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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > ESB recipe critique
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:48 PM   #1
KraphtBier
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Default ESB recipe critique

Ive come to love English pale ales during the past few months and I'm looking to brew my second attempt at the style tomorrow. The proposed recipe is an ESB. Any input from those of you who have brewed the style would be greatly appreciated.

5.5gal
OG 1.054
35 IBU

9lbs Maris Otter
10oz Simpsons Dark Crystal 75L
8oz Amber Malt
0.5oz Magnum (16%aa) @ 60 min
0.5oz Bramling Cross (4.76%aa) @ 10 min
0.5oz EKG (5%aa) @ 10 min
0.5oz Bramling Cross (4.76%aa) @ 5 min
0.5oz EKG (5%aa) @ 5 min
2L Starter of White Labs 002

Any standout errors in my recipe?

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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I don't see any problems with your recipe. What temperature do you plan on mashing at?

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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I recently tried a take on an ESB and was not pleased with my results. I'll throw out some things I noticed just to see what others think and to see if I can help tinker your recipe a bit.

The recipe I had was:
10 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb Caramel 80L
1 lb Caramel 20L

mashed at 154 F 60 mins

hops were Cluster, EKG, Sterling and came out to roughly ~50 IBUs

I used WLP002 as well. I noticed a lack of malt character when I compared my ESB to commercial examples, especially those traditional examples from the UK such as Fuller's. I over-hopped mine and it lacked the characteristic sweet, doughy, biscuit presence. I dont know if the Amber malt addition will supply enough of that character, but just something I wanted to point out.

Your lower IBU will likely lend more way for the malt sweetness to shine through. Why such a big starter though? I am under the impression that the larger your yeast pitch rate, the less yeast character comes through in the final product. Just some thoughts, hope it helps.

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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I like to use victory malt for mine because it sounds cool and fits the style.

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Old 08-04-2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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Personally I would move the 5 minute additions to 1 minute or knockout.

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Old 08-04-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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A judicious amount of Victory or home toasted 2-row (I like @350*F for 15 mins to get "amber" by the Mosher description of things) is never a bad thing for English pale ales.

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Old 08-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Thoughts on Briess Special Roast in an ESB recipe?

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Old 08-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #8
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I've never used Magnum in a bitter, might be a little too nuetral IMHO.I'd use an oz. of challenger or maybe 2oz. of EKG @ 60 min addition

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Old 08-04-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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During the Fullers "can you brew it" episode, the interviewer was shocked at how much hop power was in the ESB. Apparently a lot of that sweet, biscuity character is from oxidation and warm storage on the boat trip to the states. So if you're beer is sharper but fairly close you may have hit it dead on...just gotta let it sit a while and age. You could also be over attenuating.

Also, I believe Fullers uses EKG, target, and challenger - and they brew it partygyle style with London Pride to make things consistent (read: unnecessarily complicated)

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/632

FYI - he whiffs on the first clone - iTunes has the "Fullers rebrews" where he nail the flavor. Apparently the crazy fermentation temps plus the partygyle make a world of difference.

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Old 08-05-2012, 01:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KraphtBier View Post
Ive come to love English pale ales during the past few months and I'm looking to brew my second attempt at the style tomorrow. The proposed recipe is an ESB. Any input from those of you who have brewed the style would be greatly appreciated.

5.5gal
OG 1.054
35 IBU

9lbs Maris Otter
10oz Simpsons Dark Crystal 75L
8oz Amber Malt
0.5oz Magnum (16%aa) @ 60 min
0.5oz Bramling Cross (4.76%aa) @ 10 min
0.5oz EKG (5%aa) @ 10 min
0.5oz Bramling Cross (4.76%aa) @ 5 min
0.5oz EKG (5%aa) @ 5 min
2L Starter of White Labs 002

Any standout errors in my recipe?
Looks OK, however, your hop schedule is overly complicated IMO. I tried all sorts of hop schedules over the years for bitters and when I finally went with the traditional English schedule of a 90 minute boil combined with two hop additions, one @ 90 min and one late (15-5 minutes) the beers suddenly seemed to fall into place.
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