The Quest for the Perfect Bitter

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peebee

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I got Vienna...and some brown I think..and Munich.
Brown is too dark, Vienna way too light. Munich will be about right but it is made slightly differently resulting in some stewing (crystal involves loads of "stewing" and is perhaps miles out). I'd go for Munich, so your next question might be "light or dark Munich?".

Amber malt is very variable, and the taste very different, between manufacturers. EBC 50-100.

Munich Malt is likewise variable. I'd probably go for "dark" (EBC 50ish).
 

Clint

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Brown is too dark, Vienna way too light. Munich will be about right but it is made slightly differently resulting in some stewing (crystal involves loads of "stewing" and is perhaps miles out). I'd go for Munich, so your next question might be "light or dark Munich?".

Amber malt is very variable, and the taste very different, between manufacturers. EBC 50-100.

Munich Malt is likewise variable. I'd probably go for "dark" (EBC 50ish).
Only got light...
 

Hazelwood Brewery

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(crystal involves loads of "stewing" and is perhaps miles out)
Maybe, but... The recipe already calls for crystal, substituting some of that with a darker crystal will achieve the colour difference and at such small quantities will make barely any difference in flavour, at least for my palate!
 

Tanglefoot

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Hiya,
So I started off with a keg from Dark Farms. A 10 litre one with all the trimmings. Tap, gas regulator etc etc. It was on sale so I thought go for it. Its very nice and all but a little more expensive than what you can get that works just as well. So I have found that Malt Miller, Brew2Bottle and others, do these ‘mangrove Jacks’ branded kegs - View attachment 43286
They come in a range of sizes. I have a 10 and a 5 litre. You will need a regulator and tap etc but you can buy these kegs as an all in one kit. I don’t know how they compare to an actual Corney keg, but from my research there is no real difference. I believe these are just the alternative.
I chill my beer in the fridge, at the moment the 5litre is amongst the fruit and veg, but I have plans to have a separate fridge for the kegs. Not a kegerator, just a standard fridge. See picture bellow. As for carbonation. I have used the three methods most talked about. Set your gas at something like 30psi and force carb really quick. I didn’t like the results from this. I have also carbed in the keg with sugar. This works really well. I have also tried the ‘set it and forget it’ method. For this you set your psi at say 15 and leave it for a week. This has also worked really well for me. Infact that is how I carbed the Wheat beer.
View attachment 43286View attachment 43287

Hi @Fireside Ales Homebrewery , sorry to backtrack a little.
Can you disconnect the tap/regulator to use with extra kegs at the same time, I've been looking
at these myself.

By the by, I'm drinking an ESB bittered with Target and later EKG/Fuggles additions and have a single hop
EKG English IPA (with MO ale, Cara and Extra Dark Crystal malts ) conditioning.
I'm making smallish batches so these look ideal.
 

peebee

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Only got light...
Still better than brown. There's a host of other "Continental" weirdies that would do, like "aromatic", "biscuit", and so on. As us Brits only went in for "amber" this list of weirdies might explain why "amber" in so variable. Like Crisp's Amber is spot-on for a "Fuller's 1845" clone, whereas Warminster's Amber is ... find another clone recipe for that malt!
 

Clint

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Still better than brown. There's a host of other "Continental" weirdies that would do, like "aromatic", "biscuit", and so on. As us Brits only went in for "amber" this list of weirdies might explain why "amber" in so variable. Like Crisp's Amber is spot-on for a "Fuller's 1845" clone, whereas Warminster's Amber is ... find another clone recipe for that malt!
There seems to be quite a difference between malts.
 

peebee

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There seems to be quite a difference between malts.
This range of EBC numbers (25-125) represents a happy hunting ground for weird malts 'cos lots of flavour creating reactions take place in that range. It's followed by the crystal (caramel) malts. It becomes a bit of a desert after that (literally, there's little water to influence proceedings) so all malt types are heading for varying degrees of charcoal (light chocolate to ... damn, the malthouse has burnt down again).
 

Clint

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But don't crystals fall in that range too?
 

peebee

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But don't crystals fall in that range too?
Yes. But they're special (like Munich?) 'cos they involve a lot of moisture too.

Malting isn't just about heat, there's time and moisture content too. The state of the "green" malt and probably a load of other variables besides. That's as far as I'm going. I'm still very much a "student" of this malting caper.
 

Clint

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Yes. But they're special (like Munich?) 'cos they involve a lot of moisture too.

Malting isn't just about heat, there's time and moisture content too. The state of the "green" malt and probably a load of other variables besides. That's as far as I'm going. I'm still very much a "student" of this malting caper.
Thanks for explaining!
 

chthon

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Base malts are all made by drying and kilning the green malts, in the order of pilsner/lager (2-3EBC), Vienna (6-7EBC), pale ale malt (8-9 EBC, Dingemans as that is my only reference), Munich (15EBC), Munich II or dark Munich (20-30 EBC), Aroma 50 (Dingemans, 50 EBC), Aroma 100, Aroma 150.

These have all the same way of working: just drying and kilning, not roasting. The lighter versions always contain mash enzymes, but these decrease the longer, and higher the temperature the malt is kilned.

Caramel/crystal malts are not dried. Still wet, they are warmed to mash temperature range, to obtain saccharification first. Then they are dried and heated so that the saccharified kernel becomes caramel. Crystal malts are the same, but somewhat dried more so that the kernel becomes glassy.

Drying and then roasting obtains roasted malts, starting at biscuit and ending at black (patent) malt.
 

DrunkDelilahBrewery

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It's the kit from The Malt Miller: Five Points Best – Best Bitter | The Malt Miller
3.27kg pale maris otter/170g amber/170g crystal/140g wheat malt.
40g fuggles 60min boil/30g fuggles 15min boil/80g fuggles flameout
White labs WLP013
67C for 60 mins/75C mashout
19C for 14 days
2.4 vols CO2
13.63L mash water
14.25L sparge water
20L batch (in my kit)
4% ABV
Would really recommend that you switch out the leaf hops for Pellets (the 150g of Fuggle leaf hoovers up everything !!!). Also, if you have one, serve this on a hand pull at 2-3 psi. Mine entire keg lasted 7 days - just me drinking it !!!!
 

peebee

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Base malts are all made by drying and kilning the green malts, in the order of pilsner/lager (2-3EBC), Vienna (6-7EBC), pale ale malt (8-9 EBC, Dingemans as that is my only reference), Munich (15EBC), Munich II or dark Munich (20-30 EBC), Aroma 50 (Dingemans, 50 EBC), Aroma 100, Aroma 150. ...
Intriguing. Couldn't find Dingeman's "Vienna" but it is sitting on the EBC spot for UK pale malt. And Crisp sell Vienna at 9EBC. I.e. UK Pale and Vienna is the other way around to Belgium (Dingeman's) Pale and Vienna. That must be causing confusion somewhere?
 

An Ankoù

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I'm with you on this quest, I was brought up on Bitter and go along with your observations. In the seventies living in Derby it was either Draught Bass or Pedigree, both sadly lacking these days but in the dark days of the growth Keg beers it was the only choice we had for most of the time.
I have less than a years brewing experience, though did throw myself in at the deep end and went straight for AG and water chemistry, after searching for a decent bitter I decided to have a go at developing a recipe based on 5 Points Bitter as seen in THIS VIDEO only I would have to bottle it.
Anyway I went with the following recipe:

Targets
Batch size 21 Litres
ABV: 4.3%, OG 1.045, FG 1.012, EBC 17.3, IBU 39

Fermentables
3.6Kgs MO - 87.5%
170g Amber - 4.2%
170g Crystal 220 EBC - 4.2%
170g Wheat Malt - 4.2%

Hops
50g Fuggles @ 60
25g [email protected] 15
25g Fuggles @ 20 min hopstand at 80C

60 min mash at 68C

Yeast
WLP013 London Ale

Water Profile Target pH: 5.22
ca: 141 Mg:27 Na:23 Cl: 101 SO4:291 HCO3 53

BIAB with batch sparge

Fermentation
4 days @ 19C, 1 day @ 20C , 9 days @ 21C

I have brewed this 3 times now and always enjoy it, carbonated at 1.8 and it is better having been stood for a few minutes before drinking. Of course there is always room for improvement and I will be following this thread closely, I would really like to try it as a cask version as in the video and I must try the original one day if I am ever down that way.
I knocked up a 12 litre batch of this and thought I'd have a crafty taste 4 days short of my normal 6-weeks in the bottle. Made exactly as above except used Young's Ale yeast since I didn't have the London and I averaged the hops at 4.5% alpha acid.
It's gorgeous! I was only going to have a crafty one, but I'm on my third. Definitely going to brew this again and with something a bit better than the Youngs, which can be a bot of a smelly old yeast. Nevertheless, it's the closest yet to the beer I'm questing for. Thanks @Galena .
 

Galena

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I knocked up a 12 litre batch of this and thought I'd have a crafty taste 4 days short of my normal 6-weeks in the bottle. Made exactly as above except used Young's Ale yeast since I didn't have the London and I averaged the hops at 4.5% alpha acid.
It's gorgeous! I was only going to have a crafty one, but I'm on my third. Definitely going to brew this again and with something a bit better than the Youngs, which can be a bot of a smelly old yeast. Nevertheless, it's the closest yet to the beer I'm questing for. Thanks @Galena .
Hey, I'm really glad you enjoyed it, not seen you around for a bit? Thank 5 points Brewery for openly discussing their brew on the Craft Beer Channel which enabled me to create the recipe. WLP013 should help I think, or maybe a Thames Valley yeast.
 
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