As extract brewers, we sometimes follow recipes created by others, but other times we make up our own recipes. A few months ago, we decided to brew an Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB), and we came up with the recipe below. When we create our own recipes, we try to use whatever ingredients we have on hand instead of having to buy everything. For our ESB, we had the hops and yeast.
Batch Size: 5 gallons
IBU: 25.6 IBUs
1⁄2 lb Crystal Malt 40L
1⁄2 lb Crystal Malt 60L
1⁄2 lb Victory Malt
6 lbs Extra Pale LME
1⁄2 lb Brown Sugar
1 3⁄4 oz Cascade – 60 min
1⁄4 oz Cascade – 5 min
Danstar Windsor British-Style Beer Yeast (dry)
Fill a stainless steel pot with two gallons of water and heat to 155°F. When the water is heated, steep the grains for 25 minutes. After steeping, discard the grains, add another gallon of water to the pot, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the extra pale LME and brown sugar. Continuously stir the malts to prevent boil over. After the malt is dissolved, return to a boil. Once a good rolling boil is established, add the hops – 1 3⁄4 oz Cascade for bittering (boil for 60 minutes) and 1⁄4 oz Cascade for aroma (boil for 5 minutes).
When the boil time finishes, remove the pot from the heat and cool down to 80°F. Pour the cooled wort into a 6 gallon carboy and add enough cool water to bring the volume to 5 gallons. Stir the wort to mix well with the added water, and then check the specific gravity.
Pitch the yeast directly into the carboy and stir the wort so it is well mixed. Keep in the primary fermentor for 14 days at 70°F. Rack to secondary fermentor, and keep at 70°F for 8 days.
Bottle and allow the beers to bottle condition for 3 months. It will be ready to drink prior to that, but seemed to peak after a few months in the bottles.