Recipe

Ordinary Bitter

Ordinary Bitter

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.038  FG = 1.011
IBU = 30  SRM = 11  ABV = 3.5%

Ingredients
7.0 lb. (3.2 kg) English pale ale malt
0.50 lb. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (120 °L)
0.25 lb. (113 g) Special Roast malt (50 °L)
5.75 AAU East Kent Goldings hops (60 min.) (1.2 oz./33 g of 5% alpha acids)
2.5 AAU East Kent Goldings hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g of 5% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) East Kent Goldings hops (1 min.)
White Labs WLP002 (English Ale) or Wyeast 1968 (London ESB) or Lallemand London ESB Ale yeast
1/2 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Mill the grains and dough-in at around 1 qt. of water per pound of grain (about 2.1 L/kg) and a temperature of 152 °F (67 °C). Hold the mash at 152 °F (67 °C) for 60 minutes. Infuse the mash with near boiling water while stirring to raise the temperature to mash out at 168 °F (76 °C). Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water, collecting wort until the pre-boil kettle volume is around 5.9 gallons (22 L) and the gravity is 1.032. Boil wort for 75 minutes. Add the bittering hops with 60 minutes remaining and the flavor hops with 30 minutes left in the boil. Add 1 tsp. Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil and add the last hop addition just before shutting off the burner. Chill the wort to 67 °F (19 °C), pitch yeast and aerate thoroughly. Ferment around 67 °F (19 °C) until the yeast drops clear. Allow the lees to settle and the brew to mature without pressure for another two days after fermentation appears finished. Rack to a keg or bottling bucket. Target a carbonation level of 1 to 1.5 volumes. (Use about 2.0 oz./57 g of corn sugar for bottle conditioning.) If you’re cask conditioning the beer, add priming sugar, any cask finings (gelatin or isinglass), and dry hop with 0.25 to 0.5 oz. (7–14 g) of whole East Kent Goldings hops. Allow the beer to condition in the cask for several days and serve via a beer engine or by gravity feed at 50–55 °F (10–13 °C).

Ordinary Bitter

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.038  FG = 1.011
IBU = 30  SRM = 11  ABV = 3.5%

Ingredients
4.7 lb. (1.95 kg) Maris Otter liquid malt extract
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (120 °L)
0.25 lb. (113 g) Special Roast malt (50 °L)
5.75 AAU East Kent Goldings hops (60 min.) (1.2 oz./33 g of 5% alpha acids)
2.5 AAU East Kent Goldings hops (30 min.) (0.50 oz./14 g of 5% alpha acid)
0.5 oz. (14 g) East Kent Goldings hops (1 min.)
White Labs WLP002 (English Ale) or Wyeast 1968 (London ESB) or Lallemand London ESB Ale yeast
1/2 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Place the crushed grains in a grain bag and steep in about 2 gallons (~8 L) of water at ~170 °F (77 °C) for 30 minutes. Lift the grain bag out of the steeping liquid and rinse with warm water. Add enough water to the steeping liquid and malt extract to make a pre-boil volume of 5.68 gallons (21.5 L) and a gravity of 1.033 (8.40 °P). Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Once the wort is boiling, add the bittering hops. The total wort boil time is 1 hour after adding the bittering hops. During that time, add the flavor hops with 30 minutes remaining, Irish moss at 15 minutes, and the aroma hops just before shut-down. Chill the wort to 67 °F (19 °C), pitch yeast and aerate thoroughly. Follow the fermentation and packaging instructions for the all-grain version.

Jamil Zainasheff provides readers with a recipe to make a classic English Ordinary Bitter.