It's been a long time since I made an English-style bitter as I've been on a bit of a C- and new hop trip and playing with a few German beer types for the past few brews. Basically trying to get hop fixes to fill the ale-shaped void in my life since moving to Germany. Looking back through my notes, I think I haven't used the likes of East Kent Goldings for almost two years! So having whet my whistle with a few decent British beers recently, I thought I'd try my hand at something approximating a standard bitter. Ish... Once I start weighing out grains, I can't help tweaking a bit, hence a touch of Special B that I should really use up.
There's so many kinds of beer I want to make, it's difficult to decide sometimes. In the works is a pumpkin ale, and I really want to do something with a load of ginger, and another barleywine or an imperial stout. The list is bloody endless!
I also need to start labelling my beers again. Back in Ireland myself and my good buddy Kieron labelled every beer we made. I lived on Larkfield Gardens, so we called our little operation The Larkfield Brewery and had a template label on which we just changed the image and text for each brew. You can see a few samples on this web album. The labels added a special touch for bringing the beers to tasting evenings with IrishCraftBrewer.com, maybe helping with the illusion that we were good brewers. Although I will say I was always relatively happy with the beers we made (some more than others for sure), and am still pleased with the beers I've been making this past year. Not that there's no room for improvement! There's always so much to learn. I'm not sure what to call my kitchen brewery now, but the working title has been Bitten Bullet of course. Now I just need a logo and a proper label design!
And if you're interested, here's the beer I made today:
Size: 25.5 L
Original Gravity: 1.048 (Measured)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (Calculated)
Color: 28.75 (Estimated)
Alcohol: 4.71% (Estimated)
Bitterness: 36.1 (Estimated)
4.2 kg Pilsner Malt
400 g Caramunich Type III
150 g Special B
200 g Light Brown Sugar
36 g Challenger (5.8%) - boiled 60 min
1 tsp Irish Moss - boiled 15 min
36 g East Kent Goldings (5.1%) - boiled 15 min
25 g Styrian Goldings (4.4%) - boiled 5 min
25 g Styrian Goldings (4.4%) - added at flame-out