Saturday, January 26, 2013

ESB (Extra Special Bitter)

This is my second All Grain batch. I had an early day at work, so I went straight to the LHBS (Local Home Brew Store) and got some grains. I came up with this recipe on the fly, so we'll see how it turns out. I essentially took it from a northern brewer kit and added a few more lbs. I'm trying for an Extra Special Bitter. Everything went really well and I tried to just relax and enjoy the home brew experience. I almost nailed my temps, but I was off by like 2 degrees, so I added about 2 quarts of 200 degree water to bring it up to ~ 151. Mashed there for an hour and then started the boil. Total time was 5 hours, so I shaved about 100 minutes off the time. I even enjoyed some games of Call of Duty while I was mashing, so overall a good day! Here is the recipe I used:

- 12 lbs Maris Otter
-  2  lbs Crystal 60L

- 2 oz Willamette @ 60 min
- 1 oz UK Kent Easting (something like that, I can't remember) @ 15 min
- 1 oz UK Kent Easting @ 5 min

Wyeast London ESB #1968

Just a couple of random thoughts on the whole process. It is much more enjoyable when you relax and just let it happen, I didn't stress or worry about hitting exact temps. Looking back on my recipe, I think I should have lessened the Crystal 60 to maybe 1 lbs. I was worried about my efficiency so I upped everything and I didn't do it proportionately. I don't really know why, I just did it that way. I mashed in the lower end of the spectrum, so I hope that leads to a drier beer with most of the sweetness coming from the Crystal and not the Maris Otter. I'm really worried this beer will come out way too sweet. It had an OG of 1.066, big beer! Wyeast has like a starter attached to it, so now it's going absolutely gangbusters! I haven't had this fast of activity in such a short time period (12 hours). I think I might need to do a blow off tube because its literally going that fast. I'm trying to keep temps down using a plastic container with ice around it, but temp seems to stay at 74. That is the high end of the temperature range for the yeast. I really have some high hopes for this beer, as the entire day went much better than my last all grain. And speaking of my last All Grain, I had a couple last  night and it is really good. It is a pale ale with cascade hops. It isn't quite ready, but its so good I can't help but drink it. It probably still needs about 1 more week to carbonate.

End of the Mash @ 150, not bad eh?
Cool Picture of the wort, notice the wort chiller, thanks Paula!
Much darker beer than my last one

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