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Old 04-10-2011, 05:02 AM   #1
Feb 2011
Detroit, MI
Posts: 180

I just had a revelation to make a lemon hinted English Bitter for the summer. a nice 3-4ish abv beer for session drinking and fishing at a newly acquired cottage in Houghton Lake. not an over-the-top lemon flavor, like Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, but just a nice mellow lemony tingle to the ale. I don't want a general citrusy flavor as from using cascade hops (or similar) but a defined lemon hint.

any ideas on a recipe? I have made 1 brew so far and am looking to step up from extract to at least mini mash. I'm also thinking instead of using lemon zest in secondary (or however lemon flavor would normally be added)to use lemon balm, as I have a patch that grows in my backyard. but I'm not sure how the flavor comes through.

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Old 04-11-2011, 02:31 PM   #2
Oldsock's Avatar
Sep 2007
DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,237
Liked 256 Times on 169 Posts

A simple bitter recipe would just be ~4 lbs of English Pale DME and 4-8 oz of medium-dark crystal malt. If you want to mini-mash you can swap out some of the DME for Maris Otter, just measure the gravity and add enough extract to get the OG to ~1.040.

I really like WY1968, because it is really quick fermenting and flocculating and leaves a nice clean malty character. East Kent Goldings are the gold standard, but I’m a fan of Styrian Goldings (even Willamettes and a few other English-y American varieties can work well).

I would make a tea out of the lemon balm and add it to taste at bottling. That way you can dial in the flavor/balance you want.

Good luck.
Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

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Old 04-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
Apr 2010
State College
Posts: 94

Possibly try adding some Sorachi Ace, if you can find them, for a lemony character.

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