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Perfectly Ordinary Bitter: Grainbill

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  • Perfectly Ordinary Bitter: Grainbill

    Hey everyone. I am beginning a quest to brew a fantastic ordinary bitter. Something with a simple but sublime bready, biscuity maliness, a clean but present ester profile with that magic touch of bitterness to balance it out. Serve on cask.

    Let's begin at the beginning with the grainbill. What malts do you suggest?
    --Dean Brundage
    Owner / Unscrambler of Eggs
    Blake's Steaks Sandwich Shop
    (650) 823-3389

  • #2
    Crisp Maris otter is the best choice for base malt. IMO
    We like a little honey malt and 120L for some caramel sweetness. We do 4 percent 120L and 6 percent honey malt.


    • #3
      Crisp is nice stuff, but I am really digging Thomas Fawcett these days.

      Our British Pale is a blend of Maris Otter, Halcyon and Optic with some specialties in there for a biscuit/bready character.
      Matthew Steinberg
      Exhibit 'A' Brewing Co.
      Framingham, MA USA

      Head Brewer
      Filler of Vessels
      Seller of Liquid
      Barreled Beer Aging Specialist
      Yeast Wrangler
      Microbe Handler
      Malt Slinger
      Hop Sniffer
      Food Eater
      Music Listener


      • #4
        I personally find Marris Otter to be a little overpowering for an ordinary bitter. I like to add a small proportion of flaked corn (maize) to the grain bill. It's actually very traditional for English brewers to add maize in an ordinary.

        Any good pale ale malt, 5-10% maize, <5% of a medium crystal is my starting point. Not too bitter (25-30 calculated IBUs) with plenty of Golding in the late additions (and dry in the cask.) I find 1968 from Wyeast to be a fantastic choice for bitters: quick, drops brite, nice ester profile.

        One of my favorite styles, and it's all about the balance. Can be a hard sell these days though...

        Cheers- Mike


        • #5
          What do y'all think about Munich malt in the bill? 5% maybe.
          --Dean Brundage
          Owner / Unscrambler of Eggs
          Blake's Steaks Sandwich Shop
          (650) 823-3389


          • #6
            Ours is 95% TF Marris and 5% TF C65, whitbread ale yeast, and the slightest bit of amarillo to liven it up for the American pale ale drinker... It's gone over pretty well in our tasting room. Crushable 3.9% ABV.