English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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kmarkstevens

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Not really: I looked it up not too long ago out of curiosity. I think I was amazed that my approach to brewing is so much more casual than most.
Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew. :ban:

Some folks are homebrew engineers, bless their hearts. Other's take a page from ChuckP, and a more relaxed approach. I think part of it may stem from having a HBS or on line HBS where one can order exactly what you want. Now there is no issue to order 7.68# floor malted barley, .73# C120-150, .13oz carahell, 1.38 ounce 4.2% alpha acid ESG at 45 minutes, .63 oz First Gold @10 minutes, dry hop 2.14oz Fuggles on day for 4 for 17 hours, then keg.

Early in my brewing career in Tokyo in the early 1990's:
  1. homebrewing was illegal
  2. the interwebs didn't exist
  3. The Joy of Homebrewing first edition(s) didn't even have an index
  4. malt extract in Japan had potato starch for thickening (and ChuckP barely mentioned somewhere that koji could convert some starches, and I was able to back that out)
  5. had to stock up supplies once or twice a year from trips to the US and a HBS
  6. hop plugs were innovative
  7. hops were not available
  8. mail orders with brewing stuff were confiscated by customs
So, one learned early on to substitute, honey could stretch the LME, 1/2 pack of yeast would work, could pitch on top of the previous batch, koji will convert potato starch, a pound more or less of malt will still result in good beer, without a hydrometer one could wait a week after the last bubble and avoid bottle bombs, ad nauseum.
 

cire

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English Ales are what I prefer, but as I'm English and live in England, that should be no surprise. While I don't have any one favorite recipe, my brews mostly consist of 70 to 90% pale malt with the rest mostly an unmalted adjunct (such as flaked maize, flaked or torrified barley and the like) plus invert sugar. To this maybe a touch of crystal, darker malt, flaked oats or similar to add a slight tweak.

Hops are mostly British or Continental noble varieties, added at the beginning of the boil and at later stages. No hops are added during fermentation, but occasionally a few cones will be added to the cask from which the beer will be dispensed with a beer engine.

Yeasts are usually proper top fermenting, left open in early stages to enable easy rousing and to avoid it rising too high and escaping the vessel. Top cropping as fermentation subsides, to provide yeast for the next brew.

While I have recipes supposed to be precise, replicating the best beers have always proved futile, although many of those attempts still produced very drinkable beers. One beer that was always a favorite of mine was Hartley's XB since first found in 1962, but despite much searching I was never able to find a recipe. It was a while since my last effort, but reading the latest of this thread got me to look again, and while not finding the actual recipe, did come across a blog posting of last year that contains a link to a 2 hour video of the last brew at Hartley's Brewery in 1991.

Regional breweries, like Hartley's, were one time abundant in Britain, but slowly and surely they were bought out by bigger organizations and closed, there characterful beers then replaced by bland, fizzy, ice-cold horrors that lead to the creation of CAMRA, and the revival of Real Ale.

Hope those with the time might enjoy the viewing, although quite unsuitable for LODO enthusiasts.
 
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I appreciate the proper English pronunciation .. The germinating barley is "killed" to make malt. Americans insist on pronouncing the "n". Whether brewers or potters, they always seem to want the n to have a say.
 

cire

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I appreciate the proper English pronunciation .. The germinating barley is "killed" to make malt. Americans insist on pronouncing the "n". Whether brewers or potters, they always seem to want the n to have a say.
Yes, so do we. He's a Lancastrian with a bit of a Lancashire accent, but I think he might have just stumbled on that occasion. As seen in several of the shots, he was a bit doddery when that was taken. A great brewer though and he was famous for his XB.
 

DuncB

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@cire
Maybe an email to the brewer at Robinsons brewery might get you and us some clues, from my brief googling about Hartleys XB

"Robinson's say the beer is brewed to the original recipe, formulated in 1949. I'm unable to judge because I never drank Hartley's beers when the brewery was independent."



Not currently one of their standard beers but info must be in their archive.

Trouble with these great beers is the yeast is critical, try making a Harveys sussex bitter without their yeast ( or the lab equivalent ) and it's not the same.
 

cire

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Hi DuncB, yes, an email might very well get the recipe and I'll think on that. From the video it would seem to be Simpson's malt, flaked maize and invert sugar, with no suggestion as to which hops. Even so, there may well be something it doesn't show.

I've had the beer a few times since the brewery closed, first in the Crown in Coniston in 1994, but none were like the original. I suppose it probable I now won't recall how the original tasted.

Indeed, the yeast will be crucial. As for Harvey's, I got their yeast from a cask, but it didn't perform well and the result was hard to judge. Also I got a yeast from Brewlabs, supposedly the strain sent to Harvey's from John Smith in 1956, Brewlab No 48. That went well, but the resulting beer was overpowered by that Harvey snatch, a sort of Belgian type influence. My afterthoughts were it is perhaps brewed at higher gravity and heavily liquored back (similar to in the Hartley video) reduce that effect.

There are so many different ways to brew any beer making it difficult even with the recipe.
 

Miraculix

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English Ales are what I prefer, but as I'm English and live in England, that should be no surprise. While I don't have any one favorite recipe, my brews mostly consist of 70 to 90% pale malt with the rest mostly an unmalted adjunct (such as flaked maize, flaked or torrified barley and the like) plus invert sugar. To this maybe a touch of crystal, darker malt, flaked oats or similar to add a slight tweak.

Hops are mostly British or Continental noble varieties, added at the beginning of the boil and at later stages. No hops are added during fermentation, but occasionally a few cones will be added to the cask from which the beer will be dispensed with a beer engine.

Yeasts are usually proper top fermenting, left open in early stages to enable easy rousing and to avoid it rising too high and escaping the vessel. Top cropping as fermentation subsides, to provide yeast for the next brew.

While I have recipes supposed to be precise, replicating the best beers have always proved futile, although many of those attempts still produced very drinkable beers. One beer that was always a favorite of mine was Hartley's XB since first found in 1962, but despite much searching I was never able to find a recipe. It was a while since my last effort, but reading the latest of this thread got me to look again, and while not finding the actual recipe, did come across a blog posting of last year that contains a link to a 2 hour video of the last brew at Hartley's Brewery in 1991.

Regional breweries, like Hartley's, were one time abundant in Britain, but slowly and surely they were bought out by bigger organizations and closed, there characterful beers then replaced by bland, fizzy, ice-cold horrors that lead to the creation of CAMRA, and the revival of Real Ale.

Hope those with the time might enjoy the viewing, although quite unsuitable for LODO enthusiasts.
Sounds as British as it could possibly be!

Sounds great!
 

Miraculix

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Hi DuncB, yes, an email might very well get the recipe and I'll think on that. From the video it would seem to be Simpson's malt, flaked maize and invert sugar, with no suggestion as to which hops. Even so, there may well be something it doesn't show.

I've had the beer a few times since the brewery closed, first in the Crown in Coniston in 1994, but none were like the original. I suppose it probable I now won't recall how the original tasted.

Indeed, the yeast will be crucial. As for Harvey's, I got their yeast from a cask, but it didn't perform well and the result was hard to judge. Also I got a yeast from Brewlabs, supposedly the strain sent to Harvey's from John Smith in 1956, Brewlab No 48. That went well, but the resulting beer was overpowered by that Harvey snatch, a sort of Belgian type influence. My afterthoughts were it is perhaps brewed at higher gravity and heavily liquored back (similar to in the Hartley video) reduce that effect.

There are so many different ways to brew any beer making it difficult even with the recipe.
If the Belgian influence is based on phenols, limitation of the precursors might do the trick. Corn and wheat both are rich in these precursors. Don't put them in the grist and you might not witness this influence in the next try.

Higher fermentation gravities actually increase ester production, is Germans are using this effect for some Hefeweizen. Ferment high og, water down afterwards, and have more esters compared to adding the water before fermentation.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Indeed, the yeast will be crucial. As for Harvey's, I got their yeast from a cask, but it didn't perform well and the result was hard to judge. Also I got a yeast from Brewlabs, supposedly the strain sent to Harvey's from John Smith in 1956, Brewlab No 48. That went well, but the resulting beer was overpowered by that Harvey snatch, a sort of Belgian type influence. My afterthoughts were it is perhaps brewed at higher gravity and heavily liquored back (similar to in the Hartley video) reduce that effect.
It's known that an isolate from Harvey's is a POF+ (phenolic) member of the saison family, so a cousin of WLP037 Yorkshire Square and WLP038 Manchester.

There's been experience of homebrew attempts at simulating squares which have seen WLP037 tone down its otherwise massive amounts of phenols, so I suspect that the way Harvey control the phenolics with their house yeast is through aeration. On this view the use of fishtails and squares is a technological response to the peculiarities of saison yeast.

Talking of high-gravity British beers, I have a weird craving to brew a Carling clone (Carlish? Carlike?) high-gravity. Not sure when I'd drink it though, although the way the long Covid is going I might as well drink cooking lager rather than something fancy.... :mad:
 

DuncB

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It's known that an isolate from Harvey's is a POF+ (phenolic) member of the saison family, so a cousin of WLP037 Yorkshire Square and WLP038 Manchester.

There's been experience of homebrew attempts at simulating squares which have seen WLP037 tone down its otherwise massive amounts of phenols, so I suspect that the way Harvey control the phenolics with their house yeast is through aeration. On this view the use of fishtails and squares is a technological response to the peculiarities of saison yeast.

Talking of high-gravity British beers, I have a weird craving to brew a Carling clone (Carlish? Carlike?) high-gravity. Not sure when I'd drink it though, although the way the long Covid is going I might as well drink cooking lager rather than something fancy.... :mad:
Sorry to hear about the long covid.
Maybe a really good rousing after a day or so and really oxygenate the ferment as per the Timothy Taylors video and in the Harveys 60 anniversary yeast video at 05:41
Apologies if I've posted that video link before but there's clues in there for all of us.

Must pluck up the courage to do an open ferment and give it all a good rousing.

Given that the XB recipe was from 1949 and rationing still in place the sugar and maize is likely. We can get malted maize down here from gladfield but I haven't tried it yet.
Think I'll try and get some of the brewlabs " harveys " sent to my son in the uk and then get him to post it. Might be a few viable cells left if customs don't confiscate it. I've got the beer engine ( in fact just bought 2 more ), waited ages to find one on the NZ ebay equivalent and then 2 came up soon after, just like buses. I'm going to recondition them and might " rent " one to local craft bar as the owner says he'd love another one but can't get them for less than a fortune.
Now if only I could get my hand on a few pins.
 

tracer bullet

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English Ales are what I prefer, but as I'm English and live in England, that should be no surprise. While I don't have any one favorite recipe, my brews mostly consist of 70 to 90% pale malt with the rest mostly an unmalted adjunct (such as flaked maize, flaked or torrified barley and the like) plus invert sugar. To this maybe a touch of crystal, darker malt, flaked oats or similar to add a slight tweak.
There's a thread, maybe this one, about the invert sugar. Have you found a particular version that can be purchased that you like? I've been playing with ESB recipes by putting a variety of different Lovibond crystals (low, medium and high) in them to try to get those different interesting flavors.

Also curious if you have an adjunct preference that you think suits the style well. I'm not looking to make a perfect beer just interested to hear more from someone with more experience drinking and brewing these beers.
 

DuncB

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Pretty easy to make invert sugar if you want,
Good instructions on this website, plus loads of other stuff.


Golden syrup by Tate and Lyle is an invert sugar I think.
Regarding adjuncts only use them if the recipe says they have them, they arent' necessary for an ale. But they were incorporated as a necessity such as rationing and cost saving.
 

kpsalerno

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I just brewed a mild inspired by a 1917 Whitbread X recipe reprinted by Ron Pattison, and I am surprised by the head retention of this beer. It defies all information I ever read that low hopping rates lead to poor head retention.

The exact recipe I used for a 6.3 gallon batch was 5.5 lbs of Crisp Pale malt, 1 lb of homemade inverted raw cane sugar (didn't get it dark enough though) added to boil with 20 min remaining out of 60 min boil, 0.9 oz EKG for 60 min for 16.2 IBU and 0.4 oz EKG for 5 min for 1.6 IBU. Fermented with 3rd gen WLP002 at 64F for 4 days, raised to 70F for 3 days, racked and conditioned at 41F for 7 days with pork gelatin. Force carbonated at 12 PSI at 38F, served in warmed glass in upper 40s.
PXL_20210722_012508339.PORTRAIT.jpg


10.8°P 5.1% abv 90% AA 18 IBU
 

DuncB

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Not sure about low hopping rates = low head retention.
Not much hops in a stout or in most real ales.

Agree the colour for a mild is quite a long way off. You could add gravy browning to it Sarsons brand or some sinamar , they add colour without flavour.
 

DBhomebrew

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I am surprised by the head retention of this beer. It defies all information I ever read that low hopping rates lead to poor head retention.
Low hopping is one of many combined factors that can lead to low retention.

Force carbonated at 12 PSI at 38F,
That's about 2.5 volumes, I believe. Might want to try closer to 2.0 or even a touch under.


1 lb of homemade inverted raw cane sugar (didn't get it dark enough though)
I recently let a batch go a really long time in the oven. Probably 6, maybe only 5 hours. Came out super dark, red/black. I cooked it up for Ron's 1914 Courage Imperial Stout but I've got an extra 1/2 pound or so that'll go in the season's first mild. I'm looking forward to it. Last time I made a mild I wasn't brave enough to let the invert go long enough to get real dark.
 

duncan_disorderly

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Agree the colour for a mild is quite a long way off. You could add gravy browning to it Sarsons brand or some sinamar , they add colour without flavour.
Mild can be any colour.

 

z-bob

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I recently let a batch go a really long time in the oven. Probably 6, maybe only 5 hours. Came out super dark, red/black. I cooked it up for Ron's 1914 Courage Imperial Stout but I've got an extra 1/2 pound or so that'll go in the season's first mild. I'm looking forward to it. Last time I made a mild I wasn't brave enough to let the invert go long enough to get real dark.
I've made 2 batches, one using refined white sugar and one using natural white sugar that I bought at Aldi (it was a very light tan color) Both made in a pressure canner. The one with less-refined sugar turned out better but both were serviceable. I don't remember how long I cooked it but I posted the details on HBT somewhere. Each pint jar has one pound of sugar and I guess about a half pound of water.
 

DuncB

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That's very true! Although 1917 Whitbread X was 9.5 SRM according to Ron P, so not a dark mild, and I'm off the hook. 🤣
What does he know!
Looks like a damm good match to the colour then and no need to cook those inverts for longer.
Mild my favourite for drinking from a yard glass, and it washes off easily.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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The next batch of my ever slightly changing 'Emptier's ESB' will use a combination of 1.5 Lbs. of Demarara Sugar and 4 liquid Oz. of pure organic Date Syrup as a substitute for Invert Sugar as an experiment. The Date syrup contains only pure organic Dates. It is quite dark in color, but I have no real idea as to where it falls on the Lovibond scale. I'm guessing 80L initially based on molasses.

Link to the Date Syrup I'm experimenting with: Date Lady Date Syrup, Date Sugar & Dates

Edit: I'm hoping for ~14-15 SRM (~28-29 EBC) as the final beer color.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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Given that the XB recipe was from 1949 and rationing still in place the sugar and maize is likely. We can get malted maize down here from gladfield but I haven't tried it yet.
My guess would be that it's a bit early after WWII for maize to be used for beer. I've just had a skim of a dozen or so of Ron's recipes from 1949&50 and none of them have maize, even the Scots weren't using grits.

Also, you tend not to find maize in northern England at any time. I have a hypothesis for that without evidence; I believe that maize is pretty high in ferulic acid, so you wouldn't want to take it near POF+ square yeasts. See eg this 1950 Lees bitter.

You could add gravy browning to it Sarsons brand or some sinamar , they add colour without flavour.
You need to be a bit careful with gravy browning, most of them contain a *lot* of salt. The Sarsons on my shelf is 16% w/v salt. OK, not such a big deal in the quantities that you typically add it in, but worth mentioning particularly if you're trying to keep your SO4:Cl ratio high.
 
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I'm enjoying this thread. I love English ales but have yet to make a good one. I'm inspired to try again. I make a decent invert syrup but kinda suck at making Belgian candi. I keep a can of Lyles on hand - just in case 😊
 

ChuckCollins

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Keep it simple. I love quality Maris Otter, and these are the ESB guidlines that I like to follow (for simplicity sake I am just going to provide a link to my site)

ESB Recipe

Good Maris Otter does means no specialty grains needed for ESB, Pale Ale, Bitter, or IPA. In fact, the beers come out rather dark.
Hello are those sites still going….
 

Miraculix

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I just brewed a mild inspired by a 1917 Whitbread X recipe reprinted by Ron Pattison, and I am surprised by the head retention of this beer. It defies all information I ever read that low hopping rates lead to poor head retention.

The exact recipe I used for a 6.3 gallon batch was 5.5 lbs of Crisp Pale malt, 1 lb of homemade inverted raw cane sugar (didn't get it dark enough though) added to boil with 20 min remaining out of 60 min boil, 0.9 oz EKG for 60 min for 16.2 IBU and 0.4 oz EKG for 5 min for 1.6 IBU. Fermented with 3rd gen WLP002 at 64F for 4 days, raised to 70F for 3 days, racked and conditioned at 41F for 7 days with pork gelatin. Force carbonated at 12 PSI at 38F, served in warmed glass in upper 40s.View attachment 736374

10.8°P 5.1% abv 90% AA 18 IBU
I assume you mean this one?


Thanks for the mention, that's going to be my next brew :)

With 5% invert and verdant IPA. I'll target a bit of a lower og, around 1.041 and lower ibus as well, around 20-25.

And I'm going to finally buy his book.
 

kpsalerno

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I assume you mean this one?


Thanks for the mention, that's going to be my next brew :)

With 5% invert and verdant IPA. I'll target a bit of a lower og, around 1.041 and lower ibus as well, around 20-25.

And I'm going to finally buy his book.
Yes, it's very tasty and easy to knock back a few pints before you realize it's not light on alcohol with the high attenuation from the invert.

I bought the three "mega" books in Ron's series, "Porter!", "Mild!" and "Bitter!". They are all enjoyable reads though the charts don't display so easily on my kindle (you have to tap the chart to switch to scroll mode as they extend beyond the display, even with the font as small as it goes)
 

cire

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An enquiry about the original recipe was sent to Robinson's using your link, DuncB. Any reply will be posted. Probably the original recipe didn't include Flaked Maize, but many northern breweries used it before WWII and still is to this day. However, as appears from NB's observation and confirmed by recipes in my possession, it didn't return immediately afterwards. The potential problem with Yorkshire yeasts and Yorkshire squares is new to me, but I would still bet that as soon as maize was available to brewers, it would be reinstated where it was previously used.

Living in the North of England, I can't get Harvey's Sussex Bitter, but such a revered beer by those who can, I tried my hand at making some, and best efforts failed miserably. Interesting that higher gravity worts increase phenols. Mine was brewed without liquoring back and to repeat the experiment would now need a total rethink.

Open fermenting need not endanger the beer. Pitching enough yeast while wort is run into the FV at similar temperature and roused to get it working. A lid can be fitted until there is a yeast covering within a few hours. Regular rousing of a good yeast, it will soon prove difficult to displace and uncover the wort. From this point a closed vessel could overflow with heat from fermentation trapped in the krausen and above. As fermentation begins to decline, yeast can be cropped to leave some yeast to provide a protective covering, and a lid can then be fitted. Each yeast is different, but this point occurs usually between 48 to 72 hours from pitching, Provided fermentation temperature is allowed to rise, again as mentioned in the video.

Brewer's invert sugar has been available for purchase in UK and I have obtained #1, #2 and #3. Unfortunately those were in 25kg blocks, like those in the video and were not cheap. I hear they are not currently available, but with the pandemic, Brexit and a changing world, the sugar production business is one of many currently undergoing reform. Hopefully they will become available again when once again group purchases can allow UK homebrewers to experience the real article, which is simply luscious and better than any home made version I've experienced.

I also invert refined cane sugar, with water, acid and heat. When inversion is deemed complete the mixture is neutralized and while still hot, small amounts of other sugars can be added for color and flavor. This is similar to how brewers invert is made commercially. Sugar can be inverted without acid and just heat, but takes a higher temperature for longer and more skill. The enzyme invertase, used by beekeepers to replace honey in hives, is possibly the least error prone method, but it is a much slower process.

Treacle/Golden Syrup is only partial invert, but that product is made for the purpose of adding flavor to confectionary products and that taste can conflict in some beers, but all sugar additions are worthy of trying, as the results can be revelationary.

From a personal perspective, a major hinderance to making traditional British Beers is the understandable reluctance to break many rules written in scripts, blogs and several publications, repeated time and time and time again, that didn't originate in Britain nor have any factual background from its brewing. When first watching the video of Harley's last brew, I found it very gratifying to come across something on the web showing British brewing as it was. Mind you, had I seen the video before encountering Hartley's XB, with that much rubbish and dirt about and seeing hops and sugars added from straight off the floor, I'm not so sure how keen I would have been to try it.

I liked it most when Eric Simpson said, "Best mash yet". Reminded me of my long past days of work, and having made a cock-up, hear someone say something that just eased the stress and add a touch of humor. He seemed to be a great bloke.
 

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My guess would be that it's a bit early after WWII for maize to be used for beer. I've just had a skim of a dozen or so of Ron's recipes from 1949&50 and none of them have maize, even the Scots weren't using grits.

Also, you tend not to find maize in northern England at any time. I have a hypothesis for that without evidence; I believe that maize is pretty high in ferulic acid, so you wouldn't want to take it near POF+ square yeasts. See eg this 1950 Lees bitter.



You need to be a bit careful with gravy browning, most of them contain a *lot* of salt. The Sarsons on my shelf is 16% w/v salt. OK, not such a big deal in the quantities that you typically add it in, but worth mentioning particularly if you're trying to keep your SO4:Cl ratio high.
Will bear the salt thing in mind, never tried it, but the quantity in the recipe I had planned to use it as a substitute in was only a couple of ml.
There is no salt in the sinamar but I can't get that here in NZ. Sinamar is by Weyermann and just super concentrated Malt extract ( simply described).

I only mention the maize because the little bit of research on the XB mentions that it has maize in it. ( but that was web research ! )
 
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oakbarn

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I have made bitters with 1098 and Nottingham (from the same wort)). I liked the 1098 slightly better in a blind taste test. We generally brew 22 gallons at a time and use one 1098 with a starter and then Nottingham for the rest. This provides the Best in the Bitter!

We brew 22 gallon so we can end up with 20 gallons in the kegs (hot side and fermentor loss) ( 4 brewers so 5 gal each)

I learned to drink Bitters will stationed at RAF Alconbury near Huntington in East Anglia in the 1970's.
 

DuncB

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An enquiry about the original recipe was sent to Robinson's using your link, DuncB. Any reply will be posted. Probably the original recipe didn't include Flaked Maize, but many northern breweries used it before WWII and still is to this day.

The enzyme invertase, used by beekeepers to replace honey in hives, is possibly the least error prone method, but it is a much slower process.
We keep bees and have for years both in UK and here in NZ.
Most beekeepers use sugar syrup in the winter and raw sugar ( not refined white ) in the spring / summer.

I've followed the invert sugar recipe on the Suigeneris site which is similar to others out there. Adding a different sugar does help with the crystallisation, I used a bit of honey for the fructose and the flavour didn't come through. But you can just get plain fructose.

I'm not that fearful of the open ferment just haven't done one for a while, when I started brewing with extract I used to stir the beer vigorously every day at least once. I used to think get the CO2 out to drive the reaction equation better.
Won't try that tactic when I do an open ferment though anymore.
 
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kmarkstevens

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And I'm going to finally buy his book.
It's the least you can do. :yes: How much value has Ron given the brewing world and you personally I'd say a lot. I have two of his books (but left one on an airplane).

Also, I got one of my kids to get me a birthday recipe. The instruction to Ron was "he likes low ABV beers". Ron went through his files from my actual birthday in the 1960's all the way to 1925 to pull out a gem of a partigyled AK recipe with a nice write up. Since it was partigyled, I got the brewing records and effectively the recipe for 3 different strengths.

One of his paragraphs: "Here's one AK was by the 1920s a very marginal product. Without parti-gyling, it would never have been financially viable. The parti-gyle this beer was brewed in consisted of 150 barrels of XK, 341 barrels of PA and a mere 9 barrels of AK. There could only have been a handful of pubs selling it."

Anyhoo, you can help fund Ron's booze consumption, and get a pretty unique recipe. I brew this on or around my birthday every year. To be honest, it's my second favorite AK recipe, and my favorite is a Let's Brew Wednesday. Regardless, I think it's way cool and my way to help keep Ron in business.
 

schmurf

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@schmurf just a couple of pictures of the five points from the beer engine at sunset.
Much better with the right yeast.
View attachment 736514View attachment 736515
That looks great and very enjoyable surrondings too! I can feel the smoothness... .and just the right colour and very clear... you didn't use any finings right? I had a first pour from my latest brew of Five Points yesterday, was a bit too much foam... will see if it was just the first one or if it remains. Other than that my beer engine been working like a charm and I've been fully enjoying my last kegs of bitter! The five points that had both too high OG and too low FG turned out very drinkable, and the one where I hit a too high FG, resulting in a 3.2% beer was certainly drinkable as well. Also had a keg of Speckled Hen "clone" and a Simonds Bitter, made from this recipe.
 

monkeymath

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I really enjoy following this thread, soaking up all the info on English ales. Somewhat paradoxically, given the thread's title, I still haven't brewed any of the recipes mentioned in this thread or even added one to my to-brew-list.

I have very limited experience with English cask ales - when I lived in the UK for a year, as a student, drinking in pubs was prohibitively expensive, and back then "beer" meant either Hefeweizen or Helles to me, so I wasn't able to actually take it in anyways. I did like the bottled "Black Sheep Ale" though - I have since found it in Munich as well, and while I still liked it, I did not feel a sudden urge to try and replicate it.

I'm not sure if I actually want to brew an "authentic" English ale. I think what I'm looking for is a somewhat "exaggerated" bitter. After all, I'm not looking to make a beer of which you can down three pints in the five minutes before the pub closes, but something to sip and enjoy attentively.
 

Miraculix

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I really enjoy following this thread, soaking up all the info on English ales. Somewhat paradoxically, given the thread's title, I still haven't brewed any of the recipes mentioned in this thread or even added one to my to-brew-list.

I have very limited experience with English cask ales - when I lived in the UK for a year, as a student, drinking in pubs was prohibitively expensive, and back then "beer" meant either Hefeweizen or Helles to me, so I wasn't able to actually take it in anyways. I did like the bottled "Black Sheep Ale" though - I have since found it in Munich as well, and while I still liked it, I did not feel a sudden urge to try and replicate it.

I'm not sure if I actually want to brew an "authentic" English ale. I think what I'm looking for is a somewhat "exaggerated" bitter. After all, I'm not looking to make a beer of which you can down three pints in the five minutes before the pub closes, but something to sip and enjoy attentively.
Believe me, you want to brew one! A bitter on its peak, probably one to two months after brewing can be soooooooo good, you cannot imagine!

And the only way to get one when it's best, at least in Germany, is to fly to the UK and find a GOOD pub that treats it's beer and lines the right way.

... Or brew it yourself ;)

With verdant IPA, you even have a decent English dry yeast!
 

Shenanigans

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I really enjoy following this thread, soaking up all the info on English ales. Somewhat paradoxically, given the thread's title, I still haven't brewed any of the recipes mentioned in this thread or even added one to my to-brew-list.

I have very limited experience with English cask ales - when I lived in the UK for a year, as a student, drinking in pubs was prohibitively expensive, and back then "beer" meant either Hefeweizen or Helles to me, so I wasn't able to actually take it in anyways. I did like the bottled "Black Sheep Ale" though - I have since found it in Munich as well, and while I still liked it, I did not feel a sudden urge to try and replicate it.

I'm not sure if I actually want to brew an "authentic" English ale. I think what I'm looking for is a somewhat "exaggerated" bitter. After all, I'm not looking to make a beer of which you can down three pints in the five minutes before the pub closes, but something to sip and enjoy attentively.
Maybe an ESB is more your thing.
If you can get it you should try Fuller's ESB it's a classic and 5.9% in the bottle so not really for knocking back in one go.
I still have to get around to brewing a clone but I just ordered some Northdown hops to give it a go.
 

monkeymath

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Believe me, you want to brew one! A bitter on its peak, probably one to two months after brewing can be soooooooo good, you cannot imagine!

And the only way to get one when it's best, at least in Germany, is to fly to the UK and find a GOOD pub that treats it's beer and lines the right way.

... Or brew it yourself ;)

With verdant IPA, you even have a decent English dry yeast!

Thanks for the encouragement ;)
I've done a couple of "typical homebrew" bitters/milds, by which I mean that I used specialty malts (Crisp crystal at 150 EBC is magnificent, I saw you use the same for your "Miraculix' Best") and no simple sugars. I like those beers. Swapping out the crystal for simple sugars and using adjuncts such as corn (which would be, as I take it, a more authentic route) would thin out the body even further, I believe. Since I am habituated to ~5% abv beers, I'd be more interested in boosting the body, not taking away from it!

As far as yeasts go, I actually like using liquid yeasts. Last British one I used was WY1469, which I liked a lot, except for a subtle fruity note that I cannot quite pin down. I'd probably describe it as cantaloupe/honeydew. Note that I fermented it rather cold, at 17 celsius.


Btw I'd be really interested to try your English-style homebrew; let me know (via PM) if you're up for an exchange of a couple of bottles :)
 

MaxStout

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This weekend I plan to do an English brown ale. Not sure if this comes closer to the "Northern" or "Southern" variety, but it's based on a recipe in the Jan-Feb 2019 Zymurgy, p.35. Mine will not be altogether authentic, as I will be using up some ingredients I already have on hand.

For 5.5 gal, mine is:

BIAB
5.5 lbs Maris Otter (Fawcett)
2.5 lbs Munich I (Weyermann)
8oz Brown Malt (Crisp)
6 oz. Pale Chocolate 200 (Fawcett)
4 oz. Victory (Briess)
1 lb Lyle's Golden Syrup

2oz. Triple Perle (11% AA) at 20
1oz. Fuggles (4.5% AA) at 10

Nottingham (rehydrated)

Color: 16.5 SRM
IBU: 33
OG: 1.052
ABV: 5.2%
 
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