Saturday, 17 April 2021

Let's Brew - 1920 Fullers AK

WW I had a lasting impact on Fullers AK. Its gravity dropped from 1044º in 1914 to a nadir of 1026º in 1918 and 1919. After the war, it recovered a little, but remained 13.5º lower in 1920.

It was still being brewed in quite large quantities: this batch was 100 barrels. In a three-way parti-gyle with PA and XK that totaled 261 barrels. This was probably as a result of lingering restrictions on gravity. That wouldn’t last. By 1925 it was being brewed in batches of fewer than ten barrels.

The recipe, however, remained very similar to that of before the war. A fairly simple combination of pale malt, flaked maize, glucose and invert sugar. In many ways, a classic AK grist. A straightforward, light, easy-drinking beer was the objective and a recipe like this was a good way to achieve that goal.

Half of the hops were from Alsace, from the 1917 and 1919 harvests. Which meant they had been grown in the German Empire. As brewing had come to pretty much a total stop in Germany in the later war years, they wouldn’t have had much use for the hops. The remainder were some undated Oregons, which I assume were very old, and English hops from the 1916 season.

1920 Fullers AK
pale malt 5.25 lb 77.66%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 14.79%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.25 lb 3.70%
glucose 0.25 lb 3.70%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.01 lb 0.15%
Cluster 90 min 0.25 oz
Strisselspalt 90 min 0.50 oz
Strisselspalt 60 min 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 min 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1030.5
FG 1007.5
ABV 3.04
Apparent attenuation 75.41%
IBU 31
Mash at 147º F
After underlet 156º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

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