Saturday, 24 April 2021

Let's Brew - 1918 Fullers AK

To go with my earlier post on Fullers AK during WW I, here's another wartime recipe.I could keep the stream of AK stuff up for a good bit longer. And may well do, unless I get distracted.

It wasn’t just X Ale that had its gravity slashed. The same fate befell Fullers AK.

Not really surprising as on 1st April 1918, a few weeks before this beer was brewed, average gravity was cut to 1030º. It was logical that big-selling beers would need to have a gravity lower than that.

There have been more adjustments to the recipe, too. Back are No. 2 invert sugar and glucose, leaving the grist quite similar to the 1916 version, save for the absence of flaked maize.

The hops are exactly the same two types as in X Ale: Cobbs (1916) and Mid-Kent (1916).

The real mashing scheme was mash of an hour with an initial heat of 150º F, raised to 152º F after 25 minutes by an underlet. Left to stand for a further 1 hour and 35 minutes.

1918 Fullers AK
pale malt 4.25 lb 77.20%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.00 lb 18.17%
glucose 0.25 lb 4.54%
caramel 500 SRM 0.005 lb 0.09%
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 1026
FG 1005.5
ABV 2.71
Apparent attenuation 78.85%
IBU 33
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1968 London ESB


The above is an excerpt from Armistice,  my wonderful book on brewing in WW I.


Anonymous said...

Were their mashes usually that length? I wonder if they were trying to chase down as much sugar as possible from the malt.

Ron Pattinson said...


that's not a particularly long mash compared to some I've seen. It's pretty standard for this period at Fullers.

Unknown said...


I'd like to do this recipe or the one on your "Home brewer guide to vintage beer" book but I'm struggling when I should had the invert sugar?


Ron Pattinson said...


the invert sugar should be added during the boil.

Unknown said...

Thank you Ron, I once heard that the sugar can be inverted during the boil because of the acidity of the mash, do you confirm or should I invert the sugar as you tell in your book with citric acid and add it to my mash during the boil?

Should I add it during all the time of boiling or just at the end?



Ron Pattinson said...


I'm not sure of the process of inverting sugar in the mash. I'd say make the invert first and add it during the boil. You wouldn't want to add it too late as you want to make sure it dissolves properly.