A Stroll by the Wandle(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.039 FG = 1.010
IBU = 28 SRM = 11 ABV = 3.8%
This is inspired by the wonderful time I had visiting Sambrook's Brewery in London to meet with the London Amateur Brewers club. While all of the beers at Sambrook's are masterfully brewed, I really enjoyed their Wandle ale, which they named after a river near the brewery. I based this recipe on information Head Brewer Sean Knight shared with me about Wandle. Any errors are all mine.
7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg) English pale malt
6.4 oz. (180 g) English crystal malt (150 °L)
5.4 AAU Boadicea hops (60 min.) (0.6 oz./18 g at 9% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Fuggle hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Goldings hops (0 min.)
White Labs WLP002 English Ale or Wyeast 1968 (London ESB Ale) yeast
Step by Step
I use Crisp Malting's British Pale Ale malt (made from Maris Otter) as my base grain, but other malts of a similar nature should work well. Remember, the bulk of the flavor comes from the base grain, so try to get British pale ale malt. The crystal malt should also be of British origin as it makes a substantial difference. I have had great success with Simpsons and Bairds, but feel free to substitute any high quality malt of a similar flavor and color from a different supplier. My hops are in pellet form and come from the UK via Hop Union or Hopsteiner.
Mill the grains and dough-in targeting a mash of around 1.5 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain (a liquor-to-grist ratio of about 3:1 by weight) and a temperature of 150 °F (66 °C). Hold the mash at 150 °F (66 °C) until enzymatic conversion is complete. Infuse the mash with near boiling water while stirring or with a recirculating mash system 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 (22.3 L) and the gravity is 1.033.
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 Irish moss or other kettle finings with 15 minutes left in the boil and the last hop addition at flame out. Chill the wort to 68 °F (20 °C) and aerate thoroughly. If you have a nice, fresh package of liquid yeast, you can pitch it direct, although making a 1-liter starter is always a good idea.
If you are adventurous, you might consider open fermentation, as they do at Sambrook's Brewery. Ferment in a bucket with the lid set loosely on top until krauesen forms, which can help protect the beer from contamination. Ferment around 68 °F (20 °C) until the yeast drops clear. With healthy yeast, fermentation should be complete in a week or less. Allow the lees to settle and the brew to mature without pressure for another two days after fermentation appears finished. Rack to a keg and force carbonate or rack to a bottling bucket, add priming sugar, and bottle. Target a carbonation level of 1 to 2 volumes depending on your packaging. If you cask condition the beer, allow it 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).