I took two of my favorite beers, Fuller's London Pride and Fuller's ESB, as inspiration for this one, which is right on the cusp between a strong bitter and an ESB. It's malty with caramel and toffee notes, a hint of cocoa, and earthy in the finish due to the Challenger and EKG hop additions. Really, really tasty and one of my favorites so far. Hope you enjoy.
9.50 lbs. Maris Otter
0.50 lbs. Crystal 40L
0.50 lbs. Crystal 60L
0.25 lbs. Pale Chocolate
0.75 oz. Target [11.0%] (60 min)
0.50 oz. Challenger [7.5%] (20 min)
1.00 Whirlfloc (15 min)
0.50 oz. East Kent Goldings [5.5%] (1 min)
Mash at 154F for 60 min. Sparge at 168F to desired preboil volume.
I try to get the wort down to 70F or so and ferment this one at 66F for the first few days. Wyeast 1968 is my preferred choice, but WLP002 is also a great option. Both are super-flocculent and give off a nice mixture of earthy and estery flavors.
If you don't have Target or Challenger available, EKG can do the work for bittering, flavor, and
aroma. (Same goes for Challenger all the way through.) I like the specified combination in this recipe, but getting the same amount of IBUs with an all-EKG or all-Challenger hop schedule will also make a fine beer.
With respect to my choice of equal parts Crystal 40L and 60L, the idea is to give a complexity to the caramel flavors in the beer. You could do 1 lb. of either in a pinch, though, and have it come out great. (From what I've read, London Pride is pretty much just pale malt and Crystal 60L.) The Pale Chocolate is meant to provide a slight extra twist and also intensify the color just a tad.