Monday, September 10, 2012

Tasting Notes: ESB

The genesis of this beer was in a period of intense brewing leading up to this year's Longshot competition.  I had decided to enter pretty much at the last second, and was kind of scrambling for a third beer to enter (my friend Levi was supplying three beers, and with my three we were splitting Beer-d's six-for-the-price-of-five deal.) Eventually, I ended up not submitting it, favoring instead the Kosher (oyster) stout. As a result this has become somewhat of a neglected beer in my collection, and it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I decided to give it a proper tasting and write up notes. I kind of wish I hadn't waited so long, since Bitter should be drunk fresh, and after five months, this beer is beginning to loose its sparkle.

The Recipe:
Recipe: E.S.Bitching (ESB) TYPE: All Grain
Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------
SRM: 7.6 SRM  SRM RANGE: 6.0-18.0 SRM
IBU: 35.3 IBUs Tinseth IBU RANGE: 30.0-50.0 IBUs
OG: 1.057 SG  OG RANGE: 1.048-1.060 SG
FG: 1.015 SG  FG RANGE: 1.010-1.016 SG
BU:GU: 0.614  Calories: 535.8 kcal/l Est ABV: 5.6 %  
EE%: 72.00 % Batch: 20.00 l      Boil: 30.48 l BT: 90 Mins


Total Grain Weight: 5.08 kg Total Hops: 90.00 g oz.
---MASH/STEEP PROCESS------MASH PH:5.40 ------
Amt         Name                              Type    %/IBU         
4.75 kg     Pale Malt (Weyermann) (3.3 SRM)   Grain   93.5 %        
0.23 kg     Carahell (Weyermann) (13.0 SRM)   Grain   4.5 %         
0.10 kg     Caraaroma (130.0 SRM)             Grain   2.0 %         

Name     Description                   Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In  Add 14.19l water at 74.7 C    67.0 C        60 min        

Batch sparge: 3 steps (1.37l, 10.48l, 10.48l) of 75.6 C water

---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG Est OG: 1.057 SG
Amt         Name                                Type    %/IBU         
60.00 g     Goldings, E.K. [5.50 %] - Boil 60.0 Hop     35.3 IBUs     
0.50 Items  Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins)         Fining  -             
30.00 g     Goldings, E.K. [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0  Hop     0.0 IBUs      

---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 5/8/2012 - 7.00 Days at 20.0 C
Secondary Start: 5/15/2012 - 10.00 Days at 18.3 C
Style Carb Range: 1.50-2.40 Vols
Bottling Date: 5/15/2012 with 1.9 Volumes CO2: 
Fermentation seemed to be over within 72 hours, so I started 
letting temp drop by one degree every 12 hours. This may not
 have been a good idae as FG ended up 1.019 instead of 1.014.
 Also ended up with 17.5L of beer instead of 20.

Taste Notes:
Overall the impression is of beer that is good, but past its prime. The carbonation was always a little light on this one, but when I tasted it it seemed particularly low. Don't know if that was just the specific bottle tough. 
Small stable head over translucent maple color 4/5
Aroma of some hops, caramel and brown sugar 6/10
Taste of some wood and light caramel medium body 6/10
Palate a little odd, and woody 2/5
Overall 12  Cumulative 29/50

This beer happened to also be reviewed by Keren MK in her blog where she says it was "Amber color, with aromas of malt and a touch of fruit, a little watery, bitter, with a grainy finish" (Translated from Hebrew). Others that have tasted this liked it a lot, but unfortunately, I don't have anything more detailed then "This is good" by way of review. :)

OOPS, Had a feeling I forgot something: The yeast used was English Ale Yeast (obviously). I used Dunstar Windsor, but I think it's no longer available in this country. I imagine Fermentis 04 would do a pretty similar job. (Thank Noam for the catch!)

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