Friday, March 02, 2007

English Bitters

I've been more fascinated with the concept of the low alcohol, high flavour style of traditional English bitters of late. A week and a half ago I brewed an ordinary bitter (link to recipe), which ended up being 3.4% alcohol by vol. Its got very little malt flavour (its kind of "aqueous" actually, which is like being watery but a little better), but decent bitterness and hop flavour. Next time I'll probably up the flavour and aroma hop additions.

But why drink a low alcohol beer?? Doesn't that not get you drunk as fast?? It sure doesn't. But thats the point. At 3.4% having 2 pints of beer is like having one pint of strong beer... you get a good amount of flavour, plus the healthy aspects of beer, without getting drunk. I can come home from work, have a pint or two, and not be half drunk like I would be drinking a 8% Belgian.

So the ordinary bitter should be on tap here by the weekend, just waiting for it to carbonate in its "cask" (just a 20L sankey keg).

I'm now developing a recipe for a 4.5% premium bitter... I want to get a lot more body and malt flavour into it so as to get away from the aqueousness possible with a lower alcohol beer, so I'll be putting a bunch of carastan and dextrinous malts into it. I'm also going to try the Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast. I'll post the recipe later when I finalize it.

Anybody want to try and ordinary bitter?

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