Brewed: Handicap

By scot in Beer Recipes, Home Brewing on Thursday, November 7th, 2013

handicap esb

I have never brewed an English style of beer. In fact I don’t drink them. I really haven’t given the group of beers any thought over the past 10 years. It has been very easy to bypass them as I wondered up the IPA trail. The style has never caught my fancy.

Why would I decide to brew up one? I have been trying to come up with ways to broaden the scope of home brews that I put forth and I was looking for something on the lower end of the alcohol spectrum but still had some character. I could brew an American pale ale, a blonde, a light IPA (just another way of saying APA), etc. I finally figured it out: give those English a bloody chance.

After doing an extensive search on the various styles of English beers, at the lower end, I settled on an Extra Special Bitter (ESB). I expected to brew a more malt forward version (light hopping) while bringing out the fruity esters of the yeast. Caramel and toffee flavors would be the goal while hop profile would come from US Goldings used minimally for balance. I didn’t know how I would like the lower suggested carbonation rates, drinking a beer in the mid-fifties has never been a problem. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, November 07, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1098 (British Ale)
Yeast Starter: 2.4 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.051
IBU: 39.2
Color: 9.2 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 4.92%
Fermentation: 30 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.0# Maris Otter
1.00# Caramel 60L
0.50# Red Wheat

Saccharification @154.4*F

Hop Bill:
2.00 ounces US Goldings @60 minutes
1.00 ounce US Goldings @10 minutes
1.00 ounce US Goldings @1 minute

1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes


  • 2013-12-08: Bottled, 1 750ml, 28 22oz, 3 16oz

Useless Fact: In space, astronauts cannot cry, because there is no gravity, so the tears can’t flow

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