If you’ve looked around my blog or talked to me, at some point you’ve surely heard about my Burton Ale. I’ve brewed this two years in a row, and will definitely make it a third this year. Last yeast I changed the recipe slightly and am happy with those changes so it’ll remain the same this for year’s batch. When making the 2016 batch I started thinking what the beer might be like if I didn’t boil it for 4 hours, and after taking a look at it in BeerSmith I determined it could make for an interesting bitter, so the Burton Bitter was born.
The only changes are to the boil length, which is a standard 60 minute boil, and the hopping schedule. The hops are first wort hops and a whirlpool after flameout. For the whirlpool the hops go in at flameout and over a few minutes bring the wort down to 170F, then hold it for 5 minutes before quickly cooling the rest of the way to pitching temperature.
The mash is my medium body profile, which is 1 qt/lb at 154F. I was on the fence about that and almost went with a 150F mash as this beer has my new favourite grain, Golden Naked Oats, which provides plenty of body. My Golden Ale uses them and I mash that at 150F yet it doesn’t lack body. I am a little concerned about the Burton Bitter being too full bodied with a 154F mash, but it was worth the risk as I’ll find out for sure, and it won’t affect the flavour profile.
I’m looking forward to this beer as it will mark the first of what I hope will be many English bitters that I brew this year. I’m happy with where my brown English beers are at the moment (I’m sending my Stout Porter and Mild to NHC), and will certainly slot a few of the brown beers into the brew schedule this year, but my focus will be on exploring bitters. I’ll be brewing my Golden Ale closer to summer and also have plans for a rye bitter and to work on dialing in an ESB recipe at the least.