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Old 05-13-2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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I like 1275 for both English and American Ales. Only if you like esters though.

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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I don't do mash...yet. Can I get close to a MO feel using pilsen LME/extra light DME (Briess)?
I'm a bit confused about what makes an ESB. I looks to me like a pale ale essentially.
Is it just that it has a higher in bittering hops?
I've only had Foster's special bitters before, and really liked it. But I hear Foster's is considered a lower quality product so please keep the snickering low
If you're using extract, use Munton's Light of Extra Light as your base, or another English brand.
ESB is an English pale ale. It'll actually have less bittering and finishing hops than an American pale ale. Also, English pale ales tend to range a bit darker than their American cousins, they can be pale but some (like Well's Bombardier and Hobgoblin) are pretty dark by 'pale ale' standards. ESB's usually have around 35-40 IBU on the high side. Even though the name suggests it's a bitter beer, it's actually a fairly malty ale, with some balancing bitterness and a bit of hops flavor/aroma. I like my beers hoppy, so I go for ~40 IBU from my ESBs (~25-30 from bittering hops, 10-15 from finishing hops. I occasionally dry hops my ESB if I'm bottling it).

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I like 1275 for both English and American Ales. Only if you like esters though.
And I totally agree with this, 1275 makes great English style beers.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
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Biscuit and Victory must be mashed but doing a mini mash with those isn't really any harder than steeping. You might want to throw a touch of 6-row into your steep, too because the biscuit and/or victory don't have much diastatic power. Just steep in the 150-160 range for 40 min-1 hr. Since it'll be such a small portion of the grist hitting an exact temp won't make much difference.
As to a description of style:

8C. Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)

Aroma: Hop aroma moderately-high to moderately-low, and can use any variety of hops although UK hops are most traditional. Medium to medium-high malt aroma, often with a low to moderately strong caramel component (although this character will be more subtle in paler versions). Medium-low to medium-high fruity esters. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed. May have light, secondary notes of sulfur and/or alcohol in some examples (optional).

Appearance: Golden to deep copper. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. A low head is acceptable when carbonation is also low

Flavor: Medium-high to medium bitterness with supporting malt flavors evident. Normally has a moderately low to somewhat strong caramelly malt sweetness. Hop flavor moderate to moderately high (any variety, although earthy, resiny, and/or floral UK hops are most traditional). Hop bitterness and flavor should be noticeable, but should not totally dominate malt flavors. May have low levels of secondary malt flavors (e.g., nutty, biscuity) adding complexity. Moderately-low to high fruity esters. Optionally may have low amounts of alcohol, and up to a moderate minerally/sulfury flavor. Medium-dry to dry finish (particularly if sulfate water is used). Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium-full body. Low to moderate carbonation, although bottled commercial versions will be higher. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth but this character should not be too high.

Overall Impression: An average-strength to moderately-strong English ale. The balance may be fairly even between malt and hops to somewhat bitter. Drinkability is a critical component of the style; emphasis is still on the bittering hop addition as opposed to the aggressive middle and late hopping seen in American ales. A rather broad style that allows for considerable interpretation by the brewer.

Comments: More evident malt and hop flavors than in a special or best bitter. Stronger versions may overlap somewhat with old ales, although strong bitters will tend to be paler and more bitter. Fuller’s ESB is a unique beer with a very large, complex malt profile not found in other examples; most strong bitters are fruitier and hoppier. Judges should not judge all beers in this style as if they were Fuller’s ESB clones. Some modern English variants are brewed exclusively with pale malt and are known as golden or summer bitters. Most bottled or kegged versions of UK-produced bitters are higher-alcohol versions of their cask (draught) products produced specifically for export. The IBU levels are often not adjusted, so the versions available in the US often do not directly correspond to their style subcategories in Britain. English pale ales are generally considered a premium, export-strength pale, bitter beer that roughly approximates a strong bitter, although reformulated for bottling (including containing higher carbonation).

History: Strong bitters can be seen as a higher-gravity version of best bitters (although not necessarily “more premium” since best bitters are traditionally the brewer’s finest product). Since beer is sold by strength in the UK, these beers often have some alcohol flavor (perhaps to let the consumer know they are getting their due). In England today, “ESB” is a brand unique to Fullers; in America, the name has been co-opted to describe a malty, bitter, reddish, standard-strength (for the US) English-type ale. Hopping can be English or a combination of English and American.

Ingredients: Pale ale, amber, and/or crystal malts, may use a touch of black malt for color adjustment. May use sugar adjuncts, corn or wheat. English hops most typical, although American and European varieties are becoming more common (particularly in the paler examples). Characterful English yeast. “Burton” versions use medium to high sulfate water.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.048 – 1.060
IBUs: 30 – 50 FG: 1.010 – 1.016
SRM: 6 – 18 ABV: 4.6 – 6.2%

Commercial Examples: Fullers ESB, Adnams Broadside, Shepherd Neame Bishop's Finger, Young’s Ram Rod, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale, Bass Ale, Whitbread Pale Ale, Shepherd Neame Spitfire, Marston’s Pedigree, Black Sheep Ale, Vintage Henley, Mordue Workie Ticket, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Greene King Abbot Ale, Bateman's XXXB, Gale’s Hordean Special Bitter (HSB), Ushers 1824 Particular Ale, Hopback Summer Lightning, Great Lakes Moondog Ale, Shipyard Old Thumper, Alaskan ESB, Geary’s Pale Ale, Cooperstown Old Slugger, Anderson Valley Boont ESB, Avery 14’er ESB, Redhook ESB

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:42 PM   #14
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I prefer Wyeast 1335 British Ale II for a lot of my brews. I also really like 1882-PC. I really don't like the 1469 yeast. For me, 1469 gives off too much stone fruit flavors.

I'm using 1882-PC in the mocha porter I'm brewing next weekend. Really looking forward to it (its a re-brew).

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #15
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The BJCP guidelines only make partial sense to me in that I don't know what it is that makes it necessarily a malty beer or where the line is for determining what a mild or moderate hop aroma is, etc. I like to look at the recipes and get an idea of what it takes to get there. But I find extract recipes hard to find here, and the ones on hopville seem to be questionable.

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:50 PM   #16
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How malty it is correlates to the type of malts used, temperature at which you mash (not really applicable to you), fermentability of the wort, attenuation and flavor profile of the yeast.
Most English yeast varieties are going to, at least to a certain extent, accentuate the malt. I'd start out with WLP002 (fuller's) and use that as sort of a benchmark for future experiments.
I'd also be sure to use an English extract (as someone else already mentioned) as it will have more malt flavor. I'd also do a mini mash (basically controlled steep) with a little of british crystal malt and a touch of biscuit or victory along with just enough 6-row to help it convert. This should produce a malty beer.

As to moderate hop aroma, think not-so-hoppy American pale ale (only in this case with English hops like E K goldings or fuggles). My ESB (which I love) is on the bigger side (OG 1.060), bittered with challenger, and uses 1 oz of EKG for first wort, 1oz EKG @ 15 and 1oz EKG @ 5 min. IBU's are 45ish. I also sometimes dry hop just a little (1-1.5 oz EKG) which isn't really to style, pushes it more toward an EIPA but it's always been subtle enough that people always identify it as an ESB. Again, though, this is the very top of the range of hoppiness I'd go for the style.

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:58 PM   #17
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Are there any British extracts? Morebeer.com only offers Briess, but I'd be willing to try another company.
If there aren't any extracts available would steeping Victory or Biscuit suffice?

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...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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Again, you'll need to mash the biscuit or victory (basically just a steep where you keep your eye on the temp, very simple) but, yeah, you'll be fine. I'd prob add a little munich, too if using American extract.
I don't do extract brews but doing something like 6lb pale lme, with a mini-mash of 12oz munich, 8oz pale malt (to help convert the biscuit. Marris otter would prob be fine but if you want to be absolutely sure about conversion then 6-row),8oz medium british crystal, 6 oz dark british cystal, 6 oz biscuit would be good.
Don't be scared of the mini-mash, it's very simple. You just need a cheap thermometer. Mash temp and a good thermometer are very important in all-grain but with a 2 1/2 lb mini-mash it's not so much so. Just shoot for around 155 with whatever thermometer you've got and try to keep it between 150-160 for 40min-1hr.

As for hops, I LOVE EKG. I like to first wort hop also. You could do this by adding an oz to you're steeping liquid (not in the bag with the grain) for the steep. The above ingredients should get you to mid 1.050's and I'd shoot for 40ish ibu's with an oz or so at 10-15min and an oz at 5 min-flameout, adjusting the bittering hops accordingly.

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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The more I look at it the more I feel that I need to give a partial mash or BIAB a try.
I'm not certain if I should look into converting my neglected 2 gal water jug or try insulating a pot with a sleeping bag or just keep the pot on a burner set low and frequently stir.

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...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #20
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I'd use around 1.5 qts water/pound of grain, heat your water to around 165, add your grain bag, stir, etc. and make sure the temp is in the proper range. Then turn off the heat and let it sit. Check the temp every 15 min or so and heat it back up to 155ish as needed. You'll be good. No need for a mash tun, and I wouldn't leave the burner on-it's too easy for it to get too hot. The whole works will retain heat pretty well.

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