Saturday, 2 February 2013

Kirkstall Brewery beers in 1885

Just a random look at beers from a random brewery this time. The random brewery in question being the Kirkstall Brewery in Leeds.

Not totally random, as it is yet another brewery whose beers I've drunk. In its final days when it was owned by Whitbread. There's a story behind that. When I arrived in Leeds in 1975, Whitbread had discontinued cask beer from all its Northern breweries except Castle Eden. So I basically completely ignored their pubs. Not that there were a huge number in Leeds, strangely enough. Around 1980, they re-introduced cask beer in the form of BYB Bitter. Then I started paying attention to their pubs. Frustratingly,  the brewery closed a few years later, in January 1983.

It was a mystery to me why Whitbread kept open the Kirkstall Brewery and closed the Bentley's Brewery in Woodlesford on the other side of Leeds. The Woodlesford brewery was right next to the railway line and with much more room around it than the cramped Kirkstall site. I guess it must have been less modern. Ironically the cask beer Whitbread brewed in Kirkstall bore the Bentley's name (BYB = Bentley's Yorkshire Breweries).

When they got back into cask, Kirkstall put out a few other experimental brews. I can remember drinking cask Dark Mild in one of their Leeds pubs with Henry and Sandra (not sure why I mention this, as you have no idea who these people are) in 1982.

There's another reason why this isn't a random brewery. You can see it in the table below: an AK. Kirkstall is the furthest north I've found one being brewed. Now isn't that fascinating?

Kirkstall Brewery beers in 1885
Date Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl boil time (hours) boil time (hours) Pitch temp max. fermentation temp length of fermentation (days)
7th Sep 1885 X Mild 1052.6 1013.3 5.20 74.74% 6.50 1.40 2.5 2.5 57.75º 68.5º 5
8th Sep 1885 XXX Mild 1066.2 8.00 2.22 2.75 3 57.5º º
8th Sep 1885 L Mild 1049.6 5.03 1.07 2.5 2.5 58º º
10th Sep 1885 PA Pale Ale 1060.9 9.87 3.31 2 2 58º º
10th Sep 1885 AK Pale Ale 1049.9 12.42 2.01 3.25 2.5 58º º
11th Sep 1885 BA Pale Ale 1055.4 10.00 2.33 2 2 58º º
15th Sep 1885 KKK Stock Ale 1069.3 10.00 2.97 2.5 58º º
15th Sep 1885 L Mild 1049.3 5.67 1.20 2.25 4.25 58.5º º
16th Sep 1885 IS Stout 1071.7 10.35 3.71 58º º
Kirkstall Brewery brewing records.

Other than that, there's nothing very special about their beers. Just the usual combination of Mild Ale, Pale Ale, Strong Ale and Stout.


Jeff Renner said...

Interesting that two batches of L brewed a week apart differed so much in hopping (+13%) and length of boil (-18%). Did they increase the hopping in the second one to compensate for the shorter boil? Why did the boil 30 minutes less? That seems significant. Probably shows you can't base a conclusion from a single record.

Oblivious said...

Not much between the hopping rate for the xxx and stock ale. An the FG of the mild, that must have been quite low for the time?