From the HBD Archive
From: Conn Copas <>
Subject: Old Peculiar
Date: 1992-05-12 16:11:57 GMT

> I have made a stab at O.P. based on the Elbro Nertke Brown Ale
> recipe from Papazian:

> New Peculiar

> 6.6# dark extract
> 1/2# crystal malt
> 1/4# black patent malt
> 1.5oz fuggles 45min boil (pellets)
> 0.5oz fuggles 10 min boil (pellets)
> 2 tsp 'water crystals'
> 1 tsp irish moss
> Whitbread Ale Yeast
> 1/2C black treacle

A couple of constructive suggestions. First, what are we aiming for ?
My answer would be that OP is distinguished by being an exceptionally
bitter-sweet dark ale, with a very characteristic 'liquorice' after-taste.
The original gravity (on draught at least) is around 60, and the alcohol
content is around 5.5% by volume, meaning that it must finish around SG 20.
Hop aroma is not especially pronounced. Another way to describe it might be to
say that it is a scaled-up brown ale with compensating bitterness.

The above recipe looks to me like it might make a dark ale which doesn't have
the residual sweetness of OP. I would normally use at least 4 oz of Northern
Brewer (English, seeded) with no late addition technique. Can't say how that
might translate into US pellet Fuggles.

People keep suggesting that OP relies for its character on treacle or molasses,
but my personal opinion is that using sizable amounts of either will create a
beer that takes forever to mellow out. The best way to get the liquorice
character is to use crystal malt, and lots of it. I would normally use around
4 lbs in a US 6 gall batch (can't quote a colour rating, I'm afraid). Caveat -
I have found from experience that I get an extract of around 8 per lb per gall
for the crystal, whereas the textbooks all suggest that the theoretical extract
is on a par with pale malt (ie, approx 30). For me, the extract has remained
the same regardless of whether I have mashed, infused separately, or even (in
desparation) boiled. Others' mileage may vary.

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