English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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Miraculix

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I keep thinking I'll add a touch of Mandarina Bavaria to my next ESB-like recipe. Haven't tried it yet. Last brew I ran the 1968 yeast (Wyeast ESB) at 71 deg. F, hoping for fruity esters, but it didn't deliver. Looking at 1318 (London III) next. If that doesn't do it I'll probably start playing with a little bit of who-knows-what in a whirlpool addition. Mandarina Bavaria has my interest. Was hoping for something "berry" like but maybe tangerine would go well.
I'm sure that you are aware that esb is particular beer brewed by Fuller's. And the good thing is, that the Fuller's house yeast, which makes their beers a bit unique is available from multiple suppliers. However, many people, including myself, made the discovery that only one yeast supplier's yeast really seems to deliver that marmalade taste that the Fuller's beer is known for and that one is Imperial yeast a09 pub.
 

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Thanks for the articles @Northern_Brewer some useful information there.

I have a bunch of citra and will give it a go and just go really light handed on the hops. I’m not wanting to end up with a hazy mess of a beer, but do really enjoy the flavors of that hop.
 

Northern_Brewer

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the Fuller's house yeast, which makes their beers a bit unique is available from multiple suppliers. However, many people, including myself, made the discovery that only one yeast supplier's yeast really seems to deliver that marmalade taste that the Fuller's beer is known for and that one is Imperial yeast a09 pub.
Personally I think WLP002 and 1968 are so far distant from the real Fuller's taste that regardless of whether they came from Chiswick or not, I don't think it's very helpful to link them to Fuller's. They're just nothing like it, they're just another Whitbread yeast (qv 1318 for another example).
 

Northern_Brewer

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I have a bunch of citra and will give it a go and just go really light handed on the hops. I’m not wanting to end up with a hazy mess of a beer, but do really enjoy the flavors of that hop.
Other thing to mention is that the New World cask ales tend to have little or no crystal, to allow the hops to shine - just a nice base malt, maybe a little wheat for head.
 

shoreman

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In the comments of one of those articles someone mentioned Twickenham. They seem to be using some new world hops in cask.


Drinking traditional cask beer in England is some of my top beer experiences and I do think of myself as more of a traditionalist but I’m intrigued by these flavor combinations.
 

Miraculix

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Personally I think WLP002 and 1968 are so far distant from the real Fuller's taste that regardless of whether they came from Chiswick or not, I don't think it's very helpful to link them to Fuller's. They're just nothing like it, they're just another Whitbread yeast (qv 1318 for another example).
I fully agree. I have tried 002 and for me that one had nothing to do with Fuller's.

Other thing to mention is that the New World cask ales tend to have little or no crystal, to allow the hops to shine - just a nice base malt, maybe a little wheat for head.
I had of few of these and it somehow never worked for me. This low carbonation and a bit warmer temperature thing works very well for traditional British beers, bitters and so on, well balanced malt flavour with the right amount of bitterness plus (not a necessity) some hop aroma as well.

As soon as there comes the new world hop flavour into the game, the whole picture is ruined, at least for my taste buds. I just don't like that. British cask ales need noble hops, at least for me.
 

Northern_Brewer

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In the comments of one of those articles someone mentioned Twickenham. They seem to be using some new world hops in cask.
Just about every cask brewery is these days - Cascade has been widespread for 10-20 years, and these days most are doing something with Kiwis/Citra/Mosaic etc. Get them right and they're great.
 

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I've found this useful in my British beers

 

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What is the general consensus for using Lallemand Danstar (English style yeast) - the London variety
 

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what did your grain bill and hop usage look like?

Once I started brewing using @Northern_Brewer recommendation of 90% base malt and 10% sugar and/or crystal malts I started getting much more yeast character. Not too much late hops and allow the beer to age a month or so also helps. I get more character from 1318 and 1469 then I do from 1968. WLP041 seems to be easy to get fruitiness, a bit too close to banana for my taste though.
Not unusual, It's an English Pale malt for the base, about 8% crystal combo (50-60L and the double roasted 120-ish), 5% victory, and a pinch of chocolate <1% for some color. EKG throughout, about 20 IBU at 60 min and another 15 IBU at 15min. Overall I'm really pleased with the beer, just hoping to add a little extra character.

Thanks everyone for the yeast discussion.
 

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Imperial yeast a09 pub.
I've used that as well, my most recent batch which I am drinking these days. I ran it at 70 degrees the whole time and it flocculated like crazy of course and finished pretty low (1.009), but didn't do what I wanted for flavor. It's a great beer but I'm hoping for something a little different. I know it won't be a Fuller's clone any more and maybe not even fit the style. Hoping a yeast change is enough, and if not I may do a pinch of some interesting hops. Half ounce whirlpool perhaps for a 5 gallon batch, nothing heavy handed.
 

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I've used that as well, my most recent batch which I am drinking these days. I ran it at 70 degrees the whole time and it flocculated like crazy of course and finished pretty low (1.009), but didn't do what I wanted for flavor. It's a great beer but I'm hoping for something a little different. I know it won't be a Fuller's clone any more and maybe not even fit the style. Hoping a yeast change is enough, and if not I may do a pinch of some interesting hops. Half ounce whirlpool perhaps for a 5 gallon batch, nothing heavy handed.
That looks like a process issue to me, or even an infection. What's your mash schedule? A09 shouldn't finish that low, unless the sg was already really low.
 

eshea3

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Just about every cask brewery is these days - Cascade has been widespread for 10-20 years, and these days most are doing something with Kiwis/Citra/Mosaic etc. Get them right and they're great.
Oakham Ales Citra has been around for years. Believe it was the first ale in Britain with 100% Citra hops and 2019 Champion Beer in Golden Ales.
 

Miraculix

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Oakham Ales Citra has been around for years. Believe it was the first ale in Britain with 100% Citra hops and 2019 Champion Beer in Golden Ales.
I liked the bottled version but from tap it was a big disappointment for me. But luckily tastes differ.
 

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That looks like a process issue to me, or even an infection. What's your mash schedule? A09 shouldn't finish that low, unless the sg was already really low.
Almost 1.5 hours at or just under 150, so it was pretty fermentable. Got around 1.051 OG according to my notes. Given the higher fermentation temps and a good amount of yeast (their 200 billion cells in a 3 gallon batch) I am not so surprised about the FG. Doesn't taste infected, if I had it at a bar I'd say it was a good beer. I'm not really fixing anything just tweaking it (to get a little fruitiness), for the fun of it.

Don't mean to sidetrack the thread, just interested in any late hops that could be fun. No pineapple or passion fruit, but a touch of berry or tangerine sounds yummy. I might just cheat and throw some orange peel into the next one. Or this one if I can buy some before the keg runs out.
 

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Almost 1.5 hours at or just under 150, so it was pretty fermentable. Got around 1.051 OG according to my notes. Given the higher fermentation temps and a good amount of yeast (their 200 billion cells in a 3 gallon batch) I am not so surprised about the FG. Doesn't taste infected, if I had it at a bar I'd say it was a good beer. I'm not really fixing anything just tweaking it (to get a little fruitiness), for the fun of it.

Don't mean to sidetrack the thread, just interested in any late hops that could be fun. No pineapple or passion fruit, but a touch of berry or tangerine sounds yummy. I might just cheat and throw some orange peel into the next one. Or this one if I can buy some before the keg runs out.
Next time, try mashing higher and not so long. Did you add some darker invert syrup? That also adds loTs of flavour and boosts yeast's ester production. I'm not familiar with the esb recipe, but a link to the original recipe is somewhere here in the thread. You can basically copy it from there.
 
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I love bitters/golden ales that are well attenuated. They have more intense clarity of malt flavours than those that are higher attenuated imo, which tend to be more muddled.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Oakham Ales Citra has been around for years. Believe it was the first ale in Britain with 100% Citra hops and 2019 Champion Beer in Golden Ales.
Which was first brewed at the very end of 2009, hence why I made "10 years" the rough dividing line. Arguably beers like Marble Pint (aka Metric when sold in 500ml cans), first brewed in 2007 with a shedload of NZ hops were the real pathfinders, although Oakham was more visible to southerners. Personally I prefer Jarl to Oakham Citra - conveniently they had them on neighbouring handpulls at GBBF a few years ago, Jarl is just better balanced IMO.
 

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Next time, try mashing higher and not so long. Did you add some darker invert syrup? That also adds loTs of flavour and boosts yeast's ester production. I'm not familiar with the esb recipe, but a link to the original recipe is somewhere here in the thread. You can basically copy it from there.
The mash time was because the morning got away from me. The temp was chosen to aim for a dryer beer. You think changing either however would result in a more interesting or fruitier beer? I'm familiar with gravity and ABV and such but as of yet haven't really tasted a direct result of a chosen temp.

No invert yet, I'm interested but only if I can buy it, no time to make it. But you're right, it's a good reminder to consider it. I've read the posts here about it, very interesting.
 

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The mash time was because the morning got away from me. The temp was chosen to aim for a dryer beer. You think changing either however would result in a more interesting or fruitier beer? I'm familiar with gravity and ABV and such but as of yet haven't really tasted a direct result of a chosen temp.

No invert yet, I'm interested but only if I can buy it, no time to make it. But you're right, it's a good reminder to consider it. I've read the posts here about it, very interesting.
You will get a higher fg and that will enhance every flavour present, based on my experience. A bit like sugar in a dish. I make my invert on the side while mashing. Using raw cane sugar (slightly brown, not dark brown), a bit of water and a dash of lemon juice. Just simmer it. As soon as the amount of water is low enough it will start to darken. Turns into interesting flavours. 5-10% of the grist is a good amount of simple sugars.
 

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Not a fan of citra alone but it does work very combined with other. I posted this recipe before which I make quite often, is just citra and equinox.
citra-equinox golden

Using the same idea with galaxy and strata but fermented with 1318 makes a really nice beer. That combination gives a really nice soft peachy flavor.
 

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cire

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How about UK hops like Jester, Endeavour and Ernest. Anspach and Hobday did some one offs using the last 2 aobut a year ago.
To be frank, I've yet to try any of those nor any immediate plans to try them as my stocks are high with 16 different in cone and 8 in pellet form. Having gone through a period using USA hops such as Amarillo, Citra, Columbus, Cascade, Liberty, Millennium and Palisade, I will keep Cascade as a stock item and Liberty when at a decent price. Meanwhile I've gone full swing with more noble hops of England and Europe with stock that will see me though a while yet. Also I seem to have a good crop of home grown Bramling Cross and Northdown almost ready to pick.

A recent and protracted attempt at replicating then improving my version of Bitter and Twisted, widened my stocks as well as helping my understanding of blending hops (including Liberty and Palisade) and since then I've been doing similar with a different grist combined with various strains of Goldings, Fuggles, Progress, Perle, Saaz, with various Styrian Goldings which can blend beautifully and lead to pondering which provides each component, and I've sort of lost myself in a sort of variation to the hobby.

Can you tell I'm getting old?
 

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I've done yeast offs and Pub has always been the hands down winner amongst myself and the LHBS taste testers.

What do people think of First Gold vs EKG? I personally like First Gold mainly because it is pretty easy to get by the pound or half pound at a reasonable price here in the US. And I like the taste. Don't get an really obvious marmalade taste with Pub and First Gold. What's a good mash and ferment temperature to really bring out the marmalade?

(I have discovered that most C American hops taste skunked/cat piss/urinal cakes to me. Nasty. My go to's are First Gold, EKG, BX, N Brewer (UK, GER, US) & Tettnang GER).
 

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I like both First Gold and EKG, they are quite different to me but both go well together I think, even if I mostly use them as either or. EKG with BX is a very nice combo. I quite often use Fuggles, Challenger and Northdown, and also been trying some of the "newer" British hops. Of the latter I've really come to like Harlequin, most of the others haven't made a lasting impression.

I'm not sure what make PUB go marmelady, I have had different experiences with it. I usually start fermenting low and after a day or 2 I let it rise. Sometimes I get some marmelady notes, not strong, sometimes not.

I agree with the American hops, I often taste cat pee or onion... it's a shame, the few times I don't get it they are great though.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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What do people think of First Gold vs EKG? I personally like First Gold mainly because it is pretty easy to get by the pound or half pound at a reasonable price here in the US. And I like the taste. Don't get an really obvious marmalade taste with Pub and First Gold. What's a good mash and ferment temperature to really bring out the marmalade?

(I have discovered that most C American hops taste skunked/cat piss/urinal cakes to me. Nasty.
EKG is EKGy and First Gold is First Goldy - not sure what your point is?

Although it does vary from vintage to vintage (and I'm not hopeful for 2021 as it's been pretty cloudy these last few weeks), if you're not getting obvious orange from FG then it may not be your brewing, but your supplier that's the problem. Ditto if you're getting onion from hops, which means they've been picked too late. Time for a different hop supplier?
 

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I like both First Gold and EKG, they are quite different to me but both go well together I think, even if I mostly use them as either or. EKG with BX is a very nice combo. I quite often use Fuggles, Challenger and Northdown, and also been trying some of the "newer" British hops. Of the latter I've really come to like Harlequin, most of the others haven't made a lasting impression.

I'm not sure what make PUB go marmelady, I have had different experiences with it. I usually start fermenting low and after a day or 2 I let it rise. Sometimes I get some marmelady notes, not strong, sometimes not.

I agree with the American hops, I often taste cat pee or onion... it's a shame, the few times I don't get it they are great though.
My best beer so far was with pub and it was a step mash, fermented at room temperature and the grist included simple sugars in form of Lyle's golden syrup. I think the glucose addition through the syrup and the relatively warm fermentation temperature might be key for increased ester production/marmelade.
 

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I still prefer Goldings to First Gold, finding the more rounded bittering and citrus more satisfying and longer lasting than the marmalade from First Gold. That said, I've yet to explore in any depth of how it might blend if used only as a late addition. EKG and the like put in at any stage seem to have no downside and as First Gold is derived from Goldings, I've tended to treat it in similar manner with a bit of tinkering around the edges with other hop additions. My last brew had 60% First Gold, with a few Northdown early, Sav Goldings late with the main charge of FG and just a touch of Cascade at 80C for a 20 minute stand. The resulting beer was complex and the orange present, just not what I expected.

For yeast I mainly used heavy top cropping (Yorkshire) types pitched at 18C, open fermented and roused for 2 to 3 days when temperature can rise to 23C, then skimmed, covered and allowed to cool before racking a week from pitching. The current yeast is that used at a local brewery that closed in 1998. Every yeast is different, but this type enables simple and natural carbonation that continues for between 6 and 12 weeks at cellar temperature, and must accept what hop flavor is produced from the quantity used.
 

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My best beer so far was with pub and it was a step mash, fermented at room temperature and the grist included simple sugars in form of Lyle's golden syrup. I think the glucose addition through the syrup and the relatively warm fermentation temperature might be key for increased ester production/marmelade.
For "historical" reasons it has become a practice for me to start low, but perhaps I should try to start warmer for once. You do it at 20c? With or without a raise?
 

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For "historical" reasons it has become a practice for me to start low, but perhaps I should try to start warmer for once. You do it at 20c? With or without a raise?
Just room temperature and off it goes! No temp control at all.
 

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EKG is EKGy and First Gold is First Goldy - not sure what your point is?
My point being I've brewed a ton with First Gold (an EKG derivative dwarf) and little with real EKG. Not sure if folks here would recommend making more of an effort on EKG?

For no reason other than to overshare something not terribly relevant, I do have East Seattle Goldings in my front yard that are ripening up nicely just as we've started the rainy season. That said, not sure the actual provenance of those hops. And I only use them for a fresh ale once a year.
 

Northern_Brewer

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My point being I've brewed a ton with First Gold (an EKG derivative dwarf) and little with real EKG. Not sure if folks here would recommend making more of an effort on EKG?
I think anyone interested in British beer outside Worcestershire would regard EKG as the gold standard that you can never have too much of...

As an aside, you have to go back something like 6 generations to find a purebred Goldings in the First Gold pedigree - so 1/64, although there's lots of Goldings generally in the background. They're not that close in flavour, it can have up to 4% farnesene which is generally considered one of the more Fuggles-y characteristics. First Gold is nice, but it's just different to Goldings.

As a note to the Brits here, next weekend would have been the Canterbury festival which traditionally marks the start of the green hop beer season, so keep an eye out for them.
 
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