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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through October 28, 2004 * Ordinary/Special Bitter Recipe? < Previous Next >

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Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2379
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 02:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been asked to provide a keg for a function in three weeks (November 12). So brewing a 1.035-1.045 bitter comes to mind. Tomorrow afternoon is the best time for me to brew, so no time for a starter. Therefore, I will use S-04 yeast, reported to be the Whitbread strain, tart and slightly fruity. Coincidently, I do have 1 oz. of WGV hops in the freezer.

This is a style I have always had trouble with, as they usually come out thin. Would a pound of carahell or carafoam be good in it? Ingredients on hand are Munton's pale as the base malt, darn near every type of crystal/caramalts from U.S., U.K., and Europe, Lyle's Golden Syrup, wheat malt, special roast, biscuit, and all the darks. For hops I have aforementioned WGV, plus Bramling Cross and EKG.

All suggestions welcome. TIA, chumley.
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Advanced Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 513
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 03:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley - My big words of advice for this style is KEEP IT SIMPLE

I feel qualified to talk on this style as I brew them all the time and having lived in England all my life I think I've brewed and drunk enough of them to comment.

Use The muntons as a base and aim for an og of around 1.040-45. Use (for 5 gallons) 1/2 lb of 50-60L crystal. Mash high 67-68ºC (sorry don't know F equiv) for 90 minutes.

Any of those hops will be good, although I wouldn't use the WGV for a finishing hop. Go for about 30 IBU's and use an ounce of the bramling cross and EKG's to finish. Boil 90 minutes.

If you are used to drinking beers with og's higher than 50 then this will taste a bit thinner, but if it is served young, with lowish carbonation and NOT CHILLED, it should taste full flavoured with a good balance of malt and hops.

Cold serving temperatures of this style are the biggest killer of flavour. Next time you drink a bitter, do a side by side tasting of a chilled beer and a beer served at around 12-15ºC. You will taste so much more in the warmer one.

(Message edited by matfink on October 21, 2004)
Real Ale Crusader and all round Hophead
 

Wykowski
Senior Member
Username: Bigearl

Post Number: 1176
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 03:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I make an ESB with Amarillo hops

(off the top of my head, no notes on hand)

8lb maris otter
.75 lbs crystal 55/60l
.25 lb victory (or sub. biscuit)

1 or .75 oz Amarillo 60min
1 oz Ama 15min
1 oz Ama 0min

(i also like it like this)
1 or .75 oz Amarillo 60min
0.5 oz Ama 15min
0.5 oz goldings 15min
0.5 oz Ama 0min
0.5 oz goldings 0min
(prefer the american goldings, british EKG are too flowery for me)

wlp 002
You remember that foul evening when you heard the banshees howl
There was lousy drunken bastards singing 'Billy is in the bowl'
They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch
So you dropped a button in the plate and spewed up in the church

 

davidw
Advanced Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 697
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If your equipment allows do a no sparge batch. I brew a mild once or twice a year and feel that the no sparge process gives me better malt flavour in the finished product. I also mash at 155 for increased body.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2380
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, guys. Sounds good.

I will brew a no-sparge bitter. To compensate for the loss in efficiency (anticpate 75% down to 50%), I will use the following grain bill (5 gallon batch):

10 lbs. Munton's pale
0.75 lbs. British crystal (55°L)

Single infusion at 155-158°L for 90 min.

Hops:
1 oz. WGV boil
1 oz. Bramling Cross 15 min
1 oz. EKG at knockout

Should get a 1.040, 30 IBU bitter out of that.

Looks like a nice easy brew day. BE, I'm going to save the Amarillo for another day - want to use those British hops up.

Any other comments or suggestions?
 

Greg Beron
Intermediate Member
Username: Gberon

Post Number: 252
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, that looks like a lot of flavor hops for a 1.040 beer. I've found that Ordinary Bitters tend to turn out better if I back way off on the flavor hops - more like .25 oz.

Greg
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2381
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 04:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, Greg. How about:

1 oz. WGV boil
0.25 oz. Bramling Cross 15 min
0.75 oz. Bramling Cross knockout?

That sounds better, I really didn't want to use EKG as I know what their flavor is like, but I have never used Bramling Cross.
 

HEU Brewer
Junior Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 87
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As add added touch, Fullers dry hops their Ordinary and ESB, but not the London Pride.

Can you get WL Dry English, makes a perfect ordinary
 

Patrick C.
Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 191
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 04:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

HEU, how much difference do you see between WL002 and WL005? I've got a starter of the Dry English that's ready to go, just wondering what to expect. I was planning to start with something bigger, thinking it might be too dry for a low OG beer.
 

HEU Brewer
Junior Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 88
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 05:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The dry english definately tastes dryer. Makes you want to keep drinkng it. The Brit bitters I have had have been dry so don't be afraid to use it on a low OG beer. This yeast is great when the beer is served young. I would tap within 2 weeks post kegging (assuming a 1 week ferment).

Never had dry english in a large OG beer, then again I don't brew anything much over 1.050 anymore.
 

Greg Beron
Intermediate Member
Username: Gberon

Post Number: 255
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That last hop schedule looks just about right, Chumley. Be sure to let us know how the Bramling Cross works out.

Now I'm curious about your assumed efficiency, though. Is that 50% based on your observation of past no-sparge batches, or is it based on what others have told you to expect? Because I don't see that much of a reduction in efficiency for my no-sparge batches.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2385
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 09:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, its what I recalled what to expect -seems that's the number I remember from Louis Bonham's BT article a few years ago.

If I regularly get 75% from batch sparging with two charges, what should I expect from no sparge (essentially one charge)?
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Advanced Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 518
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bramling Cross should give a berry like flavour, also a bit of an 'american' flavour. It's a good hop.
Real Ale Crusader and all round Hophead
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Advanced Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 519
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 03:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here you go....


UK HOP BRAMLING CROSS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brewing Quality A hop of considerable character. Its distinctive “American” aroma put many brewers off this variety in its early years. It has a strong spicy / blackcurrant flavour and good alpha characteristics. Bramling Cross has now made something of a comeback in traditional cask conditioned beers because of its very distinctive characteristics and has done very well in all styles of beer
Origin/History Bred from a cross in 1927 between Bramling (one of the traditional Golding varieties) and a male seedling of the Manitoban (Canadian) wild hop. Also known as O.T.48, this variety was developed at Wye College by Professor Salmon
Agronomics Bramling Cross is a low yielding aroma variety that is grown primarily in Kent and Sussex. It matures early, fitting nicely into the start of the picking season it is generally easier to grow than other varieties and is therefore very much a “grower’s hop”. The variety is susceptible to Downy and Powdery Mildew but shows a high degree of tolerance to Verticillium Wilt.


Year   Hectares   Zentners   ZTR/ha   Alpha%
1995 46   888   19.3   6.6
1996 53   1550   29.2   6.5
1997 51   1649   32.6   7.1
1998 35   794   22.6   6.4
1999 25   582   23   6
2000 21   437   20.7   5.8
2001 17   453   26.7   6.1
      Ave   24.8   6.3
 
 
Analytical Information
Alpha Acid % 5.0 - 7.0
Alpha/Beta Ratio 2.20:1
Beta Acid % 2.3-3.2
Co-humulone (%A.Acid) 34
Total Oil % 0.7-1.0 
 
Oil Composition
Caryophyllene 15.72%
Farnesene 0.21%
Humulene 30.57%
Myrcene 36.54%
Selinene 4.02%
 
Real Ale Crusader and all round Hophead
 

Greg Beron
Intermediate Member
Username: Gberon

Post Number: 257
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 04:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, when I first tried batch sparging, I went with the figures I found in articles online and overshot my gravity in a big way. After trying a few more batches on the Pacific Gravity club system (converted Sankes for hot liquor and boil, 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler w/ false bottom mashtun), I arrived at the following figures:
fly sparge: 73%
batch sparge: 70%
no sparge: 67%

I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but using these figures usually gets me within a point or two of the predicted OG. The only theory I can come up with is that a system that's inherently inefficient will lose less efficiency when batch/no sparging than a more efficient system. I guess the lesson here is that you should be ready for surprises.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2388
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dang, wouldn't you know...I am trying to use all-British ingredients and end up choosing a UK hop that has an "American" flavor. :-)

Okay, Greg, I am heeding your advice. I actually found Ken Schwartz's batch/no sparge calculator and it told me the same thing.

Right now I am mashing:

7.5 lbs. Munton's Pale ale malt
0.75 lbs. Hugh Baird Dark Carastan

Its been at 158°F for 60 min now, gonna give 'er another 30 min before beginning the "no sparge"
 

Michael
Member
Username: Michaelg

Post Number: 108
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 05:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

With no spage, the big variables are the volume of mash water and how much of the first runnings are left trapped in the grains.

The less mash liquor left behind in the grains, the better your efficiency will be. For instance, suppose you use 3 gallons of mash water. If your system leaves behind half a gallon of the first runnings, you've lost 1/6 of your first runnings. If your system leaves behind a gallon, then you've lost a third of your first runnings. Obviously, this doesn't take into account any other inefficiences there may be in your system (i.e., sugars not extracted from the grain).

Using more mash water increases your efficiency by making the mash liquor lost in the grains less important. Take the first example (3 gallons of mash water and one half gallon left in the grains, resulting in a loss of 1/6 the sugars in the first runnings). If you increase the volume of mash water to 6 gallons, then you're only leaving behind 1/12 of the sugars in the first runnings.

Usually you don't want such a thin mash, though. The way that I get around this is by adding an infusion of nearly boiling water to bring the mash temperature up to 168 F. This should have minimal effect on the sugar composition of the wort, but will increase the total volume and the efficiency. Oh, and it makes the mash less viscuous, too.

Greg, do you mash out?
 

Geoff Buschur
Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 201
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This no sparge stuff seams really wasteful. I know you are already doing a small (gravity) beer, but why don't you go ahead and do a batch sparge and collect more sugars. If the gravity of the second run is really low boil it down and make a small (quantity) batch of something different. Or you could do the same recipe and see if reducing the runnings by boiling them down creates more malt flavor or caramel flavor.

Just a thought.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2390
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 07:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unbelievable. I have searched high and low and cannot find the two packets of S-04 I know I have. Why aren't they on the top shelf of the lagering fridge with all the other yeasts? Unbelievable.

So I am going to Plan B - I pulled out a tube of WLP023 Burton Ale to warm up. Yes, I know - underpitching -but WTF? Its got a best before date of 12/30/04, so its reasonably fresh. Think I'll use an open fermentor and aerate again with O2 8 hours after pitching for insurance.
 

HEU Brewer
Junior Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 89
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 07:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just pitch the tube, you will be fine with an ordinary. I would be more worried about aerating 8hrs later. Just leave it alone!

HEU Brewer
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 887
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 07:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll go with HEU Brewer here. A fresh tube is underpitching somewhat for a beer of this gravity but not so much that you should be overly worried. Give the wort a good shot of O2 prior to pitching and it should be ready to go.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2391
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 11:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, no 8 hour aeration. I should have plenty of dissolved oxygen in my wort after the first shot, anyway, because my frigging wort is 50°F right now! I stuck the immersion chiller in the wort after the boil, then ran to the store in what was to be a short errand. I ran into a friend, got to BSing, came home after the chiller has been running for 45 min and you guessed it - 50°F wort.

Oh well, this has been the batch from hell. Hope I don't shock the yeast too much. These batches always seem to turn out good. :-)

Thanks everyone for your help.

P.S. Bramling Cross has the weirdest smell of any hop I have ever encountered. Now here's a hop that smell's like cat piss! Hope it tastes okay.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 541
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 12:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>Michael
Member
Username: Michaelg>>>>

This is not me....fwiw, I would have gone with at 1.045 Am. Wheat w/Nottingham. The Bud crowd loves it, but that's just me.
 

Doug W
Member
Username: Pivorat

Post Number: 119
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 01:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brewed a Bitter last night, into the first 5 minutes of this morning, and I used SAF-33, Guess we'll see how it does, and go from there, .....

I am so doing the ZeN ReLaX...... have a HomeBrEw
 

Michael
Member
Username: Michaelg

Post Number: 109
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 04:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I understand the name is fairly common.
 

Greg Beron
Intermediate Member
Username: Gberon

Post Number: 262
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 06:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael, I do indeed mash out with no-sparge batches. What I do is mash-in with roughly half the water I'm going to need (typically 16 qts), then after the sacchrification rest, add ~18 qts of water at a temperature calculated to let me hit 168F - somewhere around 180F, typically. After letting it rest for 10-15 minutes, I recirculate and run off.

Chumley, how cold is your tap water there?
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2395
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 03:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, this time of year it is in the low 40s. It comes from a reservoir/creek located about 10 miles west of town, at 8000 feet above MSL, and is about a mile from the Continental Divide. This is why I have never given much thought
to upgrading my immersion chiller.