Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1892 Barclay Perkins SDP

Having a small brew house in addition to their main plant gave Barclay Perkins a greater degree of flexibility than most of their London rivals. It enabled them to produce a very wide range of beers, often in very modest quantities. And, unlike with parti-gyling, each of these beers could have its own unique grist.

SDP was such a beer. What does it stand for? I’ve no real idea. The P is probably Porter. I was thinking that the S might be Stout. Until I remembered that there’s also and RDP. It’s more likely that the S is Stock and the R Running. Some sort of Porter, then. Given the small quantities brewed, probably one intended for export.

Like their other Black Beers, there are a lot of different malts, five in total. Plus an awful lot of No. 3 invert. But no adjuncts. They had started using rice by this point, except it was only present in their Ales. The proportion of roasted malts is lower than in their other Black Beers, resulting in a slightly paler hue.

The hops were rather simpler, being all East Kent, split 50-50 between the 1890 and 1891 harvests.

1892 Barclay Perkins SDP
pale malt 8.00 lb 58.18%
brown malt 1.25 lb 9.09%
black malt 1.00 lb 7.27%
amber malt 0.75 lb 5.45%
crystal malt 60 L 0.25 lb 1.82%
No. 3 invert sugar 2.50 lb 18.18%
Goldings 120 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1066
FG 1023
ABV 5.69
Apparent attenuation 65.15%
IBU 45
SRM 39
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 172º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale



Anonymous said...

In other articles, you've noted that Stout was considered beer not ale in the past, like here:

At that point it sounds like it was related to hopping, but later it seems to have been some kind of convention not to call Stout an ale, since I assume by that point they were regularly not so highly hopped:

Do you know when the hopping distinction between beer and ale broke down?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you may find this post illuminating:

- a different Anonymous

Mike in NSW said...

Totally off topic but a random weird comment: In Australia most of our mainstream historical stouts are actually lagers. Coopers Best Extra Stout is an ale but the other two common ones, Sheaf and Guinness brewed under licence are made by the two majors on their lager kit and using lager yeast.

Back around 1980 Coopers had Guinness taken off them and Tooheys of Sydney (now Lion) got the gig, but on the condition they were allowed to brew it as a dark / black lager because they didn't have enough ale brewing capacity (which was fully stretched brewing Tooheys Old Ale). Guinness came over and did tests and trials and agreed.

Then with the amalgamation of world breweries the gig went to Fosters (Carlton & United) who continued the Guinness lager tradition. It was brewed south of Brisbane and our brew club went on a tour so saw this first hand.

Just a couple of years ago when MegaEvilCorp merged with MammonBreweryCartel - hard to keep up - Guinness went back to Lion and still a lager.

Personally I prefer the Aus version, particularly the Foreign Extra Stout 6%.

Unknown said...

Ales and Stouts were two separate brewing industries.Google images for Ales and Stouts.

Ron Pattinson said...


it's hard to pin down an exact date. Barclay Perkins Porter was hopped significantly more heavily that its Mild Ales until the 1860s. I'd say the gap in hopping between Ales and Beers started closing after 1800, but the process took a while.