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Old 09-20-2008, 01:11 AM   #1
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Default ESB I'm Brewing Sunday

Here's a recipe for an ESB I threw together to brew Sunday. Let's hear what you think. I'm aiming for a sort of simple traditional ale. The CaraHell is in there because the LHBS didn't have Cara-Pils.

5.5 gal batch

10 lbs. UK pale ale malt
1 lb. UK Light Crystal (~50-65L)
0.5 lb. CaraHell
0.25 UK Dark Crystal (~135-165L)

I have 1 oz. Fuggles (4.0%AA) 1 oz. EKG (5.4%AA) and about 0.5 oz. Willamette (5.0%AA). I was thinking about mixing them up for additions at 60, 20 and flame out to give me about 30 IBU.

OG should be 1.057
IBU ~30
SRM 12.7

Fermenting with S-04

How's that sound?

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Old 09-20-2008, 01:27 AM   #2
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I'd drink it. Sounds good.

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:15 AM   #3
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I'm thinking 1.75#'s of Crystal is a little much but YMMV... How 'bout a little Biscuit or Aromatic?

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
I'm thinking 1.75#'s of Crystal is a little much but YMMV... How 'bout a little Biscuit or Aromatic?
I was thinking about adding some biscuit malt but the lhbs didn't have any. While I agree it does seem like a lot of crystal malts, it's only 15% of the grain bill, which I think is acceptable. Do you think the crystal character is going to be overbearing?
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, yes. CaraHell is not a direct replacement for CaraPils, as CaraHell adds a discernible crystal-malt character. I'd omit both the CaraHell and the dark Crystal. I don't like more than 10% crystal malt in bitter of any type. I prefer the Fuller's version, which has about 10% 55L Crystal and 10% flaked maize. You can bitter it with whatever you like (except varieties with a strong residual flavor, of course), so long as you finish it with EKG.

It's certainly drinkable as written! I'm just uncertain about the crystal; I fear it might be cloying.

Bob

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:33 PM   #6
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Hmm, the last thing I like my beer to be is cloying. I'd really like to keep the dark crystal in for the flavors and color it brings. The two options I guess I'm considering now are dropping the light crystal to 0.5 lb and leaving the dark crystal and carahell as is, or dropping the light crystal to 0.75 lb, leaving the dark crystal as is, and eliminating the carahell. Which of those options sounds best?

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:52 PM   #7
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The latter, IMO. If you're after the color and flavor contributions of the dark crystal, dropping the CaraHell makes the most sense.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 09-20-2008, 04:03 PM   #8
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I would use 0.50 lbs of UK Light crystal and 0.25 lbs UK Dark Crystal. I think that you need a touch of those darker crystal flavors in a bitter.

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Old 09-20-2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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I agree with Bob, but be careful with the dark crystal. I've found it to be very variable. Sometimes it has just a caramel flavor, but other times it has a strong roasted barley flavor which really doesn't go well in an ESB.

-a.

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Old 09-20-2008, 06:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNQ3X View Post
Unfortunately, yes. CaraHell is not a direct replacement for CaraPils, as CaraHell adds a discernible crystal-malt character. I'd omit both the CaraHell and the dark Crystal. I don't like more than 10% crystal malt in bitter of any type. I prefer the Fuller's version, which has about 10% 55L Crystal and 10% flaked maize. You can bitter it with whatever you like (except varieties with a strong residual flavor, of course), so long as you finish it with EKG.

It's certainly drinkable as written! I'm just uncertain about the crystal; I fear it might be cloying.

Bob
I agree with this. I've recently brewed two recipes (an Amber and a stout) with 16% Crystal (60L in my case) and it is about on the border of undrinkably cloying for me. I'll never go that high again.
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