English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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cire

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A half hour stand after the boil was traditional, but all you suggest will be practiced at some brewery or another. British beers are not as limited as BJCP guidance might suggest and a great many commercial bitters might potentially be judged out of style.

1g/L at 15 mins and 3g/L at flame-out are greater than I do in my pale ales, which I late hop more than I do bitters, and very likely well above the median for commercial additions, but if that's the level you like, then it is your choice.

My last Pale Ale had bittering at 90 minutes, with further additions at 30 minutes with 40g aroma at 5 minutes and 30g at 85C in a 49L brew.
 

schmurf

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I think I personally would do either a f/o addition or a hopstand, not both. I'm not sure I would omitt the 15 min addition. I'm willing to change though in both cases if someone can convince me.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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The reason I thought to do a FO addition and then chill to 80c, is that we have rather cold ground water here and chilling goes rather quick. IE adding att FO and then chilling would be pretty much the same as adding hops at 80c.
Now that you say it, my bitters hav had a stronger hop aroma/flavour than most commercial examples I compare to. I might try doing a 0.5g/L addition for 15 minutes and then 1g/L at FO and pause for 20 min @80c.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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I been reading around a bit more, for my next bitter brew, I will likely do a bittering addition @60min, chill to 80c and then add about 1g/L and let them sit for 20 min before continuing chilling to pitching temp. I am a bit scared of getting stuff i don't want in the wort but on the other hand 80c should be plenty hot to still kill any nasties.
 

DuncB

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A few ales breweries drop the boiling wort onto the hops in a hop back and then they filter out of there into the fermenter. I'm not sure how long that takes through the hopback and don't know if they chill in the hopback to ferment temp or after it has drained.
I suspect after it has drained. Watching the timothytaylors brewery tour surprising timescales.
5 hours to mash and sparge with runoff. Surprising that they dough in at 60 celsius. But it doesn't give a clue about the hopback timing or ferment temperature.
Bigger volumes and mass must be part of the reason.
Thanks @ncbrewer That IBU info paper could also be useful if you wanted to recycle some late addition hops for bittering another brew.
 

cire

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On Tuesday my wife and I had the better part of two hours to kill while a granddaughter had a dancing lesson in Newburn. Nearby is The Big Lamp Brewery, with The Keelman, the on-site pub and restaurant, so we walked there and had a pint of Big Lamp Bitter.

It's a simple basic and rather ordinary Bitter, but it has the honor of being on tap in the Houses of Parliament. Now I'm not saying it is a beer you must brew, but the recipe was published in Graham Wheeler's "Brew Your Own British Real Ale" and as you can see, it is no hop monster.

IMG_20211203_204828903.jpg

Beers are not cooled in hopbacks. They are usually smaller than the boiler, but not necessarily by much. The bottom was usually made of interlocking, quadrant like pieces of gunmetal that fitted to leave narrow slots for the beer to drain through to the counterflow chiller to leave the hot break in the hops. The beer is poured full throttle to provide maximum impact for maximum extraction of hop components. I've hear of American Breweries trying hopbacks to experience greater extraction and cleaner favors and aroma than from a whirlpool.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Maybe I should say I brew mostly best/premium bitters and the occasional strong bitter, wich are at least a little bit heavier in the hop aroma/flavour department than the ordinary bitter.
Is that next page a recipe for black sheep ale? @cire I have been looking for one, would you mind posting it or PM me a pic of that page?
 

cire

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Maybe I should say I brew mostly best/premium bitters and the occasional strong bitter, wich are at least a little bit heavier in the hop aroma/flavour department than the ordinary bitter.
Is that next page a recipe for black sheep ale? @cire I have been looking for one, would you mind posting it or PM me a pic of that page?
Probably best posted here, the book is currently out of print and if this post were to have any impact if it were to be reprinted, this example would likely help sales. Anyone getting the chance to buy this book, should, and not just for the recipes.

BSAle..jpg

When visiting Black Sheep Brewery we were told that recipe was Pale Malt, Torrified Wheat and Pale Chocolate Malt. I think Graham added Black Malt because at that time, Pale Chocolate Malt wasn't readily available to homebrewers. If Pale Chocolate was used, there would necessarily be a greater addition to adjustment for colour.

I suspect the 10 minute hop addition would likely be added to the Hopback as the beer was developed and initially brewed on the old Hartley's plant. As far as I know, Hartley's didn't put hops in the hopback, but I suspect Black Sheep did. There I saw sacks of individual, beautiful cones that must have been destined for that purpose.

The last XB brewed by Hartley can be seen at the link below. At nearly 6 minutes in is a description of how they brewed, including a details of the Hopback. Hartley's put Protafloc type tablets into theirs, so the beer must have stood for enough to do that job.
Brewery final - small.mp4 - Google Drive
 

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This should help you estimate any bitterness you will get from the hop stand: An Analysis of Sub-Boiling Hop Utilization
Excellent site, excellent chart. When I'm making recipes, and get to the IBU calculations, I figure a whirpool addition at ~ 194F will be about 50% utilization and 176F about 25%. So If I run things for 20 minutes "real time" at 176F I'll put in just 5 minutes (25% of 20 minutes) to get an idea of IBU contribution. It's not perfect of course but it seems to be working pretty well.

I think I personally would do either a f/o addition or a hopstand, not both. I'm not sure I would omitt the 15 min addition. I'm willing to change though in both cases if someone can convince me.
I love the 15 minute addition, in pretty much any beer. Having repeated recipes swapping this and the whirlpool additions, or having both, gets very different results. I do 15 minutes in the dark stuff and both in the lighter beers. I can't really say what's best for someone else but will say I'm convinced they give different results (15 minutes vs. substantial time at whirlpool) and are both worth experimenting with.

I might try doing a 0.5g/L addition for 15 minutes and then 1g/L at FO and pause for 20 min @80c.
Definitely! I throw mine in when I'm already at 80C (176F), but you're right it gets there very quickly if you've already got a chiller in place and hooked up ready to go.
 

cire

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First tasting of the Chevallier SMASH. I may never use a different grain again. ;) Certainly, it has a really nice flavor profile that does not need adjuncts.

Will use Chevallier as the base grain for a number of my favorite recipes.
Thank you for that report.

You are not alone in that respect, a number of UK homebrewers were completely won over from their first experience. I've not brewed with it, but my malted sample tastes vastly more malty than modern malted barleys. Even so, none of the brews I had made with Chevallier, including an early commercial brewery version, have impressed me, despite my desire for malty beer.

Early next year more grain will be ordered and will include Chevallier, but will likely start with it at 25% and go from there.
 

Hanglow

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I used plumage archer for the first time in a bitter on sunday, it is the sweetest smelling base malt i have used. Or maybe my sense of smell is off as I haven't brewed for a few months. Will see how it transfers to the beer, a strong bitter with a hefty dose of caramunich 3.
 

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A recent episode of the Experimental Brewing podcast has a long interview/discussion with maltsters from Crisp about their new line of heritage malts. It is worth a listen if you want hear more about the taste profiles of Chevallier and Plumage Archer malts and their floor malted Maris Otter:
Episode 141 - Re-Crisping Your Malt | Experimental Homebrewing
 

kmarkstevens

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Chevalier SMASH about 5 minutes after pouring. About 1 week grain to glass with only clarity ferm in the fermenter, so not very clear. Pub yeast, EKG & BX hops. Tasty though. Will be interesting to see what how it works with some of my favorite recipes as may need to scale down some adjuncts to be balanced.

1639708394673.png
 

Miraculix

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Chevalier SMASH about 5 minutes after pouring. About 1 week grain to glass with only clarity ferm in the fermenter, so not very clear. Pub yeast, EKG & BX hops. Tasty though. Will be interesting to see what how it works with some of my favorite recipes as may need to scale down some adjuncts to be balanced.

View attachment 752429
Wait at least another there weeks! This malt really begins to shine with some time given.
 

cire

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keg isn't going to last 3 more days. ;) Will do another batch and let that one spund in the keg and lager for a few weeks. Sheesh, I"m a gunna have to get another keg!
What hop schedule did you use? I've not got the malt, but will be brewing soon and have those hops, so it would be interesting to try the recipe without Chevallier first.

That's a really fast turnaround.
 

kmarkstevens

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What hop schedule did you use? I've not got the malt, but will be brewing soon and have those hops, so it would be interesting to try the recipe without Chevallier first.
So, 25g EKG for 60 minutes, 20g EKG for the last 5 minutes. Calculated IBU = 33.86 and BUGU:0.80. I let the wort cool overnight with the hops, so that is good for another ~10% to the IBU. Call it ballpark 35. Fullers yeast (Pub).

My typical default is more like BUGU=1.0 but wanted the malt to shine thru, which it did.

The folks at the LHBS could not believe this was a SMASH beer, and kept guessing various adjuncts.
 

cire

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So, 25g EKG for 60 minutes, 20g EKG for the last 5 minutes. Calculated IBU = 33.86 and BUGU:0.80. I let the wort cool overnight with the hops, so that is good for another ~10% to the IBU. Call it ballpark 35. Fullers yeast (Pub).

My typical default is more like BUGU=1.0 but wanted the malt to shine thru, which it did.

The folks at the LHBS could not believe this was a SMASH beer, and kept guessing various adjuncts.
That's great and much in line with my preference. I will brew than and chill, though by using whole hops and sparging those after kettle runoff will also gain a few IBUs to require a lesser adjustment.

Need to bottle a few to compare later. Thank you.
 

kmarkstevens

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I read a few other posts and this is a mash up that might improve on a straight smash:
- 5% or so invert to dry it out
- 10% torrified wheat
- more attenuating yeast than a fullers. Maybe W. Yorkie for some character or Notty for neutral or whatever be your favorite. Pub is one of the least attenuating yeasts out there.
 

cire

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I read a few other posts and this is a mash up that might improve on a straight smash:
- 5% or so invert to dry it out
- 10% torrified wheat
- more attenuating yeast than a fullers. Maybe W. Yorkie for some character or Notty for neutral or whatever be your favorite. Pub is one of the least attenuating yeasts out there.
Well, while I've not brewed with Chevallier, I'd certainly support your ambition. I think an addition of invert would be very advantageous and could be of a highly flavored type as from my perspective, Chevallier malt can overpower all else present. 10% torrified wheat is commonly used today in UK breweries, but think that might be difficult if all conversion enzymes come from the Chevallier malt.

Chevallier is a difficult beast to work with; it took six months of research before I was happy using it to make the beer, is an excerpt from page 2. The first 2 paragraphs on that same page relate to a project of which I attended a talk by Keith Thomas, and had a pint made with Chevallier which didn't hit the spot for me. Since that occasion I've had no further direct feed from professionals, but have from amateurs with serious determination, all of whom found one or more difficulties brewing with Chevallier.

It should be understood I'm an old fashioned brewer, more precisely using methods of British family brewers in the twentieth century until, one way or another, most were taken out of business. I brew with natural local water, reducing alkalinity with acids before the 90 minute mash, a fly sparge followed by a 90 minute boil amongst other things. Anything I write may potentially assume such and adaptation to other brewing systems and procedures would therefore warrant consideration.

With that in mind, I wondered if Chevallier has sufficient enzymes to convert both the torrified wheat and itself, or might an addition of an enzyme rich malt or extract help? Maybe an extended mash or not mashing out could help too. Commercial inverts are typically 95% fermentable and maybe homemade varieties, but I don't find sugar to thin a beer, indeed, usually adding character. It does appear to ferment more quickly than fermentables from barley malt, or it appears so when adding sugar to the FV a day into fermentation with almost immediate greater activity. A Yorkshire yeast could allow intervention to avoid a too low gravity beer by skimming and gentle cooling, to slow fermentation as it approached FG, with most more complex sugars remaining. I'm not sure if Nottingham differentiates between those.
 

DBhomebrew

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The continuation of that quote is interesting.

“It really puts its stamp on the beer – so much flavour, so much aroma. I needed to add a massive amount of bittering hops to cut through the sweetness and make a balanced beer.”

Perhaps that's why many 19th (and very early 20th) century recipes are so heavily hopped. You can't judge 19th century recipes based on 20th century ingredients!
 

Miraculix

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I think the reason for the perceived lower bitterness is an actually lower ibu count. Chvallier has a higher protein content then other modern barleys have. This means more proteins in the wort. As you know, the higher the gravity of the wort the hops are boiled in, the lower the utilisation of the alpha acids. Actually this is not the whole truth. What limits the utilisation of alpha acids is the protein content of the wort, not the gravity or sugars. Usually, the protein content increases with wort gravity in a linear fashion, unless one uses simple sugars or grains that are higher in proteins than others.

In this case we got more protein per gravity point, resulting in lower hop utilisation than in wort of the same gravity, brewed with modern barley.

Otherwise, I found chevallier to be a pretty easy to work with malt. Standard single infusion works well, enzyme content seems to be good, I have no doubt that it can handle 20-30% unmalted adjuncts, if needed. Which brings me to the question why it would be needed. Simple sugars, different story. But torrified wheat is usually used to up the protein content in the wort, and this is not really necessary here imo.
 

kmarkstevens

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The Crisp Website has two recipes for Chevallier: Chevallier West Coast IPA Beer Recipe | Chevallier Heritage Malt by Crisp (crispmalt.com) and Victorian Steampunk Ale Recipe | Chevallier Base Malt | Crisp British Malt (crispmalt.com)

The more I read the above comments and think about this, I am leaning toward sticking with a Chevallier SMASH. Perhaps mess with the mash temperature, yeast and hop choices, but leave everything else alone.

Who am I fooling? I'm gonna have to try at least a mild with Chevallier in the hopes that an already wonderful recipe can be improved, whilst most likely the result will be unbalanced vrom changing out the base malt. Homebrewers gotta brew. :eek:
 

Miraculix

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The Crisp Website has two recipes for Chevallier: Chevallier West Coast IPA Beer Recipe | Chevallier Heritage Malt by Crisp (crispmalt.com) and Victorian Steampunk Ale Recipe | Chevallier Base Malt | Crisp British Malt (crispmalt.com)

The more I read the above comments and think about this, I am leaning toward sticking with a Chevallier SMASH. Perhaps mess with the mash temperature, yeast and hop choices, but leave everything else alone.

Who am I fooling? I'm gonna have to try at least a mild with Chevallier in the hopes that an already wonderful recipe can be improved, whilst most likely the result will be unbalanced vrom changing out the base malt. Homebrewers gotta brew. :eek:
Brew a smash bitter first. Golding's and Chevallier. After that you might find that you just need to use two malts for a dark mild, the Chevallier and one dark one.
 

Hanglow

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My bitter brewed, bottled, carbed and dropped clear in under two weeks. Most of it dropped off at my dads house for him to get stuck into.

Bit of an aggressive pour meant a more german head, I'll say it was planned in tribute to the caramunich.;)

Happy xmas everyone
 

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I brewed an AK bitter hopped with only Bramling Cross and there is a pretty distinctive minty flavor and aroma. I have only used Bramling Cross a few times before and flavor was more earthy. This was a new package of unknown harvest year, wondering if they sent something else or would minty be normal?
 

kmarkstevens

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So, made a 3 gallon Chevallier SMASH with EKG for a BUGU ~1 and will dry hop with 5 grams on a 8 plato/1032 brew. Essex ale yeast with a small pitch. I also ordered 25 pounds of Chevallier from Midwest. Zeroing in on the right SMASHY keeper for this grain: An 8 plato session, a best bitter, and then mayhaps a barley wine.
 

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I brewed an AK bitter hopped with only Bramling Cross and there is a pretty distinctive minty flavor and aroma. I have only used Bramling Cross a few times before and flavor was more earthy. This was a new package of unknown harvest year, wondering if they sent something else or would minty be normal?
Bramling Cross can have a minty quality when picked at the right time. When I was in Wales for vacation before this pandemic, I went to a brewery and the brewers were kind enough to spend an hour talking with me. There I learned that Bramling Cross is a hard hop to pick, as it has a relative narrow window for picking to get the best quality. There they talked about Bramling Crosses aroma and flavour qualities as being minty, peppery, black berry and hoppy.

Now that you mention bramling cross, the brew I have homebrewed the most of the last two years have been this British Golden Ale (see attached recipe). I am unsure how british it is in its current iteration, a few sacrileges have been committed:
  1. I use purely Danish malt, mostly because I want to support a local maltster the best I can.
  2. I don't even use Maris Otter (I really love a good quality Maris), instead I use Vienna. This is mostly because of availability and the maltster's pale ale malt just doesn't do the same as Maris.
  3. I have begun using the cream ale blend from White Labs for all my ales. As I think it does a very good job at providing a fruity estery flavour to the beers without overpowering them.
Edit: Don't mind the Mash Ph or water profile. They depend on the water I get. I often take water from work which is soften, but sometimes I use my tap water which is pretty hard. RO water is expensive where I live, so it aint worth buying.

Cheers
 

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