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Style of the Week: Ordinary Bitter

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August 5, 2016 by fhsteinbart


Nonic Ordinary Bitter

Typical Ordinary Bitter served in a Nonic Glass. It doesn’t get any better than this!

While this classic style may not ignite your palate for a high gravity hop bomb, this is a beer made to be consumed by the pintload. I first brewed this beer when I heard of the “seven day wonder yeast” from Wyeast labs. What followed was my brewing of a beer that could be struck, fermented, racked, force carbonated, and served in just seven days. That means a low(er) gravity beer than what you may be used to, but still has tons of flavor. That means an OG of no more than 1.040, with a TG of 1.010, for an Abv. of 4%, and around 30 IBU’s to maintain the BU:GU (bittering to gravity ratio) of 0.75:1. I also added a copious quantity of specialty malts to give this beer more malt character, and hopped with traditional British style hops like Golding’s and Fuggle’s (Willamette was actually used as Fuggle’s was unavailable at that time, yet tastes very similar) using only late hopping for increased hop character. Below is the recipe, and make more than you think you’ll need as this beer goes down so easily you may run out too quickly!

 

Extract:

  • 5 lbs. Light LME
  • 1 lb. Medium British Crystal Malt
  • 1 lb. Honey malt
  • 1 lb. Victory Malt
  • 2 oz. Goldings Hops (Flavor)
  • 2 oz. Fuggles or Willamette Hops (Flavor)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Brewing Salts in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1968, WLP002, Imperial Pub, or Safale S-04 yeast

Instructions:

Heat 2½ gallons of water to 155°F.
Turn off heat and add LME, stirring until fully dissolved, and steep specialty grains for 20~30 minutes.
Add water to volume, return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min.
At 20 minutes remaining in the boil, add the flavor hops.
At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
After boil has finished, turn off heat, then cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).  I like to use Goldings and/or Fuggles/Willamette hops when I dry hop this beer. Two to three ounces per 5 gallons will usually suffice in this beer!
Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 7 lbs. Pale Ale Malt
  • 1 lb. Medium British Crystal Malt
  • 1 lb. Honey Malt
  • 1  lb. Victory Malt
  • 2 oz. Goldings Hops (Flavor)
  • 2 oz. Fuggles or Willamette Hops (Flavor)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Brewing Salts in the mash and in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1968, WLP002, Imperial Pub, or Safale S-04 yeast

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 156°F for 1 hour, using a standard (1.33 qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 0 minutes (knockout), cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed. I like to use Goldings and/or Fuggles/Willamette hops when I dry hop this beer. Two to three ounces per 5 gallons will usually suffice in this beer!

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 100 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 15 psig at 38°F, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in a Nonic glass or in a dimpled pint mug, so share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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