Saturday, 22 August 2020

Let's Brew - 1928 Barclay Perkins KKKK

At some point in the late 1920s, KKK seems to have become KKKK. Not sure the reasoning behind the name change. Perhaps it was intended to distract from the fall in gravity. It had been more than 50 years – since 1871 – that Barclay Perkins had brewed a KKKK.

I know for certain that KKKK was a winter-only beer. If adverts are to be trusted, it looks like it was served from a pin on the bar counter. It was also aged – this version was brewed in May. Which would have made it around 6 months old when served.

The name may have changed, but the recipe is mostly unchanged. The balance between SA (for which I’ve substituted mild) and pale malt has shifted a little in the latter’s favour. Everything else is about the same. Except No.3 invert has replaced No. 2.

A combination of Mid-Kent Goldings from the 1927 crop and Mid-Kent Tutshams from 1926 make up the copper hops. While the dry hops are East Kent Goldings from 1927. All the hops were cold stored.

1928 Barclay Perkins KKKK
pale malt 4.75 lb 28.57%
mild malt 8.75 lb 52.63%
crystal malt 60 L 1.25 lb 7.52%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.75 lb 10.53%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.125 lb 0.75%
Goldings 150 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1079
FG 1027
ABV 6.88
Apparent attenuation 65.82%
IBU 85
SRM 23
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 164º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This recipe is in my two new books, Strong! vols. 1 & 2 and Strong! vol.2.


Michael Foster said...

Pretty sure the growth of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20s precipitated the name change--it was big enough that surely its spread would've hit the British press.

Ron Pattinson said...

Michael Foster,

I don't think that's the reason. KKK was still being used in the 1950s in London.

Anonymous said...

In that advertisement is the phrase "For the Christmas puddings" meant literally -- was Strong Ale and Olde Ale added to the batter? Or was it a more metaphorical sense? I've seen some present day recipes that call for moistening Christmas pudding with Stout, but I don't know if they would think it ridiculous at the time to waste the good stuff on a pudding.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron! What's your all time favorite British ale yeast?

Raoul Duke said...

do you think that this would have been a proper 6 month secondary with Brettanomyces? Any details on this one? Looking at the grist a bit of Brett flavour might not hurt.
I know that, although the flavour for aged beers was not for the mass market anymore, secondary (including Brett) was still common in some breweries in the UK - not sure about Barclay at this point though.

Cheers Peter

Ron Pattinson said...

Raoul Duke,

base on when it was brewed - in 1933, February to May - I'd say yes, it was aged for at least 6 months.

Ron Pattinson said...


I don't really have a favourite.