Friday, December 31, 2010

Bulldog ESB

When I made the Red Rooster for a second time, I had 3 ounces of hops left over from a half pound of Willamette pellets that I bought from Midwest Supplies. I think it was for $6, which is a great deal!

I thought about what kind of style of beer I could make with 3 ounces of Willamette, since the Rooster was going to take up 5 ounces. For some reason, I was wanting to have a Goose Island Honker's Ale. I like using Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer's Brewing Classic Styles as a place to start, so I looked up the chapter on Extra Special Bitters. I believe I used the malt bill for the most part to make up what would become the Bulldog ESB.

I've seen that Willamette are good substitute hops for English Fuggle hops. However, the recipe did not call for Fuggles, but for Goldings. I just decided to wing it because I had Willamette.

I was also wanting to have a beer with a big biscuity-malt taste, so I opted to use all Marris Otter as the base malt. In the end, I had also just harvested my backyard hops. The trellis fell in June, so I had to rebuild it, but I didn't take the time to sort through the bines to divide the hops into respective bags. They all went in the same bag; The Magnum, the Zeus, and the Cascade. I christened them 131 Westchester hops and used 2 ounces to dry-hop the beer as an afterthought.

Bulldog ESB
OG: 1.061
SRM: 10.9
IBU: 40.7
5.4% ABV

10.0 lb Marris Otter
1.0 lb Victory Malt
0.25 lb Crystal 120*L
0.50 lb Crystal 20*L

2.0 oz Willamette @ 60 min
1.0 oz Willamette @ 0 min
2.0 oz 131 Westchester hops (55% Zeus, 44% Magnum, 1% Cascade) Dry Hop

Wyeast London ESB 1968
Danstar Llallemand Nottingham dry yeast 11 gram

A note on the yeast: I had planned to make a starter, but didn't. I figured the gravity was low enough that I could just pitch from the package, and the Wyeast smack pack blew up big, and it did it quickly. However, after 36 hours, I opened the bucket and there was no Kreuzen. I ended up pitching a pack of Nottingham I had ordered extra.

The beer turned out great - it has cleared, and has an orange hue. The nose is of the Zeus hops, and has a nice Willamette bite. As an "afterthought" beer, it has turned out to be quite a nice ale. I have added it to my list of annual beers to make.

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