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Recipe Critique Please: Extra Special Bitter

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TwoHeadsBrewing

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I wanted to do an English style pale ale, but wanted something a bit stronger and maltier than a normal pale. I thought an ESB would be a good start, and I'd like some critique on my recipe. What do you think of this?


Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.39 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 15.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 64.00%
3.00 lb Toasted Malt (27.0 SRM) Grain 24.00%
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 8.00 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.00%
0.50 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 8.6 IBU
1.00 oz Select Spalt [4.75 %] (30 min) Hops 11.4 IBU
1.00 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (20 min) Hops 10.4 IBU
0.50 oz Select Spalt [4.75 %] (5 min) Hops 1.5 IBU
1 Pkgs British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 12.50 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 4.16 gal of water at 159.1 F 152.0 F
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I'm wondering about the grains specifically...I think the hops will work fine, but might replace the Spalt Select with EKG. However, I really want to understate the hops here and make it more about the maltiness of the brew.
 

BigEd

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My take is that the toasted malt is a bit over the top. Use a little if you like, 1/2 to 3/4 lb might be nice, but at 24% the 3 lbs is just too much IMO. There is really no need to gild the lily here, the MO pale will hold up fine by itself in this beer. For hops, as much as I love Spalt, the EKG would be a better choice and certainly very traditional. Also on the hop topic I would boost the IBUs a bit to the low 40s to keep up with that 1.058 OG. The beer will still showcase the malt but have better balance. I would also consider using a traditional British hop schedule with one bittering addition at 90 minutes and one flavor/aroma at 15 minutes. After messing around with all kinds of hopping schedules for bitters and ESB I have gone back to the old Brit practice and think it does work the best for the style.

:mug:
 

TeleTwanger

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I like the Spalt. Courage uses Hallertau and Styrian Goldings in thier bitters and they've been making ales in the UK since the 18th century.
 

Odin_Brews

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Have you looked at BierMunchner's 'Captain Hooked on Bitters'? Very similar grain bill and hop schedule. You might find some inspiration in the discussion on that thread. That beer is a staple in my house
 

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