Three Tuns XXX

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Hi all,

Planning a couple of brews in time for Christmas, and thoughts wandered to trying to re-create something close to my favourite cask beer.

Maybe a niche question as I'm not sure a great deal of this travels outside of Shropshire, but XXX from Three Tuns is a gorgeous drop.
Anyone familiar with it, tried to re-create? Or, knowing the beer, have any pointers?

I'm guessing it's a fairly simple recipe as they market it as having a 17th century recipe, handed down through generations etc etc.

Ta,
Dan
 
I'm not familiar with it but it sounds delicious

"
A renowned Shropshire beer with a 17th-century Three Tuns Brewery recipe, XXX is our premium pale ale. A straw-coloured bitter with a light malty sweetness, the taste is completed with delicate floral flavours to release its earthy character.

Awarded GOLD in the European Beer Challenge Awards 2023.

  • ABV 4.3%"
 
Don't know the beer but the mention of "earthy" suggests Fuggles hops: maybe bittered with Fuggles and also 10min addition, with a sprinkling of post-boil Goldings for aroma. Grain-wise it could just be base malt such as Maris Otter or Golden Promise.

It can be really tough to re-create some of these beers, we have a local breery that has a very unique flavour but they state to just use standard grains & hops.
 
When kept well it’s terrific.
Agreed @Sandimas, I think it’s likely fairly simple in grain and English hops.

No idea on yeast. I was trying to decide earlier whether I’d describe it as slightly citrusy. There’s something about it I can’t put my finger on, but think floral is indeed closer to the mark.

Have seen a few people mention getting in touch with breweries and asking about recipes. Maybe worth a shot. Nothing ventured and all that…
 
Had a response from the brewery this afternoon. Whilst not giving too much away, they've confirmed above assumptions are on the right path. Ingredients would seem to be archetypal British pale ale, with the yeast naturally most important. I did pick up a couple of bottles, hoping to cultivate some yeast, but I don't think they're bottle conditioned.

'You’re absolutely on the right path with regards to hops – you don’t want anything too intense, just the right amount of aroma and delicate earthy/floral characteristics that is now symbolic of XXX.

For your base malt go as light as you can, perhaps even consider playing around a small amount with your speciality malts/grains to aid foam stability.

Yeast is a tricky one – ours is one of kind and is over a hundred years old and works its magic over the brew like no other to impart unreplicable flavours so you may need to experiment with this!'


I'll get something brewed in the next few days..

Pale Malt with c. 10% carapils, maybe some wheat malt..
Fuggles for bittering, EKG for aroma.
Nottingham yeast or maybe Mangrove Jacks M36 as I have a sachet kicking around

Whatever the result, can't see it being a bad beer...
 
Tried looking it up in The homer brewer's recipe database. They list Little Tun, Chocolate stout, Cleric's Cure, Bellringer and Old Scrooge but not XXX asad..
When I lived near Bishops Castle (I left there five years ago) they also had a beer called Rantipole - an OG of only 1036 but full of flavour.
 
Thanks @Twostage, confirms we're on the right track :)
Would you mind sharing what it has to say on Cleric's Cure? That's a nice drop as well... :beer1::laugh8:
Not much detail beyond ingredients in the book but ...

Cleric's Cure - ABV 5%, Maris Otter, optional wheat malt (?), Fuggles and Goldings.

It lists the original sources as being from Good bottled beer guide by Jeff Evans.
 
Had a response from the brewery this afternoon. Whilst not giving too much away, they've confirmed above assumptions are on the right path. Ingredients would seem to be archetypal British pale ale, with the yeast naturally most important. I did pick up a couple of bottles, hoping to cultivate some yeast, but I don't think they're bottle conditioned.

'You’re absolutely on the right path with regards to hops – you don’t want anything too intense, just the right amount of aroma and delicate earthy/floral characteristics that is now symbolic of XXX.

For your base malt go as light as you can, perhaps even consider playing around a small amount with your speciality malts/grains to aid foam stability.

Yeast is a tricky one – ours is one of kind and is over a hundred years old and works its magic over the brew like no other to impart unreplicable flavours so you may need to experiment with this!'


I'll get something brewed in the next few days..

Pale Malt with c. 10% carapils, maybe some wheat malt..
Fuggles for bittering, EKG for aroma.
Nottingham yeast or maybe Mangrove Jacks M36 as I have a sachet kicking around

Whatever the result, can't see it being a bad beer...
Of it's a 17th century it won't have carapils in it. If it's a traditional Pale Ale recipe, I'd say pale malt, flaked maize and No. 1 invert. If you really want to match the original, harvesting yeast from one of their cask beers is probably a good idea.
 
... I'm guessing it's a fairly simple recipe as they market it as having a 17th century recipe, handed down through generations etc etc.
Don't get taken in by the marketing toss. The descriptions wouldn't hold true 80 years ago, let alone 300+.

"Awarded GOLD in the European Beer Challenge Awards 2023."

But that's relevant! Go with that. You're looking to make an excellent late 20th C. "bitter".



Ooooo, Ron's pipped in. (Bow low ... grovel in the dirt). But we know 17th C. is out of his comfort zone, 'cos he tells us so! So, I'll have a go at 'im!

Flaked maize, No.1 Invert? In the 17th C.? Pale Malt even? Although S. Derbyshire were doing some clever things with straw and coke made from sea-coal. "Burton Ale" from just up the road (roads?) hasn't gotten a reputation yet because the Trent Navigation wasn't in place.

(Okay, I'd better shut up now as I think I've just depleted my comfort zone).
 
To be honest, based on the taste, I agree with the idea a lot of the 17th century stuff is the marketing dept and not the brewing dept.

Pale malt with something in for body, classic hops seems like it should be on the right tracks…

Having said that, I’m a total rookie at this so I’ll probably turn out something a world away from what I want. But then that’s the fun I suppose.. 🤣🤣
 
To be honest, based on the taste, I agree with the idea a lot of the 17th century stuff is the marketing dept and not the brewing dept.
Or you could take the more rational, less cynical view that XXX has been continually brewed since the 17th century, with every generation adapting the recipe to what is available. Keeping the essence of the beer. Same yeast, same brewery, same process, using malt and hops. A continuation of a recipe, much in the the same way as we all develop or tweak a recipe for a beer. Or, like Coca Cola has a heritage, even though the modern drink isn't cocaine ladened. No less legitimate than those that claim to recreate historic beers, yet use modern malts, asceptic practices and stainless steel equipment and corny kegs that didn't exist at the time.
 
... Having said that, I’m a total rookie at this so I’ll probably turn out something a world away from what I want.
What?... Never mind that. Do you have a bird table? Have you noticed when the sparrowhawk is about everywhere goes quiet? The only birds left are the inexperienced ones and the one that keeps flying into the window ...

... Do you follow? But don't worry, the worst thing you can do is associate with me, and, especially, "like" one of my posts ... and you wouldn't do that would yo... Ah.

Right, Plan B: I'm going to hide under that table and order a case of Fuller's "Past Masters" 1891 "XX". That might placate him? What I suggest you do is consider this book:

https://www.lulu.com/shop/ronald-pattinson/ak/paperback/product-5qw6jg.html?page=1&pageSize=4
... that might help too. You might check out this recipe that's in the book:

https://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2021/03/lets-brew-1896-rose-ak.html
It's a bit gusty for an AK (No.2 Invert Sugar), and this early version used flaked rice not flaked maize, but it's the one I'm all geared up to brew next (I've made it before). The recipes are a little bit tricky for an early attempt, but you'll soon get the swing of them. But if @patto1ro comes back, whatever you do don't mention "XXX" and "bitter" in the same sentence. And don't tell him where I've gone!
 
@dlowe1992: No Invert Sugar? Don't worry, no-one else has either. Even the breweries using the last remaining UK manufacturer of "Invert Sugar" (Ragus) are using their emulation of what it was. I did a lot of work on it last year and published my versions of emulations:

https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/brewers-invert-sugar-the-painless-way.101677/post-1205107
Whatever you do, don't waste time trying to colour sugar by boiling (caramelising). I don't know where that idea came from, but it's completely wrong! And these days, unnecessarily wasteful of energy resources.
 
Thanks @peebee for all the pointers… some interesting reading, think a bit of it is beyond me at the moment… I certainly haven’t come across anything calling for it yet…

I’m guessing an AK is a pale ale of the 19th century?

What would the invert sugar add to the beer if included?? And what are the more ‘modern day’ dare I say, adjuncts / ingredients that have replaced it, as seems to be the case?
 
I’m guessing an AK is a pale ale of the 19th century?
The weakest of the "pale ales". Almost as weak as has been passed off as "pale ale" and "bitter" in the last 80 years. Ron Pattinson has done loads to deciphering those "coded" names. But there will be the odd cases where they can't be deciphered, 'cos they were never intended to be?

Those guys in the past just hadn't got the imagination to come up with something like "triple chocolate raspberry ripple stout". Can't think what was up with 'em.

And what are the more ‘modern day’ dare I say, adjuncts / ingredients that have replaced it, as seems to be the case?

"Invert Sugars" gave way to "Sucrose" syrups (ordinary sugar) as it became cheaper to manufacture the stuff and transport it without consequence (we thought!). Cereals were a source of cheap sugars (corn sugar) even back in Victorian times. Some sugars are "neutral fillers" but that can be a benefit to some recipes. They can also bring their own flavours and colours. They have been used as cheap alternatives to "real" ingredients, but that's certainly not always the case. The UK was particularly keen to use sugar in beer.

Everything from essential component in beer to cheap alcohol producer.

We're lucky these days 'cos the modern cheapskate additives generally won't kill you like the ones they've used in the past.



I've ordered some Fullers "Past Masters" (1891"XX") like I mentioned earlier. Flippin' expensive! The relevance of mentioning it was that guy @patto1ro who popped by earlier was collared into extracting those recipes by Fullers from their ancient brewing logs (if he happens to pop by again and sees this, he'll probably say "err ... but not that one").
 

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