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Old 03-13-2014, 09:40 PM   #1
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Location: Rovinka, Slovakia
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Default Rich English Ale

Hi guys

I'm a moderately experienced brewer with 1300+ liters brewed (some kits, then extract and partial mash). Done quite nice APAs, IPAs, stouts etc, but there's one area where I'm not too satisfied, and that's English styles. I mean, the bitters/IPAs are ok, but I'm looking for something more, and that's a really rich (malty?) taste. Something like I tasted in kits such as Brupaks Colne Valley Bitter (one of the very best kits I made), or several (modified) examples of Coopers IPA.
As far as the extract goes, I have access only to Czech light extract, I don't know how much different English extracts are. In addition to that there's usually about 30% of partial mash (as much as my equipment allows), and I tried several grain bills, all of them have English pale 2-row as a base, one or two crystal malts, then usually one of: (pale) chocolate, biscuit, aromatic, munich (the special malts around 10%). Fermented with WLP013 and S-04.
The beers are good, but always kind of thinner than what I want (Colne Valley!). I don't know what should I change, was thinking about reducing the hops (especially late). Also planning to try a english brown recipe, maybe that's more in the direction.
Any suggestions?

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Old 03-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
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I've always liked the aroma from Fawcett's Optic malt, but I've heard some good things about Pearl malt too. These are different varities of pale base malt from the UK so it might be as simple as playing around with different malts. The beers I've used them in have been pared with Wyeast 1469. I'm not sure if you are able to source any of these in Slovakia. I recently brewed an English mild that you might want to check out here: Shut up about Barclay Perkins.

Ron's blog is a treasure of English beer history and recipes. This particular beer just has a distint and strong malty smell everytime I pour it. The beer has a lot of sugar in it which did not seem to thin out an already small beer. I can't say what specifically it adds to the flavor and aroma. Your idea of reducing late hops might be a simple first start, however. And don't forget to take care of your fermentation. Keep it within a steady temperature and make sure your yeast are healthy. There may not be one malt to solve your problems but a variety of factors that play into it. Good luck!
Fermenters: Helles, Oktoberfest
Bottled: Old Peculier, Dopplebock, Belgian ale with homemade candi syrup (2 varieties), Berliner weisse
Kegs: Bitter
On Deck: Hefeweizen
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