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How to sweeten an ESB

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Tricky Dicky

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Been partial brewing BIAB ESB's for just over a year now and the recipe below is getting near to what I'm looking for but I would like to have a bit more sweetness in the flavour any suggestions of how to do this?

1.99 kg Pale Ale, Golden Promise®™ (Simpsons) (5.0 EBC) Grain 1 55.5 % 1.30 L
0.60 kg Munich Malt (Simpsons) (21.5 EBC) Grain 2 16.6 % 0.39 L
0.37 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (236.4 EBC) Grain 3 10.3 % 0.24 L
0.18 kg Wheat, Malt (Simpsons) (4.0 EBC) Grain 4 5.1 % 0.12 L
0.45 kg DME Golden Light (Briess) [Boil] (7.9 EBC) Dry Extract 5 12.5 % 0.29 L
32.00 g East Kent Goldings (EKG) [5.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 22.7 IBUs -
1.0 pkg West Yorkshire Ale (Wyeast Labs #1469) Yeast 7 - -
 

hoppy2B

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Simplest thing would be to use a different yeast. Wy1318 will leave a bit more body and sweetness, and I think it is a good yeast for an ESB. It highlights the crystal malt well and gives a bitey edge to your beer in combination with the crystal malt, which is what a nicely aged ESB should have if I am not mistaken. You can also add a small amount of roast barley for that bite.

I'm surprised it's not sweet enough for you Tricky Dicky, with 370 grams of crystal 120L (dark crystal) in it. You might find it has too much sweetness if you change to a different yeast.

Wide Eyed's idea is a good one too if you want actual sugar in it. You could also try mashing at a higher temperature. You don't say what temperature you're mashing at.
 

MHB

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Using more of a paler Crystal Malt will increase the sweetness and pallet fullness, personally I use a fair amount of TF Carramalt. More of a paler malt rather than darker Crystal malt.
The right yeast helps to, Wyeast ESB (W1968) being the nuts to my mind. Lower attenuation and plenty of fruity esters adds to the perceived body of the beer.
For what is an extremely simple beer, getting a perfect ESB can be a bit of a mission. I find the term sweetness can be a bit misleading. Its a style that needs to finish clean and crisp without lingering that is sort of implied by sweetness, but which benefits from pallet fullness. Adding Lactose and mashing hotter are sort of at odds with where I like my ESB.
Mark
 

Tricky Dicky

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Using more of a paler Crystal Malt will increase the sweetness and pallet fullness, personally I use a fair amount of TF Carramalt. More of a paler malt rather than darker Crystal malt.
The right yeast helps to, Wyeast ESB (W1968) being the nuts to my mind. Lower attenuation and plenty of fruity esters adds to the perceived body of the beer.
For what is an extremely simple beer, getting a perfect ESB can be a bit of a mission. I find the term sweetness can be a bit misleading. Its a style that needs to finish clean and crisp without lingering that is sort of implied by sweetness, but which benefits from pallet fullness. Adding Lactose and mashing hotter are sort of at odds with where I like my ESB.
Mark
I'm kind of pleased, in a way, that you mentioned that nailing a good ESB can be a mission. As a relative newbie that's quite encouraging as other styles in particular darker ales such as porters, brown ale, stouts and the like are easier to brew to a decent standard in my opinion.
I am wondering, as I have a very uneducated pallet, if my description of liking my ESB sweeter is accurate. I do like the Doom Bar and Abbot Ale style beers and maybe me thinking that they are sweeter beers is not legit, and as you said is it a more fuller flavour I'm after rather than sweet? Would you recommend swapping the crystal malt for the caramalt and in the same %
 

MHB

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Not really, use more paler crystal to get the target colour.
When it comes to crustal the colour is a pretty good indicator of the type of flavours you will get from them, whether its US, UK, Australian, German... in broad-brush terms crystal/carra malts of similar colours have similar flavours.
ESB is typically around 30EBC, to get that with Medium Carramalt you would need about 12%.
To get the same colour from Medium Crystal around 6%. Dark Crystal would only require around 4.5-5%, if you went to CaraAroma (about the darkest Crystal you can get) only a touch over 2% needed.

Personally I would look at using more UK caramalt, I find it fits into the flavour profile I'm looking for, especially with those marmalade flavours ESB yeast throws.
Mark
 

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