc rest rather than steam heated and a pretty extended very high sacc rest. Then sparge away at 170.

Then she goes directly sideways.
From the log:

“16 bbls bright runnings boiled for 3 hours in No2 copper to caramelize, added to No1 copper to 1.123°”
Right so…this is damn weird. Lets call it about 20% of the runnings are pulled and cooked right down until they hit their gravity and added back to the boil copper. That right there would have taken the color up quite a few notches, not to mention the flavor that came along with the party!

Hops: Saaz and Tettnanger. Nothing fancy or neat and not many of them. This beer is a place for all the weird business to shine above so don’t step on yourself trying to be neat. Just get your BU’s in all at once or split like I have.

Yeast: Carlsberg Lager yeast, as listed. 

Lager: No real info in the logs. She was done fermenting in about a week, conditioned another week and then dropped to lager. For a beer this size, 3 to 4 weeks would be good. You can go longer if you find it needing it but with this yeast, you should.


John said...

So the 20% is boiled down to a gravity of 1.123 then added back in with the rest, and it all boiled for 90mins with the hops, is that right?

Kristen England said...

Yeah, thats my approximation from the numbers but it seems to jive right. They didn't say when they added but my guess is that they just pumped it over as soon as the gravity was reached. I'm going to play around with this shortly and will have a better idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron,

regarding the crystal malt and Bavarian brewers: they do now. One of my favourite Dunkles from the Munich area has some in it, if I am not completely mistaken.
Then again, it's not marketed as "Munich Lager"...

Cheers, Sebastian