Saturday 4 March 2023

Let's Brew - 1897 Fullers IPA

Continuing with the requested theme of different types of IPA, we've arrived at London IPA. Let's see if this fits in any better with the English IPA guidelines.

Ten years have seen a few small changes to Fullers IPA, but is basically pretty much the same. The largest of these modifications is a reduction in the gravity by 4º. Which leaves it looking rather like an interwar 8d per pint Pale Ale.

Nothing much to the grist, still. Just base malt and sugar. As with many 19th-century brewing records, it’s very vague about the sugar, simply describing it as “saccharum”. This time I’ve plumped for No. 1 invert. Why? Because the log contains a colour value. 21, in case you’re interested. Which, assuming it’s Lovibond, is pretty pale.

There’s only a single type of hops, East Kent from the 1896 season. Good quality, fresh hops. Exactly the type that you’d expect in a classy Pale Ale.

My guess is that this was a Stock Pale Ale, which implies a year or so conditioning in trade casks. Accompanied by Brettanomyces, of course. 

According to BeerSmith, this hits three of the four specs for English IPA - OG, colour and ABV - only failing in bitterness. Where it overshoots the maximum by quite a margin.

1897 Fullers IPA
pale malt 9.50 lb 82.61%
No. 1 invert sugar 2.00 lb 17.39%
Fuggles 90 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1056
FG 1016.5
ABV 5.23
Apparent attenuation 70.54%
IBU 88
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale


Bob Campbell said...

Could the IBU “over shoot” be related to the malt flavor profile? I’ve brewed a couple Crisp Chevallier malt based bitters and the IBUs needed to be higher to balance with the malt flavor, very tasty. Do you think the Brett was added or just the consequence of the year conditioning in the casks?

Ron Pattinson said...

Bob Campbell,

as Brettanomyces hadn't been officially identified in 1897, no they didn't add it deliberately.