06: All Goldings Bitter (e)


Yesterday I wrote about how unbalanced All Goldings Bitter tasted after having been in the kegerator. Well I’m glad to say that after 24 hours just sitting at room temperature, it’s now tasting gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing how the Fuggles turns out.

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Yesterday I made Beer eight – All Fuggles Bitter. It’s a variation of my All Goldings Bitter recipe – slightly different steeping grains and more hops.

I kegged All Goldings Bitter on the 26th.  Before kegging it tasted great – malty with a hint of bitterness and hops. But after chilling down in the kegerator the balance has changed completely – obviously I won’t be able to have a bitter and IPA in the same fridge.

The taste when cold has left me not so impressed with AGB, but I have to remember that it’s at the wrong temp and I only started making it on the 19th April. It is still a very green beer and hasn’t had much conditioning time. I probably shouldn’t be drinking it at all! But I was so eager to taste it. The right thing for me to do now is probably to take it out of the fridge and leave it until I finish the IPA, then turn up the fridge temp – then it will have had time and it will be at the right temp.

Since AGB had just a hint of hops, over the weekend I added a hop tea with some more Golding to the keg. I also upped the hops on AFB to compensate.

All Fuggles Bitter

Boil volume: 3 US Gallons
Final wort volume: 6 US Gallons

Predicted OG: 1.035
Actual OG: 1.036 at 30 degrees; 1.040 adjusted to 15 degrees
Predicted FG: 1.009

1.5kg (3.3lbs) Extra-light DME (Muntons spraymalt)
0.5kg (1.1lbs) Wheat DME (Muntons spraymalt)
150g (0.33lbs) Crystal 60L
150g (0.33lbs) Crystal 75L
45g (0.1lbs) Muntons Black 550-600L

Fuggle AA4.7%: 60m 57g (2oz), 20m 28g (1oz), 2m 14g (0.5oz)
(For the Golding I used 48g / 18g / 16g.)

Yeast: S-04

IBU is tricky to calculate – it really depends on which utilisation method you calculate with. Tasty Brew gave me an IBU of 47 for this, based on me adding all the DME at the beginning – but other calculation tools give lower levels. Also, I split the DME addition – adding 1kg of extra-light at the beginning and the rest of the DME before the 20m hop addition – so I’ll get better utilisation. I did the same split for All Goldings Bitter and that wasn’t bitter enough, so what’s important to me now is learning how IBU numbers taste for a certain calculator and utilisation method rather than looking at the numbers as gospel.

Incidentely, I screwed up by leaving the 20m addition in for 5 minutes too long. And that caused me to forget the Irish Moss.

It was fermenting away like crazy this morning – a very good sign. When asking which hops to use for making a British bitter, everyone suggested both Golding and Fuggle, but most people indicated Fuggle as their preference. It will be good to taste them side by side. 

Current bucket status:
1. Brewferm Kriek with cherries (racked onto cherries on 25th April; looks like secondary fermentation is finished)
2. Green Scottish West Coast Flasher IPA (started 27th April)
3. All Fuggles Bitter (started 29th April)

Once again I find myself with full buckets and impatient to make more…

Popped cherries

Popped cherries

With all the excitement of the kegerator at the weekend, I forgot to update on Beer five, the Brewferm Kriek kit.

The Kriek finished fermenting the middle of last week. Taste at the moment leaves a lot to be desired – very bitter and little cherry taste. Brewferm say the kriek should spend 6-8 weeks bottle conditioning before being consumed so it’s possible the taste may improve, but I doubt it, so I decided to bottle just a little of it and rack the rest onto cherries. There are only 9 x 190ml bottles of this little kriek, one of which has already found a home elsewhere. Six of those bottles are Coke bottles – Cherry without the Coke :)

After phoning around various places, I found tinned cherries in National Azabu (no frozen cherries anywhere) so made a trip there to get them. As a bonus, they have huge boxes of Oxi-clean on special at the moment – it’s probably still more expensive than Costco, but I’m glad I don’t need to waste the day on a Costco trip.

The tins actually contain far less cherries than I expected – about 250g of 480g if my memory serves me right. I poured the contents of four into my spare primary and then racked the beer on top (no need to boil the cherries since they’ve already been pasteurised).

I expected with all the extra syrup and cherries for the remaining yeast to spring into life and for the fermentation to go wild, but very little happened for a long time. Only two days later did secondary fermentation really become active. Last night I took a sample to do a hydrometer reading – it now stands at 1.020 (it was 1.010 when I bottled) but the taste is much improved, almost like Belle Vue Kriek now.

Beer seven: Green Scottish West Coast Flasher IPA

Last night I did my first partial mash – another attempt at an IPA. This is a version of the Green Flash West Coast IPA featured on the Jamil show. I’ve taken the recipe posted by Nathan here, the guy who created it for the show.

I’ve copied the hop schedule identically but converted it to partial mash using the grains that I have at home – I don’t have the exact grains in the recipe. I’m also using a 3 gallon batch rather than 6 gallons. I used various online calculators to adjust grain, DME, and hops quantities to match the range of the original recipe.

The original recipe calls for these grains:
14.00 lbs Pale Malt (2-row) America
1.31 lbs Crystal 40L America
1.31 lbs Carapils Dextrine Malt

I replaced these with:
1kg (2.2lbs) Base Malt EBC3.3
1kg (2.2lbs) Ale Malt EBC6.6
0.3kg (0.66lbs) Carared 20L
2kg (4.4lbs) Extra Light Spraymalt DME 19th May 2009: Typo here. Actual was about 2lbs – need to confirm later!

The base and ale malts I ordered from Homebrewing Service when getting Starsan. Instead of crystal 40L I had the choice of carared 20L or crystal 60L, I decided to go for the carared because it’s about two weeks old now (so needs to be used soon) and because my base malts are probably darker than the original recipe (hence using a lighter crystal).

Hop schedule is:
90m: 9g of Simcoe 12.9%
60m: 5g each of Zeus (Columbus) 16.4% and Simcoe.
30m: 5g each of Zeus, Simcoe.
15m: 13g each of Zeus, Simcoe.
10m: 16g of Cascade 7.2%
1m: 9g each of Zeus, Simcoe.

After 7 days it will be dry hopped with 9g each of Amarillo, Centennial, Zeus, Simcoe, and optionally 4g of Cascade.

This is the process I used for the stove top partial mash – I’m using 3 pots, one 16L, one 7L, and one 4L. (My process was based on this guide – I didn’t have two large pots so I improvised.)

1. Heat 9L of water to 71 degrees in the 16L pot then add the grain bag with all the grains. Use heat where necessary to keep temperature around 67 degrees for an hour. I stirred this quite often during the hour to improve circulation.

2. After an hour, take out the grain bag and let it drain through a colander into the 4L pot (the grain stays in the grain bag, I just placed the bag on the colander). Pour the hot wart from the 16L pot into the 7L pot and then heat 6L of water in the 16L pot. When at 73-80 degrees, put the grain bag into this water and leave for 15 minutes. Again I circulated often. About half way through I applied heat to raise the temperature back to 67 degrees.

3. Pour the wort from the 4L pot into the 16L pot and then put the grain bag on the colander again, to drain into the 4L pot. Add the wort from the 7L pot to the 16L pot and start to boil. When the grain stops dripping, add the wort from the 4L pot also.

At this point I took a sample to do a hydrometer reading and work out efficiency. The Tasty Brew calculator had given me an expected gravity of around 1.052 for a 75% efficiency at 11.5L. I got 1.046 at 35 degrees, which is 1.051 adjusted to 15 degrees. I think I had a bit more water though, maybe 3.25G or more – difficult to tell because my pot doesn’t have markings, but I was pretty near the rim.

Since I think I had more water, I wanted to try to calculate efficiency myself.

My rough attempt at ppg efficiency based on 3.25G is:
Efficiency = gravity (51) x gallons (3.25) / lbs of grain (5.06) = 32.7ppg.

According to How to Brew, 30ppg+ is the range to shoot for, so I’m in the right ballpark – not bad considering I don’t have any specialist equipment.

Another way to calculate efficiency is look at the theoretical maximum fermentables you can get out of grain. 46 points is the theoretical maximum and I used 5.06lbs, which gives me a max of 232.76.

For 3.25G, I would have an efficiency of 51 x 3.25 / 232.76 =  71.2%. Not too far from the 75% used on Tasty Brew. I really need to get a pot with markings.

4. Add the hops as per schedule. Before the 15M addition, I took out the hops, stirred in the DME, and when melted and boiling again, returned the hops with the 15M addition. I should have added Irish Moss here but forgot!

5. Continue with schedule, then cool, transfer to bucket, top-up, and pitch rehydrated S-04.

The whole partial mash process was actually pretty simple – the only point where I fell down was cooling the wort (not much cold water to add and a freezer full of hops so I couldn’t make ice!) I actually found doing partial mash to be more relaxed than steeping since I have time during the mash to prepare other things.

Starting gravity turned out to be 1.078-80, bang on the 1.079 predicted by Tasty Brew (FG is predicted as a rather high 1.020). Since Tasty Brew uses 75% utilisation and I got the predicted values, I guess I hit 75%

When taking the hydrometer reading before adding the DME, it dawned on me that if I was making a bitter, I could do a full mash this way – 1.046 is quite high for an ordinary bitter. I should do a full mash and see how it turns out.

I finished the night off by transferring Beer six (All Goldings Bitter) to a keg. I forgot to purge oxygen with CO2 before transferring but I think it should be OK. We don’t purge when we rack to secondary, right? This leaves me with one bucket free again – time to think about Beer eight!

I’ve made some decisions about how I’m going to progress my brewing.

Firstly, I’m going to start making 3 US gallon batches instead of 5-6 US gallon batches when I’m experimenting, especially with IPAs. If I make something not great, I don’t want 5 gallons of it hanging around (like I have at the moment). I can always brew more later.

Secondly, I’m going to start partial mashing. With smaller 3 gallon batches, I’ll be able to partial mash with about 1kg (2.2lbs) of grain using this method (very similar to steeping, actually).

Thirdly, my next three beers will be another bitter (from tasting so far, All Goldings Bitter seems like my best so far), an IPA, and a porter. I’ve not decided the recipes for these three yet but for the bitter I may do an All Fuggles Bitter version of the All Goldings Bitter recipe – either a 5-6 US gallon extract or a 3 gallon partial mash.

Fourthly, I’ve worked out a way to brew through the summer! With the purchase of the kegerator, I was thinking of returning my fridge to the role it was built for – being a food fridge! – but yesterday I remembered that the temperature within the fridge was around 10 degrees when I first put the keg and CO2 tank in, before I turned up the cooling. 10 degrees is the perfect temperature for brewing pilsner! So even though I’m not a big lager fan, this summer I’m going to try brewing some.

Bucket status at the moment:
1. Brewferm Kriek – finished primary fermentation at 1.010 (as per kit specifications).
2. All Goldings Bitter – half way through fermentation at 1.012. It’s still fizzy to taste so fermentation is still going on – hopefully it will get down to 1.010 or 1.008.
3. Empty

Completed beer status:
1. Lager kit: Bacteria free but so bad I wont even drink it. Takes like Bass Pale Ale but worse.
2a. Whispering Wheat kit with wheat DME: I only bottled 10 of these. They taste kit like but they are drinkable.
2b. The above dry-hopped with orange peel, coriander, and nutmeg. This is my favourite of the beers I’ve made so far.
3. All Centennial IPA: This was a my first non-kit beer, but it turned out disappointing. The hop taste is too deep and intense with little aroma except sweetness. I think dry hopping would really liven it up but it’s in bottles. I may experiment with pouring some into a PET bottle and adding a little hop tea – see whether that rescues it.
4. Triple Cock(-up) IPA: Black Rock East India Pale Ale kit with DME. Since I added hop tea to the keg, this has actually become OK. It’s a bit light because of the kit origins, but its drinkable.

This weekend in-between rearranging my apartment to fit in the kegerator, I hope to bottle some of the Kriek and rack the rest onto cherries, and to fill the empty bucket with a new beer – most likely an IPA since until All Goldings Bitter has finished fermenting, I can’t really be sure whether the recipe worked.

I did nothing this weekend that wasn’t homebrew related, which makes me wonder how I filled my weekends before I started making beer. Oh yeah, I had other hobbies then. What happened to them?

This will be a long update from the bottling of Friday, to the regulator search and buying CO2, to the party on Saturday, to receiving the keg delivery, to viewing an old fridge, and finally ending with my first kegged beer.

Friday night I bottled Beer three (All Centennial IPA). It had been in the primary 2 1/2 weeks, bubbling finally slowing down to almost non-existent on Friday. I might actually have left it a few more days but I wanted to take some to the homebrewing party on Saturday. I thought it safer to just bottle the lot rather than take one PET bottle full (the plan being to add carbonation to the PET bottle using a carbonator cap).

In honesty, I have to say I’m a little disappointed with All Centennial IPA. It appeared to be maturing along nicely in the fermenter and the tastings showed promise, but the result (so far) is a bit too intensely hoppy to me. Not a light fresh intenseness, but a deep, dark intenseness. Maybe some time in the bottles will fix that. One thing is for sure, every time I have tasted All Amarillo IPA it has been different, so who knows how it might turn out.

Friday night I continued with my search for a regulator. I wanted to find a dual gauge model but I couldn’t. According to Advance Brewing, his supplier has stopped making them so there will be no more from him.

In the end I found four sources of single gauge (how much gas is left in the tank) and gaugeless regulators:

  • Beer-server.com – 13,000yen. Beer server is the most expensive of the three, and they were not particularly knowledgeable when I called them.
  • Homebrewing Service – one gaugeless model at 7,800yen.
  • Greens – The best selection so far, including 2 way, 3 way, two mini regulators, and an adapter for using mini CO2 tanks on full regulators. Best prices outside of Yahoo auction.
  • Yahoo auction – Searching for 減圧弁 or ビールサーバ can bring up regulators occasionally. On Saturday I bid on a 2 way model and had it right up to the last minute when someone outbid me by 100yen. On Sunday I searched a couple of times, then late Sunday night a new regulator popped up for an auction price of 3,000yen and a “buy now” price of 3,500yen. I bought it now. Total price including delivery and auction fee was 4,200yen.

Yahoo auction is the cheapest, but it can be difficult to be sure whether the regulators will work with beer or not. Even Advanced Brewing almost got it wrong – recommending a regulator to me on Yahoo auction and then mailing me later to say it doesn’t work with CO2 (Advance Brewing were very helpful though, providing me with the link to beer-server.com). I lucked out by finding a new one on auction, and since it says it’s for use with a beer server (ビールサーバ), I shouldn’t have any problems.

Several homebrewers have said they were able to scrounge regulators from their CO2 suppliers. I’ve tried 5 so far and no luck, however the last place – one minute from my house, where I finally bought my CO2 – is going to speak with their suppliers and see if they can get one, and a beer delivery guy that I accosted on the street said he’s going to have a look for one in his warehouse and give me a call this week, so you never know. Now that I have one from auction it is less urgent, but it would be good to have a spare.

Saturday I went to a party hosted by one of the homebrewers I met at the hanami a few weeks ago. As well as the excellent beers of the host, many other homebrewers brought samples of their beers. It was good to taste Lost in Fermentation‘s Foreign Extra, Extra … Extra Stout – nice to try a beer you’ve read about!

One thing that is continually surprising about the homebrew community is how helpful and friendly people are. There’s no arrogance or ego like you get with some other “hobbies”. Everyone just wants others to succeed.

Under partial duress I brought along samples of my beers to get feedback. It can’t say how embarrassing it is to be taking along the first beers you ever made and present them to people who have years of experience – but I got valuable feedback from it. I only wish my IPA had turned out a bit better so they got a better impression of my skills.

Sunday morning the kegs order arrived – minus carb cap (Advance Brewing’s mistake) and with a gas hose which wouldn’t fit the regulator I borrowed. Yet again an example of people’s kindness, a quick mail to the guy who lent me the regulator with the query “Is this hose really supposed to fit in here?” and he replied back with “No” and offered to give me the right host later that evening.

So while waiting for the evening to arrive, I made more beer. Beer six is my “All Goldings Bitter”. It’s my own recipe, made with the help of the Tasty Brew calculator. I varied the recipe I posted a week or so ago, mainly because when fed it back into the calculator at Tasty Brew it gave me different values – I don’t quite understand why even now. Update: Turns out there was an error in the calculation a week ago.

Beer six: All Goldings Bitter

1.5kg Extra Light DME
0.5kg Wheat DME
0.3kg Crystal 40L (pre-crushed; steeping)

Hops: East Kent Goldings AA 4.6% Leaf

60 Minutes: 48g
20 Minutes: 18g
2 Minutes: 16g

I was aiming for 1.5oz, 0.5oz, 0.5oz of hops (42.5g, 14.2g, 14.2g) but the hops were a block of youngsubrew and I used a knife to cut the block before separating it out, hence the quantities above. Since the AA was a bit lower than I’d hoped, I just left the hops at those weights. 2.5 US Gallon boil; total 6G. IBUs should be around 34.

Process was as follows:
1. Steep C40 for 30 minutes in 68-73 degrees water
2. Remove grain and turn up the heat. As the wort is heating up, add the extra light DME.
3. Once boiling, boil for 5 minutes until most of the foam has disappeared from the top, then add the first hops addition. 40 minutes timing starts now.
4. After 40 minutes, remove the hops and add the wheat DME. Boil for 5 minutes then add the second hop addition along with the first hop addition. 20 minutes timing starts now.
5. After 5 minutes add a teaspoon of Irish Moss.
6. With 2 minutes to go, add the final hop addition.
7. When finished, cool the wort then proceed as usual.

I used S-04 yeast, rehydrating while the wort was boiling. I could only get the wort down to 30-32 degrees. Rather than wait and risk airborne infection, I pitched the yeast at this temperature – I figured that since the yeast was hydrated at 35-40 degrees, the higher temp shouldn’t kill it and might even help it get started.

Starting gravity was 1.035, which should give me a nice light beer – I want an easily drinkable (without getting too drunk) beer for the summer.

The first keg

The first keg

After picking up the gas hose and a few nice beers at the Nakameguro Taproom, I then went to look at the most dirty fridge in the world – a complete waste of time save for the fact that I found a hardware store on the way there – and back home to start kegging.

I have to say that I was pretty nervous about handling the CO2, but it was fine. Putting the beer into the keg was a doddle. What wasn’t a doddle was carbonation. I tried the “add CO2, shake, add CO2, shake” technique but it was taking forever and I was getting no-where fast and very painful arms. Quite possibly the beer was too warm to absorb the gas, or my technique was just bad. I ended up sticking the keg and CO2 in the fridge and leaving it there with the CO2 switched on. It should carbonate that way but more slowly than I would have liked. Later today I’ll look for “how to carbonate” videos on You Tube.

Tonight I’m getting the carb cap which Advance Brewing forgot to send. Tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll get the regulator. At some point this week or next week I’ll get the hops. At the moment I have a free primary. I’m drawn towards making another beer while I wait for the hop order (it will most likely take another week to arrive), but on the other hand it would be great to have a primary free for when the hops arrive. Decisions decisions.

Update: The hops have arrived! Pretty good delivery – ordered 14th April, arrived 20th April.

Last night marked six days since partially bottling Beer two (Whispering Wheat with Wheat Spraymalt) and then dry hopping the rest with hassaku, coriander, and orange peel (details here). I wanted to leave the dry hopping for longer but thanks to stuck fermentation, Beer two has been in the primary for nearly a month now. It’s a miracle Beer two has survived at all – the last thing I want is to risk off flavours from leaving it too long in the primary. So since last night I decided it was time to finally get the rest of Beer two out of there.

It actually tastes pretty damn good after six days dry hopping – I don’t think this beer is going to last very long before it is gone. I tried a bottle of the pre-dry-hopped version (there were only 10 bottles, now 9) and it tastes kit-like. The dry hopping made a big difference.

Beer five was going to be my extract bitter creation but I didn’t have time to make it last night, so instead I made up the Brewferm Kriek kit (my final kit). I was a bit lazy in my sanitisation at a couple of points – eg, after using the stirrer and putting it down, I just washed it with cold water instead of resanitising it when using the stirrer again, and when I rehydrated the yeast, I used the jug that I’d dissolved the cane sugar in. It may come back to bite me, but I think I’ve been a bit anal about sanitisation lately. For example, the cane sugar solution is going into the kit, right? If there are nasties in there, they’re in the beer anyway.

So Beer six will become my extract bitter creation, after the IPAs are ready to bottle. I’m actually thinking to make Beer seven a bitter also, but varying the malts and hops used. I liked having two IPAs come together at the same time, so it will be good to do the same for the bitters. One of them will be a “traditional” bitter with only goldings hops, the other will use goldings for bittering but centennial or another hop during flavouring – inspired by one of Baird‘s bitters.

Last night I had a friend around to watch the bottling process. After it was finished we sampled the two IPAs. The dry hopping of Beer four (Triple Cock(-up) IPA) has really made a difference – my friend actually liked it better than the extract Beer three (All Centennial IPA). I can’t wait to get these into bottles this weekend.

I’m thinking that my extract beer is probably going to be the best of the beers I’ve made so far and the only one without a “kit” feel to it, so before making the Kriek, I want to do another extract beer.

Since I have two IPA’s on the go at the moment (All Centennial IPA and Triple Cock(-up) IPA), I want to do somethings different – maybe an English style ale or bitter.

Here’s the ingredients I could order from Advance Brewing:

Hops:
Fuggles (5.0%), Northern Brewer (7.5%), and Goldings (5.4%) leaf.

DME:
Munton’s Spraymalt – extra light, light, medium, dark, or wheat.

Grains (can’t get a lot of British crystal):
Northwest C15, C40, C60, C75, C150
Weyermann Carared 15.6-19.3 lovibond
Muntons Crystal 42-49 lovibond
Muntons Chocolate (432), Black (550-600), Roast Barley (670), Japanese Roast Malt (394)
Flaked oat, rice, rye

My initial thought is this to make a single hop – so that I can get an idea of what that hop does. A number of bitters (eg Bishop’s Finger and Fiddlers Elbow) seem to be based around Goldings, so I’m thinking to go with that. Those same recipes also use wheat malt – I can’t get grain for that but I could use a pack of wheat spraymalt.

This is what I’m thinking of:

2.0kg (4.4lbs) Light Spraymalt
0.5kg (1.1lbs) Wheat Spraymalt
0.3kg (0.65lbs) Muntons Crystal 42-49L

East Kent Goldings 5.5% Leaf.
45g (1.5oz) @ 60m
15g (0.5 oz) @ 20m
15g (0.5oz) @ 0m

S-04 yeast

Based on a boil volume of 9.5L (2.5g US) and batch size of 22.7L (6g US), this gives me:
OG 1.037 – FG 1.009
IBU 36
ABV 1% (in line with Japanese regulations, certainly not 3.6% or anything like that)

Alternatively I could make 21L (5.5g US) and get:
OG 1.040 – FG 1.010
IBU 40
ABV 1% (not 3.9%)

Update 20th April 2009: I made a mistake with the beer calculator, choosing “steeped” for the wheat malt extract instead of “extract”. No idea how I did that. The result is that the OG/FG values above are too low. See here for the actual recipe I used – I had to adjust down the malt by 0.5kg, 1.1lbs.

However according to the Tasty Brew calculator (which I used to make this recipe), that’s at the high end of the “Bitter And English Pale Ale, Ordinary Bitter” style, so I would probably need to go for 6g.

I’ve posted this bitter challenge and my idea to some forums. Let’s see whether my recipe gets the thumbs up or there are better suggestions.

Update

The best feedback I received was this by Little Egypt on Northern Brewer.

while I agree that you’re probably better off with plain extra light spraymalt, don’t hesitate to use the wheat. At that O.G. and percentage of wheat extract (which I’m pretty sure is 50/50 wheat / barley), I don’t see much influence. Other than that, I think you’re off to a good start for your bitter. Goldings is a good choice if you’re looking for a single hop English bitter.

If you’re looking to match something like Bishop’s Finger, first off it’s not a bitter but an “English Pale Ale – ESB” (Shepherd Neame calls it a “strong ale”) http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style08.php . The bottle I brought back from England says (*pulls bottle off shelf*): 5.4% EtOH/vol; hops – only locally grown east Kent Goldings (I’m sure your goldings will be fine); malt – from locally grown Kent barley (no wheat mentioned but they may not list everything); water – from our artisan well (here’s where you run into trouble – best bet is to use RO or distilled water and add some Burton salts but not a ton – maybe 1/2-1 teaspoon). Aim for an O.G. around 1.053 with extra light spraymalt and 2-2.5 Kg of your medium crystal. Keep your hop schedule and yeast as you presented. Ferment around 70F (21C).

That will put you in the ballpark and you can tweak the next batch to your liking. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a lower EtOH version if that’s what you prefer. If the beer is too estery, ferment cooler or switch to another yeast. US-05 fermented at ~72-75 is nice for this style I’ve found. I’ve consumed and made many bitters and loved every one of them!! Good luck!

I considered changing the amount of malt to reach a higher OG, but after listening to this mp3 recommended by richter (again, Northern Brewer) I decided I wanted to stick with a lighter bitter that can be chugged down. I’ve just ordered from Advance Brewing – the first time for me to order from them and to order by myself in Japanese. Unfortunately had to substitite the Muntons Crystal 42-49L for plain Crystal 40L since they’ve run out of the Muntons. I also ordered Weyermann Carared 15.6-19.3, though I’ll probably keep that for another time. Total cost will be around 6500yen, about 65USD/44GBP.