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The Brewing Forum • View topic - Greene King Abbot Ale

Greene King Abbot Ale

IPA, Pale Ales And Bitters, Mild, Brown Ales, Old Ale, Porter & Stouts etc

Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 08:37

Good morning all,

I was having a conversation with a fellow brewer about the infamous rise to power of Greene King, he happened to mention that back in the 60's and 70's Abbot Ale was possibly the best cask ale available whilst they were still regional brewers. There was also mention of a fire in the yeast lab that destroyed the house yeast and they had to revert to the yeast bank to start again but the beer was somewhat different, unfortunately I haven't been able to find any documented evidence of that yet.

After a little Googling, it appears that Abbot Ale was indeed held in high regard amongst drinkers and there is a plethora of clone attempt recipes but G.K. have kept the recipe very close to their chests over the years with no one really knowing what was in it but many people wish to make it at home, including people from American and Australian home brew forums.

What I did find out was that there has been a substantial recipe change at some point in time, all credit goes to my local group here as they managed to obtain an original recipe from the brewery ledger for Abbot Ale in the 70's. I don't have the specifics of the water treatment but I can tell you that the difference in recipe is ridiculous!

For example:

Abbot Ale today is stated by G.K. as containing Pale Malt, Amber Malt & Crystal Malt with Challenger, Goldings and First Gold hops. However I was on a tour of the brewery last year and discovered it also contains Pilgrim now.

Abbot Ale in the 1970's contained Pale Malt, Crystal Malt, Flaked Maize, Invert No. 1 & Black Malt with Fuggles and Goldings. Quite a difference!

I also happen to know that they mash at 65°C for 20 minutes before sparging for 3 hours at 75°C.

So with that little piece of history out the way, I give you what will be my first attempt at an Abbot Ale style beer, I feel obliged as Greene King is my home town brewery (sadly):

Greede King Abbot Ale 1970
Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 23.0
Total Grain (kg): 4.530
Total Hops (g): 68.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.050 (°P): 12.4
Final Gravity (FG): 1.011 (°P): 2.8
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.07 %
Colour (SRM): 12.9 (EBC): 25.3
Bitterness (IBU): 30.8 (Tinseth)
Balance (BU:GU): 0.62
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 80
Boil Time (Minutes): 90

Grain Bill
----------------
3.750 kg Pale Malt (82.78%)
0.285 kg Invert Sugar No. 3 (6.29%)
0.285 kg Flaked Maize (6.29%)
0.170 kg Crystal 60 (3.75%)
0.040 kg Chocolate (0.88%)

Hop Bill
----------------
28.0 g East Kent Golding Leaf (5% Alpha) @ 90 Minutes (Boil) (1.2 g/L)
28.0 g Fuggles Leaf (5.6% Alpha) @ 90 Minutes (Boil) (1.2 g/L)
12.0 g East Kent Golding Leaf (5% Alpha) @ 7 Days (Dry Hop) (0.5 g/L)

Misc Bill
----------------
3.0 g Protofloc Tablet @ 15 Minutes (Boil)

Single step Infusion at 65°C for 90 Minutes.
Fermented at 21°C with Wibblers (Ridleys).


Recipe Generated with BrewMate

I have substituted the Black Malt in favour of Chocolate as I no longer have any Black left, I have also opted to use Invert No. 3 instead of Invert No. 1, I have some Flaked Maize to use up so this is the perfect opportunity. This beer will come out slightly darker but that won't be an issue for me.

Just to get a little bit of my own back, I will be fermenting it with a descendant strain of the Ridleys brewery yeast that as most will know from my area, G.K shut down in 2005 despite calls by locals and CAMRA to keep the brewery running.

I hope you enjoy it!

Cheers :drink:

Last edited by Kyle_T on Sun Sep 20, 2015 09:17, edited 1 time in total.

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Joe1002 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 09:12

Let me know when it's ready

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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 09:32

The Abbot of the 1970s early 1980s was the best beer I have ever drank, and I have tried a few over the years. I remember the fire and being told by the landlord of the pub I drank in at the time it resulted in the loss of their yeast that had been used continuously for years. They had it stored in the national yeast bank but had lost the character that comes with continuous use.
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 09:37

I'm still going to keep looking for anything in relation to the fire just out of interest. They only have another 100 years to go before it becomes any good!

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:58

From memory I don't think it was a big fire but the damage was around the yeast propagation area. The first clone beer I did was Abbot from the David Line book and it was surprisingly very close to the real thing considering I was using a commercial yeast. One Christmas I had polypins of Abbot and my clone side by side and a tasting panel of a few friends found it hard to tell which was which.
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:05

I don't suppose you'd still have the book Dennis?

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 13:02

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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby LeithR » Sun Sep 20, 2015 13:07

BTW, you can still get Dave Lines book on line, its £4.95, I bought my copy a few years ago probably from Amazon. Both books are a bit out of date but well worth having. He knew what he was doing for his day.



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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Aleman » Sun Sep 20, 2015 15:40

Up the malt by 20% and cut the hops by 20%, are good figures to start with
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Sun Sep 20, 2015 17:23





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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 17:28


Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
https://theessexbrewer.wordpress.com
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby LeithR » Sun Sep 20, 2015 18:35

My copy of the book (Argus press) was first published in 1978 and he died in 1980.



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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 18:47

Hmm, they must have been very low AA to warrant 100g at the begining of the boil, I'm assuming they didn't change the recipe during the 70's.

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
https://theessexbrewer.wordpress.com
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 19:23

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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 19:32

From your memory does that sound about right?

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
https://theessexbrewer.wordpress.com
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 19:45

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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 19:49

I can sense a comparison test coming on :lol:

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
https://theessexbrewer.wordpress.com
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 20:42

OK this is what I might try next weekend

23lts
4000 pale malt
250 flaked maize
100 crystal
60 roast barley
400 brown sugar?
should give a gravity of around 1049, not sure about the brown sugar, I do have around that amount of candi sugar so may use that.

20 EK
20 challenger
15 EK for last 15mins

should give an IBU 36

WLP002 yeast
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Kyle_T » Sun Sep 20, 2015 21:25

Dark brown sugar or muscavado sugar is the closest to an invert sugar as you will get, why not give golden syrup a whirl and I'll do my version then we can compare?

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

First AG Brewed: 11.4.2013.
https://theessexbrewer.wordpress.com
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 21:33

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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Sun Sep 20, 2015 22:16

Crafty, you making flapjack Den?

BB




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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 22:20

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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Sun Sep 20, 2015 22:27

Here you go pal....

Ingredients
175g/6oz butter
175g/6oz golden syrup
175g/6oz muscovado sugar
350g/12oz porridge oats
½ lemon, finely grated zest
pinch ground ginger

Preparation method
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and line a 20cm/8in square baking tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. Dip a brush in the butter and brush the baking tin with a little bit of it. Add the golden syrup and sugar to the butter and heat gently. Once the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the porridge oats, lemon zest and ginger.
Pack the mixture into the baking tin and squash down. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Once cooked, remove from the oven, leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a chopping board and cut into squares.
These flapjacks are delicious in a packed lunch or as a grab-and-go breakfast.




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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby Dennis King » Sun Sep 20, 2015 22:40

Nah don't do cooking.
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Re: Greene King Abbot Ale

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Sun Sep 20, 2015 22:46

Surprise your Queen on a brew day by multi-tasking... Start with a bacon sarnie then "BANG" Flapjack.... Lol :rofl:




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