With a lull in our brewing before the final push for Oktoberfest, I decided to crank out a 5 gallon beer. Decided we needed an English Bitter of some type. Well, 5 gallons turned into 10. Will keg 5 and bottle 5. Civil Life, my favorite local brew pub, occasionally brews what they call Premium Bitter. That beer was hands down my favorite craft beer but they have not brewed it in awhile. So, hopefully this one will be similar. Not too different than the last two ESB’s we have brewed but would like to get a more balanced beer. The last two were too sweet and syrupy. This one will also bump up the hop a bit.
July 5, 2015
Extra Special/Strong Bitter [English Pale Ale] 8C 12 gallon
- 20 lbs. Maris Otter
- 1.5 lbs. Special Roast
- 1 lb. Aromatic
- 1 lb. Crystal 120
- 3.5 oz East Kent Goldings 6.3% – 60 mins.
- 1.5 oz East Kent Goldings 6.3% – 30 mins.
- Wyeast 1968 London ESB
- Strike temp – 170˚ F
- Mash In – 7.4 gallons water – Step temp 154˚ – Hold 60 mins.
- Mash Out – 4.5 gallons 200˚ F water – Step temp 168˚ – Hold 10 mins.
- Recirculate approx. 10 mins.
- Wort looks good but a bit darker than intended.
- Collect 13.5 gallons.
- 12:59 Heat on.
- Pre boil gravity – .061 – WAY OFF! Predicted .049
- 1:40 – Achieve boil
- 3.5 oz. East Kent Goldings
- Not at all happy with pre-boill gravity- added 1.5 gallons water.
- Extended boil 15 mins.
- 1.5 oz. East Kent Goldings – 30 minutes left.
- 3 tabs Irish Moss – Immersion Chiller – 5 minutes left
Chill to 80˚ Transfer to Speidel Fermenter via Therminator.
Pitch 2 growlers Wyeast 1968 London ESB
Original Gravity .052 (predicted .053)
All in all a fairly easy brew (not counting the pre-boil gravity issue). Was going to blame this mash tun but looking at the Belma Brown Hack with the same tun, that pre-boil gravity was dead on. Did I screw up calculations? BeerSmith issue? Ok, I will blame BeerSmith (have noticed some inconsistencies with that software before this). We nailed the temperatures this time. Even the mash out. Very happy with that. If I keep using this tun for 10 gallon beers, I need to get the sparging system worked out. Any ideas? Plan is to keg 5 gallons and bottle the rest to distribute to Crew AGU.
Saturday July 10th pm
Racked to secondary. Gravity = .014 – so close.
At this point ABV = 5%. Sample tastes very good. No odd off flavors. Bitterness might be a bit high (not much), but tastes fantastic. This should be a crowd pleaser. With the kitchen AC vent routed to dump cold air directly into the beer lab, I have been able to hold a steady 65-68˚ the entire week.
Sunday July 19, 2015
Kegged 5 gallons. Bottled about 6 gallons (50 bottles – 12 oz and 16 oz).
Gravity still reading .014 making this 5%.
August 12, 2015
Redcoat was entered in the Brewminati home-brew club ESB competition and won. Next up, Redcoat will represent the Brewminati and the All Grain Underground in the 2nd Annual Brewfest by Budweiser on August 29. One ESB was selected by each participating brew club and will be judged and the winning beer will be brewed at AB on their pilot system. I will also be serving Redcoat at the brewfest along with other brews by Brewminati members.