Monday, May 16, 2011

Styrian Golding Special Bitter Recipe

Luke adding the last dose of hops to the Styrian Bitter.
English style beers tend to make for easy brew days because they rarely require anything more complex than a single infusion mash, don't call for huge quantities of hops, and use yeast strains that tend to have be easygoing (requiring a moderate fermentation temperature, fermenting quickly, and flocculating well).  In short everything they are everything that traditional German and Belgian brewing is not, and as a result English styles are among the favorites of brewpubs and homebrewers.  In fact so much so that most of the classic American craft beer styles, from pale ale to porter, are derivations of English beers. 

The recipe for this special bitter (slightly stronger than an ordinary bitter, but not as strong/malty as an ESB) was heavily guided by my experiences with Golding Medal Bitter and Landlord Clone I've posted about previously.  The grist was very similar to Golding Medal except that I swapped out the amber malt for home toasted Maris Otter, used a darker crystal, and added some flaked barley for better head retention.  The hop bill was closer to Landlord, relying solely on Styrian Goldings for bitterness and hop aroma. Despite what their name suggests Styrian Goldings are Fuggles: "Styrian is thought to be Fuggle introduced to former Yugoslavia circa 1900."(although the different growing conditions give them more floral/citrus aroma than their earthier English brothers).

Wyeast 1968 London ESB has become my favorite strain for English beers because it accentuates the toasty malt, adds a bit of fruit, and flocculates quickly (often dropping bright within a week of pitching).  Other strains I've tried bring too much mineral character (WL Burton Ale, and WY Thames Valley Ale) or are painfully slow to flocculate (WY West Yorkshire Ale).  The only issue with 1968 is that sometimes it flocculates too quickly, sinking to the bottom before fermentation is complete; to help counter this tendency I swirled the yeast back into suspension once a day for a few days after fermentation slowed.

I keg conditioned this beer, partly as a nod to tradition, but mostly because I didn't have a spot for it to force carbonate in my kegerator.  As soon as one of the taps opens up I'll cool the keg down and see how this summer session ale turned out.

Styrian Golding Special Bitter

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.25
Anticipated OG: 1.044
Anticipated SRM: 9.8
Anticipated IBU: 49.6
Brewhouse Efficiency: 77 %
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

84.8% - 7.00 lbs. Maris Otter
6.1% - 0.50 lbs. Flaked Barley
6.1% - 0.50 lbs. Home Toasted Maris Otter
3.0% - 0.25 lbs. Crystal 120L

1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet 5.15% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet 5.15% AA) @ 20 min.
1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet 5.15% AA) @ 15 min.
1.00 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet 5.15% AA) @ 5 min.

0.50 Whirlfloc @ 5 min.
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @5 min.

WYeast 1968 London ESB

Water Profile
Profile: Filtered Washington DC (plus 5 g gypsum)

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 150

4/9/11 Toasted 9 oz of Maris Otter at 400 F for 20 minutes.  Made a 1.5 L starter with 6 week old yeast. Started very quickly. 

4/10/11 Brewed with Luke

Batch sparged with 180 F water. Collected 7.25 gallons pre-boil.

Added 5 g of gypsum to the boil. The last dose of hops was accidentally added too early so we ended up with a 15 min addition instead of a 10 min.

Chilled to 66 F, shook to aerate, and pitched the decanted starter (amazing how fast that happened). Left at 60 F to ferment. Solid fermentation by 12 hours. Rose to 65 F ambient over the next 48 hours. Roused several times to get the yeast back into suspension. At 48 hours moved the beer to 70 F to ensure that it finished fermentation.

Added an airlock when I was sure it was not going to overflow.

4/21/11 Racked to a keg, down to 1.012. Added 2.75 oz of cane sugar and left at 70 F to carbonate. Nice fruity/hoppy flavor, should be ready to drink shortly.

7/7/11 Tasting of the last glass of this batch, kicked much faster than I expected.  Solid beer, Styrians were a bit more potent than I wanted, but otherwise close to my ideal Best Bitter.


Anonymous said...

Nice recipe. What type of character do you expect out the toast MO? More toffee/nutty notes? I was thinking of doing the same thing myself.

Also, have you ever used Wyeast 1028? I did an interesting side by side with 1028 and 1968. I prefer the 1968 but people who have sampled were right down the middle in preference.



The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Home toasted malt always smells a bit like a Butterfingers to me. In the finished beer it just adds bready/toasty flavors (in higher amounts I could see it getting nutty), for toffee I think you’d have to get the grain wet first to get some conversion followed by caramelization.

I’ve used 1028 in about five beers, I found it cleaner than 1968. Slightly slower to ferment/drop, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Coincidentally all those beers were either big or dark, so I'll have to try it again next time I brew a bitter to get a better idea for the character.

thomas said...

Thanks for all the detail on that recipe. I've just completed my second all-grain batch, and now I can really begin to appreciate the specific notes you share.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great. I've been wanting to play around with Marris Otter so I might have to borrow this recipe sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!

Jim said...

Sounds like this is going to be another win for you... Great stuff, can't wait to here how it turns out.

Beghe said...

hi, I'm an Italian fan of your blog

Im posting this here but it's actually a general question about Wyeast London ESB and "british style" beers. I love the profile of this yeast but it always give me this problem: at the end of the fermentation my bitter taste great, the attenuation is low (I.E 1038 to 1012) but I think It's a part of this amazing british like yeast that produce a delicious body in a low degree beer. I Usually go with bottle condition to adhere to the style and for the same reason i calculate the sugar to get as low as 1.5 vol of co2. After 10 days bottles get that level and beer is delicious, but then carbonation keep raise and bottles get definitely overcarbonated. I think the problem is that, giving a long time, the yeast eventually attenuate more sugar in the wort, even if very slowly. Have you got the same problem? If yes, how do you deal with it? I'm thinking of bottling without any priming at all and let the residual sugar in the wort to give the low carbonation i'm looking for.

Consider that:
- The pitch rate is high, I perform a cell count, and I never have this kind of problem with any other non british yeast
- I let the beer ferment at 20°C for at least two weeks to be sure it finish the work. It usually reach the FG in 5 days and then it stay at the same SG point for the next 10. After that I set a lower temp to clean
- I've already tried "gently shaking" the fermenter to move back the highly flocculent yeast in solution, but I didn't get appreciable improvement (and I ask myself, if it was the solution, how the pro brewer could perform something similar in a big steel tank)

Sorry for getting so long, i hope that problem is not only mine, so that it could be helpful for other guys here.



The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I haven't had that problem, although I now keg most of my session beers.

It sounds like you are doing everything right, so sadly I have no easy answer. You could try raising the temperature a few more degrees once you reach a steady gravity.

You can try not priming, but this may or may not work. You could end up with flat beer (you only want a .001-.002 drop in the bottles to reach that low carbonation).

Another option would be to try another strain to see if maybe one that is less flocculant would be easier to work with!

Rather than manually "rouse" the yeast, brewers bubble CO2 up through the cone to re-suspend the yeast should they need to.

Best of luck!

Beghe said...

thank you very much!

Just one more: I notice now in the brew notes that you "Roused several times to get the yeast back into suspension". Do you do this by default at the end of fermentation with this strain or only when you think he hasn't finished the job?

Best of luck to you too!


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

No harm in rousing with a highly flocculant strain like this! You could certainly monitor the attenuation if you preferred.