Saturday, 24 July 2021

Let's Brew - 1886 Barclay Perkins PA

You're probably bored shitless by WW II and Heineken, so here's a complete change of pace. A Bitter from the 19th century. A recipe which will feature in my book after "Blitzkrieg!". A book which, although I haven't officially started it yet, already runs to over 16,000 words.

Barclay Perkins were very late to the Pale Ale game. While London rivals Whitbread had introduced their version in 1865, Barclays waited until the 1880s to follow suit. I’m not sure why it took them so long. Perhaps, like Courage, they took their Pale Ale from another brewery which had the right water profile for the style.

By Barclay Perkins’ standards, the batch size was tiny. Brewed on their small plant, it was of a mere 97 barrels. While X Mild Ale was bashed out 1,000 barrels at a time and even the powerful Stock Ale KKK was brewed in batches of 700 barrels. It demonstrates how much of a niche product Pale Ale was at the time.

The effect of the 1880 Free Mash Tun is clear to see in the grist, where there’s unmalted grain in the form of flaked rice. In the early days of adjuncts, this seems to have been a popular choice. Though later most brewers switched to maize. Rice does make sense for a Pale Ale, however, as lightness of both body and colour were highly desirable characteristics.

Two types of East Kent hops, one from the 1884 harvest, the other from 1885 were employed, along with Worcesters, also from 1885. The dry hops weren’t recorded for the is brew, however they were in one 15 years or so later and I’ve used that figure. Which, at 12 ozs. per barrel, was rather a lot.

1886 Barclay Perkins PA
pale malt 9.00 lb 73.47%
flaked rice 1.50 lb 12.24%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.75 lb 14.29%
Fuggles 105 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.50 oz
OG 1058
FG 1013
ABV 5.95
Apparent attenuation 77.59%
IBU 75
SRM 6.5
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

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