Saturday 30 October 2021

Let's Brew - 1891 Barclay Perkins EA

I’ll confess right at the start: I’ve absolutely no idea what style of beer EA was. Though I can have a decent guess at what the initials stood for: Export Ale.

In my spreadsheet of extracted brewing records, I list the style as Mild Ale. Purely because Ale usually means Mild Ale at this sort of strength. That choice I made a while ago. Now I’m pretty sure it’s wrong. For a couple of reasons.

The most obvious being a much higher hopping rate. Theis particular EA was hopped at 14 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) if malt. While Barclay’s Mild was dosed with 6 – 8 lbs. The hopping rate is much the same as their Stock Ales. As was the grist.

So, what the hell was it? Not a Pale Ale, as that would never have contained crystal malt in the 1890s. Based on the hopping and grist, it looks like a K Ale. A low-gravity Stock Ale. Assuming it was genuinely exported, where was it sold and under what name? More questions to which I have no answer. The volumes are also very large for an export beer. This batch was over 600 barrels, some others over 1,000.

Whatever it was, it didn’t last long. I’ve only found it in records from the 1880s.

The hops were a combination of Bohemian from the 1890 harvest and Mid-Kent from 1889 and 1890. 

1891 Barclay Perkins EA
pale malt 8.75 lb 70.00%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 4.00%
flaked rice 1.50 lb 12.00%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.75 lb 14.00%
Fuggles 120 mins 2.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 2.00 oz
Saaz 30 mins 2.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1058
FG 1013
ABV 5.95
Apparent attenuation 77.59%
IBU 64
SRM 10
Mash at 151º F
Sparge at 168º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale


Anonymous said...

I'm awfully curious how much beer like this showed up in the US. I've read newspaper ads for wholesale shipments of English beer from around this time, so a fair amount of it was showing up for bulk purchase, but I'm awfully unclear on how it actually made its way to customers in the US. Who was drinking it? Where was it sold? Why did they choose it over German or Canadian beer or domestically produced stuff?

Steve D. said...

Here is something to contemplate. The early 1890s were a time when there were a number of expositions devoted around the 'discovery' of North America by Christopher Columbus. Chicago, IL., U.S.A. had one. I seem to recall others in continental Europe.
I submit a beer such as this was one brewed especially to be served at the exposition grounds, and perhaps only there. So its strength was augmented, more hops were added, et cetera. This was a ceremonial brew. One it would not regularly produce, but of which it required a larger amount.