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-   -   Special Bitter (1st place HBT Comp) (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f64/special-bitter-1st-place-hbt-comp-141251/)

Boar Beer 10-12-2009 05:57 PM

Special Bitter (1st place HBT Comp)
Amount Item Type % or IBU
17.50 lb Pale Malt (Maris Otter) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 94.59 %
1.00 lb Crystal 20L (20 SRM) Grain 5.41 %

3.75 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (60 min) Hops 29.4 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (30 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (1 min) Hops 0.2 IBU

Add 1.0 oz of Burton water salts to the HLT (water used for both mashing in and for fly sparging). Mash at 154 for 60 minutes. Add Whirlfloc in the last 15 minutes of the boil. Cool and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 degrees for 2-3 weeks then bottle or keg.

This beer came in right on the cusp between a Special Bitter and an ESB. I decided to enter it as a Special Bitter in the 2009 HBT BJCP competition. This beer tied for 1st in the Bitters category.

kaiser423 10-12-2009 06:06 PM

Nice, simple, elegant recipe. Definitely going on my "to brew" list.

lincoln 06-04-2010 11:27 PM

this looks good, giving a try this weekend, adjusted for 5 gal batch

Boar Beer 06-07-2010 12:04 PM

Good luck
let us know how it comes out and if you change anything

lincoln 07-02-2010 06:21 PM

ok so brewed on 6/5 used wpl002 for yeast. Fermented around 64 ~ 66. The hydro samples tasted great. I kegged on 6/27 and i think i buggered it. Now it has a slight skunk flavor. :( Its not undrinkable but definitely something when wrong. Oh well, let it sit for a while and see if it gets better.

Boar Beer 07-02-2010 07:05 PM

Thats too bad not have a great beer. Did you clean your keg real well? It sounds like you may have got a bug during fermentation. let us know how it ends up after you give it some more time.

lincoln 07-02-2010 07:16 PM

I had a stout in it previously that had been dry hoped (was a kit that was missing the flame out hops was missing) so i took every thing apart to clean with hot water then star san. hmmmm... we will see...

Stickey 07-13-2010 02:35 PM

I would like to try this recipe for my first all grain. Where do you get your ingredients? I am from NH too, down on the seacoast. I have been ordering from Mt. Washington Home brew supply. I am a rookie, with only a few extract and partial mashes (kits) under my belt. How would I convert the recipe to a 5 gallon batch? Any insight you are willing to offer is greatly appreciated.

Jumbo82 07-15-2010 12:40 AM


I posted this beer recipe using my dad's account. I get my grains from the Fermentation Station in Meredith, but I hear there are some good home brew stores in the southern part of the state (I order yeast and hops in bulk online). I think this is a good choice for a first all grain attempt given the simplicity of the recipe. For a 5 gallon batch I would just cut each ingredient in half and ignore the burton salt addition (you should know your water chemistry before you start messing with it). Another good thing about the recipe is that if your efficiency is low, you'll make a nice special bitter. If you have good efficiency you'll have an ESB. Either way, you'll have a great beer on your hands. Since you've done partial mashes already, you shouldn't have any trouble making the leap to all-grain. Just pay attention to hitting your mash temp, don't slack on your sanitation, and you're in for a tasty beer. Let us know how it turns out.

Stickey 07-15-2010 03:35 PM

Thanks Jumbo. I just ordered the supplies from northern brewer. They didn't appear to have the crystal 20l, so I substituted caramel 20l. If I can find the time I'll run up to Meredith to get the crystal, if not I'll roll with the caramel and let you know how it turns out. I'm still pretty green to home brewing, so I suspect the difference in characteristics wont faze me. I will be mashing in a home made water cooler style MLT, which I will preheat, but I will probably also take the strike temp up a degree or two. Time will tell, I guess.

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