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ESB

April 15, 2012

Out of beer, going to the old standby.  Mostly sticking to the ESB I brewed around Christmas, except doing a first wort hop instead of 30 minute additions to hopefully get a more smooth bitterness.  Also pushing the aroma addition to knock out and still doing the dry hop in the keg.  Finally, I dropped the Maris Otter down a touch because I’m not looking for high gravity on this one, just something nice to drink.

Recipe

BeerSmith Recipe / Brewsheet

Brew Day (4/15/12)

Slow lauter (41 minutes) with valve full open.  I also think I had pretty high gravity (14.75 Brix pre-boil), so maybe I can mill the grain more coarsely and still hit 70% efficiency.  I milled at the second-to-most-fine setting on the club’s Valley Mill (for future reference).  I could alternatively pick up some rice hulls.

Kegging (4/21/12)

I’m completely out of beer, so I’m rushing this one a bit.  I figure an ESB is forgiving of that.  For dry hopping last time (on my extract ESB), I held the hop bag on the bottom of the keg with a racking cane so I could pull it out after a while.  I didn’t really get to the point where I felt like I had to take it out last time, though so I didn’t worry about that this time.  Instead, I just pinned part of the bag to the bottom with the dip tube.  I figure once the aroma gets right and it’s nicely carbed, I can bottle what I want for competition, etc. and not have to worry about grassiness or anything like that.

Impressions

I’m mostly through this batch now.  It’s obvious that the dry hop bag wasn’t submersed adequately, because the aroma is lacking.  Instead, sweet caramel aroma dominates with some alcohol in the background.  The flavor is certainly malt-skewed, but there’s a decent amount of bitterness in the finish along with a subtle hop flavor.  The fact that I detect any hop flavor, indicates that it might be pretty decent.  I don’t normally notice it well.  The color is a bit light again.  I think I could certainly use some more darker caramel for both color and flavor complexity.

All in all, it’s drinkable, but not quite up to my standards of an ESB.  The fact that I don’t plan on bottling any is as good a testament to that as any.

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From → Ale, All-Grain, Brews

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