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
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60.5º F
Yeast Wyeast 1968 London ESB


qq said...

McMullen's list most of the competing theories for the origin of the name here :

Ron Pattinson said...


all of them bollocks. The stuff about Xs and Ks is particularly bad.