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Old 01-20-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
lhommedieu
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Default First AG Recipe Help for ESB

Am I on track here?

I'm aiming to create a session beer for my first AG brew. As per the advice in another thread, I'm trying to understand the parameters of grains and hops within the English Special Bitter style - rather than simply use a recipe, e.g. for a Fuller's ESB clone. The following uses Palmer's guidelines for an ESB, tweaked here and there by BrewSmith 2.0. for a 5 gallon batch.

As I understand the style, up to 20% of the grain bill can be taken by the Crystal Malt; my recipe calls for @ 13% or so (I think). Are there advantages to using other specialty grains?

BrewSmith puts my SRM and IBU values in the middle of the "green"; OG and ABV values are in the "yellow" - but as I said, I want to make a session beer.

"English Special Bitter"

7 lbs, 11 oz. Maris Otter Pale Malt
1 lbs, 1 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt 60L
0.85 oz. Goldings, East Kent (5%) 90 minutes
0.42 oz. Fuggles (4.5%) 90 minutes
0.42 oz. Goldings, East Kent (5%) 45 minutes
0.42 oz. Goldings, East Kent (5%) 15 minutes
1 tsp. Irish Moss 10 minutes
1 package Whitbread Ale yeast (Wyeast Labs #1099) - added to starter.

Est. OG: 1.048; Est. FG: 1.013; Est. ABV: 4.5%, SRM: 10.6; 39 IBU's

Single Infusion Mash for 90 minutes at 152 degrees; Fly sparge at 168 degrees for @ 1 hour.
Primary Fermentation for @ 10 days at 67 degrees; rack to Korny Keg and continue for 4 weeks at 65 degrees.



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Old 01-20-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
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Sounds good. I would use all Fuggles for the early hop addition and move all the Goldings to late hop additions, but that's just my tastes.

My brew weekend was shot having to replace the radiator in my wife's vehicle. So...keep me posted...I have to brew vicariously this weekend and this recipe sounds good...



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Old 01-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. This beer is two weeks away from its start as I'll be away next weekend, and I still have to build my lauter tub and fly sparge device. Everything else is in place, but it gives me a little time to listen to advice on the forum.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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Love, love , love the flexibility in an ESB. I plugged your grain bill into BS and it came in a little lower than yours. Never the less.

I also love Styrians...but bitter with Target (less required).

My most quickest drank ESB to grace my kegs included a little roasted barley and some rye.

74% MO
13% rye
12% C60
1% 500L Roasted Barley.

Target at 60
Styrians at 15

it comes it right at the max for the class in color and kept it about 38 IBU. It is regular around here now... So many different ways to skin this proverbial cat. Cheers!

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Old 01-20-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpack View Post
Love, love , love the flexibility in an ESB. I plugged your grain bill into BS and it came in a little lower than yours. Never the less.

I also love Styrians...but bitter with Target (less required).

My most quickest drank ESB to grace my kegs included a little roasted barley and some rye.

74% MO
13% rye
12% C60
1% 500L Roasted Barley.

Target at 60
Styrians at 15

it comes it right at the max for the class in color and kept it about 38 IBU. It is regular around here now... So many different ways to skin this proverbial cat. Cheers!
Thanks! I rounded down the grain bill a little for the post. I can see (I think) how the rye can be added to the basic profile (MO/Crystal/Goldings) to produce a drier, crisper beer. Is this also the rationale behind adding flaked wheat - as I have seen in a couple of recipes?

Target is listed on several recipes I've looked at for ESB; from my limited perspective on ESB's it would seem that hops contribute greatly to the character of ESB's just so long as they float on the surface of the malt flavor without overwhelming it.

As long as I haven't made any major mistakes I"m going to go ahead and make my ESB as a baseline, and then start playing around the edges.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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First, a little nit pick. The "E" in ESB stands for extra, not English. I believe that you are going for a Special Bitter which is not quite as strong as an Extra Special Bitter. The recipe you posted could fit either category.

The only thing I don't like about your recipe is the amount of crystal malt. For an ESB, I like to keep it down to 5%, for a Special Bitter, I relax this a little bit, and go up to about 7.5% I think that 14% is too much.
If you can get British Crystal as opposed to American, then it is well worth it.

Your hop schedule is a bit different to what I use. I like to add about 0.5 oz EKG at flame out, but that is just personal preference.

I personally don't like WLP099, but this again is a personal preference. For a low carbed draught beer, I like WLP002 or WY1968. For a higher carbed bottled beer, I like WY1028 (but not WLP013). For either draught or bottled, I also like WLP023. There's also a whole bunch of other yeasts that I have never used, or not used for a long time, and cannot remember how they turned out. Brewing identical beers with different yeasts can be a lot of fun.

Good luck.

-a.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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I increased the Crystal just because I wanted a slightly darker color. If I decreased the Crystal, would you recommend merely increasing the MO or the addition of another special grain? Trying to keep things simple here - and happy to learn as I go.

lol - I knew that it was "extra" but just conflated it with English pale ale.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhommedieu View Post
I increased the Crystal just because I wanted a slightly darker color.
if your worried about the color then use two different crystals. go with a lighter one between 20L and 40L some where around .50/.75 lb then use a darker one like 120 L or higher to boost the color

for example
12.0 oz Crystal Malt 2 (Thomas Facett) (68.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.8 %
4.0 oz Crystal Malt Dark 2 (Thomas Fawcett) (124.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.3 %
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #9
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I brewed a very similar ESB for my first AG. Brewed 12/15/12, Tapped the keg, 12/31/12. Emptied it today. It was the shortest lived keg yet at my house. Very drinkable. Everyone seemed to like it, alot. Good luck with it.
GF'n

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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I personally like to keep the ibus in the low to mid 30's so the malt profile really shines



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