ESB - Extra Special Bitter
ESB - Not all that Bitter Actually.
ESB - Extra Special Bitter (or Extra Strong Bitter, whichever you prefer) is the traditional Pale Ale style from
which the American Pale Ale style is derived. The style first started in England as an extra-strong version
of the 'best bitter' style and simply denoted a brew with more alcohol (not necessarily higher quality, mind you.)
Today, the only true ESB in the UK is the Fullers ESB brand. In the USA, however, we have reinterpreted the ESB style to one of a moderately hopped, medium-high malty, reddish, non-citrus hopped, pale ale.
A hallmark of this style is its drinkability. ESB is a style that is balanced between malt and hops with a slight advantage being given to the hops. Malty sweetness is quietly present but is a partner to a refreshing, pleasant finish that may include a little fruity esters.
A base of 2 Row (sure, English 2 Row might be 'to style' but whatever) is accentuated by your standard Pale Ale
cronies of Crystal and CaraPils. From there, toasted malts in small amounts, or Munich, or Vienna could be added
for some interest and richness. English hops (Goldings, Northern Brewer, Fuggle, Challenger, Progress) are all
good candidates for ESB. American versions like Willamette (a Fuggle variant) or Northern Brewer are appropriate as well.
|OG: 1.048 - 1.060||FG: 1.010 - 1.016||IBU: 30 - 50+||SRM: 6 - 18||ABV: 4.6% - 6.2%|
All Grain Recipe - ESB ::: / (5 Gal)
8 lbs. - Two Row Pale Malt
1 lb. - 2 Row Malt (toasted @375 for 12 to 15 min.)
1 lb. - Carapils
1/2 lb. - Crystal Malt (60L)
Hop Schedule (52 IBU)
2 oz - Willamette (60 Min.)
.75 oz - Willamette (20 Min.)
1 oz - E.K. Goldings (10 Min.)
White Labs English Ale (WLP002) - 1800 ml starter
Mash at 152° to 154° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes
Cool and ferment at around 68°