Saturday, October 1, 2011

Not Another Bitter Tasting

Jeeze, what is up with all the bitters?! I ask myself the same question every time I browse through my beersmith recipe files. Whole pages of special bitter. Frustratingly delicious. Anyways, I got another bitter for today's tasting. This one is the Young's bitter clone type-of-thing that I brewed up about a month ago. The recipe was really simple, Golden Promise, C80L, and EKG hops with the namesake (wy1768) yeast. The beer spent two weeks in the primary and has been sitting in the kegerator for an equal amount of time. I was a bit worried about the clarity on this one, although a few days at 40F really brightened it up.

Young's Bitter : English Special Bitter

Appearance - Pours the typical bitter color, light amber with a decent head that leaves appropriate lacing. Clarity is very good, though not quite brilliantly clear. 

Aroma - Admittedly, I've got my kegerator set a bit too cold for this beer. After warming the pint up a bit in my hands for a few minutes, the aroma really comes out. Lots of clean bready malt and a bit of fruity esters to suggest an English ale. The hops are pretty well suppressed by the malt. 

Taste - Very clean, bready, and toasty malt character with low fruity esters. Thoroughly malty. The hops make their presence known with a typical spicy, floral EKG character. I almost wish there was a bit more "English" character to the beer as it is very clean for your typical English bitter. The bitterness balances the malt quite well and comes in on the swallow, medium-low bitterness. 

Mouthfeel - Carbonation might be a bit too high for the serving temperature but it does not seem out of place. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Drinkability & Notes - Again, a solid English bitter that I should be perfectly happy about. However, I still feel I need to make further changes to my water profile (more sulfate, less chloride) and possibly change up my aeration techniques. This beer is good, though it doesn't quite have that perfect balance of flavors that I am  always looking for. I dunno, maybe I just need to learn how to brew beer to enjoy and not obsesses over. I still have a bunch of this yeast left, so I will be revisiting a recipe like this sometime soon. 

O.G: 1.047, F.G: 1.010, 4.8% ABV, 25 IBU, Wyeast 1768 English Special Bitter.


  1. Hi there. Terrific blog, a really nice resource, especially for English style beers. ...You might have written about it, but I was wondering what your typical water profile for an best bitter would be?

  2. Typically, I'll aim for something around Ca - 60, SO4 - 120 or 150, Cl - 30, and Na - 15 or so. I've brewed dozens of bitters with a profile very similar to this and have had good results, although I generally like less sulfate in my session bitters.

  3. How are you aerating at the moment?

  4. Martin,

    I'm aerating with a SS stone and pure oxygen, usually 30 seconds or so. Same set up you can find at Williams Brewing. Works great.


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