Monday, July 2, 2012

Brew Day: Special Bitter

The wait is over, fellow British yeast enthusiasts. White Labs has again released their Bedford Bitter (wlp006) yeast as part of their monthly platinum series. This means you'll have until October to stockpile as many vials of this stuff... er...try it out in a few recipes and see why its so good. I would be lying if I said I wasn't genuinely excited about getting my hands on a fresh culture of this yeast and I would have gladly spent the night camped outside the LHBS had they been selling it Sunday morning. Well, maybe not. Regardless, of all the yeasts I've tried in bitters over the years, Bedford Bitter is quite possibly the best of them all. It has everything you could want in a yeast; a wonderful flavor profile, high attenuation and flocculation, and it is a fast fermenter to boot. I will say it is not the best yeast for darker beers, but for bitters it is king. I really wanted to brew with a bitter with this yeast over the weekend, but none of the homebrew stores around me had it in stock. I'll have to wait a few weeks. As such, I figured I'd make use of the time and brew another bitter with a different yeast so I can compare the two - something that's similar in character and available year round. Like WY1335 British II. Its been ages since I've used this yeast in a something other than a dry stout and I think it will make for an interesting side-by-side test with the real thing. Either way, I'll end up with two tasty bitters on tap. Hard to beat that. 

Gunsmith Bitter : English Special Bitter

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 4.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 7.5
Anticipated OG: 1.046
Anticipated FG: 1.010
Anticipated SRM: 10
Anticipated IBU: 30
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

90.3% - 7.00 lbs. Golden Promise
3.2%  - 0.25 lbs. Extra Dark Crystal (150L)
6.5%  - 0.50 lbs. No. 1 Invert

0.50 oz. First Gold @ 60 min for 18 IBU
0.50 oz. First Gold @ 15 min for 7.5 IBU
0.50 oz. UK EKG @ 15 min for 5 IBU
1.00 oz.  First Gold @ flameout
1.00 oz.  UK EKG @ flameout

Yeast: Wyeast 1335 British Ale II
Mash 154F for 75 min.
Brewed 01 July


  1. This looks delicious.

    Sort of an aside -- I stumbled across the "British Yeasts" thread on HomeBrewTalk this afternoon, and it's full of fantastic info, much of which seems to have been posted by you! Thanks for letting people like me leech off of your experience...


    1. Yeah, it was nice seeing so many people excited to talk about English yeasts. It was a great resource too, I learned a lot myself. That's what great about this hobby... there is always more to learn, improve, ect.

      Tho I wouldn't say I agree with 100% of the stuff I said then. I still shudder to think of how I used to top crop and of my propensity to rouse yeast.


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