Quantcast

English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

beersk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
471
Several English recipes I have call for 75-90 minute boils. That's going to make any malt darker.
Oh, it will not. Stop spreading lies.

I like Bitters, Brown Porters, ESB's, Oatmeal stouts...all kinds of British styles. I'm bored of American styles. I brew mostly German and British styles anymore.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
I think you'd get close to Brains Dark with something bittered to 16IBU, 6lb Mild malt, 10oz Crystal, 6oz Brown malt, 4oz Chocolate malt, 4oz Invert Sugar #3. I'll give it a go at the end of the summer and let you know. The cask version is around 3.5% abv and the bottled version 4.0% abv (and a tad hoppier).
here's an Old Tom recipe, I imagine it's a graham wheeler one

Robinsons Old Tom
Frederic Robinson & Co/Unicorn Brewery/Hartleys, Stockport, Cheshire, UK
OG: 1080
ABV: 8.5%
Grainbill: 83.6% Pale, 7% Crystal Malt, 2.4% Chocolate Malt, 7% caramel Syrup
Thanks a bunch for those recipes, guys! They are both going into my recipe book and will be in the cue for a go very soon. I do have a couple questions for you on these:

Both recipes call for crystal malt. Are you using a light, medium or dark crystal?

The Old Tom recipe looks like it takes (for a 5 gal batch) 7 kg. pale malt, 570 gr. each crystal and syrup, and 170 gr. chocolate. 35 gr. Northdown @ 75 min., 28 gr. EKG at 5 min. and then 28 gr. EKG dryhopped at 4 days. Does that look about right to you? That gets the OG in the 1.080 range but the ABV is at 6.7% which is well below the 8% someone mentioned, so have I missed something here? May I also assume this beer needs to age for quite a while before it is ready to be served? Any suggestions on this?
 

NateLTB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
472
Reaction score
81
Location
Seattle
Here's my easy-peasy ESB recipe that is a very drinkable beer.

5 gal

8# Maris Otter

.5 EKG (60)
.5 Fuggles (60)
.5 EKG (15)
.5 Fuggles (15)
.5 EKG (0)
.5 Fuggles (0)

Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley
 

Hanglow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
999
Reaction score
790
Location
Glasgow
Thanks a bunch for those recipes, guys! They are both going into my recipe book and will be in the cue for a go very soon. I do have a couple questions for you on these:

Both recipes call for crystal malt. Are you using a light, medium or dark crystal?

The Old Tom recipe looks like it takes (for a 5 gal batch) 7 kg. pale malt, 570 gr. each crystal and syrup, and 170 gr. chocolate. 35 gr. Northdown @ 75 min., 28 gr. EKG at 5 min. and then 28 gr. EKG dryhopped at 4 days. Does that look about right to you? That gets the OG in the 1.080 range but the ABV is at 6.7% which is well below the 8% someone mentioned, so have I missed something here? May I also assume this beer needs to age for quite a while before it is ready to be served? Any suggestions on this?
I'd use a medium or dark crystal for the old tom. it's been ages since i've had it so i don't know for sure

You need a yeast that will get 80% attenuation so it finishes about 1.015, that will give you 8.5%. Something like wlp007 would be good. I don't know if you can get robinsons yeast

The syrup will be inverted brewers syrup, which you can make at home
unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
I'd use a medium or dark crystal for the old tom. it's been ages since i've had it so i don't know for sure

You need a yeast that will get 80% attenuation so it finishes about 1.015, that will give you 8.5%. Something like wlp007 would be good. I don't know if you can get robinsons yeast

The syrup will be inverted brewers syrup, which you can make at home
unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert
Thanks for the info. I haven't worked with invert sugar before so I did some quick searching and found his website. Glad to hear you find it helpful too. And you are correct in assuming Robinson's yeast isn't readily available on this side. A google search turned up an equestrian yeast but I'm thinking I'll leave that one out of my beer. :)

WLP007 it will be and with a 2L starter. I'm thinking this should go to secondary after a couple weeks and let it age out for 3-6 months. What do you think?
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
I think you won't be disappointed by the Old Tom. I think the late ekg addition is more on the 15/20m mark than 5m. There's some good hop flavour but it's more leaning to the dark fruit flavours from the malt and sugar.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
I think you won't be disappointed by the Old Tom. I think the late ekg addition is more on the 15/20m mark than 5m. There's some good hop flavour but it's more leaning to the dark fruit flavours from the malt and sugar.
Got it. Thanks! Will put something up in this thread once I've poured a glass. Probably won't be 'til fall sometime. A good Old Ale sounds like a great cool weather chill beater. :)
 

Twinkeelfool

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
245
Reaction score
106
Location
Wollongong
Love uk ales. Specially home brewed ones pulled through an engine!. Most of what I brew is English, though the last 18 months it's been Belgians. Just brewed a mild ale. Mmmmm mild!!. I've heard some good things about mangrove jacks Newcastle dark yeast. I'd normally use a liquid but I've got 2 packs so I'll try it out in this one.

Fave mild recipe usually has some biscuit/weyerman abbey in it. About 7-10%. But I've done a mild with 1% each pale choc and black malt,no crystal,which turned out nice. And some basic ones with just 7-10% crystal and a little pale choc, again, nice. They're all seem to work well IMHO
 

alane1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
931
Reaction score
259
Location
South East Massachusetts
When I went to the Midlands, John Smith's Bitter was on draught. I know this is a generic bitter, but does anyone have a recipe for it?
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,304
Reaction score
5,821
Location
Arlington (DC)
I've got a Mild and an Ordinary Bitter in my recipe dropdown that I consider my "house" beers and brew at least once a year, and have been tweaking ever so slightly. I just got the most recent iteration of each in bottles about a week ago, so haven't tried em carbonated yet, but based on what was in the bottling bucket, I'm very satisfied with both.

That said, I love English beers, and everything about them. And 1469 is my "house" yeast for em. I use it in anything English styled, period. I usually pitch on the slightly-lower side (slightly less than what Mr. Malty recommends), and ferment 65-67 or so.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
Anyone have a suggestion about how to best use Burton Ale yeast?

I've got a vial of White Labs Burton Ale yeast that I picked up by mistake. Haven't used this strain before and quite frankly, I'm having trouble finding recipes that call for it. Lacking further input I'll probably just try it in my regular ordinary bitters recipe to see how it turns out. But if you have a better idea I'd like to hear it.

Thanks.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
I used a burton ale yeast once. Sulphury, somewhat dry and apply (fruity). It is a nice character but it's not the typical 'brownish ordinary bitter' sort of profile. Much better suited for a fairly pale British ale (100% pale malt, 4.5% abv, good dry hop character). You could have a go at making a historic Burton style strong ale with it. There are some good examples in the stock ale section in Ron Pattinson's Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer. Making this one up as to not spoil the book, but I think you'd get something nice with:

OG 1.071, FG 1.018, ABV 7.0%, 102 IBU

13lb Maris Otter or a mix of 2-rows
7oz invert sugar syrup

Boil:
90m - 4oz Fuggles
30m - 4oz Fuggles
Dry hop - 4oz EKG

Condition for 6 months upwards for the hop character to subside a bit, and if you want to go all funky with it, add some brett claussennii when it's conditioning.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
Making this one up as to not spoil the book, but I think you'd get something nice with:

Condition for 6 months upwards for the hop character to subside a bit,
Wow, that looks like a big beer. And lots of hops! I've got everything on hand to make it so I might just give it a go. Any suggestions on best water profile? Try for Burton or close?

And I appreciate the insight about the yeast character. Definitely will keep this one away from my bitters recipes. Thanks for the comments.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
Just regular Burton water. Those recipes are quite flexible and from the 1890s onwards can include a few oz of inverts #2 & #3 or crystal malt for colour. Some invert #2 would probably work well with the yeast. Don't get me wrong, it's good yeast for a British bitter but definitively more for something like St Austell's Tribute - pale, light, hoppy, than a Brains Bitter - light, caramelly, amber.
 

Tamarlane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
272
Reaction score
176
Location
Tampa
Farmhouse brewing supply is another good source for British hops like bramling cross. You can buy 4oz increments of most varieties
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
Just regular Burton water. Those recipes are quite flexible and from the 1890s onwards can include a few oz of inverts #2 & #3 or crystal malt for colour. Some invert #2 would probably work well with the yeast. Don't get me wrong, it's good yeast for a British bitter but definitively more for something like St Austell's Tribute - pale, light, hoppy, than a Brains Bitter - light, caramelly, amber.
I just found a recipe for a Bass Pale Ale clone that calls for Burton's yeast. Bass pale is a good beer and would be enjoyed by a number of people around here so that will probably be the direction I go with this yeast (at least for now). Thanks for the suggestions.
 

Tamarlane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
272
Reaction score
176
Location
Tampa
I usually use MO for my English ales but brewed my latest with golden promise. Slightly milder flavor - maybe less biscuity but I threw in some aromatic to compensate. It's another very good option if your lhbs runs out of MO or you want to change things up


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
Just picked up a 50# sack of Crisp MO so I'm ready to go for a while. That Bass recipe looks pretty good. And thanks for the link. Very interesting (and saddening) to see such further and vivid evidence of how often big corporations can be so clueless about the products they are selling.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
I found a couple recipes for Bass & Co. ale that look good. However, I can't find Bass locally so I have no way to tell which is going to be closer to the "real deal". I also understand there is a difference between the draught and bottled offerings of this famous beer. Maybe someone here can look at the two recipes and provide their thoughts:

Recipe #1

Ingredients:
7.0 lbs. (3.2 kg) 2-row pale ale malt
2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) flaked maize
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
0.75 oz. (21 g) roasted barley (300 °L)
8.0 AAU Northern Brewer hops (60 mins) (0.89 oz./25 g of 9% alpha acids)
2.0 AAU Northern Brewer hops (15 mins) (0.22 oz./6.3 g of 9% alpha acids)
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 mins)
1/8 tsp. yeast nutrients (15 mins)
White Labs WLP023 (Burton Ale) yeast (1.25 qt./~1.25 L yeast starter)


Recipe #2

Ingredients:
9.0 lbs. Maris Otter
1.0 lbs. Crystal 80L (British med crystal)
0.5 lb. Carapils
2.0 oz. Chocolate
1 tsp. Irish Moss (15 min)
1.0 oz. EK Goldings (60 min)
1.0 oz. Fuggles (2 min)
White Labs WLP023 (Burton Ale) yeast (1.25 qt./~1.25 L yeast starter)

BTW, I did make recipe #2 a year ago, bottled, and enjoyed it. But again, have no idea how close it was to the original. And since I am kegging now, am certain that will add another dimension to how the finished beer will turn out.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
I don't think either one sounds close! I'd expect pale malt, some crystal and brewer's caramel for colour. They might use Northern Brewer as a bittering hop nowadays but it's a fairly modern hop. Finishing hops are definitively in the EKG/fuggles ballpark. Also, in cask this beer is dry hopped. I'd expect 1/2oz EKG there. I think it is about 30 IBU or so. Also, remember that Bass as a brand is really old, but the recipe has changed considerably. In the 1830s this would have been more like pale malt and EKG with a big dry hop.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
It sounds like #2 is a better starting point but still aways from the mark. I was a little dubious about the Northern Brewer in a traditional British beer, but the poster had some street cred and the recipe would undoubtedly make a nice drinking beer. And your point that the recipe has probably changed over time is a good one. It makes the finished product a rather moving target, eh?

So say we begin with recipe #2 using the more traditional English hops, where would you go with it from there?
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
You should research Worthington's White Shield. It's much more popular than Bass and the recipe has not suffered as much over time. I'm sure you find info on British Forums (plus it should use similar yeast).
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
You should research Worthington's White Shield. It's much more popular than Bass and the recipe has not suffered as much over time. I'm sure you find info on British Forums (plus it should use similar yeast).
I hadn't heard of Worthington's until you mentioned it. Spent a little while on line looking for recipes and most came up with an IPA. In my search for a good Bass & Co. ale I thought I was looking for a more traditional English ale recipe rather than an export...a beer one might expect to find on tap in an English or Welsch pub. Did I miss the mark somewhere on this?
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
White Shield's been around for donkeys years, and yes, it's an IPA. Bass is just very rare, in some blogs you see comments whether it's just for the export market. Try Pedigree or Adnams Southwold Bitter for popular low gravity ales but I don't think they'd work with the yeast you've got, while White Shield'd be good.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
Yeah, it's in the supermarket. I should buy a couple of bottles.

To be fair, they must have relaunched Bass recently as I've seen it in bottles. Bass used to be the only ale of a crappy alternative music venue I used to go to. The whole place stank of piss as the toilets upstairs leaked and the average age was probably 17. I've only one other time seen a venue serving it and it was a village pub in the West Country.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
Yeah, it's in the supermarket. I should buy a couple of bottles.

To be fair, they must have relaunched Bass recently as I've seen it in bottles. Bass used to be the only ale of a crappy alternative music venue I used to go to. The whole place stank of piss as the toilets upstairs leaked and the average age was probably 17. I've only one other time seen a venue serving it and it was a village pub in the West Country.
Doesn't sound like it is all that highly regarded any more.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
Gosh, drinking the fourth pint of Exe Valley's dark mild. You're not a good brewer till you crack a good dark mild. Plus I've had free samples of six Celt brewery ales. All ok, cool and experimental, but so hop centric they don't stand to a beautifully crafted 3.9% dark mild. A good evening, though. Puddlethumper, you have to try mild.
 
OP
Puddlethumper

Puddlethumper

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
315
Location
San Joaquin Valley
Gosh, drinking the fourth pint of Exe Valley's dark mild. You're not a good brewer till you crack a good dark mild. Plus I've had free samples of six Celt brewery ales. All ok, cool and experimental, but so hop centric they don't stand to a beautifully crafted 3.9% dark mild. A good evening, though. Puddlethumper, you have to try mild.
That sounds great. Problem is they are about as scarce as chicken teeth over on this side of the pond. Can't say I've even seen a mild for sale in even the best bottle houses. I have seen a number of recipes for mild ales but really have no idea if what I end up with will taste like it should. Its kind of like a life-long blind man trying to understand what the color yellow looks like. :(

I guess I'll just have to start saving up for a plane ticket, eh?

:mug:
 
Top