Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1885 Kirkstall PA

Standing proudly at the top of the Pale Ale ladder is PA. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that it stands for Pale Ale. Yet I know that it was, at least sometimes, marketed as IPA. Those crazy old-timer brewers.

It looks to me like a classic Stock Pale Ale. Though, surprisingly, the hopping rate is lower than in AK, 10lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt compared to 12.5 lbs.

Unlike BA, there is sugar in the grist. Rather less than in AK, but still accounting for 14% of the fermentable material. For once, all the base malt is made from English barley. Quite unusual, that.

As usual, multiple hops were used: Farnham from the 1884 harvest, Bavarian from 1884 and English from 1883. That around two-thirds were Farnhams, the classiest and most expensive hops is an indication of how posh a beer this was.

Being a Stock Pale, it would have undergone a secondary fermentation of 12 months in trade casks.

1885 Kirkstall PA
pale malt 10.75 lb 86.00%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.75 lb 14.00%
Hallertau 120 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1061
FG 1016
ABV 5.95
Apparent attenuation 73.77%
IBU 82
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 175º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale Timothy Taylor


Christoph Riedel said...

As I currently understand, brewer's at that time mixed malted barley, malt substitutes and sugar in a way to get to the right nitrogen level that would create a brilliant beer. This is described in this paper:

For this beer, they might have used the premium version of pale malt that was grown on soil that provided lower nitrogen content in the malt. That way they didn't need to blend with foreign barley. Also the higher sugar content will have helped.

ts said...

What is the smallest abv stock ale that you know of? I am curious as to the alcohol range of ales that went through the brett secondary fermentation. Also, would these smaller ales be blended with the fresh versions?
thank you

Anonymous said...

Hey Ron, were the dry hops added to the cask at the beginning of secondary aging process? So the beer would be aging on hops through out that 12 month maturation?

Christoph Riedel said...

@ts: As far as I know, all strengths existed as keeping ales and as runnings ales. The lowest strength keeping ale would be AK at 1.050. The alcohol usually played no role in the keeping, the characteristic recipe change was the increased hopping (about 30% more hops).

I'm not sure about ales, but porters were definitely blended by the publican on request of the drinker.

@Anonymous: Yes, the dry-hopping was for the whole maturation period. Just as nowadays dry-hops are added to cask ales, only that nowadays all our ales are served "mild".