The name Special/best/premium bitters was traditionally used to market a brewery’s best or most special beer to consumers. Today, special/best/premium bitters are easy to drink and easy to make, according to Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer, authors of Brewing Classic Styles, where we grabbed this recipe. Enjoy!
I’m Not Bitter, I’m Thirsty! | Special/Best/Premium Bitter
- 6.8 lbs (3.08 kg) | English Pale Ale LME
- 0.5 lb (227 g) | Aromatic
- 0.5 lb (227 g) | Crystal 120 °L
- 0.25 lb (113 g) | Special Roast
- 1.2 oz (34 g) | Kent Goldings hops, 5% AA (60 min)
- 0.5 oz (14 g) | Kent Goldings hops, 5% AA (20 min)
- 0.5 oz (14 g) | Kent Goldings hops, 5% AA (1 min)
- Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast, White Labs WLP002 English Ale, or Safale S-04.
- Original Gravity: 1.047
- Final Gravity: 1.012
- ABV: 4.6%
- IBU: 30
- SRM: 11
- Boil Time: 60 minutes
- Efficiency: n/a
- Pre-boil Volume: n/a
- Pre-boil Gravity: n/a
Use 9 grams of properly rehydrated yeast, two liquid yeast packages or make an appropriate starter. Ferment at 68°F (20°C) for 7-10 days. Secondary for 10-14 days. When finished, carbonate beer to approximately 1.5 to 2 volumes. Since this beer has a fairly light body, excessive carbonation can make it seem extra thin, harsh and hard to drink. With the right level of CO2, the body will be just right, and it won’t seem watery or harsh.
*The recipe is intended to yield 6 gallons at the end of the boil. 5.5 gallons are assumed to be racked to the fermenter (accounting for 1/2 gallon loss). Final volume should be 5 gallons for bottling (accounting for 1/2 gallon loss).
Replace the English pale ale extract with 9.5 lbs (4.31 kg) British pale ale malt. Mash at 151°F (66°C).