Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brew Day: Black ESB

It's been a while since I last brewed, just over three weeks ago. Seems like ages ago. I guess that's what happens when you have all your kegs tapped and no space left in the fermentors. Anyways, I wasn't planning on brewing today, but as I had washed some Bedford Bitter yeast last night, I figured I'd might as well use it up while it's fresh. I had originally thought about making an Anglo-American IPA with some of the new hops I had ordered, but as I have plenty of hoppy beer and English style stuff on tap at the moment, I felt like I needed something that would both be new and appropriate for my yeast. WLP006 is one of those strains that I really like (possibly my favorite for bitters) but it can have a somewhat limited use. It seems to taste the best when used in beers with high hopping and those styles that can support a dry finish. Not the strain to use for malty or chewy porters and stouts.

Thinking about this limitation, I had the idea of mixing both a hoppy, moderate strength ESB with some of the roast character of a brown porter or schwarzbier. The beer would have an English malt character - Maris Otter, UK crystal, and light chocolate malts - with a mixture of citrusy/floral American and English hops. Best of both worlds. To give the beer some (restrained) roastiness, I cold steeped Carafa II and English roasted barley to add during the boil. A "black ESB" if you will. To be perfectly honest, I've never made a beer like this, nor have any idea how it is going to turn out. I figure the Beford Bitter yeast would at least be a good choice for this type of beer, as I'll get some English malt character and esters out of it, yet the beer will still finish dry, crisp, and hoppy. To up the perception of bitterness and give the beer more of an American feel, I went with a IPA water profile. Hops will be Centennial and Amarillo, paired with UK First Gold. I don't want any piney or tropical fruit hop flavors. Should be interesting...

All is Blackened : Black ESB

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 4.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.55
Anticipated OG: 1.057
Anticipated FG: 1.012
Anticipated SRM: 35
Anticipated IBU: 50
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

83.8% - 8.00 lbs. Pale, Maris Otter
7.9%   - 0.75 lbs. Crystal 60L
4.2%   - 0.40 lbs. Chocolate Malt (330L)
2.1%   - 0.20 lbs. CaraFa II  (Cold Steeped)
2.1%   - 0.35 lbs. Roast Barley (Cold Steeped)

0.75 oz. Centennial @ 60 min for 32 IBU
0.75 oz. UK First Gold @ 15 min for 12 IBU
0.75 oz. Amarillo @ 5 min for 6 IBU 
1.0 oz.  UK First Gold @ flameout
1.0 oz.  Centennial @ flameout
0.50 oz. UK First Gold @ dry hop
0.50 oz. Centennial @ dry hop
0.50 oz. Amarillo @ dry hop

Yeast: WhiteLabs 006 Bedford Bitter
Mash 154F for 75 min.

Brewed 13 March

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say that "Black ESB" is such a better style name than Black IPA even if it is equally arbitrary.


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