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Homebrew Recipes

Fuller’s ESB Clone

They’re the United Kingdom’s most decorated brewery. They devised the extra special bitter (ESB) beer style that has become a perennial favorite of North American craft brewers. Their name is synonymous with traditional British ales. They’re one of the few independent London breweries that have managed to survive and thrive while others have faded away. They’re Fuller, Smith & Turner, though their products are simply called Fuller’s.

This ESB has won more CAMRA awards than any other beer. It was chosen as Britain’s best strong ale seven times and was three times selected as the Champion Beer of Britain. The amber ale reveals a rich malt character and is noticeably aggressive on the palate. Many drinkers pick out an orange-citrus essence, which is characteristic of the house yeast. It finishes with a hop bitterness that lingers without harshness.

This recipe was originally featured in the March/April 2006 issue of Zymurgy. Note: Thanks to Bob Kauffman of Boulder, Colo.’s Hop Barley and the Alers homebrew club for helping formulate and test this recipe.

Fuller’s ESB Clone | Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Ingredients

  • For 5 gallons (19 L)
    • 9.0 lb. (4.1 kg) English pale malt
    • 1.0 lb. (454 kg) crystal 70° L
    • 0.5 lb. (225 g) crystal 26° L
    • 1.0 oz. (28 g) Target pellet hops, 6.7% a.a. (60 min.)
    • 0.5 oz. (14 g) Challenger pellet hops, 8.2% a.a. (15 min.)
    • 0.5 oz. (14 g) Northdown pellet hops, 7.6% a.a. (8 min.)
    • 0.5 oz. (14 g) Goldings whole hops (dry)
    • White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast

    Specifications

    • Original Gravity: 1.054
    • Final Gravity: 1.010
    • IBU: 32
    • SRM: 13
    • Boil Time: 90 minutes

    Directions

    Mash grains at 155°F (68°C) for 60 minutes. Ferment at 65°F (18°C) and condition for 30 days.

    Malt Extract Recipe:

    Substitute 8.0 lb. (3.6 kg) of pale malt extract syrup for the English pale malt.