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Strong Bitter Captain Hooked on Bitters (Red Hook Clone & Award Winner)

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BierMuncher

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
British Ale - Wyeast Labs #1098
Yeast Starter
Absolutely
Batch Size (Gallons)
11
Original Gravity
1.052
Final Gravity
1.013
Boiling Time (Minutes)
75
IBU
25.8
Color
14.4
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
7 Days at 67 degrees
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
10 Days at 67 degrees
Additional Fermentation
Crash Cold Condition for 2 weeks if possible
I had my first bottle of Red Hook ESB a few weeks ago and am absolutely hooked (get it?...hooked?).

Fantastic beer and I only hope this attempt at a clone comes close. I modified a few things but stayed true to the gravity-to-hops ratio that I derived from the Red Hook website. Fantastic site. They are open with their approach and general ingredients list and share their hops bill.

Unlike my other recipes, I think I'll dial down the ABV% only slightly. Original ESB is 5.7% and this will be about 5.1%. I'll try to offset the lower grain bill by mashing at around 157 degrees to get that malty flavor back.

Batch Size: 11.00 gal
Boil Size: 13.12 gal
Estimated OG: 1.052 SG
Estimated Color: 14.4 SRM
RedHook_ESB_Color.jpg
Estimated IBU: 25.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 67.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:------------
Amount Item
15.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
5.00 lb Toasted Malt (27.0 SRM) (2-row toasted at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes)
2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Williamette [5.50%] (60 min) Hops 9.7 IBU
1.00 oz Tettnang [6.50%] (30 min) Hops 8.8 IBU
1.00 oz Williamette [4.60%] (20 min) Hops 4.9 IBU
1.00 oz Tettnang [6.50%] (5 min) Hops 2.3 IBU

2 Pkgs British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) Yeast-Ale (I'm pitching on a yeast cake from a prior brew)


Single infusion mash at 157 degrees. Boil for 75 minutes following the hops schedule. It may be necesary to reduce to a lower rolling boil to prevent excess boil off.
RedHook_ESB_Ratio.jpg
 

SW Brewer

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Have you had a chance to try this one out? Did you come close to the Redhook version? I just had my first Redhook ESB and really enjoyed it.

Greg
 
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BierMuncher

BierMuncher

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SW Brewer said:
Have you had a chance to try this one out? Did you come close to the Redhook version? I just had my first Redhook ESB and really enjoyed it.

Greg
Yes. It turned out very good. I detect a bit more hops aroma in the commercial version so I may be inclined to dry hop my next batch. Very drinkable and the color is spot on.

My only downside is that I think I racked to the keg too soon and my first keg (I did 10-gallons) was pretty cloudy all the way through. My second keg, I primed with corn sugar so before I put it into the chest freezer to chill, I popped the lid off and added a ½ cup of water with dissolved gelatin. That did the trick. After about 2-3 pints, it’s running very clear. I think I will bottle off a 12 pack and save for a beer swap in the future.

Would I brew again? Yes…again, with a slight tweak on the hops.
 

Robar

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BierMuncher

I am mashing as I type, I plan on using safale us-04 as the yeast for this instead of wyeast 1098. Do you think this will show any noticeable differences in flavor? Not to say that every chart you find on the web is credible, but the one I found stated this was a reasonable alternitive.
 
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BierMuncher

BierMuncher

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Robar said:
BierMuncher

I am mashing as I type, I plan on using safale us-04 as the yeast for this instead of wyeast 1098. Do you think this will show any noticeable differences in flavor? Not to say that every chart you find on the web is credible, but the one I found stated this was a reasonable alternitive.
I thinks that's a good yeast for this style. I like the 04 because...especially for an English ale...helps the beer retain a light more malty profile.

I think it will turn out great.
 

thePudwhack

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This is perfect. Just the recipe I was looking for.

I wasn't so hot on Red Hook's ESB at first, but then I realized it was rediculously good with Key Lime pie :rockin:. Also, the other Pale Ale I was drinking suddenly started to taste like water :(.

Thanks for the recipe.
 
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BierMuncher

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This beer took first place among English Pale Ales at the 2008 HHHC competition in St. Louis. 365 total entries. What I understand is there were quite a few entries in the English Pale Ale category.

Nice to get a little affirmation. :rockin:
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Congrats on the comp affirmation!! :D

I may well try this for my next brew. I'm all into bitter, and I now feel ready to step up the grain bill after my first low grain (cheap in case I screwed up) AG tastes excellent after I stopped drinking it green!:p

My missus recently bought me some Red Hook winter ale. It turned out she liked it too, it appears she likes malty, so I will go without the dry hopping. I'm hoping this will be a compromise between my tastes and hers....

So, on your award winning brew you mashed at 157? Also, regarding the malt thing for my missus, would MO in place of Pale ale malt push it to a little more malty for her? I know that if I wanted to change things too much I could just try a different recipe, but I'm keen to try your hop schedule. I want to see what happens when I get away from EKG and Fuggles for my bitters. :eek:
 
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BierMuncher

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...Also, regarding the malt thing for my missus, would MO in place of Pale ale malt push it to a little more malty for her? I know that if I wanted to change things too much I could just try a different recipe, but I'm keen to try your hop schedule. I want to see what happens when I get away from EKG and Fuggles for my bitters. :eek:
I use MO exclusively now. Definitely lends some malt complexity.

I also play around with subbing out some of the toasted malt for some bisuit. Depends on the time of year. When it's cold...I like a breadier Special. :ban:
 

Donner

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I use MO exclusively now. Definitely lends some malt complexity.

I also play around with subbing out some of the toasted malt for some bisuit. Depends on the time of year. When it's cold...I like a breadier Special. :ban:
Does this mean you've changed the recipe or just that you are subbing MO exclusively.

I'm just curious if you've updated this recipe since you first made it
 
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BierMuncher

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Does this mean you've changed the recipe or just that you are subbing MO exclusively.

I'm just curious if you've updated this recipe since you first made it
Aside from using MO as the base, it's pretty much the standard recipe for my bitters. I always do a bit of tweaking though.
 

BWRIGHT

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I had the LHBS crush my grain already. Planning on brewing this up tonight. Is there anything I can do, at this point, to get that quality back in there? Without having the toasted malt.
 
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BierMuncher

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I had the LHBS crush my grain already. Planning on brewing this up tonight. Is there anything I can do, at this point, to get that quality back in there? Without having the toasted malt.
Don't sweat it. It'll turn out just fine.

Keep your mash up around 157-159 and you'll have plenty of malty character. :mug:
 

fastricky

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I'd like to try this out... I'll be halving the ingredients as I'll be brewing a 5 gallon batch.

So, any changes to recommend to the original recipe posted here? If I dry-hopped, would that change the hops added to the boil, or would it be in addition to...

Also, going with the Biscuit malt would mean swapping what?

Thanks!!
 
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BierMuncher

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I'd like to try this out... I'll be halving the ingredients as I'll be brewing a 5 gallon batch.

So, any changes to recommend to the original recipe posted here? If I dry-hopped, would that change the hops added to the boil, or would it be in addition to...

Also, going with the Biscuit malt would mean swapping what?

Thanks!!
If adding biscuit malt you would change out the 5# of toasted for 1# of biscuit and add 4# of the base malt.

If you dry hop, leave the boil hops alone. Though dry hopping a Bitters isn't in the classic style. Dry hopping is more an American routine for bring forth the "C" hop aroma. Remember that a good bitters is decidedly centered around a firm bitterness and not a lot of hop aroma.
 

dontman

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Two things reading this thread. I was wondering about the MO as malt for my Premium Bitter recipe. I think I will sub in MO next time to see what I think. I was worried that mine would not be "british'y" enough without it.

And two. You are exactly right on your discussion of the dry hop addition. I was a little surprised when you said were thinking about doing this. It just doesn't seem to fit in the style. Since winning the ribbon are you still thinking you want to try that?
 
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BierMuncher

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...I was a little surprised when you said were thinking about doing this. It just doesn't seem to fit in the style. Since winning the ribbon are you still thinking you want to try that?
I don't think it was me talking about adding dry hops. Course...I coulda been a bit druck. :drunk:
 

pmoe

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BierMuncher - suggestions for a 5 gallon extract version of this? I have access to pale and pilsen LME in bulk, and I have some Wyeast 1098 leftover from a Bass clone. Thanks.
 

pmoe

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Trying to answer my own question. What about:

5 lbs pale LME

2.5 lbs toasted malt
1 lb crystal 60L
0.5 lbs carapils

.50 oz Williamette [5.50%] (60 min)
.50 oz Tettnang [6.50%] (30 min)
.50 oz Williamette [4.60%] (20 min)
.50 oz Tettnang [6.50%] (5 min)

Not sure how to go about steeping the specialty grains. Maybe 1.5 gallons for 30 mins @ 155?
 
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BierMuncher

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Trying to answer my own question. What about:

5 lbs pale LME

2.5 lbs toasted malt
1 lb crystal 60L
0.5 lbs carapils

.50 oz Williamette [5.50%] (60 min)
.50 oz Tettnang [6.50%] (30 min)
.50 oz Williamette [4.60%] (20 min)
.50 oz Tettnang [6.50%] (5 min)

Not sure how to go about steeping the specialty grains. Maybe 1.5 gallons for 30 mins @ 155?
Soak those grains at 155 for 60 minutes and you're basically doing a partial mash brew. The recipe looks good though.
 

iXanadu

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I'm on day 6 on my primary ferment. Because S-04 has such a fast ferment reputation I thought I would do a peek at the SG. I'm at 1.020 against a target of 1.014. So I guess its the standard 3-4 week brew I generally do. My big concern is the "fruity" forward taste - reminded me of apricot. Will this go away? See my grain bill and ferment temp chart below. I really hate the possibility I spoiled this beer - every biermuncher beer I've brewed have been big successes in this house.

On day 2 of the ferment (wasn't around for the first day) I had an ambient room temperature of 70º. The wort (based on glue-temp strips) was 76º. Assuming this got a quick start, I figure day 1 was similar in temps. Days 3+ room temp low 60's with wort temp 66-68º.

1023a ESB: Captain Hooked on Bitters
8-C Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
Author: BierMuncher: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f64/captain-hooked-bitters-red-hook-clone-award-winner-29740/
Date: 9/7/08

Size: 5.25 gal
Efficiency: 72%
Attenuation: 75%
Calories: 183.21 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.055 (1.048 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.010 - 1.016)
Color: 13.59 (6.0 - 18.0)
Alcohol: 5.41% (4.6% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 29.7 (30.0 - 50.0)

Ingredients:
9.5 lb Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
0.5 lb Biscuit Malt (Mout Roost 50)
1.0 lb Crystal Malt 60°L
0.5 lb Cara-Pils® Malt
0.75 oz Fuggle (4.8%) - added during boil, boiled 60.0 min
0.5 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
0.5 oz Fuggle (4.8%) - added during boil, boiled 20 min
0.5 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
1.0 ea Fermentis S-04 Safale S-04
1.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min

Schedule:
Ambient Air: 70.0 °F
Source Water: 68 °F
Elevation: 0.0 m

00:03:00 Mash-in - Liquor: 3.5 gal; Strike: 170.73 °F; Target: 157.0 °F
01:03:00 Rest - Rest: 60 min; Final: 157.0 °F
02:03:00 Fly Sparge - Sparge Volume: 5.5 gal; Sparge Temperature: 177.0 °F; Runoff: 7.35 gal

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.3
 

Bowtiebrewery

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iXanadu:

I think you may have let ferm go a little wild on that one... I doubt you spoiled it though... I have always thought that Red Hook's ESB was a bit cleaner tasting than most that I've had... so I believe I will ferment this one low in the low 60's...

I am brewing this weekend and have selected this fine recipe, with one exception... I plan on putting in some rice hulls to fend off stuck mashes... I seem to have that problem lately...
Jason
 

Bowtiebrewery

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Made mine on saturday fermenting happily in my chest freezer right now... I split the batch and instead of doing a 11 g I only did a 9g batch... I forgot to toast 3 lbs of 2 row so I adjusted my total mash grains accordingly and what not...

I split the yeasts between S-04 and Nottingham to see which version I like more with what yeast... If this beer turns out how I imagine it to turn out I will brew a Fullers Clone next time...

I am pretty fond of a good ESB
 

zonabb

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Need a little hops help on this. If I buy Tettnang and Willamette and the AA is lower that what is shown in this recipe, is is better to add more (weight) or boil longer to get the IBUs right?
 
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BierMuncher

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Need a little hops help on this. If I buy Tettnang and Willamette and the AA is lower that what is shown in this recipe, is is better to add more (weight) or boil longer to get the IBUs right?
Add more. Better science that way. Plus, this beer likes a bit of the hops invasion...being a "bitters" and all. :D
 

St. Jon's Wort

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Can I split the grain and hop bill to do a 5.5 gallon batch? Also, do you recommend a switch out of MO for the PA and 1 lb of biscuit for the toasted malt? The redhook website says that they use a "premium western two-row barley malt" so I'm assuming that they use a good American 2-row Pale Ale malt.

Also, does the dry-hopping add the missing hop flavor/aroma from your first batch or was it unneccessary? What did you dry hop with and how much?
 

quinnae

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I would also like to use Marris Otter in this brew. I read somewhere that if you substitute MO for 2-row you can use less. How much less should I Use?

If that is not correct I was thinking of using 15lb of MO and 5 LB 2-row toasted. Would that Work?
 
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BierMuncher

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I would also like to use Marris Otter in this brew. I read somewhere that if you substitute MO for 2-row you can use less. How much less should I Use?

If that is not correct I was thinking of using 15lb of MO and 5 LB 2-row toasted. Would that Work?
Use the same amount regardless of which base malt you choose.

15 and 5 sounds just fine. :mug:
 

Jknapp

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Guys/Gals -
Question on this one.. Tomorrow I'm at 3 weeks in the fermenter. I took a Hydro sample today.. Its at 1.022 - high considering the recipe, but ZERO activity in the 2ndary currently. That's about 62% attenuation.

It tastes great, but I'm concerned about this FG. I aimed for 157 for the mash, but may have been a degree higher, but I don't think it was much more than that.

I didn't use a starter and I used Wyeast 1098 - attenuation supposed to be in the 70ish range. The Activator pack was very sluggish to swell and the primary fermentation seemed slow to start.

Have any advice? Call it good and bottle, or try to get it to finish out more? Once I put it in the 2ndary, I moved it to a 69-70 degree area in my house, so its in warm area if that could influence things.

Kinda not sure what to do with this one. Thanks for the help.
 

quinnae

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BierMuncher,

I read post number 3 where you said you would condition this beer differently. I do not typically transfer to a secondary. Do you think this beer would be clear if I primary this beer for 2 weeks, transfer to kegs and let age for 2 weeks then chill and let it sit in the keezer for 2 weeks before taping?

I am looking for clarification on your fermentation process. For this beer did you ferment in the primary for 7 days then rack to a secondary for 10 days then cold crash in the secondary before you keged it?
 
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BierMuncher

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BierMuncher,

I read post number 3 where you said you would condition this beer differently. I do not typically transfer to a secondary. Do you think this beer would be clear if I primary this beer for 2 weeks, transfer to kegs and let age for 2 weeks then chill and let it sit in the keezer for 2 weeks before taping?

I am looking for clarification on your fermentation process. For this beer did you ferment in the primary for 7 days then rack to a secondary for 10 days then cold crash in the secondary before you keged it?
I don't cold crash in the secondary. Too much work lugging that carboy in and out of a chest freezer. I always rack to a keg and then cold crash. Your scenario in your first paragraph will work just fine. :mug:
 

justflow1983

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Made mine on saturday fermenting happily in my chest freezer right now... I split the batch and instead of doing a 11 g I only did a 9g batch... I forgot to toast 3 lbs of 2 row so I adjusted my total mash grains accordingly and what not...

I split the yeasts between S-04 and Nottingham to see which version I like more with what yeast... If this beer turns out how I imagine it to turn out I will brew a Fullers Clone next time...

I am pretty fond of a good ESB
Any news on which yeast you preferred?
 

Jknapp

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FYI, all you folks who are thinking of brewing this, this beer is my favorite beer I have brewed thus far.

My goal in homebrewing was to brew a beer that rivals commercially crafted microbrews, and I can say now that I have satisfied that acheivement with this one.

This is ONE DELICIOUS BEER! Great recipe! Thank you BM!
 
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