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Old 09-10-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
Nyrkki
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Default Esb

We will be brewing our first ESB in a couple of weeks. We want the beer to have a decent hop punch, mainly on the bitter side, with some sweet caramel/maltyness to smooth things up. The color should be copper, or near Fuller's london esb. Around 5% of alcohol would be nice.

Here is what we came up with during the planing pint:

Extra salty banana: London esb (the name will hopefully change..)

Batch size: 5.3 gallons
OG: 1.054
FG: 1.017 (this will probably be around 12-14)
ABV: 4.9 (probably well over 5%)
IBU: 47.8
Color: 10
IBU/GU: 0.88 (probably a bit lower)

83% 8.8 lbs Pale malt (2)
8% 0.88 lbs caramel (60)
5% 0.55 lbs carahel (10)
4% 0.44 lbs cara pils (2)

1.76 oz EKG (5.5) FWH
0.88 oz fuggels (4.5) FWH
0.7 oz EKG (5.5) 1 hr
0.7 oz EKG (5.5) 10 min
0.7 oz Fuggles (4.5) 10 min
0.88 oz EKG (5.5) dry hop for one week

Wyeast London ESB Ale 1968

So a few questions are in order. Is there too much caramel malts? Is our hopping schedule too complicated? What about dry hopping? We don't want it to be a pale ale, so overhopping might be a problem... We are planning to carbonate it lightly, in the tradition of English ales. We are looking forward for any C&C.

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Old 09-10-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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60L Cara is what's going to give you a lot of that intense caramel flavor you want. 10L Cara is just going to impart some sweetness, along with the cara-pils. If you're looking for more rum and prune type flavors, use a higher lovibond malt like 80L cara. IMHO, i'd ditch the 10L cara and substitute in some 80L cara instead. 80L cara will also give your beer that nice red color you want.

Your hops schedule is fine and the combination of what you are using and how you're using them is going to produce a beer with medium bitterness, light flavoring and and an aroma kick from the dry hopping. Just let your dry hops sit in your beer for a week, then rack to a secondary prior to bottling.

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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+1 on the caramel 60. I'd personally replace the others another 1 lb of base malt. A really simple ESB but classic grain bill is 95% base and 5% caramel malts. IMHO you might want to go a bit higher than that with caramel malt, and putting a small amount of a darker carmel can really improve complexity and play off the fruity esters from 1968.

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
Nyrkki
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Thanks for the replies! How about ditching the carahell and replacing it with 0.11 lbs of special b? And to adjust the OG we would probably add 0.44 lbs pale malt. The color would be slightly darker (11), but I wouldn't mind about that. I'm just wondering whether the special b is too dark at 160 srm. Maybe we'll buy some cara 80..

The beer will probably be two weeks in the primary and one week in the secondary with the dry hops. That's how we usually do it anyway.

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Old 09-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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I like the Special B idea a lot! Either special B or crystal 120L in a relatively small amount (.25 pound) would give you some deep rich complex dark fruit notes.

I'd go with 92 percent base malt (maris otter would be best) and then 5% or so of lighter crystal (20-40L) and then 3% of the crystal 120L.

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Old 09-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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So you would ditch cara pils also? We don't have the cara 60 yet, so getting cara 40 instead wouldn't be a problem.

Now I'm thinking of something like this:

9.26 pale malt
.22 special b
.88 caramel 40

The pale malt that we are using is basic European pale malt. Not as good as maris otter, but it is still quite good.

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Old 09-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #7
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I like that recipe a lot. European pale malt should be fine, but if you are concerned about an 'authentic' profile you could throw in a quarter pound of biscuit malt, but I don't really think its necessary.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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so we are going to brew this on next tuesday. As a result of a mixup at the store,we ended up aquiring cara 20 instead of cara 40. I thought it was in lovibonds, but it was in ebc. Not a big deal i guess. So we will sub the cara 40 for same ammount of cara20. I toasted 0.44 lbs of biscuit, and we will throw that in as well. Thanks for all the comments here. They have really helped us in designing this beer, and plenty of others.

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:57 AM   #9
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I've made a couple ESBs so far and def one of my favorite styles. One thing that I tried to play with was using crystal malt that was lighter than one of my first batches. I can definitely tell you not to be afraid of the darker crystal malt. After about 6 weeks it is phenomenal. My recipe is very simple 93% Maris otter, 5% Simpson medium crystal, 2% Simpson extra dark. Hop bill 1.5 oz northdown at 60 and 1 oz EKG at 5. I mashed around 154 and ended up with a FG of 1.016.

Good luck. Interested to see how it turns out.

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:57 AM   #10
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I am definitely an ESB snob and have yet to really nail mine down. I'd say start with this (it looks a lot like my starting point ESB) and work from there if it's not exactly what you want. I'm experimenting will all sorts of crazy english malts ATM, amber, chocolate, brown malt, etc etc etc. I say try it out!

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