English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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WesBrew

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I’ve been thinking about this Bitter all year, even craving it. Finally it’s brewed. 10.8 gallons in the fermenter. Pub yeast pitched. Slight overshoot to .046., plate chiller clogged on the whirlpool but prob still close to 35ibu. Almost forgot to add the invert at 50min. . Took 5 minutes to pour it into the measuring cup, after warming it up in the condenser water bucket 🙄.
Sample is delicious, I think it’s going to be good
 

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HM-2

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Finally got my British IPA into the kegerator, carbed up and looking good.

PXL-20221212-144712883-PORTRAIT.jpg


It looks a lot darker that is really is in the picture. Still a little murky but I expect the last of that will clear up in the fridge. It's been burst carbed hence the inappropriate Belgian head. Dialled that down now.

It's very good. Marmalade, a little tropical fruit, earthy traditional hops. Quite bitter and dry. Very drinkable though.

I think if I was redoing it I'd probably not use Target for bittering, go for something a little more mellow and less snappy as it slightly overpowers the fruity aftertaste. I also think I'd pull back some of the darker crystal malts- this was 95% Chev and 5% Heritage Crystal and whilst it's good, I think I could have pulled the HC down to 2% with maybe 3% of something like golden naked oats. Because it's fermented pretty dry I think the additional mouth feel from the oats would do it wonders as well as smoothing the slightly jagged edges out.

Whoever said that Heritage Crystal comes in darker than you expect from 180 EBC was totally spot on though!
 

Miraculix

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Finally got my British IPA into the kegerator, carbed up and looking good.

PXL-20221212-144712883-PORTRAIT.jpg


It looks a lot darker that is really is in the picture. Still a little murky but I expect the last of that will clear up in the fridge. It's been burst carbed hence the inappropriate Belgian head. Dialled that down now.

It's very good. Marmalade, a little tropical fruit, earthy traditional hops. Quite bitter and dry. Very drinkable though.

I think if I was redoing it I'd probably not use Target for bittering, go for something a little more mellow and less snappy as it slightly overpowers the fruity aftertaste. I also think I'd pull back some of the darker crystal malts- this was 95% Chev and 5% Heritage Crystal and whilst it's good, I think I could have pulled the HC down to 2% with maybe 3% of something like golden naked oats. Because it's fermented pretty dry I think the additional mouth feel from the oats would do it wonders as well as smoothing the slightly jagged edges out.

Whoever said that Heritage Crystal comes in darker than you expect from 180 EBC was totally spot on though!
I did almost the same grain bill for my barley wine, HC at 3% though, plus I added invert number 2. The heritage crystal needed about half a year to age out it's harshness. Afterwards, beautiful beer, before, just so so. I've had hc ruin 10% hc bitters twice, because I couldn't believe that HC was the reason for the harshness in the beer. I don't use HC anymore.
 

HM-2

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The heritage crystal needed about half a year to age out it's harshness. Afterwards, beautiful beer
So...perfect for my upcoming Old Ale!

I've had hc ruin 10% hc bitters twice, because I couldn't believe that HC was the reason for the harshness in the beer.
I'm 99% sure the bite on this is Target rather than the HC...on the HC front what sort of "harshness" were you experiencing?
 

Miraculix

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So...perfect for my upcoming Old Ale!


I'm 99% sure the bite on this is Target rather than the HC...on the HC front what sort of "harshness" were you experiencing?
Unpleasant bitterness at the back of the tongue. I don't know how to describe it in another way. Only thing I can say is that I was also 99% sure that it was somehow hop related, which is why I brewed the beer twice with different hops but the same unpleasant harshness remained. Once the HC was ditched, the resulting bitter was without the harshness. These were relatively quick turnaround bitters though. This malt can work in a long term aging situation, but then don't overdo it. Two to three percent in a strong beer is already plenty! Also, it doesn't seem to generate any sweetness that one might expect from using crystal malt.
 
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HM-2

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Anyone got a go-to old ale recipe they're had a lot of success with?

I've been playing with recipes today, 85% MO, 5% invert and 3% golden naked oats with the remaining 7% split between a darkish, fruit-forward crystal, and maybe 1% pale chocolate for about 8% ABV and a 1.018 FG. Dunno what to do regarding hops though.
 

Miraculix

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Anyone got a go-to old ale recipe they're had a lot of success with?

I've been playing with recipes today, 85% MO, 5% invert and 3% golden naked oats with the remaining 7% split between a darkish, fruit-forward crystal, and maybe 1% pale chocolate for about 8% ABV and a 1.018 FG. Dunno what to do regarding hops though.
I think that oats are fairly untypical for a UK style old ale. Also seven percent crystal is a lot in this higher gravity beer. I personally wouldn't go beyond five, probably only use three percent crystal.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Thank you, used a 50/50 Demerara/light muscovado mix.
No caramellisation just let it simmer for 10 min after adding the acid then neutralised with a little over .5g of sodium bicarbonate.
 

Miraculix

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Thank you, used a 50/50 Demerara/light muscovado mix.
No caramellisation just let it simmer for 10 min after adding the acid then neutralised with a little over .5g of sodium bicarbonate.
That might have been a bit too quick. I usually let it simmer for half an hour+ to make sure inversion is almost completely done.
 

Miraculix

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Forgot to add I added the acid at 80c then let it reach a simmer, then hold it there for 10 min.
As I understand it the inversion process is rather quick.
Yes can be the case, depending on the ph.

I like the idea that all the little "impurities" in the untreated sugars do fancy maillard stuff with the sugar and each other. I like to boil it a bit longer and also a bit thicker to reach a higher temperature for that. A bit of browning might occur.

I've also taste tested before and after adding the baking soda and the result is definitely different. And it goes beyond more or less acidic. There are other changes happening as well, my guess is that certain interactions between sugar and other things in solution are emphasized at higher ph.
 

IslandLizard

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Got this in the mail today, for my upcoming Stock Ale that will be brewed during the Christmas leave.
Don't hesitate to make an overbuilt starter from that vial before you pitch, and save some out for a next brew. Even the starter beer (the supernatant) can be very tasty!

Is this Brett going to be a copitch with sacch or just added later for long term conditioning?
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Don't hesitate to make an overbuilt starter from that vial before you pitch, and save some out for a next brew. Even the starter beer (the supernatant) can be very tasty!

Is this Brett going to be a copitch with sacch or just added later for long term conditioning?
I am gonna brew it as an ordinary ale first, then rack to a PET carboy with some (a load of) hops, boiled oak cubes and brett and then forget about it for ~6 months.
Plan on a similair approach for an Imperial stout some time during the winter.
 

DBhomebrew

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I'm interested in your recipe. I've got last year's batch of brett'd Gunstock Ale ready to enjoy for Christmas. I'm going to do another stock ale next week too, this time with Wyeast's sacc/brett blend. Not quite settled on the recipe yet.

Here's where I am at the moment.

1.099/60IBU
80% Best Pale Ale
5% C45
5% Wheat
10% Invert #2
154/1hr
90m boil
30 IBU FWH Cluster
30 IBU 90m Cluster
1/4oz Oak Secondary
EKG DH Secondary
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Had a taste of my late 1800's stout aswell, lots of chocolate and coffee from the brown and black malt, and some dark fruit in the background.
It will need at least 4 months more to really hit it's stride, and next time I will kick up the OG to 1.070. My imperial aged on oak and brett will def be the same recipe but kicked up to OG 1.095-1.100
 

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Erik the Anglophile

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I'm interested in your recipe. I've got last year's batch of brett'd Gunstock Ale ready to enjoy for Christmas. I'm going to do another stock ale next week too, this time with Wyeast's sacc/brett blend. Not quite settled on the recipe yet.

Here's where I am at the moment.

1.099/60IBU
80% Best Pale Ale
5% C45
5% Wheat
10% Invert #2
154/1hr
90m boil
30 IBU FWH Cluster
30 IBU 90m Cluster
1/4oz Oak Secondary
EKG DH Secondary
My recipe is
14L post boil volume
1.075 OG 65 IBU
GP 1660g
Simpson Vienna/Mild 1660g
Simpson Heritage Crystal 220g
Simpson Amber 170g
650g invert 3
67c/75 min
90 min boil Challenger as bittering
EKG 14g 20 min
Fuggle 14g 20 min
Bobek about 1g/L dry hop in secondary
Water will be Graham Wheelers sweet pale ale profile.
 

hout17

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You've all got me excited! I went ahead and cooked up some more invert #2 actually it looks like it's in between 1 and 2. Will use if my golden syrup fails to arrive before brew day. I neutralized with Sodium Bicarbonate and it worked great and tastes very nice.

Edit: 1lb Turbinado Sugar, 1 pint Water, 1 gram Citric Acid, 1 gram Sodium Bicarbonate

PXL_20221215_194329024~2.jpg
 
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IslandLizard

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I am gonna brew it as an ordinary ale first, then rack to a PET carboy with some (a load of) hops, boiled oak cubes and brett and then forget about it for ~6 months.
Make sure you have enough beer to fill the secondary 1-2" under the bung. Try to prevent oxidation wherever possible.
I've been using 100% liquid pre-purged kegs as secondaries for beers that need aging, and with very good success.
 

cire

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There is no need to neutralize invert sugar to pH 7 for adding to the boil, which usually targets pH 5.2 for optimum performance of copper finings. When added during fermentation, 4.5 will be a better target pH.
 

hout17

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There is no need to neutralize invert sugar to pH 7 for adding to the boil, which usually targets pH 5.2 for optimum performance of copper finings. When added during fermentation, 4.5 will be a better target pH.
With a 5% addition I don't think it's going to matter much but thats just my opinion not backed by anything. Do you know what the ratio is to completely neutralize it is? I've seen where some say it's 3 grams sodium bicarbonate to 1 gram of citric and also 1.3 grams sodium bicarbonate to 1 gram of citric.

Edit: scratch the 3 grams to 1 gram and let's go with the 1.3 to 1. Also I add my inverts at flameout.
 
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Miraculix

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There is no need to neutralize invert sugar to pH 7 for adding to the boil, which usually targets pH 5.2 for optimum performance of copper finings. When added during fermentation, 4.5 will be a better target pH.
It tastes different when baking soda is added when it is still boiling. Also colour changes quickly, it darkens a bit further. But the main thing to me is the flavour change. This liquorice kind of flavour that darker sugars bring gets more subdued and other flavours come more to the front. I prefer it with the neutralisation step. I did some before/after side by side taste tests.
 

hout17

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It tastes different when baking soda is added when it is still boiling. Also colour changes quickly, it darkens a bit further. But the main thing to me is the flavour change. This liquorice kind of flavour that darker sugars bring gets more subdued and other flavours come more to the front. I prefer it with the neutralisation step. I did some before/after side by side taste tests.
I noticed this to regarding the flavor when I added the baking soda for the first time today. I thought the taste was more pleasant and complex.

Edit: I also found specs for Lyle's Golden Syrup and that Ph range is stated to be anywhere from 5 to 6
 

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Erik the Anglophile

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Make sure you have enough beer to fill the secondary 1-2" under the bung. Try to prevent oxidation wherever possible.
I've been using 100% liquid pre-purged kegs as secondaries for beers that need aging, and with very good success.
I plan to fill the carboy up to the neck, or at least almost up to the neck, although I suppose the brett secondary ferment will push out oxygen, as opposed to an "inert" secondary.
I think in a way I actually want some micro-oxidation, to mimic the cask ageing that beer if this type would have seen, that's why I throw in some oak cubes.
 

cire

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With a 5% addition, indeed it won't make much difference. What is not wanted is to worsen the conditions when adding sugar, which is potentially possible.

I cannot give exact figures, for it does depend what water is used. I used tap water and start measuring its alkalinity and neutralizing that to pH 4.4 with 6 molar HCl. A half litre usually needs about 0.45 ml, but it does vary, then 1 kg of cane sugar is stirred in. It takes a further 0.65 ml of 6 molar HCl to take it down to pH 2.2, which is added at around 70C, when the sugar is close to being fully dissolved. The solution then goes clear and soon begins to simmer and a minor reduction in the heat will keep a constant, but gentle simmer, else the boil can be quite violent. The color does darken gently from this point, while a rapid darkening suggests it may have gone too far and the monosaccharides are starting to breakdown.

15 to 20 minutes of simmering is usually sufficient and the sugar removed from the heat in readiness to add to the boil. I then add 850 ml of hot tap water to the mixture if adding to the boil, or 750 ml of cold if adding to the FV, the water's alkalinity neutralizing the acidity.

Some time ago I found a heaped spoon of citric acid crystals had a similar influence as 1 ml of my 6 molar HCl, dealing with both the alkalinity and lowering pH to 2.2 and 2 grams of bicarbonate of soda did enough to neutralize acidity to not upset matters..
 

DBhomebrew

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I plan to fill the carboy up to the neck, or at least almost up to the neck, although I suppose the brett secondary ferment will push out oxygen, as opposed to an "inert" secondary.
I think in a way I actually want some micro-oxidation, to mimic the cask ageing that beer if this type would have seen, that's why I throw in some oak cubes.

I have a feeling that what we as average homebrewers do to best mitigate oxygenation leaves plenty of oxygen for the micro stuff.
 

hout17

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Thanks for the information @cire . Going off what I thought the ratio was I would guess and this is a guess that my pH went to around 6 after adding the baking soda and I definitely left a little bit behind in the vessel that was holding the measured baking soda so I'm betting around .1 grams or so was left.

I use distilled water when making my inverts so no additional buffering capacity with the water.
 
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Erik the Anglophile

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And do you guys reckon I need to make a starter for the brett? Or just pitch the tube as is in the secondary?
The tube has a BBE of 14th march 2023. I probably won't make an overbuilt starter since I at the moment don't have any stuff to store the slurry in a safe way.
 
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