Mayday Best Bitter
I brewed this one across the May Day bank holiday weekend and have been very pleased with the result. The guys have also given me some good feedback on it too, which is always nice.
The plan was to brew an English Bitter, using Jester hops. I hadn’t brewed many traditional English styles before, so it was nice to brew something new to the repertoire. I did a bit of reading up at some existing recipes to see what sort of grain bill I would need and was pleased to see that most use a fairly simple one, so I built on based on what I already had in and what I wanted out of the end product.
I opted for a little bit of late Bramling Cross as well as the Jester, as I like that blackcurrant fruitiness that it brings… plus, I had a part pack left in the freezer.
I have also been wanting to try the Danstar London ESB yeast since it came out, but was reluctant to after several reports of stalling fermentations. I thoroughly rehydrated the yeast, fermented at 21°C and it was at high krausen in no time. It was actually at FG in less than 4 days from pitching, but there was quite a bit of yeast in suspension, so I gave it a long while to clear. I probably gave it more than it needed, but its ended up crystal clear and I’m in no rush.
I personally think I carbonated it a little high for the style; I went for 2.5vol, but I’ve had ones that have been a little light on carbonation, so I was trying to compensate. As a result, it drinks almost like an American style beer, but with fruity English hops… maybe I’ve created an English Amber instead of a Best Bitter… either way, its a great beer.
(photo courtesy of HisDudeness, as he takes a better picture than I do)