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Old 01-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default New Brewer! 1st batch Fullers ESB

Hi all, I just brewed my first batch if beer Sunday. It's a clone of Fullers ESB. Everything went pretty smoothly and now it's sitting in the primary.

Fun stuff!

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:50 PM   #2
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I just brewed my first batch (in 10 years) a couple Sundays ago, and it was also an ESB (though not a Fuller's clone). My local homebrew supply store had an ESB recipe on hand that I followed with the exception of trading half of the light malt for amber (mainly because they didn't have enough of the light malt in stock... ) and I added one more ounce of East Kent Goldings hops to the secondary because the malt was still a bit too forward to me.

Good luck with your brew!

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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Thx MagicSmoker, I hope it comes good. Sounds like some interesting things your trying, hope yours comes out good too. I'd be interested to know how your substitutions effects the outcome.

Yesterday (day 2) it was bubbling like crazy, seems too have slow down quite a bit. Is that normal on day 3?

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:39 AM   #4
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Depends on the temp and yeast used, but slowing of airlock activity isn't uncommon. Don't rush to bottle though - even if it looks like fermentation is done, it most likely has slowed but not finished. Plus you want to give the yeast time to clean up at the end, so be patient

And to your first brew!

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:23 AM   #5
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Thx mcbaumanner, the yeast is wyeast 1968 London ESB ale and the temp range is 64-72 degrees. But since I'm a cheapo I keep my heat at 62 degrees. So what I did was take a heating pad and wrap my primary with it on low. The second day it was really bubbling and I noticed some condensation in the airlock so I turned it off. It's now about 16 seconds between bubbles and maybe that's fine... It's my first brew so I'm not sure.

The recipe calls to put it in the secondary in 1 week, do u think a day or two longer would be better to make sure all the yeast is used?

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:30 AM   #6
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Personally I wouldn't go through the trouble of moving it to a secondary (you risk oxidizing/contaminating the beer when you move it over.) I would leave it in the primary for 2 weeks and then start taking hydrometer readings every two days to ensure that the gravity doesn't change. Then I would go right to bottle. On that, give it at least 3 weeks after you bottle before trying it to ensure it is carbed up well enough. Patience is the hardest part on that first batch!

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelican521 View Post
Thx mcbaumanner, the yeast is wyeast 1968 London ESB ale and the temp range is 64-72 degrees. But since I'm a cheapo I keep my heat at 62 degrees...
I'm using the same yeast but I pitched at a little warmer temp (65F) and kept the temp between 64 and 66F for the first 3 days. It took about 13 hours for fermentation to start and the airlock was bubbling merrily another 12 hours after that. From what I've gathered here so far, it seems to be better to ferment at too cool of a temperature rather than too hot, but this is just an impression I've gotten, not an absolute thing (another impression I've gotten, and more strongly, is that there are no absolutes in beer... errr... besides that one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelican521 View Post
The recipe calls to put it in the secondary in 1 week, do u think a day or two longer would be better to make sure all the yeast is used?
Another couple of things I've gathered here are that it doesn't hurt - and and often helps - to leave your beer in the fermenter well after fermentation seems to have stopped (ie - longer than 1 week) and that you shouldn't bother with transferring the beer (called "racking") to a secondary fermenter unless you plan on dry-hopping or lagering it, and/or for the best reason of all: you want to start another batch of beer!

Indeed, I intended to bottle my ESB after 7-10 days in the primary but I ended up racking it to a secondary fermenter because, as I mentioned above, the malt and hops weren't balanced as they should be in an ESB so I dry-hopped it. This freed up up my primary fermenter for making a clone of Bell's Two-Hearted Ale (which smells exactly right, but has a reddish tint, rather than a golden one, which I am given to understand comes from boiling the malt extract for too long).

Anyway, I'd like to see your Fuller's ESB clone recipe. Here's mine, with the mistakes I made included:

3lb. Briess Sparkling Amber Dry Malt Extract (DME)
3.3lb. Briess Golden Light Liquid Malt Extract (LME)
12oz. Caramel 20L
8oz. Munton's Crystal 77L

The last two specialty grains were supposed to be steeped (in a muslin "sock") at 155F for 30 minutes, but I made the mistake of trying to maintain that temperature for the entire time by turning down the burner on the turkey fryer, but even with the burner just barely going it brought the temperature up to 170F. It took several long nail-biting minutes for it to cool back down to 155F! Oh well, I cracked open a Widmer Bros. Falconer's IPA and stopped worrying.

After steeping I added the malt extract along with another 1gal. of water to bring the volume in the kettle up to maybe 3-3.5gal total then I kicked the burner back on full blast to bring everything to a boil in less than 10 minute. Deciding to use a turkey fryer speeds the boiling process up considerably - it used to take 2 hours to bring 3gals. of water to a boil on my stove!

During the first few minutes of boiling, until the "hot break" occurs, the wort has a tendency to foam up a lot and boil-over. Whenever it threatened to do so I knocked it back down by spraying it with water from a spray bottle (an ingenious tip I picked up from here, btw).

I used the following hop schedule, except with the mistake that I added the bittering hops as soon as the wort started boiling, rather than waiting for the hot break first:

2oz. Fuggle (bittering, for the full 60 minutes)
1oz. Fuggle (aroma, for the last 5 minutes)
1oz. E.K. Goldings (same as above)

After boiling for 1 hour I chilled the wort down to pitching temp (65-70F was my target) by first adding bottled spring water (to bring the total volume up to 5 gals) then placing the aluminum brew kettle ("BK") into a tub of cold water. I had to replace the tub water couple of times to keep bringing the temperature down, and I needed to add about 5lbs of ice to get down those last few degrees, but all in all this decidedly low-tech way of cooling only took about 15-20 minutes. Using an aluminum BK really helps in this respect.

Once the wort was at pitching temp (65-70F) I aerated it for 5 minutes with filtered, compressed air through an aeration stone, then I added 1 smack pack of Wyeast 1968. I made the mistake of only letting the yeast sit out for about 2 hours after smacking it, rather than the recommended minimum time of 3 hours, but fermentation started around 12 hours later so that obviously wasn't a critical error. I should also note that I forgot to take a gravity reading before pitching the yeast, but did so the next morning when fermentation was just getting started (the actual gravity was 1.050 and the predicted value was 1.052, so I chalk that up as a win). It was rather chilly here in Florida when I started this batch, so it was easy to keep the temperature of the primary fermenter at 64-66F, but by the time I racked to the secondary for dry hopping the temp had warmed back up into the mid 70s... More nail-biting ensued. The gravity had dropped to 1.016 after just 3 days (!) then 1.014 on day 4, 1.012 on day 5 and 1.012 on day 7, so I racked to secondary with 1oz. of E.K. Goldings for dry-hopping.

After 1 week in the secondary (at 70-72F), I added 4oz. of corn sugar to prime for bottling, trying for a little less carbonation as is appropriate for an English bitter. Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account the volume loss from all those gravity samples (I have since purchased a refractometer to read gravity, which only needs a drop or two to work!) and I ended up with 42 12oz bottles, or just under 4 gals. So, I primed more or less at exactly the same rate as the generic recommendation of 1oz per gal.

Hmmm... this post is a bit long now that I've previewed it and I don't mean to hijack your thread... Oh well, RDWHAHB, right?
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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Hey MagicSmoker, here's the Fuller's ESB recipe I followed:
10oz 55L British Crystal Malt, 2 oz Amber Malt, 2 oz Aromatic Malt. Supplied in one ziplock, I steeped 20 min in 150 degree water.

Once I brought the volume up to 1.5 gallons I brought to a boil, took off burner and added 6.25 Munton's light DME, 4 oz Corn sugar and 7.5 HBU Target (bittering hop)

boiled 45 min then added 1/2 oz Challenger and 1 tsp Irish Moss boiled 5 min and added 1/2 oz Northdown, boiled for 9 min and added 1 oz E. Kent Goldings boiled for 1 more minute (total of 60 minutes) and dropped it in the ice bath.

After 15 minutes I strained the wort into the primary. It took forever to strain the wort with all that crap in it so by the time it was done and I added spring water the temp was down to just above 60 degrees, that's when I pitched the yeast.

After 7 days I'm supposed to rack it into the secondary and add my dry hop which is 1/4 oz Kent Goldings and keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

For bottling I am to boil 1.25 cups Munton's extra light DME boiled in 2 cups water for 10 minutes.

I brewed on Sunday and it took 4 hours (first time brewer
Everything went pretty smoothly except when I was to bring the wort to a boil after adding my DME. I tried to boil it on my electric stove and it took forever to get to a boil and when it did it wasn't even a hard boil. I guess the good thing is my yeast had plenty of time to activate... For my next batch I'm going to use my turkey fryer, something I've learned on this forum.

So it's been 4 days and the airlock's bubbling has slowed to a crawl. I'm wondering if I should to my primary on Sunday (day 7) or wait a day or two...

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:07 AM   #9
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wy1968 does not need a secondary. After 4 days its probably at terminal gravity but it leave it in the primary and if possible raise the temp up to 70 for a few days to ensure the yeast clean it up the diacetyl. If you don't know what diacetyl tastes like, just leave it in the primary for at least 10-14 days total then package. Its a great yeast! If you want to do more reading on british yeasts, here is a great thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/british-yeasts-fermentation-temps-profiles-cybi-other-thoughts-221817/ be advised, this stuff is for NERDS - if you are just starting out, don't worry about the crazy detailed temp schedules discussed, all of the british yeasts are pretty easy to use.

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelican521 View Post
So it's been 4 days and the airlock's bubbling has slowed to a crawl. I'm wondering if I should to my primary on Sunday (day 7) or wait a day or two...
Personally, I'd give it two full weeks in primary if you're not going to rack it to a secondary. Yeasty beasties gotta clean up after themselves.

Y'all are making me think about doing an ESB real soon. I grabbed a pint of Wells Bombardier ESB at the store a couple of weeks ago and it was tasty.
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