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Old 10-12-2013, 01:17 AM   #1
exc503
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Default English Special bitter (Working Title: Davies Drool)

Ok so as my first jump into the all-grain world, I have been working on a recipe for an English Bitter and was hoping for some guidance and feedback. This is where i stand so far....THANK YOU.

5 Gallon Batch
60 min boil
OG: 1.047
FG: 1.010

8.0# Marris Otter
0.8# English Dark Crystal (70-80L)
0.8# Bairds Carastan (30-40L)
(0.1# English Chocolate (375-450L) - questionable)

1.5oz EKG @ 60m
0.5oz EKG @ 10m
0.5oz EKG @ 00m

Yeast: Wyest - 1469 (West Yorkshire)

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Old 10-12-2013, 07:38 AM   #2
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20% caramel grains is a lot for a bitter. you have to dry this stuff out so that much unfermentable is going to go against you. i would pick one or the other with the carastan or C80. i would also add dextrose or another type of simple sugar to help get it dry. this is to style as well.

i didn't like EKG when i used them. too spicey. i use fuggles now and am much happier. american fuggles preferred actually. ymmv

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Old 10-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input, definitely something to think about. I am shooting for something in the direction of a John Smith's, not a clone necessarily. You are correct, it is a drier beer, and this recipe would have a lot of sugars.

Perhaps ...

9.0# MO
1.0# Carastan
0.1# Eng Chocolate - for color.

As far as hops go, I am still trying to learn more about he different styles, long way to go yet with so many different ones out there (plan for a SMaSH next). But I am trying to keep this "all english," if possible (I know Fuggles is English). Probably going to stay with the EKG this time around, and if I can get a good grain bill, start playing with the hops.

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Old 10-14-2013, 05:15 AM   #4
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New grain bill looks good. Small amount if simple sugar with an attenuation English strain and you're on.

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Old 10-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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I've been preaching the 80/10/10% mantra on HBT for years. 80% Pale Malt, 10% Crystal, 10% sugar. It's pretty bog-standard for UK Real Ale breweries, and it works. Look at the comments in Pride of Raubsville in my recipe drop-down at left. If you use, say, 8 lbs pale malt, a pound of Carastan and a pound of Demerara sugar, you'll be right in the money.

The reasons for that proportion are many, but here's the nutshell - Bitter needs to have body, but must also finish dry. So a solid whack of Crystal malt for body, and some sugar to dry out the finish. If you're doing it properly - not overcarbonated, no more than 2 volumes - you don't have the carbonic acid to dry out the finish, so you need that sugar (as well as a nice whack of hops bitterness).

I adore EKG as a finishing hops in Bitter of all types. I prefer a less-awesome bittering hops, because I don't want to waste EKG in applications where it won't add flavor/aroma. I like to keep a supply of neutral high-alpha bittering-only hops in my freezer; I prefer Target.

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 10-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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I have a best bitter right now that is out of Jamil's BCS, except I use the West Yorkshire yeast. In fact, it is my house yeast for all things bitter, brown, porter or mild. I might add, I make a lot of beers in the same OG range you have but have never gotten it below 1.012, but I have never added straight sugar to dry it out. I don't mind missing standard guidelines and ending with a british beer that might be a bit too sweet. When I want a dry beer, I have other types in mind.

Anyway, my best bitter came out fine, but it is a bit plain and too balanced. Folks like it as a drinker, but I say meh. Next time I'll try to get it maltier or dry hop for some excitement.

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Old 10-15-2013, 01:59 AM   #7
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The sugar is added in the boil or in the primary?

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Old 10-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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Bob, I will be bottling, not kegging, how does this affect your equation?

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
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You can add your sugar at flameout. The change in ABV is pretty negligible with bottling, the bottling sugar is usually not considered part of the recipe/calculations. Sounds like the guys have you set for grainbill. Definitely experiment with the hops yourself. I personally get the dirt thing with fuggles, but I love EKG in English styles.

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Old 10-16-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
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Sugar at flameout. Bottling is immaterial to the equation, as the equation is pre-ferment. It's the grist.

Cheers!

Bob

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