Best Bitter

Drunken Duck

Over the last week my sister from DC was in town visiting and tried all the beers I had on tap.  Her hands down favorite was the Smoked Wheat.  That beer was a big hit and the keg got killed a good month before I was expecting and having an open tap I wanted to brew something that would be pretty quick to turn around.  I originally was planning to brew a saison, but since that might take a little bit of conditioning time I went with a best bitter instead.  I came up with a pretty simple recipe for the 1st attempt…

OG: 1.047
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.7%
Mash: 151 (75 min)

Added: 2 g Gypsum, 1g CaCl, 0.3g baking soda & 0.7g chalk to Mash and 4.7g Gypsum & 2.4g CaCl to Sparge water

Water Profile:

Ca: 99.1
Mg: 0.6
Na: 15.5
So4: 110.6
Cl: 53.6
BiCarbonate: 109.4
Mash pH: 5.3

91% Maris Otter
6% Medium Crystal (55l)
3% Extra Dark Crystal (150l)

1.25 oz Willamette (5.6%) 60 min.
1.00 oz EKG (5.6%) 15 min.
1.00 oz EKG (5.6%) 0 min.
1.00 oz Willamette (5.6%) 0 min.

Wyeast 1318 – London III


Made 1.25l starter the day before brewday with a viability of 85%.  Pitched at 72 degrees with active fermentation under 4 hours.  Cooled carboy down to 65 and let it free rise overnight to 70.  Reached 72 at its peak during day two and has cooled a bit back to 70.  I really like how this yeast strain worked with the last version of Ollie’s Drool and since it has a little bit more temperature tolerance I went with it again.

Minus the unexpected summer storm and having to set up my rain tent solo it was a pretty smooth brew day.


Wow, that was quite the hiatus!  I just finally tapped this beer today (Oct. 22) as its been sitting in the keg for a little over a month.  With a whirlwind end of busy season at work followed by attending a wedding and vacation and then coming home to a flooded basement (don’t worry, the kegerator was not harmed!) there’s been quite a lapse in brewing and drinking.  I was pretty worried this beer didn’t turn out as I found a fruit fly swimming in my yeast starter right before I pitched on brew day.  Luckily, after repeated sampling, I can’t find any vinegary off flavors so I think I’m in the clear!  I’ll sip on this guy for a few more days and then post same tasting notes this weekend.  Cheers.


Appearance: Pours a clear cooper with a white head that lingers for a bit before fading away.

Aroma: Malty aroma with a faint hint of fruitiness from yeast.

Taste: Toasty malt notes are up front with a little bit of hop flavor and bitterness on the back. Bitterness doesn’t hang on tongue for too long. Yeast esters in the background can round out the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a good amount of body, not thin at all.

Overall: A simple and quite enjoyable bitter. The malt is the dominant flavor but the subtle hop and yeast flavors are there and really round out this beer. Simple and approachable, a nice english pint. Not too much I’d want to change for next time around. Cheers!

3 thoughts on “Best Bitter

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