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Blackberry Bitter English Pale Ale Recipe

This beer is inspired by Mike Todd, a fellow member of the Stoney Creek Homebrewers, who brought a SMaSH version to a recent meeting. We were all blown away by the clarion blackberry/black currant/plum notes that the Bramling Cross hops pumped out!

Josh Weikert July 11, 2017

Blackberry Bitter English Pale Ale Recipe Primary Image

This beer is inspired by Mike Todd, a fellow member of the Stoney Creek Homebrewers, who brought a SMaSH version to a recent meeting. We were all blown away by the clarion blackberry/black currant/plum notes that the Bramling Cross hops pumped out!

ALL-GRAIN

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.011
IBUs: 33
ABV: 4.4%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

8 lb (3.6 kg) Maris Otter
8 oz (227 g) British Crystal 45L
8 oz (227 g) Victory Malt

HOPS SCHEDULE

1oz (28 g) Bramling Cross [6% AA] at 60 minutes
1oz (28 g) Bramling Cross [6% AA] at 10 minutes
1oz (28 g) Bramling Cross [6% AA] at 2 minutes

YEAST

Wyeast 1318 (London Ale III) Yeast

DIRECTIONS

Mill the grains and mix with 2.5 gallons (10.6 l) of 163°F (73°C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 152°F (67°C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge the grains with 4.4 gallons (16.8 l) and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule.

After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 63°F (17°C). Aerate the wort with pure oxygen or filtered air and pitch the yeast.

Ferment at 63°F (17°C) for 48 hours, then increase the temperature by about 1°F (0.5°C) per day until you reach 70°F (21°C), and hold there until two days after the completion of fermentation. At that point, crash the beer to 35°F (2°C), then bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to about 1.75 volumes.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

I’ve tweaked Todd’s recipe a bit here to round it out. You might also consider Glacier hops for a similar pit-fruit flavor, but I can personally attest to the idea that if we hadn’t known any better, we’d have thought Mike brought us a fruited-up English bitter. It’s that clear. You don’t need fruit to get fruit.

From science to history to implementation, in Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®’s online course Hops: How to Best Use the Spice of Beer, Josh Weikert helps you build better-hopped beers. Sign up today.

Have you brewed this recipe? What did you think?