Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Screwy's Double Recipe #51 - Extra Special Strong Bitter (All Grain)

This recipe is a retake on my latest attempt, 2 weeks ago, to brew the perfect ESB using all grain, select hops and the yeast pitched in my previous ESB fermentation. I call it a double recipe because of the way it's brewed. I used 11 pounds of grain and 7 ounces of hops in this recipe. The recipe is calculated using a 4.25 gallon batch size, which is 2 times the volume of a Mr. Beer keg, this way I can fill 2 Mr. Beer kegs from a single batch.

Marris Otter, Biscuit, Fuggle, Kent Golding, Willamette and WLP005
The trick to doing a double batch using my method is to have two 12 quart boil pots filled with hot wort during the lautering process. I now put 1.5 ounces of Fuggle hops in each of the 2 boil pots at the start of the lauter and then alternate between the 2 pots when filling. If you completely fill one pot before filling the second pot the first would have a much higher OG than the second.

3 Ounces Of Fuggle First Wort Hops In 2 Boil Pots
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Click to download this recipe file for qBrew 
Size 4.25 gallons: Estimated IBU=66, SRM=11, OG=1.073, FG=1.018, ABV=7.1%

10.0 pounds Marris Otter Malt (UK)
  1.0 pounds Biscuit Malt (Belgium)

 3.0 ounces Fuggle (U.K.) hops (first wort hops)
 2.0 ounces Kent Goldings (U.K.) hops (15 mins)
 2.0 ounces Willamette hops (7 mins)

1 Tube White Labs WLP005 - British Ale Yeast™ 

Aerate, pitch at 70° F and ferment at 66° F for 12 days
Raise to 70° F over days 13 to 14 then rack to secondary fermenter
Cold condition secondary fermenter for 1 week at 34° F
Keg at 30 psi for 2-3 days and serve at 34° F
Mash at 156° F for 90 minutes.
Boil for 60 minutes.
Ferment at 66° F (18.8 °C).

** Infusion mash at 156°F for 90 minutes ** 
(Soak mash tun in 8 quarts of 180° F water for 20 minutes to pre heat it)
Heat 21 quarts of filtered water to 174° F
Pour 14 quarts of 174° F water into mash tun
Mix in 11.0 pounds of crushed grain mix at 58° F
Pour the remaining 174° F water to fill mash tun to 4.50 gallon mark
Stir water and grain mixture and adjust to 156°F and mash for 90 minutes
Sparge with 170° F strike water to set mash bed to 168° F
(Split these quantities between both boil pots)
Add 3 ounces of Fuggles (UK) hops to boil pots as first wort hop addition
Lauter for 30 minutes adding 11.5 quarts of sweet wort to both boil pots

Full Wort Boil:
Add 2 ounce Kent Goldings (U.K.) hops with 15 minutes remaining to boil
Add 1/8 tablet WhirlFloc with 9 minutes remaining to boil
Add 2 ounce Willamette hops with 7 minutes minutes remaining to boil
Use Screwy's Cooler wort chiller to cool wort to 70°F

Primary Fermentation:
Pour wort through strainer to remove excess hop and grain debris
Fill the Mr. Beer fermenter with wort to just above the 8.5 quart mark
Aerate wort and pitch 1 package of Wyeast 1968 (London ESB) at 70°F or WLP005
Ferment at 68°F for 12 days, raise to 70°F over days 13 to 14 for rest
** WLP005 Rouse yeast occasionally if needed to promote fermentation

Secondary Fermentation:
Rack to secondary fermenter
Cold condition secondary fermenter for 1 week at 34°F

Keg and force carbonate at 30 psi for 2-3 days at 34°F
Bottle prime and carbonate at 70° for 7-14 days

Setting The Grain Bed For Before The 30 Minute Lauter
I use a 5 gallon mash tun that I made myself with parts purchased from Home Depot. I used the calculation below to determine how much water and at what temperature it had to be added to hit my 156° F mash temperature. I set my mash thickness to 1.25 using 11 pounds of grain and that came out to 13.75 quarts of water

** Infusion mash at 156° F for 90 minutes **
Mash Thickness:   11.0 * 1.25 = 13.75 quarts
Grain Absorption: 11.0 *  .13 =  6.0  quarts
                                19.75 quarts 174°F (Strike Water)

The combined grain and water mash volume would take up 4.32 gallons of space in my 5 gallon mash tun, leaving me a little over .5 gallon of room for making temperature adjustments if needed.  Using a Strike Temperature Calculator I found that a mash thickness of 1.25 and a grain temperature of 58° F would require the strike water temperature to be 174° F to hit the 156° F mash temperature.

Two 12 Quart Boil Pots One Boils 60 Minutes The Other 90 Minutes
By boiling one pot for 90 minutes and the other pot for 60 minutes I am able to use a wort chiller to cool the first pot down to pitching temperature and pitch the yeast with about 10 minutes to spare before the end of the second pot's boil. This saves considerable time over doing two 90 minute mashes followed by two 60-90 minute boils.

Wort Chiller Quickly Lowers The Temperature For Pitching
As the wort was cooling down I filled a keg from one of the Mr. Beer fermenters that had my original ESB recipe in it for 14 days. I left about 1/4 inch of beer on top of the trub at the bottom and screwed the lid back on it for safe keeping until I was ready to pour the cooled wort into it. 

Kegging The Original ESB Recipe To Make Room In The Fermenter
Once the wort had been cooled down to the same temperature as the trub in the fermenter I poured it directly into the fermenter stirring up the trub and yeast that was left there after filling my keg. 

Trub And Yeast Reused From The Previous Fermentation
Pouring the cooled wort directly onto the trub at the bottom of the fermenter allows air to get mixed into the wort and it also breaks the trub up into smaller pieces. This has the same effect as aerating the wort before pitching new yeast.

Pouring Directly Onto Trub Aerated The Wort
Five hours later I looked in to see a nice thick layer of krausen at the top of both fermenters. The temperature inside the fermenters had already climbed a few degrees.

Fermenters With Thick Krausen After 5 Hours
By the next morning both fermenters had really taken off, the krausen was touching the tops of the lids and the inside temperature had risen to 70° F  a full 5° F higher than room temperature.

Fast And Furious Fermentation In Action


  1. But using the trub of another brew, wouldnt that impart the "off" flavors i always read about when you let your beer sit with inactive yeast too long. Isnt most of that yeast spent? Also what kind of vessel do you use to rack your beer to a secondary fermentation? I use mr.beer sized kegs and am wondering if I should get a 3 gal carboy to achieve this.

  2. I can honestly answer your first question in another week when I rack those 2 batches to secondaries fermenters. I've been using my Mr. Beer fermenters as both primary and secondary fermenters.

    Now that I have two 2.5 gallon corny kegs I sometimes rack from the Mr. Beer primary fermenter right into the corny kegs, put them in the refrigerator and force carbonate at 30 psi for 3-4 days.