Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1918 Adnams XX

I haven't published a relly watery Mild recipe for a while. Time to fix that.

When this beer was brewed in May 1918, there were still six months of the war to go. Not that drinkers at the time knew.

It was a particularly disturbing period, as the German spring offensive was in full swing. Equally disheartening for those at home were the ever stricter regulations on brewing and a further slashing of gravities.

By this point Adnams only brewed three different beers: XX, PA and Double Stout. Though I’m not totally sure about the last one. They may only have been brewing a Bitter and Mild. In April 1918, the average gravity of a brewery’s beers had been set at 1030º. As Adnams still wanted to brew a reasonable-strength Bitter, that meant dropping XX’s gravity well below 1030º. Which explains the pathetic 1022º OG of this version. Even a high degree of attenuation still leaves it basically non-intoxicating.

The recipe, however, is identical to in 1917. In fact, the total weight of the grist, 1,680 lbs., is exactly the same. The only difference being that there was slightly more pale malt and slightly less “medium” malt. Otherwise everything else is exactly the same.

That also includes the hopping rate. If you’re wondering why then that the quantities or slightly lower here it’s because the hops were older. Oregon and Kent from the 1915 season, Sussex from 1917.

1918 Adnams XX
pale malt 1.00 lb 22.03%
mild malt 2.25 lb 49.56%
crystal malt 80 L 0.25 lb 5.51%
flaked maize 0.25 lb 5.51%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.50 lb 11.01%
cane sugar 0.25 lb 5.51%
caramel 5000 SRM 0.04 lb 0.88%
Cluster 105 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1022
FG 1004
ABV 2.38
Apparent attenuation 81.82%
IBU 14
SRM 17
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold


A Brew Rat said...

Do you know of anyone who has tried brewing these wretched recipes? And, if so, have you tasted one and can offer a review?

Ron Pattinson said...

A Brew Rat,

I've not had one quite as weak as this. Pretty Things did brew a 1945 Barclay Perkins X Ale that was 1027º. It wasn't that bad, probably because it had quite a few dark malts in the recipe.