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Old 03-05-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
tpeterseufl
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Default ESB Critique

I'm just looking for an ESB critique. I haven't used fuggles in a long time and want to try them again.

Batch size: 3 gallons
OG: 1.058
IBU: 48
SRM: 12

5.5 lbs Maris Otter
.3 lbs Vienna
.3 lbs Aromatic
.3 lbs Biscuit
1 oz. Black patent (for color)

1.2 oz. fuggles (60 min.)
.5 oz. fuggles (15 min.)
.5 oz. fuggles (5 min.)

Either Nottingham or S-04.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:47 PM   #2
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Consider moving the aroma add to 30 minutes, typically an ESB has moderate to little hop aroma. That would also boost the IBUs a bit.

Nottingham, for a drier finish.

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:53 PM   #3
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It definitely needs some kind of crystal malt in there, 0.5 to 1 lb. I'd drop the biscuit malt because I'm not crazy about the stuff. The vienna and aromatic arent really to style, but won't hurt, though there is so little vienna, I don't think it will be adding anything. I'm fine with your hop additions and wouldn't change them, though fuggles is fairly mild and larger additions would help you discover it's aroma and flavor. I'd go with a nice british liquid yeast but s-04 or nottingham will work. I've begun to tire of s-04 lately (it has a very unique flavor that sticks out of the beer to my palate). If you use nottingham, bump the mash temp up to about 154. If you go s-04, mash at 152.

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Old 03-06-2010, 12:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingBrianI View Post
It definitely needs some kind of crystal malt in there, 0.5 to 1 lb. I'd drop the biscuit malt because I'm not crazy about the stuff. The vienna and aromatic arent really to style, but won't hurt, though there is so little vienna, I don't think it will be adding anything. I'm fine with your hop additions and wouldn't change them, though fuggles is fairly mild and larger additions would help you discover it's aroma and flavor. I'd go with a nice british liquid yeast but s-04 or nottingham will work. I've begun to tire of s-04 lately (it has a very unique flavor that sticks out of the beer to my palate). If you use nottingham, bump the mash temp up to about 154. If you go s-04, mash at 152.
That's solid advice. 95% maris otter and 5% crystal will make a great ESB, it's a rather simple grain bill for this style. Since Fuggles is subtle, you can even dry hop with a little or give an extra dose toward the end of the boil. I dry hop an ounce of Fuggles in my 5gal ESB and love it. Most importantly is the yeast. An ESB is no good without quality yeast. There are so many good liquid choices, like WLP002, 005, 023, 037, Wy1187 etc. All of these yeasts make s-04 and nottingham seem blasé.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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I agree with the crystal suggestion and I too like the hops the way they are.

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Old 03-06-2010, 01:42 AM   #6
tpeterseufl
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OK, I like the crystal suggestion. If I wanted a little more complex malt profile, what else could work? I was honestly just guessing with the first malt bill.

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Old 03-06-2010, 02:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpeterseufl View Post
OK, I like the crystal suggestion. If I wanted a little more complex malt profile, what else could work? I was honestly just guessing with the first malt bill.
Maris otter has a nice profile, but it can benefit from additional malts for complexity. The aromatic and vienna you proposed will both help in that regard, though the vienna will need to be in a larger amount. Try 1-2 lbs. At 0.3 lbs, I think the aromatic is a good amount. The vienna could be switched for munich for a bit deeper maltiness. To get a little more toastiness, I would skip the biscuit and go for some amber or toasted malt. Yeast also helps accentuate maltiness and WY1968/WLP002 is great for that. So for an overall grain bill you might try something along these lines:

4 lbs. maris otter
1.5 lb vienna
0.5 lbs crystal 55
0.3 aromatic
0.25 lbs. amber malt
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