This year, I’ve been trying to enter at least one beer in each of the Lone Star Circuit homebrew competitions. I entered three into the Bluebonnet Brew-off and another three into the Alamo City Cerveza Fest, but the next one, the Celtic Brewoff caught me by surprise since it has a restricted/modified list of BJCP categories.
This meant that even though I have close to 8 beers on-tap in my garage, I didn’t have anything that I could submit. I happened to have an older beer that had been aging over at my friends house available, so I ended registering one of my favorite brews, Makkuro Kurotsuki, an Russian Imperial Stout (Category 13F). But I wanted one more.
I dug through my list of recipes in Beersmith and found a lighter and easier (meaning faster) beer that had been a big hit in the past. Ed’s Best Bitter.
Now that I had my recipe selected, it was time to brew. I normally brew twice a month on a Friday night. I invite a bunch of my friends, some who help out and others who come to enjoy the show and drink some homebrew. However, I couldn’t wait if I wanted this beer to be done in time for the competition.
So I did a complete brew, from grain to fermentor including the cleanup in about 4.5 hours. Starting at 8PM when the kids go to bed, my head hit the pillow at 12:30.
Not bad without any help.
The brew session went as expected. Targeting a mash pH at room temp (25C) of 5.5, I ended up with 5.4 @ 23C. Pre-boil gravity was a few points low (1.033 instead of 1.035) and subsequently, O.G was as well, 1.045 instead of 1.048. But that works out OK since the style is meant to be lighter in alcohol.
Here’s the recipe
|Batch Size||Boil Time||IBU||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||ABV|
|5 gal||60 min||27.8 IBUs||9.2 SRM||1.048||1.013||4.5 %|
|Name||Cat.||OG Range||FG Range||IBU||SRM||Carb||ABV|
|Special/Best/Premium Bitter||8 B||1.04 - 1.048||1.008 - 1.012||25 - 40||5 - 16||0.8 - 2.1||3.8 - 4.6 %|
|ESB Pale Malt (Gambrinus)||8.25 lbs||91.03|
|Crystal, Medium (Simpsons)||13 oz||8.97|
|Goldings, East Kent||1 oz||60 min||Boil||Pellet||5|
|Fuggles||1 oz||15 min||Boil||Pellet||4.5|
|Goldings, East Kent||1 oz||0 min||Boil||Pellet||5|
|Calcium Chloride||5.40 g||60 min||Mash||Water Agent|
|Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)||3.10 g||60 min||Mash||Water Agent|
|Epsom Salt (MgSO4)||0.40 g||60 min||Mash||Water Agent|
|London ESB Ale (1968)||Wyeast Labs||69%||64°F - 72°F|
|Mash Out||168°F||10 min|
|Bru'n Water calculates a mash pH of 5.5
Did a 1L starter of 1968 24 hours before pitch.
|Download this recipe's BeerXML file|
2013-03-24 — Measured gravity after 4 days, 1.016 with activity still going, hoping to hit 1.011 or 12 by Wed, 2013-03-27.
2013-03-26 — Measured gravity after 5 days, 1.012, start cold crash
2013-03-27 — Racked 5 gallons into keg, force carbing to ~2 volumes of Co2.