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Author Replies
TedJ
10/23/07 09:15 AM  
Sugar Swap Bitter
As Chris suggested, let's work out the details for the bitter on the forum. Chris paste your e-mail in a reply, and we can work from here.
CDH
10/23/07 09:28 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
For those of us in the Bitter bracket, I'd like to shoot for something like Gale's HSB, a delicious special bitter from the south of England. It's on the redder side of amber, has a non-citrus fruitiness mid-palate that is accentuated by a bit of residual sweetness, and finishes a bit tart. Recipes available by Googling are derived from something published by David Line, a British clone-beer-book author. Everything googly is a bit vague, actually. We're aiming for something at about 5%, with EKG and Bramling Cross for bittering, with them applied in aroma and dry hopping additions too. The googly recipes call for both brown sugar and molasses in them, which makes this beer a great candidate for varying the sugar additions. Line also, in a disturbing British homebrew tradition calls for saccharine tablets in the beer too, which I'd like to avoid.

I'd like to try something like:

OG 1.055

FG 1.012

Grain: 8 lb. British pale

3 oz. Wheat malt

5 oz. British Carastan/Crystal

Mash: 68% efficiency, 154F 60-90 minutes

1 lb. Brown sugar (Replace this 1.25 lb with the sugar you're assigned)

4 oz. Molasses

Hops: 1.5 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA, 60 min.)

1 oz. Bramling Cross (6% AA, 60 min.)

1 oz. Kent Goldings (aroma)

.5 oz. Bramling Cross (aroma)

I'd mash very high to retain maltiness without resorting to fake sweeteners for the effect. I don't see the ruby color coming from the grain bill either, so maybe the color is derived from the sugar additions too... I'm tempted to suggest the 2 oz of roasted barley to guarantee a red hue... but that would be hiding the sugar's contributions so we shouldn't do it.

The question now is what yeast to use? I hate the Whitbread yeast, so S-04 is out, though if we did dry, Windsor might work. My LHBS carries both Wyeast and White Labs, so one or the other is possible for me. I've had good bitters come from the Wyeast Thames Valley yeast, though they aren't quite in the HSB sort of character. I think that the tart finish of the HSB is a yeast thing.

SteveG
10/23/07 10:28 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Chris, one thing to keep in mind in discussing the ruby color is these sugars will vary significantly in the colors they contribute. None will darken all that much, but there is no way around a noticable color varience within the group. IMO though even the dark syrup will need a little help colorwise. That said I think you are right in suggesting both the brown sugar and molasses be replaced. Great start here!
CDH
10/23/07 10:43 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I agree that the color contribution of the sugar is a data point of interest to us, so we don't want to vary anything but the sugar in the recipe if we can avoid it.

That said, I think maybe we should swap the (less available) Carastan in the recipe for a similarly situated Caramunich that more folks will be able to get their hands on. I say that having been to Keystone Homebrew, my LHBS, the other day and found them out of British crystals above 15L, but very well stocked with German and Belgians in the 40-50ish range.

Also, the wheat malt they had handy was Weyermans. That's not very British either. What British maltsters do wheat malt? Are British and German wheat malts interchangable, or is there a character difference that will be notable in that small an amount?

TedJ
10/23/07 10:46 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
The bitter recipe looks good to me, except 4 oz of molasses seems high for a bitter. I will use 4 to 6 oz in barleywines, but usually use 2 oz in a best bitter. Some molasses can be pretty intense in flavor and, especially in this case, I don't want to overpower the other sugar flavors.

Also, the hop bitterness looks high for an ESB. I'll put it into ProMash and see where we come out.

I like the Thames Valley yeast for bitters and have one on hand.

CDH
10/23/07 11:04 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Well, since the brown sugar and the molasses are being replaced with our assigned sugar, I think that the too-much-molasses problem is obviated for the purposes of this experiment... but good to know that you think the molasses is too much if I wanted to try to brew this straight.
DBear
10/23/07 01:18 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
The Bitter Team - in a good way ;-)

I am not greatly experieced brewing ESBs but appreciate that proposed recipe is straight forward and I would love to try brambling cross hops.

I wondering what charateristics the wheat will provide at that amount. Also if we want to bump the color will a small amount of crystal 80 or above help and would a touch of aromatic add some aroma character?

Cheers

tedJ
10/23/07 04:26 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I missed the point of replacing both the brown sugar and the molasses with the Belgian sugar. I thought that you were only replacing the brown sugar and including the molasses. My mistake. So with no molasses, quanity doesn't matter.

Never had Gales HSB, can we get it in the states?

I have Dave Line's book at home and I'll take a look at it tonight. Things don't always seem to add up right in his recipes.

CDH
10/23/07 04:53 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I don't know if it actually available anywhere, but Gale's HSB is listed on the PA Bulletin's list of beers authorized to be sold in PA. Importer is listed as Regal Wine Imports Inc, so they presumably paid red tape fees to get HSB on the list.

That's my method of finding the importer and availability of beers.

Ross
10/23/07 06:54 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I'm getting real excited about this swap. I've never brewed and English Bitter before but I'm really looking forward to it! This is gonna be fun.

I'd like to point out:

The IBU's are gonna be around 60 if we use pellets.

Also, I don't believe the wheat malt will contribute much in the way of flavor at 1.9% of the grain bill.

There are some dark English crystal malts that Northern Brewer sells that might work very well in this recipe in place of the carastan.

DBear
10/23/07 07:36 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter

Ross, i agree this will be a hoot!!!

Team Bitter:

Before my ADD kicks into high gear with all this communication, are we as a team:

- deciding on a recipe to brew, then individually brew the same recipe?

(Any differences will then be based our brewing skills/process and systems.)

TedJ
10/23/07 08:40 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I vote for each using same recipe and trying to do things reasonably the same so the differences come from the sugars. Of course using our own standard brewing practices will probably make it easier on each of us to brew a good beer, so let's not get too uptight about every little detail. When I break my routine, I have been known to make mistakes and even leave things out.
DBear
10/23/07 09:06 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter

Ahhhh, the fog slowly lifts.

So TedJ, you vote to agree on a recipe and let the sugars be the difference.

I can go for that -- in addition I propose we agree on some basic fermentation schedule and water profile style.

Ross
10/23/07 10:00 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I agree on the recipe and fermentation details. As far as water, I live in Chicago; not sure where all you guys are at but maybe our waters are similar?
Ross
10/23/07 10:23 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Hey Guys; read this guy's waxing on the HSB......

I'll Have a Pint of HSB Please !!

A review by SRowlands on Gales HSB

July 12th, 2005

Author's product rating:

Value for money Good

Product Quality Excellent

Product package Good

Taste Delicious

How loyal are you to this brand? Very

Advantages: An award winning beer produced in my home village

Disadvantages: May be difficult to track down the further north you live

Recommend to potential buyers: yes

Full review

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Horndean, in Hampshire, is a small village to the north of Portsmouth. It is actually situated on the A3, the main road that connects Portsmouth with London.

Long before the A3 was constructed, Horndean was a busy village for as travellers and soldiers made there way to and from the country's main naval town.

In the eighteenth century, Ann Gale and her family ran a bakery and a grocery store. Her son, Richard Gale expanded the business by becoming a corn and coal merchant, and then went on to acquire "The Ship and Bell Inn".

In 1853, Richard Gale's son, George Alexander was running the Inn, which by now included the famous brewery, and the family business continued to expand.

The Gale's brewery has remained in Horndean, although it now owns pubs throughout Hampshire, Berkshire, Sussex, Surrey and the Midlands. It's beers, ales and wines also make 'guest appearances' at pubs and festivals all over the country.

Gales produce a range of different beers, wines and whiskey, the most well known of which is HSB - or Horndean Special Bitter.

Walk into any of the many public houses that Gales now own, and you can be sure that you will find draught HSB at the bar.

Ordering your first pint of HSB is an experience, rather than a transaction.

Firstly, there is the anticipation. If you have read this review, read about HSB elsewhere or seen the list of awards the beer has won (see below), you know that you are about to order something special.

As you approach the bar, you will see the pump with the famous HSB logo on. There are occasionaly posters or marketing materials behind the bar, but a beer like this sells itself on reputation alone.

As you order your pint, you can be sure of excellent service. The Gales pubs pride themselves on their service, as well as their beers !!

As they pull your pint, the dark beer gushes down the side of the slightly tilted glass. This isn't your standard "lager" or beer where it has to be treated carefully, and trickled slowly down the side to prevent a foamy head forming. No, this is traditional ale - a hardy, earthly drink from the land !

As the pint is presented to you, a very thin foam will have formed on top, but this disappears very quickly. Any bubbles that are seen soon vanish too - this beer is hardly gaseous at all.

You pay your money (the cost varies, but is typically between £1.80 and £2.50 per pint), and retreat to a table - either inside the pub or in the typical English pub garden.

Here, back at the table, you get the chance to see the pint in all it's glory. The beer is dark, the colour somewhere between a standard pint of bitter and a stout, yet is quite clear. Any pint should have settled by the time you get back to your table, by a white film of bubbles may still appear on the surface.

As the time for the taste test approaches, the excitement builds. You lift the glass to your lips, your taste buds forcing their way to the surface of your tongue, fighting to be the first to be in the path of the imminent HSB wave.

Before the glass touches your lips, you cannot help but catch the aroma that wafts up from the beer. The smell is distinct, but not overpowering. It reminds me of a dew rich forest on a fresh morning, with a woody, fruity aroma. This serves the effect of further exciting the taste buds.

At last, the wait is over, and you raise the glass further so that it makes contact with your lips.

As the cool, (but not chilled), beer makes contact with your tongue, your whole mouth seems to come alive. They say that different areas on the tongue detect different flavours, yet with this every part wants in on the action !

Although this is actually bitter, there is quite a sweet taste to it - almost like treacle. This is combined with a fruity and woody taste, as you'd already picked up in the aroma, creating an overall flavour similar to that you might get from a rich, Christmas Pudding or fruit cake !

Again, though, this is not overpowering. You never fail to realise that this is a quality beer that you are tasting, and there is still a distinct malty, hops taste.

The lack of carbon dioxide in the beer makes this a very palatable drink. As the smooth, tasty liquid glides down your throat, it has very little "bloating" effect. Also, despite it's dark colour, it actually tastes and feels a lot lighter, hence many people who traditionally do not like beers and ales can handle this drink. Real Ales and beers are often regarded as a "man's" drink, but you will often see women enjoying this tipple, breaking the tradition.

One thing you will notice about HSB is that it is quite strong ! The alcohol content is measured at 4.8%, which admittadly is not that strong. However because of it's consistancy and lack of bubbles, it makes it very easy to drink - and quite quickly at that !

As I mentioned earlier, HSB has been acclaimed by many drinkers and institutions (such as CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale) alike.

These awards include...

1998 Silver medal - British Bottlers Institute

1997 Cask ale brand of the year - Licensee & Morning Advertiser Trade award

Gold Medal Premium Ales Class - International Beers, Lager & Cider Competition

Bronze Medal, Aromatic Cask Ale Mixed Hop Gist Section - The Beauty of Hops British Award

1996 Bronze Medal - Swindon Beerex

1994 Silver Medal - Brewing Industry International Awards

1985 Silver Medal - Strong Ale Class - Great British Beer Festival

As you've probably gathered, I am a big fan of HSB. This may be because I live in the village of Horndean, and have grown up with the beer, but it is probably down to the fact I haven't tasted a beer as good as this anywhere else !! If you enjoy beers and ales, I would strongly recommend that you seek this out. If you are fortunate enough to have a Gales pub near you, pay them a visit and order a pint. If you cannot get this in your local, you may find the canned or bottled versions in your local supermarket.

If you still cannot find a local supplier, check out the official Gales website at www.galesales.co.uk - you can also find details of the other Gales products available there.

CDH
10/24/07 09:27 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I don't know about matching water profiles. My well water brews fine beer, but I don't know its chemistry, nor do I want to pay some lab to tell me about it. I'm of the not-broke-don't-fix school of water ion adjustment.

As to fermentation schedule, just let it go until it's done. 10-14 days in primary, then straight to the keg with a few pints detoured into bottles for the swap.

DBear
10/24/07 12:50 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Ok CDH,

So what does the team say to:

- finalizing a recipe

- Who uses what sugar

- What yeast to use

Andy

CDH
10/24/07 03:39 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Let's finalize a recipe and pick a yeast. The sugars we're assigned are already done in the original swap thread.
DBear
10/24/07 07:16 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
DBear
10/24/07 07:27 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter

First cut at promash for CDH's recipe:

- look at IBUs

- caramunich instead of carastan

- Used dark syrup as place holder for sugar (probably jacked up SRM)

Group Bitter

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

-------------------------------

08-C English Pale Ale, Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Min OG: 1.048 Max OG: 1.072

Min IBU: 30 Max IBU: 60

Min Clr: 6 Max Clr: 18 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics

----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 5.00

Total Grain (Lbs): 9.99

Anticipated OG: 1.053 Plato: 13.15

Anticipated SRM: 16.6

Anticipated IBU: 71.9

Brewhouse Efficiency: 68 %

Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Formulas Used

-------------

Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.

Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.

Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg

Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used: Morey

Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager

Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 %

Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 10 %

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

80.1 8.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Great Britain 1.038 3

12.5 1.25 lbs. Candi Syrup - Dark Belgian 1.031 80

3.1 0.31 lbs. CaraMunich Malt Belgium 1.033 75

2.5 0.25 lbs. Molasses Generic 1.036 80

1.8 0.18 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.00 oz. Bramling Cross Pellet 6.00 29.1 60 min.

1.50 oz. Goldings - E.K. Pellet 5.00 36.4 60 min.

1.00 oz. Goldings - E.K. Pellet 5.00 4.0 1 min.

0.50 oz. Bramling Cross Pellet 6.00 2.4 1 min.

Yeast

-----

CDH
10/24/07 07:36 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
You're presuming a full wort boil to come to those IBUs.

I boil my first runnings down in an 8qt pot and add it to the second runnings in a 16 qt pot and then add hops. While 5 gallons of sparge runoff gets boiled, not all of it gets boiled at the same time, or with the hops.

You may need to scale back your hops for your methods, but my calculations put the IBUs in the low 50s for me.

CDH
10/24/07 08:41 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Also- No molasses. Just your assigned sugar.
DBear
10/24/07 10:09 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Yo team

Recipe updated:

- Molasses removed

- IBUs (53) adjusted for full wort boil

- Still using dark syrup as sugar placeholder

Group Bitter

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

-------------------------------

08-C English Pale Ale, Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Min OG: 1.048 Max OG: 1.072

Min IBU: 30 Max IBU: 60

Min Clr: 6 Max Clr: 18 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics

----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 5.00

Total Grain (Lbs): 9.74

Anticipated OG: 1.051 Plato: 12.72

Anticipated SRM: 15.2

Anticipated IBU: 53.0

Brewhouse Efficiency: 68 %

Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Formulas Used

-------------

Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.

Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.

Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg

Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used: Morey

Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager

Additional Utilization Used For Plug Hops: 2 %

Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 10 %

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

82.1 8.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Great Britain 1.038 3

12.8 1.25 lbs. Candi Syrup - Dark Belgian 1.031 80

3.2 0.31 lbs. CaraMunich Malt Belgium 1.033 75

1.8 0.18 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

0.75 oz. Bramling Cross Pellet 6.00 22.0 60 min.

1.00 oz. Goldings - E.K. Pellet 5.00 24.5 60 min.

1.00 oz. Goldings - E.K. Pellet 5.00 4.1 1 min.

0.50 oz. Bramling Cross Pellet 6.00 2.4 1 min.

Yeast

-----

Ross
10/24/07 11:57 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I've got it logged into Promash. May I suggest we add the finishing hops at 5 minutes instead of 1 minute? 1 minute may result in some grassiness...just a humble suggestion.
Ross
10/25/07 12:11 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Oh, couple of other things; at what point in the boil do we want to add the sugar? Also yeast, what type? Wyeast 1028 maybe?
SteveG
10/25/07 07:29 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Note, there have been cases where the boiling time of the sugar has made a huge difference. At least in heavier beers using the dark syrup a boil time of 45 minutes or more has actually resulted in an unmistakeable (at least to me) cherry-ish character. I added some post-boil to an IPA and its effect was a straight forward candy-ish taste. By the flavor I would guess it did not completely ferment out, but the final gravity does not support that.
CDH
10/25/07 09:44 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Finishing hops at 5 sounds alright to me. We also should dry hop, come to think of it. .5 oz of something after fermentation. EKG, Bramling or .25 of each?

As to yeast, Wyeast 1318 looks more like the style I was thinking of...

As to sugar addition, we want to get everything we can out of it, so considering Steve's observations, why don't we split the addition? Half of the sugar at 60, and half of it at 5? Add sugar while we hop?

Or 2 of us could sugar early and 2 of us could sugar late, and we could taste for differences in behavior?

CDH
10/25/07 09:44 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
And we should use a fining agent. Half a Whirlfloc at 15?
DBear
10/25/07 10:58 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter

- Late hop addition at 5 minutes works for me

- fining agent at 15 works (I generally use a whole whirlfloc, curious as to why half)

- Have never dry-hopped so will need some tips - will dry-hopping require senconday fermentation?

- 2 do sugar early and 2 do sugar late sounds interestng

- WY1318 looks interesting - see below for descriptions of WY1028 (Ross) and WY1318 (CDH)

- What suggestions for mash thicknes for this style. I usually mash at 1.33 qt H20/lb grain

WYeast Labs Yeast Descriptions

YEAST STRAIN: 1028 | London Ale:

Rich with a dry finish, minerally profile, bold and crisp, with some fruitiness. Often used for higher gravity ales and when a high level of attenuation is desired for the style.

Origin:

Flocculation: Medium-Low

Attenuation: 73-77%

Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C

Alcohol Tolerance: 10%ABV

Styles:

Brown Porter

Dry Stout

English Barleywine

Foreign Extra Stout

Mild

Northern English Brown Ale

Old Ale

Robust Porter

Russian Imperial Stout

YEAST STRAIN: 1318 | London Ale III™

From traditional London brewery with great malt and hop profile. True top cropping strain, fruity, very light, soft balanced palate, finishes slightly sweet.

Origin:

Flocculation: high

Attenuation: 71-75%

Temperature Range: 64-74° F (18-23° C)

Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 10% ABV

Styles:

American Amber Ale

English Barleywine

English IPA

Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)

Mild

Oatmeal Stout

Old Ale

Scottish Export 80/-

Scottish Heavy 70/-

Scottish Light 60/-

Southern English Brown

Special/Best/Premium Bitter

Standard/Ordinary Bitter

Sweet Stout

CDH
10/25/07 11:25 AM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
Whirlfloc tablets are made for 10 gallon batches. We're brewing 5, so half a tablet will do.
TedJ
10/25/07 01:12 PM  
Re: Sugar Swap Bitter
I would pick the 1318 yeast over the 1028 based on descriptions but I would also recommend the Thames Valley for a bitter (and I have one on hand).

If we are doing English bitter (or are we making this a Belgian bitter because of the sugars), I would would stick to a British crystal rather than caramunich or such. That should keep the malt flavors more in line with what we already know for a bitter.

I'm doing the blond sugar and want to add that late assuming that it may retain more of the subtle flavors. Never used the blond so I'm guessing at this point.

We are the lower end of the gravity for an ESB and the IBUs of 60-70 are over the high end. I like hops but I want to keep the hop bitterness and flavors more restrainted and balanced so we don't hide the sugar flavors. Probably more of a problem with the blond than the dark, so let's find a middle ground.

Last point, the syrup bottles are over a pound, but I think the blond and dark moist come in one pound bags. Not sure how much of the moist we will get. May need to use 1 pound of sugar. We'll see what we get.

I also use whirlfloc, but I'm ok with everyone using their typical process.

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