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08-12-2010, 08:36
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Continuing with our Barclay Perkins theme, today we've got an XLK from the 1920's. What fun.

I'm indebted to Derek Prentice of Fuller's for explaining what XLK stands for. LK = London Keeping. X just means base-level strength. To you and me, it's ordinary Bitter. The pumpclip just said Bitter.

My first sighting of XLK is in 1886. The same year as PA, their Best Bitter appeared. Neither had been around in 1880, so I assume they were introduced sometime in the early 1880's. The first version had an OG of 1053º (compared to PA's 1058º). By 1906, that had dropped to 1050º. It fared better than many other beers during WW I, only dropping to a low of 1040º. Though that was only the draught version. Two weaker, bottled versions were spun off during the war, one of which fell to the depths of 1028º.

As you'll see below, in the 1920's it returned to almost its pre-war strength. Which is quite an achievement. At the outbreak of WW II, it was, at 1046º, pretty much unchanged. XLK didn't fare quite so well in this war, ending it at 1035º.

Er, that's about All I have to say. So over to Kristen . . . .

Barclay Perkins - 1923 - XLK
General info: Delicious and wholesome light ale. Doesn't really sound right. This beer is very much like a lot of the AK's we have done. This one is somewhere between the start of the 'bitter' family of beers and the AK's. Lots of older hops, new malt and dark invert sugars. Made it vast quantities and quite a cheap pint for the time. A very simple and straightforward bitter that gets a lot of its character from the quality of pale malts and dark invert sugars.

Beer Specifics

Recipe by percentages
Gravity (OG) 1.047

39.1% English Pale malt 8.7% Invert No2

Gravity (FG) 1.009

24.8% American 6-row 5.2% Invert No3

ABV 5.01%

9.1% Mild malt 0%

Apparent attenuation 80.69%

13% Flaked maize 0%

Real attenuation 66.10%

IBU 26.3

120min@153°F 0.81qt/lb


120min@67.2°C 1.69L/kg

EBC 17.2

2.25 hours

Homebrew @ 70%
Craft @ 80%

English Pale malt 3.47
lb 1.580
kg 188.32
lb 72.76

American 6-row 2.20
lb 1.001
kg 119.27
lb 46.08

Mild malt 0.81
lb 0.369
kg 43.94
lb 16.98

Flaked maize 1.16
lb 0.527
kg 62.77
lb 24.25

Invert No2 0.77
lb 0.351
kg 41.85
lb 16.17

Invert No3 0.46
lb 0.211
kg 25.11
lb 9.70



Goldings 4.5% 120min 1.10
oz 31.3
g 68.42
oz 1.653

Goldings 4.5% 15min 0.54
oz 15.4
g 33.71
oz 0.814

Goldings 4.5% dry hop 0.34
oz 9.6
g 21.09
oz 0.510

65°F /18.3°C

Nottingham ale yeast

1028 London Ale Yeast - WLP013 London Ale Yeast

Tasting Notes:
Pomme fruit with a biscuity fruit tart character on the end. Herbaceous, resinous hops in the nose. Corn flakes and green tea in the middle. Lots of biting tannins as there was a vast quantity of old hops chucked in. The finish is very drying and very minerally making this end fresh and crisp.


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