Sunday 30 September 2018

Fullers AK 1887 - 1920

Following on with my Light Bitter theme, I thought I'd take a closer look at Fullers AK.

Or, to be more accurate, its decline and fall.

Fullers AK started off with a classic gravity for the type or 1050º. Well, at the top end of a typical gravity.  This was chipped away a little in the years 1887 to 1914, but it was still a respecatable 1045º when WW I kicked off. What would count as a respectable Best Bitter nowadays. But at the time, the weakest of Fuller's Pale Ales.

The first couple of years of the war didn't have a huge amount of impact. The OG dropped less than one point bewteen 1914 and 1916. The years after that were far more cruel. By 1918, AK's gravity wasn't much more than half of what it had been at the start of hostilities.

Things pickled up again in 1919, but still left AK only a few decimal points above 1030º. Just two-thirds of its pre-war gravity. However, the hopping rate did increase during the war. Presumably to try and compensate for the fall in gravity.

Next we'll see what happened to AK between the wars.

Fullers AK 1887 - 1920
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
21st Apr 1887 1049.6 1014.1 4.69 71.51% 7.61 1.66
3rd Aug 1897 1049.9 1012.5 4.95 75.00% 9.47 2.85
20th Oct 1902 1046.3 1010.5 4.73 77.25% 8.43 1.68
14th Mar 1910 1045.0 1008.9 4.78 80.31% 6.90 1.43
18th Mar 1910 1044.9 1008.3 4.84 81.48% 7.29 1.43
20th Nov 1914 1044.3 1009.1 4.65 79.38% 7.33 1.34
2nd Jul 1915 1044.5 1009.7 4.61 78.22% 7.84 1.42
1st Jun 1916 1043.9 1009.7 4.53 77.93% 8.20 1.54
12th Jan 1917 1041.8 1007.8 4.50 81.44% 8.17 1.40
1st Nov 1917 1035.9 1007.8 3.73 78.41% 9.64 1.47
11th Apr 1918 1026.1 1005.5 2.73 78.81% 9.99 1.10
15th Apr 1919 1026.0 1004.4 2.86 82.98% 9.04 1.08
19th Jun 1919 1028.2 1004.7 3.10 83.28% 9.72 1.14
27th Aug 1919 1030.5 1006.9 3.12 77.31% 9.96 1.28
11th Feb 1920 1030.6 1007.5 3.06 75.59% 9.80 1.21
Source:
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery



Saturday 29 September 2018

Let's Brew - 1914 Fullers AK

Following on from my bit about low-gravity Pale Ales in the late 19th century, here's an AK recipe.

The name AK has been much discussed. Pretty much all of the speculation as to its origin is bollocks. The truth is incredibly simple.

Each of the letters in the name tells us something. A indicates the strength. When the relative Mild Ales was indicated by a number of X's, some breweries had a class of beer weaker than X. This was often called A, standing for Ale. The K - for Keeping - is there to tell you that it's not a Mild Ale, but a Pale Ale.

As we saw earlier in the week with Fuller's beers, there were also Pale Ales called XK. Where the X indicates that the srength was about the same as X Ale and the K tells you that it was a Pale Ale. It's really not complicated at all.

Going into the war, Fullers AK had a classic gravity in the mid-1040ºs. Though, obviously, that wasn’t going to last.

The grist is very similar to that of PA, only there’s a bit more flaked maize and a bit less sugar. Not really that significant of a difference. The pale malt was made from English, Chilean and Oregon barley.

The hops are Mid-Kent (1913), Poperinge (1913), Cobbs (1913, 1914), Oregon (1913). Though as the quantities of Poperinge and Oregon were pretty small (20 lbs of each out of a total of 270 lbs) I’ve combined them as Cluster.

The real mashing scheme was mash of an hour with an initial heat of 143º F, raised to 149º F after 25 minutes by an underlet. Left to stand for a further hour and 35 minutes.

1914 Fullers AK 
pale malt 8.00 lb 84.06%
flaked maize 0.50 lb 5.25%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.50 lb 5.25%
glucose 0.50 lb 5.25%
caramel 500 SRM 0.02 lb 0.18%
Cluster 90 mins 0.375 oz
Fuggles 90 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1044
FG 1009
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 79.55%
IBU 33
SRM 6
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1968 London ESB

Friday 28 September 2018

Pasteurisation of Beer

Stopping beer spoiling - especially when it was being shipped large distances - had long been a challenge for brewers.

Burton brewers had a two-pronged approach to keeping their beer sound during long sea voyages. Firt, they hopped the heel out of it. Not for the flavouring provided by hops but for their  preservative qualities. The seond defence was a very high degree of attenuation. There was no food left for any further fermentation. Well, obviously other than by the Brettanomyces the beer contained.

But there was another, simpler method of travel-proofing your beer: pasteurisation.

"Pasteurisation of Beer.——It may interest the brewers of this country to know that a new process has been patented by Mr. Williams Kuhn, of Clermont-Ferrand (near Royat les Bains), by means of which, it is stated, beer can be preserved in casks and shipped to hot climates without any danger of alteration or decomposition. As is well known, Pasteur discovered the ferment that alone is susceptible Of producing a normal fermentation ; and since it has been possible to eliminate, by the use of the microscope, all gems that lead to alterations in the liquid, the art of the brewer may be said to have made a great stride forward. By observing with care the conditions of pure fermentation, as prescribed by Pasteur, beer can be preserved from noxious fermentations. It has not, however, been possible, so far, to avoid the difficulties attached to the exportation of beer to hot climates, for the alcoholic ferment, be it ever so pure, continues its work of transformation and of decomposition, and under the influence of high temperatures becomes so powerful as to transform all the saccharine elements into alcohol and carbonic acid gas. The beverage is in consequence modified to such a. degree as to be deprived of taste, of perfume, and of its primitive nutritious qualities. If Mr. Kuhn’s process has satisfactorily solved all the difficulties of the problem, there can be no doubt of its importance and of the field before it in this country. The fact that first-class firms, such as Raoul Pictet, of Paris, and Riedinger, of Augsbourg, have respectively taken up the French and German patents, leads us to conclude that Mr. Kuhn's method contains all it promises."
"The Brewers' Guardian 1889", 1889, page 44.
This wasn't the first use of pasteurisation to preserve beer. Carlsberg were already pasteurising their beer in 1881.

It's striking that, though the author discusses the negative effect on flavour of an unwanted and uncontrolled secondary fermentation, nothing is mentioned about the changes pasteurisation itself might cause.

Thursday 27 September 2018

Best Bier

"Dad, why don't you ever write about Best Bier on your blog? It is the best beer, after all."

"Good point, Lexie."

"It is good beer. And it only costs 62 cents per half litre can."

"A true baragain. Is it as good as Finkbräu or Schultenbräu?"

"No, of course not. Best Bier will always be the best. Even though they are German. Don't forget to ask your readers what the cheapest beer is where they live."

"I won't."

"And how good it is."

"OK."

"It won't be as good as Best Bier, though."

"Obviously not, because it's the best. It's in the name."

What's the cheapest beer where you live? Is it any good? If not, what is the cheapest beer you find drinkable?

I'll kick off with my seasonal favourite, Amstel Bock. 44 cents per 30 cl bottle of a 7% beer.

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1915 Noakes LBA

Just a year into the war, British beers hadn’t changed that much, at least not in terms of strength.

LBA looks very much like the type of beer that was often called AK. A Light Bitter. As the name, which I’m sure was Light Bitter Ale, implies. In modern parlance, an Ordinary Bitter. Quite light in alcohol and body, but still quite bitter.

There’s not much to the grist, just pale malt and sugar with tiny amount of rice. I’m not really sure what the sugar type is. In the ingredient list, it’s down as No. 1 invert. In another part where it details the sugar additions to the copper, it’s called No. 3. No. 1 makes more sense, so I’ve gone with that.

Some of the hops are from the 1915 crop, but most are from 1914. I’ve knocked the quantities down a little accordingly. I’ve no idea of where they were from, other than that they were all English. My guess would be from Kent, as that wasn’t far away. But the brewery was very close to the Southwark hop market so they could have been from anywhere.

In addition to the 30 cwts. of No.1 invert sugar in the copper, there’s 15 cwts. of No. 3 which are described as “heading”, presumably meaning it was used for priming. This sugar raises the effective OG by 10 points, to 1055º.



1915 Noakes LBA
pale malt 6.00 lb 61.16%
flaked rice 0.06 lb 0.61%
No. 1 invert sugar 2.50 lb 25.48%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.25 lb 12.74%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 90 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1055
FG 1015
ABV 5.29
Apparent attenuation 72.73%
IBU 50
SRM 7
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Low Gravities

In the second half of the 19th century a new type of beer appeared in the UK: Light Bitter.

The early Pale Ales were all brewed in the Burton mould as Stock Ales. That is beers that underwent extensive ageing before sale. And when I say extensive, I mean extensive. Bass Pale Ale for example, was over a year old before sale, even domestically. The version sent to India was 12 months old before it even left the brewery.

"Low Gravities.
THE tendency for light beers seems to be on the increase, and we cannot quite understand why brewers should not make large profits, more especially when the public demand a beverage constituting nothing more nor less than a dry, thoroughly fermented beer, containing but small percentages of sugar and albumenous matters, with a somewhat high percentage of alcohol. There is surely no difficulty in producing such a beverage, and if mashing operations are conducted in a manner favouring the minimisation of these objectionable bodies, and the extract constitutes that of a dry sugar such as cone or glucose, we venture to say that a beverage of this character would answer family customers much better than the ordinary publichouse mild ales of somewhat high gravities and containing as they do, comparatively speaking, high percentages of azotised and sugar bodies. More attention should be paid to this question than readers are aware, for in these days of increasing competition, when it is indeed hard to buy publichouses at reasonable prices, there remains but one alternative, and that is (to those brewers who cannot afford to pay fancy prices for houses) if they are to hold their own, much less increase their trade, they must undoubtedly cultivate a family trade; and we are bound to assert that hundreds of brewers, instead of giving proper attention to this class of customers, are too prone to forward the ordinary publichouse mild ale, which we need hardly say is anything but pleasant for the family trade."
"The Brewers' Guardian 1889", 1889, pages 317-318.
By "family use" they mean beer consumed at home. Which at this time was still mostly in the form of draught beer. The advertisements brewers placed in newspapers for this home trade are a great source of information about exactly what beers were being brewed by a specific brewery. Light Bitter, especially AK, is often praised in such adverts as being perfect for family use.

Here's an example of what the author was talking about, from Fullers of London:

Fullers Mild and Bitter in 1887
Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
AK Pale Ale 1049.6 1014.1 4.69 71.51% 7.61 1.66
XX Mild 1064.8 1023.3 5.50 64.10% 6.64 1.93
X Mild 1054.6 1020.5 4.51 62.44% 6.64 1.63
IPA IPA 1060.9 1016.6 5.86 72.73% 12.38 3.45
XKK Pale Ale 1055.1 1015.2 5.28 72.36% 12.36 3.12
XK Pale Ale 1057.1 1016.1 5.42 71.84% 11.58 2.84
Source:
Fullers brewing record held at the brewery

AK had the lowest OG of all their Bitters and Milds, though, due to the higher degree of attenuation, the ABV is higher than X Ale's. You can also se that AK was sinificantly more lightly hopped than Fuller's other Pale Ales. In fact the hopping rate wasn't much higher than for the Milds

Monday 24 September 2018

Colouration of Beer

One of the things that drives me nuts are American home brew recipes for dark British styles, like Mild Ale, where roast malt is used to get the colour. This is a good example.*

Because that's not the way the vast majority of real examples of the style were brewed. Most Milds got their colour from sugar, usuall a combination of No. 3 invert and caramel. It's rare to find any malt darker than crystal in Mild.

That's one of the reasons I was struck by this Victorian article about colouring beer. And why you shouldn't use black malt.

"Colouration of Beer.
IT is at the time of writing well known throughout brewing circles that the majority of brewers resort to the use of black malt for the purpose of colouring beer. Now very little attention is paid as to whether the black malt used is sound, and we venture to say that the greater portion so used for this purpose is in nine cases out of ten very unsound. Take, for instance, small brewers. A quantity of black malt is received at the brewery for stout and porter brewing; the trade in black beer declines, and the question then arises, What shall we do with the remaining black malt on hand? The answer is very simple, since the conclusion arrived at is, that it will do very well for colouring purposes. It, or a portion of it, is ground and remains perhaps for months in its disintegrated state; it thus takes up moisture and very rapidly turns sour. Is there any wonder, therefore, that ten or twelve pounds of such material, mixed with grist in hopper, sprinkled over the mash before commencing to sparge, or thrown into the copper, which ever of the various methods are carried out, should have a tendency of turning the resulting beer sour, or have an effect upon its dietetic properties. We think that this question should have long ere this come to the knowledge of practical men, and our reason for this note is on account of a sample of beer lately sent us possessing a peculiar taste somewhat resembling brown paper. The beer was by no means sound, since samples placed upon the forcing tray rapidly deteriorated, yet from the details of the manipulation of the materials, combined with the water supply, cleanliness of plant, and soundness of yeast, such beer should have defied the forcing temperature of 75° F. for at least three weeks without showing any form of disease. We therefore advise brewing readers to guard against this evil, and either look to the soundness and quantity of black malt used, or, on the other hand, resort to the use of some other colouring agent, such as caramel."
It's instructive to read just how black malt was used for colouring purposes. Either esprinkled over the mash just before sparging or in the copper. I knew about the latter already. Barclay Perkins usualy added some of the black malt or roast barley to the copper when brewing Porter and Stout.

The point about the decline in the trade in Black Beer (Porter and Stout) is also interesting. AFter 1870 there's a notable decline in Porter and draught Stout outside London. In most of the provinces, Porter was dead by the time of WW I.

I'm not surprised that the author ends up recommending caramel for colouring. Though he doesn't mention one advantage of caramel: the colour it adds is predictable. Which isn't necessarily the case with black malt. Also, because it's added later in the brewing process, the anount used xcan be modified based on the colour of teh wort.




* I'm not having a go at Jamil Zainasheff. This is how people were told Mild was brewed/.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Tetley's beers in 1848 - 1849

Did I mention that I'm a deeply lazy person? I sometimes wonder what I could have achieved, had I not been such a lazy arse.

This information is a good case in point. A few years back I had a lightning visit to the West Yorkshire Archives in Leeds. In a frantic two hour session between the archive opening between and when the family picked me up in a taxi to go to the airport, I snapped as much as I could. to peruse later at my leisure.

The earliest records were from 1848. Yeah! But, rather than the pre-printed form with stuff filled in, they're totally handwritten. Which makes life much more difficult for me. Being a lazy bastard, i went straight to the 1858 records. Which are on pre-printed forms.

The 1848 records I'd just left untouched. Until this week. When I wanted to know when Tetley started brewing Pale Ale. And had a trawl through them, looking for Pale Ale. Which I found. Then I realised: these things aren't as hard to read as I thought. Harvest time.

An interesting set. Especially the Pale Ale. Few breweries were making it in 1848. Mostly just in Pale Ale specialist towns like Burton and Edinburgh.

I was surpised at how much Porter Tetley brewed. The occasional Stout, but quite a lot of Porter. and loads of Mild, of all strengths. Five different ones. The amount of Porter brewed surprised me. A decent percentage of Tetley's output.

A dream: all five 1848 Tetley Milds on draught in the Cardigan Arms.

Tetley's beers in 1848 - 1849
Date Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl hops
27th Mar 1849 E.I. Pale IPA 1065.6 1016.1 6.56 75.53% 19.78 5.57 English
24th Apr 1848 PA Pale Ale 1067.9 1018.8 6.49 72.24% 21.44 6.04 English
1st Apr 1848 X1P Porter 1063.7 1018.3 6.01 71.30% 10.40 2.66 English
14th Apr 1848 Stout Stout 1077.6 1021.3 7.44 72.50% 12.12 3.70 English
18th Apr 1848 X Mild  1049.9 1023.8 3.44 52.22% 6.53 1.36 English
5th Apr 1848 X1 Mild  1077.6 1027.1 6.67 65.00% 6.95 6.11 English
5th Apr 1848 X1 S Mild  1069.3 1026.3 5.68 62.00% 6.95 2.95 English
12th Apr 1848 X2 Mild  1088.6 1025.5 8.36 71.25% 6.31 2.26 English
7th Apr 1848 X3 Mild  1099.2 1025.5 9.75 74.30% 6.37 2.54 English
Source:
Tetley brewing record held at the West Yorkshire Archives, document number WYL756/1/ACC1903.

Saturday 22 September 2018

Let's Brew - 1915 Truman P1

As you would expect of a brewery based in Burton, Truman produced top-class Pale Ales. And pick of the bunch was P1.

At 1064º, it had the classis Burton IPA gravity. The ABV might look a bit low at a little under 6%, though it was almost certainly stronger when sold. As this was a Stock Pale Ale that would have undergone a secondary conditioning of 6 to 12 months. AT the end of that time, the FG would have been considerably lower.

They didn’t go in for fancy grists at Truman’s Burton brewery. I doubt they had any coloured malts on the premises, as all their Porter and Stouts were brewed in London. Though the pale malt is a mix of Indian, Smyrna and English. I’m not sure what the sugar was. It could easily have been No, 1 invert, which would leave the finish beer a little paler.

Most of the hops were English from the 1914 crop, though they were a few described as Pacific from 1912. The varieties are just my guesses.


1915 Truman P1
pale malt 11.00 lb 80.00%
flaked maize 1.50 lb 10.91%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.25 lb 9.09%
Cluster 120 mins 0.25 oz
Goldings 90 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1064
FG 1020
ABV 5.82
Apparent attenuation 68.75%
IBU 61
SRM 8
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast Wyeast 1028 London Ale (Worthington White Shield)

Friday 21 September 2018

The Liquor Trade of Australasia

I found this fascinating overview if booze in Australasia.

Kicking off with some general stuff.

"THE LIQUOR TRADE OF AUSTRALASIA
THE Australian Trading World gives the following summary of the
resent position of the beer, wine, and spirit trade of Australasia:—

Of the various sections of business between Great Britain and her Australian Colonies, one of the most important is that which comes under the above designation. Alcoholic liquors are, in most countries, made to bear a greater relative amount of taxation than other commodities, and the duties placed upon these goods in Australia and New Zealand are extremely heavy. The trade, however, make no serious complaint on this score, and it would seem that the volume of business has not been seriously affected by the duties levied. The trade is a very large and important one, and for those interested in it a few general remarks may be of some value. In the first place we may consider the population to be supplied. This is in round figures 3,200,000 people, say about three-fourths of the population of the metropolis; but it will be readily admitted, in the first placethat the population of the Colonies is more adult in its character than that of London and its immediate suburbs. It will further be allowed that the number of males in the colonial population is larger; whilst the third consideration is that the average prosperity of people in the colonies is certainly greater than the condition of the population of greater London. These circumstances being considered, we think that we may obtain a general view of the consumptive power of our southern colonies by saying, roundly, that the liquor trade there is of equal volume to that of metropolitan London. We think that this estimate gives an appreciative view of the case that is useful to bear in mind."
"The Brewers' Guardian 1889", 1889, page 39.
I assume that 3.2 million is both Australia and New Zealand combined. Well done antipodeans, is what I say, matching London for boozing. Very high tax on beer? Drinkers in the UK would get used to that 30 or so years later.
"The liquor trade of Australasia may be looked at in its three sections — beer, wine, and spirits. Now, first as regards beer, this liquor has a very large consumption, and it is being gradually supplied, so far as ordinary draught liquor is concerned, by colonial brewmgs. But excepting from one or two breweries in New Zealand, no ale or stout has been produced that will bear any comparison in point of quality to the best Burton and Scotch ales or to Dublin or London stouts. It is no discredit to colonial brewers to state this fact; they have not got water of that peculiar quality that will permit the manufacture of beers equal to those made in Britain, nor, we may add, have they a climate which, with all its beauties for other purposes, will compare with this for the business of brewing. Some months ago we commented on the purity of British export beers, as evidenced by a very severe critical examination, made at the instance of the New South Wales Government. But let colonial brewings go on increasing, there will always be a large business in the imported article for the best of the trade. Bass s India pale ale, Robert Younger’s Edinburgh ale, “Boar’s Head" brand, James Aitken & Co.’s Falkirk ale, Guinness’s Dublin stout (that bottled under the “Boar’s Head" brand holds a premier position), Whitbread's London stout, and beers of this class in hogshead, will always command a market, whilst the trade in bottled beers is hardly interfered with at all by the colonial brewings. The bottled beer trade is a very heavy one, and its volume is likely to increase rather than to diminish. Malt liquor will always be the standard drink of the Anglo-Saxon until some constitutional infirmity or luxurious fashion puts him on to wine or spirits."
 "The Brewers' Guardian 1889", 1889, page 39.
Interesting that there were breweries producing good beer in New Zealand bit not Australia. Could it have been the water? Or the climate?

I know from a later Australian price lists of imported UK beer that Burton Pale Ale, Scotch and Pale Ales from Scotland and Dublin and London Stouts were, indeed, the most popular UK beers. The top-class stuff, basically.

The expectation that those classy British beers would continue to be imported turned out to be false. After Confederation in 1901 Australia introduced large import duties on imported beer to encourage the local industry. British imports gradually dried up to a trickle.

As this table shows:

UK beer exports to Australia 1890 - 1920
1890 1900 1910 1920
147,014 96,785 90,416 18,176
Sources:
Brewers' Almanack 1928, page 115.
Brewers' Journal 1921, page 24


Thursday 20 September 2018

Austerity! errata

I've just had it pointed out to me that a couple of recipes wer missing in Austerity!. My apologies.

It's fixed now, but for those who have already bought the book, here are the missing recipes:


1959 Fullers X
pale malt 5.50 lb 78.35%
flaked maize 0.67 lb 9.54%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.50 lb 7.12%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.25 lb 3.56%
caramel 2000 SRM 0.10 lb 1.42%
Fuggles 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.75 oz
Goldings Varieties 30 min 0.125 oz
OG 1031.5
FG 1009.5
ABV 2.91
Apparent attenuation 69.84%
IBU 19
SRM 17
Mash at 146º F
Sparge at 166º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale



1948 Lees Best Mild
pale malt 5.75 lb 69.70%
black malt 0.25 lb 3.03%
crystal malt 80 L 0.75 lb 9.09%
enzymic malt 0.25 lb 3.03%
No. 3 Invert 1.25 lb 15.15%
Fuggles 105 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1032
FG 1006
ABV 3.44
Apparent attenuation 81.25%
IBU 21
SRM 19
Mash at 147º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)



1964 Whitbread Ex PA
pale malt 10.50 lb 85.16%
crystal malt 60L 1.50 lb 12.17%
No. 1 invert sugar 0.33 lb 2.68%
Fuggles 90 min 1.25 oz
Styrian Goldings 90 min 0.25 oz
Fuggles 60 min 1.25 oz
Fuggles 30 min 1.25 oz
Goldings dry hop 0.50 oz
OG 1056.5
FG 1009.5
ABV 6.22
Apparent attenuation 83.19%
IBU 45
SRM 8
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

For the rest of you home brewers - those who don't have the book - this is a rare treat. Three recipes in one day.Three very different beers.

Fullers X Ale, also known as Hock (the brewery was very inconsistent in the brewing records), is a fairly typical Dark Mild, with the colour all coming from sugar. I was quite partial to Fullers Hock. When I could find it. One of my favourite Southern Milds.

Lees Best Mild is low-gravity, but with an interesting grist. That actually contains some dark grains, unlike most Dark Mild. At just 1032º, it's hard to see what's "best" about it. I suppose in comparison to their other Mild, which was even weaker at 1028º.

Whitbread Ex PA is, I'm pretty sure, the Pale Ale Whitbread brewed for the Belgian market. The beer still exists, brewqed by someone somewhere. It's much stronger than most UK Ple Ales of its day and quite impressively bitter. At least in calculated IBUs.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1917 Kidd SXXX

This is a beer that originally had me confused. I assumed that it was some sort of Burton Ale.

But when I looked more closely at the hopping rate, I realised that it was really a strong Mild. At least that’s what I think at the moment. I might change my mind.

The big difference with the other Mild Ale, X, is the type of sugar. X has No. 3 invert and Budgett, SXXX has No. 1 invert alone. The percentage of sugar in the grist is far lower than in X. Probably an indication that this was a fancier beer. Unlike X, there’s no crystal malt. That, combined with the use of No. 1 rather than No. 3 invert makes this a paler beer than X.

The hops are listed as Farnham and Kent, which, as usual, I’ve interpreted as Goldings and Fuggles, respectively. They were all from the 1916 crop so I haven’t reduced the quantity. That all the hops were fresh is another indication that this was a posh beer.


1917 Kidd SXXX
pale malt 9.00 lb 82.76%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.50 lb 13.79%
cane sugar 0.25 lb 2.30%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.15%
Fuggles 150 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.75 oz
OG 1053
FG 1018
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 66.04%
IBU 55
SRM 6
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale