Unsurprisingly, being the strongest beer in the range, it was also the most expensive, at 70 shillings per 36-gallon barrel. A good 10 shillings more than IPA, the second most expensive.
I’m not sure if the term Burton was already in use for Strong Ale in London. But that’s certainly what it would have been called a decade or two later. By which time it was firmly established of one of the standard draught beers in a London pub.
It’s fascinating to see crystal malt making an appearance. It wasn’t commonly used by London brewers. Whitbread only adopted it in the 1930s. Barclay Perkins sometimes threw in a small amount, mostly in Milds. Truman added it to its X Ale just before WW I.
Other than the crystal, it’s just pale malt and our old friend “Sacc.”. Giving it a fairly dark colour. Earlier in the century Stock Ales – KK, KKK and KKKK – had been made from 100% pale malt and fairly pale. Though the strongest ones would have had a little colour, purely due to the massive amount of malt.
There were no fewer than five types of hops, some of which I can’t read. Others where I’ve no idea what they mean. This is how I have them noted down. HB (1886), EK (1986), W of K (1886),?? (1886), Poperinge (1886). The last two were in pretty small quantities, 80 lbs and 94 lbs, respectively, out of a total of 1,100 lbs. About a third were EK, so something Goldings-like. Whatever they were, all the hops were fresh, as this brew was in April 1887.
I know for certain it was aged. There’s a note in the brewing record:
“Pumped over into settling back Tuesday Morning 26th April and run into No. 13 vat, next day very bright”
If they’re taking the trouble to put it into a vat, they’d be ageing at least 6 months. More likely, 12 months. Which would have considerably increased the attenuation and ABV. The latter possibly as high as 9% or more due to a Brettanomyces secondary fermentation..
|1887 Fullers XXK|
|pale malt||12.75 lb||75.00%|
|crystal malt 60 L||0.50 lb||2.94%|
|No. 2 invert sugar||3.75 lb||22.06%|
|Fuggles 90 mins||3.00 oz|
|Fuggles 60 mins||3.00 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||3.00 oz|
|Fuggles dry hops||1.00 oz|
|Mash at||150º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||57º F|
|Yeast||WLP002 English Ale|