Author Topic: English Bitter (theoretical build)  (Read 2395 times)

Offline pnutbutterfluff

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • BeerSmith 3 Rocks!
English Bitter (theoretical build)
« on: June 15, 2020, 07:03:34 PM »
First time poster and new user.  I am currently doing a theoretical recipe build as I won't be able to brew it for another month.  I am trying to recreate a beer from Hook Norton Brewery which I think is now called their Hooky. Since I am as new as you can be and I have a lot of time to kill was wondering if this recipe even looks feasible?  I am planning on brewing it BIAB with 8.5 Gal Kettle and 6.5 Gal fermenter.  Would love to hear any and all suggestions thoughts?  Also what is the easiest way to try and match the East England hard water profile?  Right now I have distilled to match Burton On Trent.  Thanks again.






« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 07:08:26 PM by pnutbutterfluff »

Offline Kevin58

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • God is great, beer is good and people are crazy
Re: English Bitter (theoretical build)
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2020, 07:39:44 AM »
Well for one thing, Hooky is a cider not a bitter. You can always contact the brewery to ask for tips. Often times a craft brewer will have no problem sharing. The worst that can happen is they say no.
If you?re stressing over homebrewing, you?re doing something wrong.
- Denny Conn

Offline Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 3115
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: English Bitter (theoretical build)
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2020, 08:17:46 AM »
I second Kevin's recommendation to contact the brewer for tips and hints.

The other thing to consider is your choice of water profile.  Not many brewers these days use water straight from the source and will often treat it to lower the Bicarbonate and high Calcium/Magnesium amounts to make it easier on their equipment and avoid large acid usage to achieve the desired mash pH.  Consider this about your water profile, you are using a lot of chalk to attain your calcium and bicarbonate level.  Chalk is not very soluble without going through extreme measures to get it in solution.  My advice is to go simple with your water until you find a need to increase your amounts of certain ions to get a flavor profile.  This should be one of the last moves you make as you dial in your recipe.  I would recommend a balanced amber type of water profile as a good starting point.

Get your malt and hops recommendations from the brewer if they are willing.  Yeast as well if you can squeeze that info from them.  Most pro brewers I have talked to are pretty open about what they use, knowing full well that using the same malts and hops in your system will probably be a bit different from theirs.

Even if you don't get much info from them, give the malt, hop, and yeast bill as best you can and take a bottle or two over to the brewer for their take on it.  This may open up the gates of information.



Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline pnutbutterfluff

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • BeerSmith 3 Rocks!
Re: English Bitter (theoretical build)
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2020, 04:40:32 PM »
Well for one thing, Hooky is a cider not a bitter. You can always contact the brewery to ask for tips. Often times a craft brewer will have no problem sharing. The worst that can happen is they say no.

I think they probably have a cider too but I was talking specifically about their Classic Range Beers (https://www.hooky.co.uk/our-beers/classic-range/) where Hooky refers to their classic bitter.  It is the first beer I ever had and was the local beer at the pub where I grew up in England.

I second Kevin's recommendation to contact the brewer for tips and hints.

The other thing to consider is your choice of water profile.  Not many brewers these days use water straight from the source and will often treat it to lower the Bicarbonate and high Calcium/Magnesium amounts to make it easier on their equipment and avoid large acid usage to achieve the desired mash pH.  Consider this about your water profile, you are using a lot of chalk to attain your calcium and bicarbonate level.  Chalk is not very soluble without going through extreme measures to get it in solution.  My advice is to go simple with your water until you find a need to increase your amounts of certain ions to get a flavor profile.  This should be one of the last moves you make as you dial in your recipe.  I would recommend a balanced amber type of water profile as a good starting point.

Get your malt and hops recommendations from the brewer if they are willing.  Yeast as well if you can squeeze that info from them.  Most pro brewers I have talked to are pretty open about what they use, knowing full well that using the same malts and hops in your system will probably be a bit different from theirs.

Even if you don't get much info from them, give the malt, hop, and yeast bill as best you can and take a bottle or two over to the brewer for their take on it.  This may open up the gates of information.

I did reach out to a friend who went on the brewery tour recently and got an ingredients list for their classic Hooky bitter from that.  Obviously they didn't give out specifics as far as ratios but those are all the grains and hops they put in hooky.  I tried to pull ideas for that from books mainly The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews dating from 1800 to 1965 by Ron Pattinson.

As far as the water thing I only tried to make my life that more complicated because my friend said on their tour they emphasized how they use 'local well water' and his water report (he lives a few villages over from brewery) had really high levels as seen in the Burton water profile. 

Most of this is stemming from having too much time to plan.  What I am taking away from this is that I should use a simpler water profile at first and then work up to the 'local' profile and see if there is a difference. 

My other question was more just on really basic stuff 7.41lb grain bill seemed low compared to other recipes but from my reading seemed to fit the style and in beer smith hit the numbers so does that look reasonable?

Thank you guys for all your suggestions and help! Please keep the advice coming.

Offline pnutbutterfluff

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • BeerSmith 3 Rocks!
Re: English Bitter (theoretical build)
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2020, 04:16:50 PM »
Currently four days into fermenting this recipe version 1.0.  It's my second ever brew and first BIAB so the odds are against it haha.  I have linked the thread for its brewing woes below.

http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,21516.0.html