Gunna do my 1st esb soon, and want everyones best recipe. Dont mind a touch of roasty flavour, but like em balanced, with malty flavours, but strong smooth bitterness too. Interested in yeast and also hopping schedules too. Tah in advance!
I have have had a couple of bitters made with WLP004 Irish Ale. Sounds a bit strange but it really gives a full malt profile with good bitterness. Also 500 gms to 1 kg of vienna or munich can add to the malt complexity.
Here is the ESB I did recently, its a bit big to be a true ESB, more of an English strong ale. It came out balanced, which means it was very sweet, and very bitter. I think next time I'll tone both down a little, and add some more darker grains for complexity.
Here is an English Pale Ale / ESB which I have brewed a few times, the last time as a 46 litre batch with my brew-buddy Adrian. Its a little too pale to qualify as an ESB according to the BJCP styles but is a damn fine drop. If you want to make it a little darker, try increasing the chocolate malt (although that may add a bit much roasty flavour) or alternatively caramelise 2 or 3 litres of the first runnings.
For 46 litres at about 78% efficiency. Adjust as necessary for your system efficiency.
4kg Joe White Traditional Ale Malt
4kg Joe White Export Pilsner Malt
650g Flaked Maize
360g English Crystal 55L
90g English Chocolate Malt 350L
Water: dechlorinated by filtration or with sodium met, then 2g of
gypsum per 10 litres and 0.25g epsom salts per 10 litres was added.
Infusion Mash, 90 minutes at 67 degrees C.
Boil: 90 minutes
(optional - caramelise 3 litres first runnings for darker colour)
- 40g Northern Brewer (10%AA) pellets @ 60 minutes
- 14g East Kent Goldings (4%AA) plug @ 60 minutes
- 10g Northern Brewer (10%AA) pellets @ 30 minutes
- 14g East Kent Goldings (4%AA) plug @ 30 minutes
- 1 tablet whirlfloc (crushed & rehydrated) @ 20 minutes
- 5g Northern Brewer (10%AA) pellets @ 15 minutes
- 14g East Kent Goldings (4%AA) plug @ 15 minutes
- 28g East Kent Goldings (4%AA) plugs @ 2 minutes
2 sachets Danstar Nottingham ale yeast OR
3 litre starter of Wyeast 1968.
OG = 1.051
Bitterness = 35 IBUs
Colour = 9 SRM (darker if you caramelise first runnings)
FG with Nottingham was about 1.012 for around 5.2% ABV.
Optional: dry hop with 2 EKG plugs for additional aroma.
This recipe and variations on this recipe are one of my house session ales. If you can get Northdown hops, use those instead of the Northern Brewer. Target or Challenger would also be excellent substitutions for the Northern Brewer bittering addition.