English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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patto1ro

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I have a question on some English Ale recipes. I keep looking at some of the recipes Ron P has in his books and several list invert sugar. When would this be added? Any special process on how they are added?

I ordered an received some invert sugar but haven't opened them yet.
During the boil. Simple as that.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I think it's true for any beer that it keeps better if kept cold and the colder the better.
Define "better" I think - processes such as the proliferation of spoilage microorganisms will happen more slowly at low temperatures, but too cold and you will start precipitating out proteins etc that would normally be present and contributing to the flavour. And serving much below cask range just kills the flavour.

On another topic, I've just come across this puff piece about Lees reaching the 5000th generation of their yeast (with a cameo appearance by Paul Jones of Cloudwater) in 2019 which I missed at the time. They've only been repitching it since 1967 so a baby compared to the yeasts used by some British family brewers. Only really works with multistrains though, you need that diversity to give it resilience against mutation.

 

schmurf

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Define "better" I think - processes such as the proliferation of spoilage microorganisms will happen more slowly at low temperatures, but too cold and you will start precipitating out proteins etc that would normally be present and contributing to the flavour. And serving much below cask range just kills the flavour.

On another topic, I've just come across this puff piece about Lees reaching the 5000th generation of their yeast (with a cameo appearance by Paul Jones of Cloudwater) in 2019 which I missed at the time. They've only been repitching it since 1967 so a baby compared to the yeasts used by some British family brewers. Only really works with multistrains though, you need that diversity to give it resilience against mutation.

It didn't occur to me that too cold would remove flavours permanently, that's good to know. My standard practice when I condition beer for longer than some months is to keep them in the refrigerator, perhaps 5-7°C, and then move to serving kegerator, which has cellar temp., when it's getting closer to finish conditioning. What is really too cold?
 

Hanglow

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I'd personally keep any beer as cold as possible once it has conditioned as well. Once its reached that point most don't get any better. Oxygen in particular is no friend and beer oxidises faster the warmer it is, at quite an increasing rate . Just ensure it is served at the right temperature, an ice cold bitter is a waste of a beer

I suppose lagers can take months to condition, but in the context of warm fermented ales with flocculant english yeasts and sound brewing practice, the beers should be conditioned within a couple of weeks once fermentation has finished. That, to me at least, means dropped pin bright and desired carbonation reached. Maybe bigger ones and porters longer.
 

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Here’s my latest attempt at putting my beers in Cubitainers - it worked out nicely on this mild. The head is a bit lacking (compared to when I had my beer engine) but carbonation is spot on and the recipe is delicious. It’s JW Lees mild with some tweaks:


I’ll describe the process below if you are interested.

fill and add priming sugar:

482901B4-57DD-4A8A-A077-29E60C800315.jpeg

capped and pushed out air

C85CCFB0-7078-4F21-BCE6-5EC9D24E4404.jpeg

stored at basement temps for 2 weeks

79344DC9-3142-403E-A505-7B883525BBFF.jpeg

I modified this box to store it in for serving, I can add the top with a brick on it to push down the headspace hopefully.

0B4D3C1C-7B7E-4BD8-AE22-AA33043E7201.jpeg

added an ice pack to the back to chill a bit since it’s unseasonably warm in New England right now. Poured and finished beer:


FD1C35E6-6D5B-4A4C-A3E3-AF6E1B0DC0C8.jpeg

dropped nice and clear - S-04 at 66 degrees.


913E929A-F112-4ED9-8A64-69B88808EA77.jpeg
I’m hoping this will work well this winter for my real ales - we’ll see as I pull more pints if it keeps the carbonation.

cheers!
 

shoreman

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Classic Dave Line brewing guide howto use a cubitainer.
nice, I don’t have that book but have just been cobbling together things from homebrew forums, here and Jim’s in the UK.
 

DuncB

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@shoreman
Sadly I lent my copy to a friend and it hasn't been returned. But you are copying his method to a T. I'll have a look at that Mild recipe as I haven't made one yet, but always like a recommendation.
 

kmarkstevens

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Looks great and thanks for sharing. How full to fill the cubetainer? HOw big is your cubetainer? How much and what kind of sugar did you use? Bonus stupid question: Does the priming ferment stage actually increase the volume (it's sealed container so mass doesn't change, but it is a change from sugar to gas)?
 

shoreman

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Looks great and thanks for sharing. How full to fill the cubetainer? HOw big is your cubetainer? How much and what kind of sugar did you use? Bonus stupid question: Does the priming ferment stage actually increase the volume (it's sealed container so mass doesn't change, but it is a change from sugar to gas)?
Thanks. Answers below:

2.5 Gallon Cubitainer- I might get some 1 gallons next year if I enjoy the results this winter.

I didn’t have an exact line to fill it to, just leave an inch or so of space before the spigot.

I put 30grams or 1ounce of plain organic cane sugar.

not sure about the science on expanding- I’m a little more trial and error when it comes to brewing. I will say out of the four I’ve done, some have expanded more than others. I think there’s a lot of factors involved in that.
 

Miraculix

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I wonder if the beer stays carbonated enough, once a few pints have been poured. The empty space should theoretically be filled by co2 as there is no pressure that keeps it in solution.

Let us know how it goes, the system looks very tempting, if it keeps the carbonation.
 

shoreman

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I wonder if the beer stays carbonated enough, once a few pints have been poured. The empty space should theoretically be filled by co2 as there is no pressure that keeps it in solution.

Let us know how it goes, the system looks very tempting, if it keeps the carbonation.
It’s not perfect, it loses carbonation over time, but I’m trying to put some pressure on the top to collapse it while serving.

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to have real ale on tap, it’s great but you can’t control a lot of factors with these things to get perfect, consistent carbonation.

Would also be nice for serving at a party and kicking it in one session.
 
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Miraculix

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It’s not perfect, it loses carbonation over time, but I’m trying to put some pressure on the top to collapse it while serving.

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way too have real ale on tap, it’s great but you can’t control a lot of factors with these things to get perfect, consistent carbonation.
Sounds like an easy way to me to serve a bitter or a mild at home. These don't have much carbonation anyway. Stout should also work well. Man, you got me excited! I go check if I can get them in Germany. Do you have a link for the ones that you are using, so that I can compare?
 

Northern_Brewer

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a similar version is referred to as a polypin in the UK
Just as a warning, "polypin" is one of those ambiguous words, traditionally it referred to what homebrewers call a pressure barrel. "Bag-in-box" is a better phrase to use when you're talking to suppliers (although technically it's a Smurfit trademark). The likes of Vigo in Devon can sell you the bladders in a range of sizes, presumably there must be sources within the EU.
1634639310022.png
 

Miraculix

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Just as a warning, "polypin" is one of those ambiguous words, traditionally it referred to what homebrewers call a pressure barrel. "Bag-in-box" is a better phrase to use when you're talking to suppliers (although technically it's a Smurfit trademark). The likes of Vigo in Devon can sell you the bladders in a range of sizes, presumably there must be sources within the EU.
View attachment 746249
Thanks. I found a lot of "bag in a box"suppliers in Germany, however they all sell it for fruit juice storage or wine, meaning nothing carbonated. I found no answer on how much pressure they can handle. They cost between one and two euros per bag and from the looks of it, they have much thinner walls than the cubitainers. More like a thick plastic bag. I wonder if these would work. I might just buy a 5 litre one and try it out.
 
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Shenanigans

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Thanks. I found a lot of "bag in a box"suppliers in Germany, however they all sell it for fruit juice storage or wine, meaning nothing carbonated. I found no answer on how much pressure they can handle. They cost between one and two euros per bag and from the looks of it, they have much thinner walls than the cubitainers. More like a thick plastic bag. I wonder if these would work. I might just buy a 5 litre one and try it out.
I would suggest looking at camping supplies for water containers.
There are probably more suitable ones but here's the first example I found of a 4 pack of 20L cannisters for about 8 euro each.

 

bwible

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Do milds keep better if kegged but kept at cask-like temp and carbing (~10c, 1.8-2vol)? Also I had a glass of Hawkshead Red last night and thought it was really nice, do you think I would be able to make something similair by just combining a basic red ale grist with the hop schedule of a best bitter?
Well that’s the trick. Traditional cask ale is served at cellar temp and introduces air into the keg with each pint drawn. They call it “live beer” and it changes over a short time due to how its being served. This is the difficulty of trying to do “real ale” at home, as our traditional keg sizes are just too large for one person or a couple people to finish off in a reasonable time before spoilage would occur. A 5 gallon corny keg is roughly (50) 12 oz pours or 40 pints. A 3 gallon corny is about (30) 12 oz pours or 24 pints. Even a 5L minikeg is about the equivalent of a 12 pack 12oz, or about 8 pints and I have yet to see a good way to connect one of those to a beer engine. We’re seeing people using cubitainers looking for a decent small size container.

One of the options people use is a cask breather, which introduces CO2 at lower levels to replace air drawn, but even under CO2 a pin or a firkin or a 5 gallon keg is not going to last forever at 50 degrees. This is something I’d love to see a solution to but its such a tiny niche market I doubt there’s much money to be made selling small volume cask ale supplies to homebrewers. Maybe those little torpedo kegs would be one of the better solutions. But then you’re forced into small batch brewing.
 

bwible

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I’ve looked at these “man cans” that come in various sizes and you can buy a connector for keg fittings. No recommendation of any business or no affiliation, just trying to show the product:


 
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ba-brewer

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I have some small kegland kegs with a screw on top with ball lock fitting that I thought would work for serving real ale, but have had issues with getting a good seal and oxidizing before serving.

Carbonation Ball Lock Cap Tee Fitting | MoreBeer
1634673772684.png


These fit 2 liter bottles which is a bit small, but with the smaller size you could cellar a few pretty easy.
 

cire

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Keeping and serving real ale isn't easy, but it can be done at home and it is worth all the effort and the necessary equipment required.

I have 3 @ 5 imperial gallon pressure barrels as shown by Northern Brewer in post #2655 and 2 smaller of 2 gallon. Also I have a 6 gallon barrel and a King Keg that work on a similar principle as live beer generates CO2 to hold pressure. Their caps are fitted with valves to take CO2 from a small bottle should pressure fall, but a barrel can last 6 to 10 weeks with correct priming.

2 pins (36 imperial pints) and one firkin are also to hand. The pins usually do get emptied before the beer goes off provided they are sealing with a hard peg after drawing beer. The beer will absorb oxygen, but yeast takes up much of it and a clean, decent, well hopped ale will last longer than might be thought. The last pin used was tapped and vented on August 16th, the first beer pulled 3 days later and emptied on September 10th when the beer was still good with enough carbonation. That was set up with a flexible extractor and a check valve between it and the beer engine enabling the pin to pressurize when the valve on the extractor was closed.

It is appreciated that it is difficult or prohibitively expensive to obtain such items outside of UK, but we do like our beer and wouldn't like to go without it at home.
 

DuncB

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@cire

I use the king keg and it works well, it's worth fitting a gas or multi type ( gas and liquid ) bulkhead connector to the lid. This allows you to check the pressure with a gauge or use a spunding valve, add gas or even force finings in. The normal gas cap can be filled also from a sodastream cylinder with an adapter. If you get a good king keg they are great for their job, some do have a lot of leak issues though.
IMG_20210915_091411.jpgIMG_20210915_091130.jpg

You can't get firkins or pins here for love nor money, which is a shame for my 3 beer engines. Hoping when we get visitors I can persuade someone to bring a pin in their luggage.
 

shoreman

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I read on a post somewhere here about someone making one of those king kegs out of a speidel fermentor with these custom parts from NorCal:


I’ve thought about it since I already have the c02 injector- we’ll see how the Cubitainers do this winter, but the above is my next idea.
 

kmarkstevens

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sorry to say that my experience with the norcalbrewing solutions speidel hack was a complete and utter failure. It didn't work. My first order missed some key parts, so I had to place a second order along with associated shipping charges. I was basically told well now you have some spare parts. Rubbed me the wrong way and at the end of the day didn't work. Your mileage may vary.
 

hout17

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I just ordered a book called 'Old British Beers and How to Make them'. Anybody have a favorite recipe from this book? From the looks of it I'm excited to see what's inside.
 
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kmarkstevens

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I sampled the keg of my first Tony's Pre-1970's Boddington with Manchester yeast today. It is barely in the ballpark, but I think it's in the ballpark.

Of course, I didn't save my brewing record so now not sure mash temp, OG and other details. FG is way too high at 1012. Life happened and I let it sit in the primary for 2 weeks, and when spunding the yeasties were not cooperating so I added additional Manchester starter. Also needs more dry hopping than the very tentative amount I used. All that said, it shows a lot of promise and I need to e breally serious about the next batch.

Also, I may do a split batch next time with Manchester vs WLP026. I believe it was Northern Brewer that tossed out that some folks posit that WLP026 is the "true" Boddy yeast. The Manchester tastes more like nitro Boddy that my tries with Notty.
 

DuncB

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@hout17
I'd go to shut up about barclay perkins and see what Ron Pattinson has to say. He has the real info on old beers, your mileage might vary on that homebrew club recipe book.
I reckon that it will be fairly old school stuff, malt extract, unnamed hops and yeast. Post a recipe when you get it.
 
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cire

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@DuncB
Yes, a good King Keg is a mighty asset. Unfortunately, mine is only moderate, so is mostly a last resort. I should tackle what I think is the problem of an undulating top rim, then wonder if temperature and loading plays some part as it can take several attempts to make a good seal.

I agree that Ron Pattison's blog is probably a better option for @hout17 and all, when compared with the Durden Park book. Nothing against the "Old British Beers ...", but buying the first issue upon publication and not brewed one recipe, use mine as a reference book. It isn't old school stuff, more historical beers that might not be what most people want.

I'm a Graham Wheeler fan and have been fortunate enough to correspond and converse with him until his untimely death. In one of his books he wrote that if it wasn't for the range of varieties of hops, most British Ales would taste more or less the same. Since reading that I've concentrated on a basic grist of pale malt with 5 to 10% unmalted adjunct (Flaked maize, barley, torrified wheat or combination of those) and 5 to 15% invert sugar types 1, 2 and or 3. The hops are always noble types, mostly from Britain and Europe, but not exclusively so as some American hops in small amounts at the beginning or end of the boil can just give that little extra without dominating as they can in some present day commercial beers.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Also, I may do a split batch next time with Manchester vs WLP026. I believe it was Northern Brewer that tossed out that some folks posit that WLP026 is the "true" Boddy yeast.
I don't think I would have said that, but "WLP026 might be worth trying in Boddies as about the only POF- Beer2 yeast available from the main US yeast suppliers" would be the sort of thing I say. That or Omega Gulo if you want more attenuation.

I'd go to shut up about barclay perkins and see what Ron Pattinson has to say. He has the real info on old beers, your mileage might vary on that homebrew club recipe book.
I reckon that it will be fairly old school stuff, malt extract, unnamed hops and yeast. Post a recipe when you get it.
The Durden Park Circle were the pre-internet version of Ron, they were very much about historical recipes.
 

hout17

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@hout17
I'd go to shut up about barclay perkins and see what Ron Pattinson has to say. He has the real info on old beers, your mileage might vary on that homebrew club recipe book.
I reckon that it will be fairly old school stuff, malt extract, unnamed hops and yeast. Post a recipe when you get it.
Thanks yeah I love Ron's blog and I have his vintage beer book as well. I just thought this might be an interesting read and hopefully a recipe or two worth trying. I'll definitely post a recipe when I get it.

I agree that Ron Pattison's blog is probably a better option for @hout17 and all, when compared with the Durden Park book. Nothing against the "Old British Beers ...", but buying the first issue upon publication and not brewed one recipe, use mine as a reference book. It isn't old school stuff, more historical beers that might not be what most people want.

I'm a Graham Wheeler fan and have been fortunate enough to correspond and converse with him until his untimely death. In one of his books he wrote that if it wasn't for the range of varieties of hops, most British Ales would taste more or less the same. Since reading that I've concentrated on a basic grist of pale malt with 5 to 10% unmalted adjunct (Flaked maize, barley, torrified wheat or combination of those) and 5 to 15% invert sugar types 1, 2 and or 3. The hops are always noble types, mostly from Britain and Europe, but not exclusively so as some American hops in small amounts at the beginning or end of the boil can just give that little extra without dominating as they can in some present day commercial beers.
Great thanks for your input on the book either way it should be interesting. I'll also look into some Graham Wheeler literature as well. I've got making invert worked out it's fun to make.

I am looking for historical british recipes in this instance so this may fit the bill for me.

The Durden Park Circle were the pre-internet version of Ron, they were very much about historical recipes.
Thanks for your input I ordered their updated 2013 version looking forward to checking it out when it gets here which may be a little while.
 

DuncB

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I enjoyed the Graham Wheeler books immensely but they too are both with the same person I leant my Dave Line books to. Damm my generosity and him for not sending them back to me. But I'll get them next time I'm back in the UK for sure.
 

shoreman

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sorry to say that my experience with the norcalbrewing solutions speidel hack was a complete and utter failure. It didn't work. My first order missed some key parts, so I had to place a second order along with associated shipping charges. I was basically told well now you have some spare parts. Rubbed me the wrong way and at the end of the day didn't work. Your mileage may vary.
Does the system work well?

it would be nice if someone in the US imported some of those polypins but the market for real ale homebrew supplies I’m thinking is pretty small, who knows why? 🤷‍♂️
 

Miraculix

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Does the system work well?

it would be nice if someone in the US imported some of those polypins but the market for real ale homebrew supplies I’m thinking is pretty small, who knows why? 🤷‍♂️
I thought you got the cubitainers in the US?
 

shoreman

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Yeah I did, the polypins are different, check Northern Brewer’s post above.

it basically a plastic barrel with a co2 hookup on the top.
 

shoreman

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I just ordered a book called 'Old British Beers and How to Make them'. Anybody have a favorite recipe from this book? From the looks of it I'm excited to see what's inside.
I have that book and have only brewed one beer out it - the Amber Small beer. It’s an interesting read but the recipes have some odd malts like Amber & Lager malts listed - the recipes are fairly simple. I think I toasted my own malt for one of the recipes
 

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Define "better" I think - processes such as the proliferation of spoilage microorganisms will happen more slowly at low temperatures, but too cold and you will start precipitating out proteins etc that would normally be present and contributing to the flavour. And serving much below cask range just kills the flavour.

On another topic, I've just come across this puff piece about Lees reaching the 5000th generation of their yeast (with a cameo appearance by Paul Jones of Cloudwater) in 2019 which I missed at the time. They've only been repitching it since 1967 so a baby compared to the yeasts used by some British family brewers. Only really works with multistrains though, you need that diversity to give it resilience against mutation.

That sounds interesting, @Northern_Brewer, how does inter-strain diversity promote resilience against mutation? Mutation being a random process generally, I'd expect any mutation arising and offering a selective advantage to the mutant to be selected for in a competitive environment like brewery wort. And why multi-strain brewery cultures are unlikely to be stable over very long periods. I'd say it's more likely these multi-strain brewery slurries have changed quit a lot over time.
 
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