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Old 11-23-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Thoughts on an ESB?

Planning to brew tomorrow. Question is about Nottingham, recipe is below. I have two pouches of dry Notty (Lallemand) and a bit confused now by BeerSmith calc. Looks like 2 pouches are just under pitching rate if I simply rehydrate... however, only 1 if I build a starter. I know it is a bit controversial - but would like someone experienced with Notty to weigh in. I could put the starter on tonight and should be at or near krausen by tomorrow afternoon if I keep it warmish.

Recipe is not quite traditional, but what I have handy. Recipe suggestions welcome as well! Playing a bit with Caramunich and Special B.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 12.45 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.70 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.35 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 27.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 46.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.2 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent 1 -
8 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (3.9 EBC) Grain 2 42.1 %
8 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) Grain 3 42.1 %
8.0 oz Caramunich Malt (110.3 EBC) Grain 4 2.6 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (49.2 EBC) Grain 5 2.6 %
8.0 oz Special B Malt (354.6 EBC) Grain 6 2.6 %
4.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (985.0 EBC) Grain 7 1.3 %
4.0 oz Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 8 1.3 %
2.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - First Wort 60 Hop 9 36.0 IBUs
1 lbs Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 EBC) Sugar 10 5.3 %
2.10 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 11 -
2.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 15.0 Hop 12 9.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 1.4 IBUs
2.0 pkg Nottingham Yeast (Lallemand #-) [23.66 m Yeast 14 -
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Hop 16 0.0 IBUs


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 19 lbs
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 24.50 qt of water at 162.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (2.51gal, 6.47gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------

AND Happy Thanksgiving all!

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:23 AM   #2
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How old are the packets?

Generally speaking, I think if you rehydrate you ought to be fine with pitching 2 packets so long as they are relatively fresh and you've been storing them in the fridge. You may get a bit more estery fermentation, but that's a good thing in an ESB.
I'm not sure I dig the black patent in there, or the Northern Brewer hops, but I suppose that is a personal preference.

Overall, I think the recipe is a bit "busy". I count 7 different types of malt/grain in there not counting the sugar, and 3 different hops varieties. I understand wanting to play a bit with the crystal malts, but how are you going to figure out what aromas and flavors they contribute to the beer if you put them in there together with all that other stuff?

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:49 AM   #3
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Good questions.

The packets are new - about a week since purchase. AHS seems to keep things fairly fresh. Use by is 1/2014, and been in fridge since.

The little bit of Black is simply for some color (its De-bittered - too lazy to enter that into BS's ingredient list). Took the black malt concept from the British Real Ale book by Graham. I like the taste of Special B, but not terribly sure about how it would work in an ESB. Same for Honey Malt - was hoping for a bit more sweet character to balance the Northern Brewer. I've brewed enough to have a "general" idea of what they bring to the table... but yeah throwing the kitchen sink at this one. Hey I left out my dregs of aromatic, acid and chocolate!

Added Northern Brewer because I have about a half pound left, and it gives the bitter charge I couldn't achieve without a lot more Fuggles or Goldings. I was thinking of splitting the batch on the dry hop charges.

If this comes out - seriously considering buying a couple of firkins. Have some good friends in Sheffield and can get my hands on a beer engine.

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:53 AM   #4
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I should also add, the Caramunich was very random. Now that I look at it - doesn't make much sense, especially at such a low rate. Will likely drop that out.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:10 AM   #5
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First, 2 packets of yeast will do the job just fine. Second, you're shooting yourself in the foot with the sugar. This will lighten the body and make it more dry. Yet, you add oats to add to the mouthfeel. Lose the sugar, and either add a little more oats or just add some carapils. Third, I think chocolate malt would be good in this beer. It's nice to layer your darker malts(in small amounts) in an ESB. Also, I think the caramunich fits well. If anything, the honey malt should go. Last, I like the hop schedule. N. Brewer is good in an ESB or bitter.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slarkin712 View Post
First, 2 packets of yeast will do the job just fine. Second, you're shooting yourself in the foot with the sugar. This will lighten the body and make it more dry. Yet, you add oats to add to the mouthfeel. Lose the sugar, and either add a little more oats or just add some carapils. Third, I think chocolate malt would be good in this beer. It's nice to layer your darker malts(in small amounts) in an ESB. Also, I think the caramunich fits well. If anything, the honey malt should go. Last, I like the hop schedule. N. Brewer is good in an ESB or bitter.
1 lb of sugar isn't going to have much of a "drying" effect with a grain bill that big,,,,, is it?

Got to say I've liked Northern Brewer when used as a bittering hop with Centennial or Cascade for flavour and aroma. Haven't tried it with Fuggles and, or, Kent Goldings but would imagine it'll be fine. Not sure of what it'll bring to the table as a dry hop, though.

It'll certainly be a flavourful beer, but an ESB should be pretty complex.

There's a post on this thread that advises against using dry yeast in a starter. Probably best to re-hydrate the two packs and be really precise with fermentation temps, I'd have thought.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:11 AM   #7
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So my gut feel on the yeast is correct. Got flummoxed looking at the yeast calc in Beer Smith... That and the few beers I had working on the recipe.

Sugar appears in many of the recipes in the book I mentioned and not at rates you would expect for a Belgian. I had the privilege of meeting a brewer on sight next to one of my business partners. He uses sugar in all of his lighter pales and bitters to boost alcohol and lighten color. Never more than 5% of the fermentable though. I drank a LOT of beer that week, all casked.

I am a novice at recipe creation, and woefully ignorant on ESB. Was hoping I could hit the mark with what was on hand here. It's a trip to AHS for grains. This was VERY loosely based on an ESB in the British Real Ale book... And I might have muffed some of the metric conversions and malt substitutions.

So... Let's drop the honey malt, up the oats (and toast the oats lightly) a hair. Maybe hit a few ounces of chocolate as well. I like the resin-like pine of Northern Brewer, which almost always is lost in FWH. Thought it might bring some interesting bite and aroma to an ESB... The brewery I mentioned uses it in a brown bitter and it is quite pleasant. It might totally over run the Fuggles and Kent Goldings.

I have some white oak beans under vodka... How about some barrel character on a split batch?

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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ESB is typically just pale malt, a little english crystal malt and kent golding hops (and yeast). You can add a little special B if you want more raisin or aromatic if you want it more malty but you really don't need to add all that other stuff. It's basically just an english pale ale but on the malty side. EKG is most common but you can use different english hops if you would rather.

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Old 11-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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I'm not too worried about 1# of sugar in a 10 gallon batch. It will dry it out a point or two, but that's no big deal, especially given all the crystal malts in there.


However, I will reiterate and perhaps re-express my feeling that you've got an awfully large variety of malts in there that often work in contrast to one another...and that combined with the sugar leads me to indicate that you don't really have a direction in mind for the beer. If you have a solid plan for what you want your beer to taste like, you can almost always get there with a much simpler recipe than what you've got here.

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Old 11-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I understand your points about the complexity Wierdboy. The great thing about homebrew, I can call it something else if it gets too far off an ESB! I brew mostly Belgians and wanted to experiment with something different - and a bit more complex.

I reviewed the section on PA/Bitter/ESB in Designing Great Beers. And did think this through a bit more. Dropped the sugar - it wasn't necessary given the grain bill to achieve gravity. I will note that it's still fairly common in British Ales, and generally a fairly low rate for fermentables. Dropped the Honey Malt as well. The oats, Caramunich and Special B are really the odd ones here, but what the hell. I have a golden Bitter in the fermenter based on just MO and Pale Malt (50/50 grist), maybe able to see if that added much. I don't expect it will add a lot of flavor as such a light portion of the grain bill.

I emailed my Sheffield brewer friend. He does some small batch IPAs with oats and Special B... they are for special seasonal sessions, usually fewer than 200 pins worth. He liked the recipe, but was also worried a bit about the complexity. Said to expect an exceptionally thick foam head and to carb light to match a beer engine setup.

I had less NB than suspected so simply used 2.4 oz as FWH. Gotta tell you the aroma was stunning. I believe I should have used slightly less de-bittered black, the wort is fairly brown. Still in style, but darker than I was targeting in the kettle. May come out a deep ruby red color out of the fermenter. Hope so. Also moved the EKG to 20 mins to get a bit more bitter, and the Fuggles at flame out (I did let it sit for about 10 min before chilling)

All in all - good day brewing. All went as well as can be expected. Worst case - its not really an ESB, just beer.

Final Recipe below:

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 12.45 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.70 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.35 gal
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 28.9 EBC
Estimated IBU: 44.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 85.7 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent 1 -
10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (3.9 EBC) Grain 2 49.4 %
8 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) Grain 3 39.5 %
1 lbs Caramunich Malt (110.3 EBC) Grain 4 4.9 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 5 2.5 %
8.0 oz Special B Malt (354.6 EBC) Grain 6 2.5 %
4.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (985.0 EBC) Grain 7 1.2 %
2.40 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - First Wort 60 Hop 8 34.1 IBUs
2.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 -
2.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 15.0 Hop 10 9.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 1.4 IBUs
2.0 pkg Nottingham Yeast (Lallemand #-) [23.66 m Yeast 12 -
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 20 lbs 4.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 27.31 qt of water at 162.8 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (2.08gal, 6.47gal) of 168.0 F water

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Last edited by mchrispen; 11-24-2012 at 06:54 PM. Reason: forgot to add something after reading it again
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