Oak Aged Pensioner
This is a real nice, easy drinking ESB. I wanted more than the 'traditional' bitter, as I live in England and there is ample amounts of that around without needing to brew it. This beer is nice and fruity from the special-b which blends nicely with the oak. Had some efficiency problems recently from doing mashes too thin (darn spread sheet!), which is probably why the OG is low from the grain bill and fg is 1.007!
5.4lb Maris Otter 75%
0.8lb Munich 11.1%
0.3lb Biscuit 4.2%
0.3lb Special-B 4.2%
0.4lb Wheat malt 5.6%
0.2oz Chinook 12.9% 60min
0.7oz Goldings 5.4% 60min
0.3oz Chinook 12.9% 2min
0.3oz Goldings 5.4% 2min
Mash 150F for 60min
1oz medium french oak chips for 2 weeks in secondary to add a little flavour but primarily it brings the flavours together and smooths the beer.
I also used some whirlfloc/protafloc and 'kwik clear' 2 stage finings, maybe not so necessary if doing a longer primary but I was a little rushed for time.
I bottled this to 2.0vol and it's come out really well, not fizzy at all but it builds a head and if you disturb it a little you can see the residual CO2 in there, the way a cask conditioned beer appears. Maybe upping the wheat to 8-10% might even make the head last longer, or having a higher FG from a more accurate mash.
Not sure about the chinook but otherwise it looks great. I have been wanting to do beer like this on oak. This might just be the push I needed.
The chinook is in there as I originally started with a pale ale that I wanted to use British and American hops in, they blend well I think! Then instead of crystal I went for the special b to give it more of a twist so although it keeps a lot of the esb profile it has that little something extra without being overwhelming.
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