With a lull in our brewing before the final push for Oktoberfest, I decided to crank out a 5 gallon beer. Decided we needed an English Bitter of some type. Well, 5 gallons turned into 10. Will keg 5 and bottle 5. Civil Life, my favorite local brew pub, occasionally brews what they call Premium Bitter. That beer was hands down my favorite craft beer but they have not brewed it in awhile. So, hopefully this one will be similar. Not too different than the last two ESB’s we have brewed but would like to get a more balanced beer. The last two were too sweet and syrupy. This one will also bump up the hop a bit.
July 5, 2015
Premium Bitter (Extra Special/Strong Bitter [English Pale Ale] 8C) 12 gallon
- 20 lbs. Maris Otter
- 1.5 lbs. Special Roast
- 1 lb. Aromatic
- 1 lb. Crystal 120
- 3.5 oz East Kent Goldings 6.3% – 60 mins.
- 1.5 oz East Kent Goldings 6.3% – 30 mins.
- Wyeast 1968 London ESB
- Strike temp – 170˚ F
- Mash In – 7.4 gallons water – Step temp 154˚ – Hold 60 mins.
- Mash Out – 4.5 gallons 200˚ F water – Step temp 168˚ – Hold 10 mins.
- Recirculate approx. 10 mins.
- Wort looks good but a bit darker than intended.
- Collect 13.5 gallons.
- 12:59 Heat on.
- Pre boil gravity – .061 – WAY OFF! Predicted .049
- 1:40 – Achieve boil
- 3.5 oz. East Kent Goldings
- Not at all happy with pre-boill gravity- added 1.5 gallons water.
- Extended boil 15 mins.
- 1.5 oz. East Kent Goldings – 30 minutes left.
- 3 tabs Irish Moss – Immersion Chiller – 5 minutes left
Chill to 80˚ Transfer to Speidel Fermenter via Therminator.
Pitch 2 growlers Wyeast 1968 London ESB
Original Gravity .052 (predicted .053)
All in all a fairly easy brew (not counting the pre-boil gravity issue). Was going to blame this mash tun but looking at the Belma Brown Hack with the same tun, that pre-boil gravity was dead on. Did I screw up calculations? BeerSmith issue? Ok, I will blame BeerSmith (have noticed some inconsistencies with that software before this). We nailed the temperatures this time. Even the mash out. Very happy with that. If I keep using this tun for 10 gallon beers, I need to get the sparging system worked out. Any ideas? Plan is to keg 5 gallons and bottle the rest to distribute to Crew AGU.
Saturday July 10th pm
Racked to secondary. Gravity = .014 – so close.
At this point ABV = 5%. Sample tastes very good. No odd off flavors. Bitterness might be a bit high (not much), but tastes fantastic. This should be a crowd pleaser. With the kitchen AC vent routed to dump cold air directly into the beer lab, I have been able to hold a steady 65-68˚ the entire week.
Sunday July 19, 2015
Kegged 5 gallons. Bottled about 6 gallons (50 bottles – 12 oz and 16 oz).
Gravity still reading .014 making this 5%.
This beer is a bit on the thin side. Tastes great but a little thin. Gary at the brew store recommended adding Maltodextrin.
From Wikipedia… “Maltodextrin is sometimes used in beer brewing to increase the specific gravity of the final product. This improves the mouthfeel of the beer, increases head retention and reduces the dryness of the drink. Maltodextrin is not fermented by yeast, so it does not increase the alcohol content of the brew.”
I only added 4 ounces, about half the recommended amount for 11 gallons. This will serve as a test. I have my doubts on if this will have much affect. We will know soon enough.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN