Strong English Bitter

Brewed March 26, 2011. The intent here was to try my hand at a pale ale, put it in the new keg and enjoy a true English bitter.

  • 9 pounds Maris Otter
  • 1/2 pound crystal (40 L)
  • 3 oz Fuggles (6%)- 2 oz for 60 minutes and 1 oz for 5 minutes
  • 1/2 oz of East Kent Goldings (4.6%) for 5 minutes

Mash

  • Strike temp 165 F
  • Mash temp 155 F
  • Mash for two hours. Hold between 151 and 155 F.
  • Mash out at 11:30 at 167 F

Sparge

  • 10 minute settle
  • 10 minute recirculation
  • 1 hour sprage 7 gallons wort

Boil

  • Rolling boil by 1:15 PM
  • 2 PM add 2 ounces of Fuggles
  • 2:45 PM- Irish moss and wort chiller
  • 2:55 PM- remaining hops
  • cold break
  • Starting Gravity= 1.050

Primary

Good fermentation within hours. Moved the fermentor to cellar but temps may be too cool for this yeast.

Secondary

Racked from primary about 5 days after brewing. Gravity was 1.020. Beer cleared considerably but only dropped about a point in the two weeks that followed.

Kegged April 14- 17 days after brewing

May 17-

I have left this beer in the basement and have been drinking it at cellar temperature. It has been enjoyable going downstairs and pouring my own pint. The beer has stabilized with a decent head. It’s a strongly flavored bitter, both malty and hoppy, but not overly so, balanced and quite enjoyable. I like it as well as any pale ale I’ve ever had.

May 28-

Just finished the keg. The bitter was very good and seemed to be at the end of it’s flavor cycle. Life span in the cellar is 3-4 weeks.

Next time back off the hops a bit. Maybe try pale malt rather than the Maris Otter, just to compare. The Otter has been excellent, but the flavor profile is quite strong. Perhaps a pale malt might ease flavor for a true bitter rather than an ESB.

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