English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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Erik the Anglophile

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So I took a gravity reading just now on the Porter, a week after brewing it, and it had only gone down to 1.017 from 1.051, gonna take a new one in 2 days to confirm.
I think it might be the only about 50% of grain in the mash being base malt thing doing it, now I understand why the Porter brewers back in the day had such long mashes, this probably would have benefitted from a 90 or even 120 minute mash. Well, well, next time.
Taste was fine though, extremely bready and kinda nutty, slightly astringent but it's a week old Porter straight out the fermenter, nothing worse than I think will mellow with some ageing.
 
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Miraculix

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So I took a gravity reading just now on the Porter, a week after brewing it, and it had only gone down to 1.017 from 1.051, gonna take a new one in 2 days to confirm.
I think it might be the only about 50% of grain in the mash being base malt thing doing it, now I understand why the Porter brewers back in the day had such long mashes, this probably would have benefitted from a 90 or even 120 minute mash. Well, well, next time.
Taste was fine though, extremely bready and kinda nutty, slightly astringent but it's a week old Porter straight out the fermenter, nothing worse than I think will mellow with some ageing.
1.017 is not bad at all. It's well within the expected range of British yeasts.

And as long as the taste goes into the right direction, who cares about numbers.
 

kmarkstevens

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WLP-037 is now available! Just ordered some through my very excellent LHBS's group buy.
Good luck with that! It was too much yeast for me. POF+. I made several batches. Some were pure saison. Others started out nice and two months of bottle conditioning morphed into something not for my palate. I gave up as it is much too finicky a yeast for my poor talents, and frankly was never sure even if I got the yeast right that the results would be worth it.

If you tame this beast, please do share tips and tricks as I can prolly revive a mason jar sitting in the fridge.
 

kmarkstevens

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So I took a gravity reading just now on the Porter, a week after brewing it, and it had only gone down to 1.017 from 1.051, gonna take a new one in 2 days to confirm.
I think it might be the only about 50% of grain in the mash being base malt thing doing it, now I understand why the Porter brewers back in the day had such long mashes, this probably would have benefitted from a 90 or even 120 minute mash. Well, well, next time.
Taste was fine though, extremely bready and kinda nutty, slightly astringent but it's a week old Porter straight out the fermenter, nothing worse than I think will mellow with some ageing.
If you like the taste, then that's great. That said, 1017 is way too high for my tastes. You might consider hitting it with Nottingham or another yeast to see if you can bring it down a few points.
 

Northern_Brewer

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WLP-037 is now available! Just ordered some through my very excellent LHBS's group buy.
Just make sure you give it lots of oxygen, it's hungry for it by all accounts and needs it to tame the phenols.

In other news, this is what Ragus invert looks like in the wild for those who haven't seen it :
1660125305276.png
 

DBhomebrew

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Good luck with that! It was too much yeast for me. POF+. I made several batches. Some were pure saison. Others started out nice and two months of bottle conditioning morphed into something not for my palate. I gave up as it is much too finicky a yeast for my poor talents, and frankly was never sure even if I got the yeast right that the results would be worth it.

If you tame this beast, please do share tips and tricks as I can prolly revive a mason jar sitting in the fridge.

Just make sure you give it lots of oxygen, it's hungry for it by all accounts and needs it to tame the phenols.

Yep. While I'm not about to replicate @McMullan's homemade square, this will be my first ferment in an open bucket.
 

McMullan

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WLP037 is a very nice brewer's strain. Great for English ales. I have no hesitations using it. One of my favourites. Makes very nice beer I enjoy. I think far too many people develop an unnecessary hang-up with POF+ strains. Some are used to produce among the finest English ales. Belgian, too 🤫 I'm not so convinced POF- is necessarily an indicator of domestication. But obviously it needs to be believed to be so to make the story sound more convincing. POF+ is the normal phenotype that probably got lost by a random event early on in our brewing adventures rather than selection for 'better' beer. Fact is, some of us might find POF- strains unbearably boring 🤫
 

DBhomebrew

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WLP037 is a very nice brewer's strain. Great for English ales. I have no hesitations using it. One of my favourites. Makes very nice beer I enjoy. I think far too many people develop an unnecessary hang-up with POF+ strains. Some are used to produce among the finest English ales. Belgian, too 🤫 I'm not so convinced POF- is necessarily an indicator of domestication. But obviously it needs to be believed to be so to make the story sound more convincing. POF+ is the normal phenotype that probably got lost by a random event early on in our brewing adventures rather than selection for 'better' beer. Fact is, some of us might find POF- strains unbearably boring 🤫

Do you have a recommendation for a max ferment temp? I'm wondering how long I should wait as my basement cools into Autumn. I'm not afraid of some clove/pepper, but I don't want to overdo it.
 

McMullan

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Do you have a recommendation for a max ferment temp? I'm wondering how long I should wait as my basement cools into Autumn. I'm not afraid of some clove/pepper, but I don't want to overdo it.
I pitch at 17°C/63°F and let it free rise in my large ferm chamber that's in a cool part of our basement. My cave, apparently. It rarely threatens to go above about 21-22°C unless it's hot outside and my cave warms up a bit. I rarely have both the cooling and heating connected to my temp controller. Usually either one or the other, depending on time of year. I pitch at a high rate. I don't bother quantifying it. It's 'bucket science'. I recommend making a starter and pitching into a 1/2 batch, harvest (top crop) then repitch fresh into a full batch or another 1/2 batch. Repitch again, if possible. Now it's on form. Any 'clove' blends nicely as some subtle complexity in what should be a balanced beer due largely to a decent pitching rate. Under pitch, it sticks out like a sore thumb with a lesser balanced beer. You can do the same for other characterful English strains, like Ringwood and Harvey's. You don't have to recirculate fermenting wort periodically during active fermentation, like I do, but be confident to rouse it with a spoon or something occasionally during active fermentation, not before or after.

Edit: @DBhomebrew, I forgot to note my fermentation temperature numbers refer to wort temperature rather than chamber/ambient.
 
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DBhomebrew

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Edit: @DBhomebrew, I forgot to note my fermentation temperature numbers refer to wort temperature rather than chamber/ambient.

Of course.

I think I have a plan. I've got a small dorm fridge that doesn't fit my full fermenters, but it does fit a 2G bucket. I'll do a string of a few 1.5G batches and by the time I get 3 or 4 in, the basement should be ready for a passively cooled full 4G batch.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Just as a headsup for those who can get to Seattle towards the end of this month, Foggy Noggin in Bothell have Ron Pattinson for a tasting of AKs, followed a week later by John Keeling with a tasting of Fuller's core beers against the Foggy equivalents.
Ron's blog has caught up with his trips to Foggy Noggin and Machine House.
 

kmarkstevens

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Holy crap, Ron got taken care of in Seattle. The first hotel is a former catholic seminary that was converted a year or two ago. Pretty pricey I understand and the park is nice.

And Ron had a burger at Dicks. Dicks has about 6 locations in Washington, including one in Spokane my grandmother took me to about 50 years ago. It's super cheap. It is one of two local burger places that Bill Gates has frequented forever.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Just a quick question for any of the Europeans on here guys, I am thinking about buying some caramel colour to expermiment with in my more vintage inspired ales.
Found some on Brouwland, and a Swedish webshop carried what I presume is also the same variety (e150a) but it was only 25ml flasks for about the same price so I will likely order from Brouwland.
I know proper Class III or e150c brewers caramel is about 33000 EBC and this stuff clocks in at 9500 EBC. I found out via googling that Class III raises the color by 2 EBC for every 6ml added per 100L, anybody know what the formula is for the class I stuff so I can make some basic calculations on how many ml to add for some experiments?
And as I understand, this mostly adds colour but also a minor flavour contribution, anyon with experience using this stuff might chime in?

Edit: Found this on Humle.se for Sinamar
Dosage:
Use 14 g (11.9 ml) of SINAMAR® Color Malt Extract to darken 1 hl of beer or wort by 1 EBC.
So I suppose to count on 11ml/Hectolitre or 1ml/10L rasing the EBC by 1 would be a good starting point.
 
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Miraculix

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Just a quick question for any of the Europeans on here guys, I am thinking about buying some caramel colour to expermiment with in my more vintage inspired ales.
Found some on Brouwland, and a Swedish webshop carried what I presume is also the same variety (e150a) but it was only 25ml flasks for about the same price so I will likely order from Brouwland.
I know proper Class III or e150c brewers caramel is about 33000 EBC and this stuff clocks in at 9500 EBC. I found out via googling that Class III raises the color by 2 EBC for every 6ml added per 100L, anybody know what the formula is for the class I stuff so I can make some basic calculations on how many ml to add for some experiments?
And as I understand, this mostly adds colour but also a minor flavour contribution, anyon with experience using this stuff might chime in?

Edit: Found this on Humle.se for Sinamar
Dosage:
Use 14 g (11.9 ml) of SINAMAR® Color Malt Extract to darken 1 hl of beer or wort by 1 EBC.
So I suppose to count on 11ml/Hectolitre or 1ml/10L rasing the EBC by 1 would be a good starting point.
Sinamar seems to be used a lot by the German home brewers, but isn't it an extract from roasted malt and not caramel based? Could be wrong though...
 

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Caramel does have taste when used in any quantity that gives a marked change in color. It provides the sort of taste you would expect in dark beers, except perhaps the so called Black IPAs, which I think are mostly awful.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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I am about to order a new 25kg sack of basemalt, and thought to try Golden Promise instead of Maris Otter.
Looked around a little and my choices are either Simpsons or Fawcett, Fawcett are ~ 160 SEK(~16 Euro) more expensive but you know, floor malted.
Are the extra bucks for floor malted worth it since I brew mostly English styles where the malt character noticed more? The Fawcett is not THAT much more expensive so if it is a significant increase in quality/flavour it is IMO worth the little extra money, anyone who has any experience using Fawcett who could chime in?
 

HM-2

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I am about to order a new 25kg sack of basemalt, and thought to try Golden Promise instead of Maris Otter.
Looked around a little and my choices are either Simpsons or Fawcett, Fawcett are ~ 160 SEK(~16 Euro) more expensive but you know, floor malted.
Are the extra bucks for floor malted worth it since I brew mostly English styles where the malt character noticed more? The Fawcett is not THAT much more expensive so if it is a significant increase in quality/flavour it is IMO worth the little extra money, anyone who has any experience using Fawcett who could chime in?
So usual YMMV caveats apply but I've never really noticed a perceptible difference between floor malted and non-floor malted English malts, though the depth of my experience is limited to Warminster Maris Otter.

My view is that with a much more flavoursome malt like MO or GP compared to say pilsner the flavour contributions of floor malting, such as they are, are effectively drowned out, whereas with something like pilsner which is much less bold in flavour the subtleties are easier to detect.
 

Miraculix

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Just a general thought about malt, the difference in flavour from maltster to maltster is definitely there within crystal malt at the same colour. My guess is, same applies to base malts. That's why I think that floor malted or not is not so important, as you are comparing different maltsters anyway. The malts will differ, which you like best, I have no idea.
 

DBhomebrew

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I am about to order a new 25kg sack of basemalt, and thought to try Golden Promise instead of Maris Otter.
Looked around a little and my choices are either Simpsons or Fawcett, Fawcett are ~ 160 SEK(~16 Euro) more expensive but you know, floor malted.
Are the extra bucks for floor malted worth it since I brew mostly English styles where the malt character noticed more? The Fawcett is not THAT much more expensive so if it is a significant increase in quality/flavour it is IMO worth the little extra money, anyone who has any experience using Fawcett who could chime in?
Can't speak to Fawcett's GP, but I'm very much enjoying my sack of Simpson's. Clean, bready, slightly sweet. I find MO to be much more agressive in its flavor, very nutty. Simpson's Best Pale Ale is also very nice. More dry malty than GP, but none of MO's nuts.

I currently have a rather fresh grisette made with Simpsons GP. At about 75/20/5% GP/wheat/demerara, it's absolutely delicious. Pleasant sweet* grainy-ness.

*Sweet in flavor, FG is down around 1.006.
 

eshea3

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I am about to order a new 25kg sack of basemalt, and thought to try Golden Promise instead of Maris Otter.
Looked around a little and my choices are either Simpsons or Fawcett, Fawcett are ~ 160 SEK(~16 Euro) more expensive but you know, floor malted.
Are the extra bucks for floor malted worth it since I brew mostly English styles where the malt character noticed more? The Fawcett is not THAT much more expensive so if it is a significant increase in quality/flavour it is IMO worth the little extra money, anyone who has any experience using Fawcett who could chime in?
Used both and never noticed a difference.FWIW, I believe Timothy Taylor uses Simpsons
 

Northern_Brewer

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I've never done the comparison between floor-malted and not from the same maltster, but I have compared between malts from maltsters like Warminster that only floor malt and those that don't, and definitely preferred the floor-malted ones in that comparison.

But it's the sort of thing where the difference fades away as the malt ages, so if people are buying it outside the UK they may have to deal with old stock.

As for Simpsons or Fawcett, they're both good just different, it's kind of like having to choose between Porsche and Ferrari. I'd prefer either over the big East Anglian maltsters.

Yes Taylors get a lot of their malt from Simpsons, but a lot of the other Yorkshire breweries use Fawcett - it's just a proximity thing to a large extent.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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I oredered some yeast aswell, still going on my quest to find a 2 yeast blend I am happy with as my "house yeast" intended for Brittish ales (wich I almost exclusively brew).
So my coming tests will be MJ Liberty Bell /Lallemand Verdant.
First up is a brown ale with 5/4% Amber/Brown malt, 6% Medium crystal and about 7% Demerara as an invert 2 approximation. A bit of the Brouwland brewers Caramel aswell for a more appropriate brown ale color without using any dark roasted malts.1.045 OG.
I know @Miraculix has used both, what were your experiences regarding attenuation?
I suppose a 67c mash should land me about low to mid 70's in AA for darker beers with a bit of darker malts and some sugar, and 65c should be good for Bitters/Pales that I prefer on the drier side, uptowards 80% AA, correct?
 

Miraculix

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I oredered some yeast aswell, still going on my quest to find a 2 yeast blend I am happy with as my "house yeast" intended for Brittish ales (wich I almost exclusively brew).
So my coming tests will be MJ Liberty /Lallemand Verdant, first up a brown ale with 5/4% Amber/Brown malt, 6% Medium crystal and about 7% Demerara as an invert 2 approximation. 1.045 OG.
I know @Miraculix has used both, what were your experiences regarding attenuation?
I suppose a 67c mash should land me about low to mid 70's in AA for darker beers with a bit of darker malts and some sugar, and 65c should be good for Bitters/Pales that I prefer on the drier side, uptowards 80% AA, correct?
I think that's probably correct. My current house yeast is a mix of verdant and Nottingham. Ferments fast, drops like a stone, good attenuation and the verdant brings in some flavour. Nottingham controls verdants excessive fruitiness so for me best combination so far.

I have to try liberty bell again, it has been a long time but attenuation wise of was in the same ballpark as verdant, of I remember correctly.

At the moment I'm looking for an expressive non-fruity English dry strain. I've had a bit too much of the specific verdant flavour the last months. It's great when controlled by Nottingham, but it's still also pretty distinctive and sometimes I just want something English without fruit.
 
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Erik the Anglophile

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Does the Verdant give you apricot? That's what I was hoping to get since I usually pick up a little apricot backgrounds flavour in TT's ales. And if this blends gives me something in the same vein as their brewey strain I think bob's my uncle.
 

Miraculix

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Does the Verdant give you apricot? That's what I was hoping to get since I usually pick up a little apricot backgrounds flavour in TT's ales. And if this blends gives me something in the same vein as their brewey strain I think bob's my uncle.
Hmmm... I don't know. It's this type of fruitiness that wlp 002 can also deliver when fermented at the upper end of its range. I don't know how to describe it otherwise.
 

HM-2

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Does the Verdant give you apricot? That's what I was hoping to get since I usually pick up a little apricot backgrounds flavour in TT's ales. And if this blends gives me something in the same vein as their brewey strain I think bob's my uncle.
I get apricot/nectarine from Verdant, it's my go-to for US style IPAs though I've not tried it in a Brit.

Currently my go-to is WLP007 for anything over 6%, and a mixture of S-04 and Lallemand London ESB for anything lower or which requires a bit less attenuation. The S-04 does a pretty decent job of resolving the propensity of London ESB to crap out at around 1.020-1.025 without throwing too many of its own esters or pushing stuff down drier than about 75%.
 
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Miraculix

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I get apricot/nectarine from Verdant, it's my go-to for US style IPAs though I've not tried it in a Brit.

Currently my go-to is WLP007 for anything over 6%, and a mixture of S-04 and Lallemand London ESB for anything lower or which requires a bit less attenuation. The S-04 does a pretty decent job of resolving the propensity of London ESB to crap out at around 1.020-1.025 without throwing too many of its own esters or pushing stuff down dried than about 7%.
And an extra plus is that 04 is the best dry yeast I've ever used in terms of flocculation which should compensate for London esbs rather poor flocculation. I like London esbs flavour...

The more I think about it, the better I find this combination. I will try this one in my next bitter. Thanks for sharing!
 

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London esbs rather poor flocculation.
We may be thinking of different yeasts of course, but the Wyeast 1968 London ESB, for me, is a crazy flocculant yeast. The first time I made a starter with it, it looked like cottage cheese after 24 hours and I thought I'd ruined it. From what I gather reading, I'd go so far as to say most people would have the opposite experience of it being a poor flocculator. I'm interested in what you are using as an ESB yeast (other than the Verdant / Nottingham mentioned - unless that was actually what you meant).
 

Miraculix

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We may be thinking of different yeasts of course, but the Wyeast 1968 London ESB, for me, is a crazy flocculant yeast. The first time I made a starter with it, it looked like cottage cheese after 24 hours and I thought I'd ruined it. From what I gather reading, I'd go so far as to say most people would have the opposite experience of it being a poor flocculator. I'm interested in what you are using as an ESB yeast (other than the Verdant / Nottingham mentioned - unless that was actually what you meant).
He is talking about the Lallemand dry London ESB
Exactly, sorry I did not know that there is another manufacturer who was using the same name for one of their strains. I would have mentioned Lallemand otherwise.
 
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