Saturday, April 5, 2008

Barley Bee Brewing: Extra Special Bitter


Batch number two (or 03-001-0002 by style-batch#-overall batch#) seems to be doing pretty well. This one is a "brown" British ESB. It looks pretty dark in the secondary, but when I was racking it over it was a nice, clear orange-brown color. The specs are:


8lb. Amber LME
1lb. Crystal 60L (60min. @ 160 deg.F)

1 oz. Northern Brewer @ 60min.
1 oz. Yakima Goldings @ 30min.
1 oz. Yakima Goldings @ 5min.

WLP-026 Bitter Ale Yeast (or similar)

Fermentation: 2wk. Primary, 2wk. Bottle conditioning

I changed the recipe a bit for my purposes... Rather than Yakima Goldings, I used Kent Golding. Rather than letting it sit in the primary for 2 weeks, I decided to go ahead and rack it over to the secondary for the two weeks conditioning. The real reason for this was that my bottles are still all tied up with the pale ale I made. I believe I will put this one in a soda keg and let it naturally carbonate rather than messing with all of the bottles again since I was given three used soda kegs. Plus, there is nothing wrong with draft beer as it gives me an excuse to not take bottles of beer to my friends at work for free!

I have to admit that I was too anxious to wait on the full 2 weeks (or even 1 week) during the bottle carbonation period for my pale ale (it did sit 2 weeks in the secondary afterall). In my opinion it turned out really well! My goal for that batch was drinkability. Granted, it wasn't a lofty goal, but for the first batch I felt it was appropriate. The flavors still haven't come together perfectly. There is a distinct floral sweetness at first and then a lingering bitterness after the swallow. I love the aroma the Cascade dry-hopping gave the beer though. It is almost a honeycicle flavor/aroma... Quite pleasant. There is a bite to it though... I am trying to ration it a little bit since I only made a 4 gallon batch.

I am not sure what I want to brew behind the ESB. I was thinking either a K├Âlsch, Hefeweizen, or maybe I could try my hand at a Pilsner if I bought that thermostat. I will probably go with the Hef just because I am not ready to invest in all-grain yet, but who knows.

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