English/Irish/Scottish Ales Averagely Perfect ESB - AG (w/extract + steeped grains option)

Discussion in 'Homebrew Recipes' started by VikeMan, May 6, 2017.

  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Averagely Perfect ESB
    Extra Special Bitter
    All Grain (with extract + steeped grains option)
    Batch Size: 5 Gallons into fermenter (5.07 gallons including trub prior to xfer to fermenter)
    OG: 1.053
    FG: 1.012
    ABV: 5.4%
    IBUs: 40 (Modified Tinseth per BrewCipher)

    Mash Efficiency: 70%

    Grain Bill:
    8.94 lbs Maris Otter
    0.50 lbs English Crystal Malt (~55L)
    0.20 lbs English Dark Crystal (~80L)
    0.40 lbs Invert Sugar #2 (added to boil)
    (see -> THIS PAGE <- for a couple of ways to make Invert Sugar #2)

    Hop Schedule (Pellet Hops):
    60 Minutes
    --0.34 ounces Target (11.1% AA)
    --0.34 ounces Northdown (8.5% AA)
    10 Minutes
    --0.5 ounces EKG (5.5% AA)
    --0.5 ounces Northdown (8.5% AA)
    Flameout/Whirlpool/Hopstand (modeled at 170F for 15 minutes)
    --0.5 ounces EKG (5.5% AA)
    --0.5 ounces Target (11.1% AA)

    Yeast: Wyeast 1469 (West Yorkshire Ale)

    Water Profile (overall):
    Ca: 76 ppm
    Cl: 55 ppm
    SO4: 107 ppm

    - Recommended Mash: Single Infusion @ 154F, 60 Minutes
    - 60 Minute Boil
    - Ferment at 68F
    - This recipe assumes pellet hops, with a 10% bonus utilization due to pellet form, and a wort absorption of 0.025 gallons of wort per ounce of hops. The Standard Tinseth formula assumes leaf hops (without the 10% bonus utilization). If you will use pellets, but don't believe in the pellet bonus (or believe in a different bonus), adjust. If you will use leaf hops, adjust (for both utilization and for greater wort absorption). YMMV.
    - I used my own boil off rate (in conjunction with hop wort absorption) to determine my starting wort volume, which impacts hop utilization. YMMV. Adjust as necessary. Use your software.
    - Anything you change that relates to absorption will change the total fermentables you need to get out of your mash. So you may need to adjust the grain bill up/down.
    - If your hops have different Alpha Acid percentages, adjust as necessary.
    - This recipe assumes 70% Mash Efficiency, a little higher than BYO recipes (for example) assume, but probably closer to the average efficiency on this forum based on what I've seen over the years. YMMV. Adjust as necessary.

    Other Notes: Extract plus Steeped Grains Option
    Replace the Maris Otter Malt with 6.6 lbs of Maris Otter Liquid Malt Extract (LME). Steep the crushed Crystal Malts in about 3 quarts of water at about 160F for 30 minutes. Add the rest of your water, bring nearly to a boil, stir in the LME, bring to a boil, and proceed.
    gvickery, SABERG, machalel and 2 others like this.
  2. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (126) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    Just ordered everything I need to get this going soon ish. No I just need to figure out the water profile...
    crcostel likes this.
  3. csurowiec

    csurowiec Disciple (337) Mar 7, 2010 Maryland

    VikeMan, thank you for the time and effort to put this together. I participated in every one of the polls where I had an educated opinion. I stayed out of the water ones because while I do adjust my brewing water, I don't know enough about ESBs to know what the water profile should be. May 20th I will be doing a BIAB demo/class at my local homebrew store and I think I will do this recipe for the group. It will make for some good talking points on recipe development.
    SABERG, jbakajust1 and VikeMan like this.
  4. Naugled

    Naugled Defender (656) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    Recipe looks good, I wasn't able to keep up with the voting polls, but I was following along when I could. I plan to brew this soon. I have yet to have an Averagely Perfect recipe disappoint me.

    Thanks for keeping this going Vikeman.
  5. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (126) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    Just brewed this up. Ended up with just under 5 gallons in my bucket at and OG of 1.053. Second time all graining it and still learning a lot. Brew day ended frustratingly as my chiller in line fell off towards the end of chilling and was low in the bucket. Can't seem to nail down my boil off rate....
  6. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (126) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    Had a thought I forgot to think about on the "low" volume. Typically I don't filter this time I put a "sparge" bag into my "HB strainer" and didn't let all the hops and what not into the bucket. Not sure if this accounts for being about .15~.2 gallons low, but would diffenitely put me over the 5gal mark on the bucket.
  7. scottakelly

    scottakelly Zealot (519) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I brewed up a 5 gallon batch of the AP ESB on June 10 with the modification of no Northdown hops. Target and EKG at 60 and target and EKG for the late addition hops targeting the same projected IBUs. This is the beer in the photo to the right.

    On the same date I brewed another 5 gallon batch of ESB. I used the AP ESB recipe and my typical British bitter recipe as inspiration. I target the same OG, color, and IBUs. The main difference is that this recipe is all EKG hops and no invert sugar. Only one flavor hop addition at 3 minutes to flame out. I slightly increased the dark crystal malt and base malt additions to correct for the color and OG discrepancy. Despite targeting the same color this beer is minimally darker. FG was 1.012 for both beers.

    For both beers I forgot to add gelatin to the keg, which is my normal practice for a British beer. Both beers maintain a slight haze.

    The beer has been in the keg for roughly two weeks and appears to have peaked now. My thoughts on the double batch are to learn what the invert sugar and target hops bring to the table.

    So on to the comparison. The invert sugar is noticeable, but not hugely so. It comes across more in the aroma as a slight molasses smell. It is also noticeable on the back end of the sip, but barely. Again, as a molasses flavor. The Target hops are more noticeable. In the aroma it comes across as slightly "woody." The bitterness is slightly rougher with a note of tobacco.

    With my first sips I preferred the AP ESB. It's more complex. By the end of both glasses I preferred the other ESB. It's more drinkable.

    I made 5 gallons of bitter prior to these beers with WY1469 to reuse the yeast for these batches. I have used 1469 many times before, previously loving the yeast. For some reason it has been much more neutral in these three batches, not adding much to the character of the beer.

    I will likely not brew either of these beers again. Not that they are bad, but the flavor profile of the British pale ale styles plays better to me at the lower OG range. If I did attempt another ESB, I would likely decrease the crystal malt additions, adjust with something else for color, and refocus my efforts on getting the British yeast flavor profile that I expect.

  8. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (749) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

  9. scottakelly

    scottakelly Zealot (519) May 9, 2007 Ohio


    I thought I would share an updated photo of this beer. I originally complained about the unhaziness of this beer lingering for two weeks since I forgot gelatin finings. The very next pour came through crystal clear, lol. A bit more age improved this beer a bit, imo. The crystal malt dominance has melded a bit to make this a little more drinkable.
    wspscott likes this.