Saturday 4 September 2021

Let's Brew - 1886 Barclay Perkins XLK

As a little relief from the tsunami of Heineken stuff, I'm providing a little relief courtesy of my old favourite Barclay Perkins. It's another recipe which, one day, will feature in my projected book about UK brewing 1880 to 1914. I say projected, the manuscript already has almost 18,000 words.

Barclay Perkins appear to have kicked off with not one, but two Pale Ales. XLK being the weaker of the two. Though only by a marginal amount. I’m not sure what the point was of having two beers with such similar gravities.

That would change when the new century rolled around, with the gravity of XLK falling to 1050º and that of PA increasing to 1060º. Which makes more sense. I’m not sure how these beers were marketed in the 19th century, but between the wars XLK was sold as Ordinary Bitter and PA as Best Bitter.

The grist is almost exactly the same as PA’s. Just base malt, flaked rice and No.1 invert sugar. No frills at all.

Two types of English hops, East Kent and Worcester, both from the 1885 harvest. The dry hops aren’t listed in the brewing record, unfortunately. They are in some later ones and I’ve used that amount, which works out to about a ounce per 5 Imperial gallons.

1886 Barclay Perkins XLK
pale malt 8.25 lb 73.33%
flaked rice 1.50 lb 13.33%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.50 lb 13.33%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1054
FG 1014
ABV 5.29
Apparent attenuation 74.07%
IBU 56
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Anonymous said...

In other posts you said the K = Keeping. Was this aged, or was it like AK where the K didn't really mean that?

Ron Pattinson said...


my guess would be that this was a semi-stock Pale Ale aged for a couple of months.