Saturday, 4 May 2019

Let's Brew - 1864 Lovibond XXXX

Top of Lovibond’s Mild pile was, unsurprisingly, XXXX. Which by this point was becoming something of a rarity in London. Whitbread, for example, dropped theirs in the 1840s. Few London brewers had more than an x and an XX in their portfolio in the 1860s.

What’s interesting about this beer is that it specifically states in the brewing record that it was for Christmas. Which is interesting, given that it was brewed on 7th October – a full seven weeks before Christmas Day.

Another interesting fact about this recipe is that it was the basis for a royal wedding beer that Meantime brewed a few years back. I got a few bottles and very nice it was, too. Powerful and complex without being too fussy. These simple recipes can work really well, especially when they have a good dose of Goldings.

As with Lovibond’s other X Ales, the hops were a combination of American and Kent. Though in this case they all seem to have been new, rather a mix of new and yearlings.

The degree of attenuation is surprisingly high for a beer of such a high gravity. Though the long fermentation – a full 14 days – probably helped.

Like all Lovibond’s X Ales, XXXX was fermented quite cool. It was pitched at 56º F but the temperature only rose one degree during fermentation. Which is quite unlike normal practice. I would have expected the fermentation temperature to peak somewhere around 70º F.

1864 Lovibond XXXX
pale malt 21.75 lb 100.00%
Cluster 120 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 90 mins 1.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.75 oz
OG 1096
FG 1018
ABV 10.32
Apparent attenuation 81.25%
IBU 60
SRM 8.5
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 55º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This is one of the dozens of recipes in my book Mild! plus. Which is avaiable in both paperback:

and hardback formats:


A Brew Rat said...

Huh. Never knew there was a brewery named Lovibond. Did they invent the beer color scale?

Yann said...

Uhm, more like 11 weeks till Christmas? Was it uncommon to keep a beer that long? At 10% ABV it probably doesn't hurt?