Saturday, 18 April 2020

Let's Brew - 1936 Perry XX

Something very special today, courtesy of Liam and the local studies department of Laois county library. An Irish Mild Ale.

Though it isn’t usually associated with Ireland, there was some Mild Ale brewed there. Not by Guinness, nor by the big Cork breweries Murphy and Beamish & Crawford. Instead it was produced in small quantities by breweries in more rural places. Such as Rathdowney where Perry was located.

While bearing a name, XX, that was typical of stronger English Milds, Perry’s version was, in some ways, quite different. For one thing, at 1047º, it was stronger than even a 6d London Mild, which wouldn’t be any stronger than 1043º, at most.

There’s one simple explanation for this: beer in Ireland was stronger. In 1939 average OG in Ireland was 1051.12º while in England it was just 1040.93º.  Though this figure was distorted by the high percentage of Stout brewed in Ireland.

The grist is extremely simple, just base malt, a tiny quantity of black malt and a little malt extract. The big difference with UK brewing is the lack of sugar and adjuncts. In many ways it resembles a late-19th century English Mild. For example, the colour, which is definitely on the pale side.

The hopping rate is quite high. Though that was balanced out by the hops being quite old: Oregon from the 1933 harvest and English from 1933 and 1934. I’ve reduced the quantity by about a third to take this into account, but it still leaves it at over 30 (calculated) IBUs.

1936 Perry XX
pale malt 10.75 lb 98.22%
black malt 0.07 lb 0.64%
malt extract 0.125 lb 1.14%
Cluster 145 mins 1.25 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.25 oz
OG 1047
FG 1012
ABV 4.63
Apparent attenuation 74.47%
IBU 35
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 164º F
Boil time 145 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1084 Irish ale

1 comment:

A Brew Rat said...

As a homebrewer. when I add small amounts of malt extract to the kettle. it is because I have taken a hydrometer or refractor reading and discovered that I am not going to achieve my target original gravity when the boil is done. Do you suppose this was the reason for historic commercial breweries doing the same?