ESB is distinctly English, with significant malt complexity (though usually of the lower-Lovibond variety), a fairly high IBU-to-gravity ratio, and English flavor/aroma hops and yeast strains. Ready to Make Your Best ESB?
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 75%
8 lb (3.6 kg) Maris Otter
8 oz (227 g) British Crystal (45L)
8 oz (227 g) British Crystal (65L)
1 oz (28 g) East Kent Goldings [5.4% AA] at 60 minutes
0.75 oz (21 g) East Kent Goldings [5.4% AA] at 30 minutes
0.75 oz (21 g) East Kent Goldings [5.4% AA] at 10 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) East Kent Goldings at flame-out
Wyeast 1968 London ESB
Mash the grains at 152°F (67°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule.
After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 66°F (19°C). Aerate the wort with pure oxygen or filtered air and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 68°F (20°C) for 5 days, then allow the temperature to rise to 70°F (21°C) through the end of primary fermentation. Crash the beer to 35°F (2°C), then bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to just under 2 volumes of CO2.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
If your water is a bit soft, consider a 0.25 tsp addition of gypsum to the mash—this will brighten the flavor and crisp up the hop bitterness, both key features of the style.
Replace the grains with 6.6 lb (3 kg) of light dry malt extract (DME) and 5 oz (142 g) each of British Crystal 45L and 65L. Steep the grains at 160°F (71°C) for 30 minutes, then remove the bag and allow to drain into the wort. Add the DME while stirring and stir until completely dissolved. Top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort. Bring to a boil and continue as above.