Saturday 13 November 2021

Let's Brew - 1881 Whitbread XL

I'm off to Brazil soon. Which is why I've been writing recipes like crazy, to get some posts banked before I leave town. Also, because I really need to crack on with the recipes for my next book. based on my experience with "Blitzkrieg!", I can never start writing recipes too soon.

If you thought Whitbread’s base Mild Ale was way over the top for the style, XL will blow your mind. It weighs in at over 7% ABV and 50 IBU. How mild is that?

A little explanation of the name. No, it doesn’t mean “extra-large”. Having stared endlessly at beer names trying to make sense of them – and having seen lots of brewing records from the capital – I know exactly what the “L” stands for: London. The Cockneys liked their beer to have a bit of whallop meaning that London versions of a beer were always stronger than those intended for the “country”.

Simply put, XL is a souped-up version of X Ale. Though the hopping is rather classier, with Hallertau standing in for those nasty American hops. They were all pretty fresh, too, being from either the 1880 of 1881 crop.

1881 Whitbread XL
mild malt 15.25 lb 92.42%
No. 2 invert sugar 1.25 lb 7.58%
Hallertau 90 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1077
FG 1022
ABV 7.28
Apparent attenuation 71.43%
IBU 51
SRM 10
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale


Raoul Duke said...

for how long will this have been aged before sending out..? Any idea..? Enjoy Brazil and stay safe..!!

Ron Pattinson said...

Raoul Duke,

not at all. It would have been consumed within a couple of weeks of racking.