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It's Wedenesday so it must be recipe time, right? What was the series again? Export beers, that's it, export beers. I knew it was something exciting.

XPS, also known as expt S and S expt, is an odd one in Whitbread's collection of Stouts and Porters. It was berwed for extensive periods - 1842 to 1886, 1911 to 1915, 1919 to 1920 - been never produced in great quantity. It rarely accounted for more than 5% of their total output, peaking at around 12,000 barrels in 1867.

What I don't know, frustratingly, is the beer's destination. All over the place, would be my guess. North America, Europe, Far East. But I could be wrong.

For once this is a 19th century export beer that's stronger than its domestic equivalent. XPS, with a gravity of 1072º, fitted neatly between S at 1068º and SS at 1080º. The grists, however, did differ. None of the three were party-gyled with each other. The proportion of brown malt was rather lower, and the percenrtage of black higher, in XPS. As you can see from this nice, neat table:

Whitbread Stout grists in 1877 quarters % pale malt brown malt black malt pale malt brown malt black malt S 177 70 13 73.28% 22.54% 4.19% SS 125 65 10 68.18% 27.58% 4.24% XPS 52 18 6 73.58% 19.81% 6.60% Source: Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives. Document number LMA/4453/D/09/071
Unsurprisingly, XPS was the nmost heaviily hopped of the three at 5.41 lbs per barrel. That's quite a bit, even by modern West Coast standards. SS had 5.17 lbs, S just 3.69 lbs.

I'm now thinking: "Wouldn't it be great to have all three of these Stouts and compare them?" I'm particularly intrigued by the effect of 50% more black malt in the XPS. I guess it must have been pretty damn black.

Not much to say today, so over to Kristen . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:
So we’ve done a lot of export-y things over the Let’s Brew series. This one here is a very good example of a ‘before’ that we don’t get so often. It’s just 3 years shy of the ‘Free Mash tun’ act that allowed brewers the use of sugars in their beers. As you can see it’s 100% malt. More enlightening is the fact that they specify three different types of hops one of them being American. Pretty neat.


Grist – Its unique in this recipe that they use just a single type of pale malt. Its usually a combination of Whitbread particularly seems to have more of the single malt beers than the blends other breweries did. I used two different ‘brands’ of Maris Otter for this one as it seems I didn’t plan well enough ahead. I was going to use Optic but I’ve found that when used with a good percent of brown malt it really gets to toasty. I used Fawcett Brown and Baird Black as they are my favorite of these malts and I just got some in new. Really makes a difference in the finished product. Not so much the quality, as most brown and black UK are good, its in the color that’s important. The Baird is very dark indeed.
Hops – The Cluster are the big bittering addition here. They have a harshness to their bitterness so go something along the lines of a Nugget or Target if you can’t find them. I used Willamette for the Fuggle as the Fuggle crop I can get right now seems pretty blasé. A nice batch of Goldings were added in the secondary and let sit for two weeks.
Yeast – I’m not a big fan of the Whitbread strain but it does produce a unique product. If you like it, use it. If not, the dry Nottingham is a brilliant replacement. For all you that want to spend the extra money on ‘wet’ yeast for this one, go ahead. This beer you’ll want a yeast that attenuates well and kicks a good amount of fruit. Nottingham is cheap and good. Give it a shot. Actually, but a few more and keep them in the freezer


Advanced Mash – You will definitely find a difference if you use the advanced mash for this one. There is a very good Beta rest at 144 (distillers rest) for the conversion of most of the sugars. Its gets bumped to about 155 to finish up the larger dextrins. All in all, the beer ferments out a little lower (~0.003-0.005pts) when using this mash. I wouldn’t say its ‘better’ but I would definitely say its different.

Dough in