Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association
Homebrew Recipes

Quarter Session Bitter

Terry Foster presents this beer recipe for Quarter Session Pale Ale in the second edition of his book, Pale Ale: History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes. He leaves some room for flexibilty and creativity with the hops and mash schedules. If you are feeling adventerous try substituting in some of your favorite hops!

Quarter Session Bitter | English Pale Ale


  • For 5 Gallons (19 L)
  • 5.6 lb (2.54 kg) (90%) British Two-Rowed Malt
    0.25 lb (114 g) (4%) Wheat Malt
    0.375 lb (170 g) (6%) 140 L Crystal Malt
    1.8 oz (51 g) WGV* hop flowers (beginning of boil)
    0.5 oz (14 g) WGV* hop flowers (end of boil)
    Wyeast 1028 London Ale
    *Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV)


    • Original Gravity: 1.037 (9.3 °P)
    • Final Gravity: 1.007-1.010 (1.8-2.6 °P)
    • ABV: 3.7%
    • IBU: 33
    • SRM: 14
    • Boil Time: 90 minutes
    • Efficiency: n/a
    • Pre-boil Volume: n/a
    • Pre-boil Gravity: n/a


    The author intends the recipe to be more of a flexible guideline, so mash temperatures/times and hop additions are left to the brewer’s discretion.

    Mash in with 1-2 quarts of water per pound of malt and hold around 153-157 °F (67-70 °C). Sparge with water around 170 °F (77 °C), using enough to compensate for evaporative loss during the boil. Boil for 90 minutes, with a bittering hop addition in the beginning and an aroma hop addition towards the end. Ferment in the range of 60-70 °F (15-21 °C), though you should try and stay within the recommended temperature range as dictated by the yeast.


    Water Treatment Calcium 50-100 ppm; sulfate 100-200 ppm; chloride 20 ppm
    Serving Style Draught only at 52-55 °F (11-13 °C) (recommended).
    Priming 2-3 oz (56-85g) cane sugar
    CO2 v/v 1.0-1.5

    Extract Plus Steeped Grain Version

    Replace British two-rowed pale malt and wheat malt with 4.0 lb (1.82 kg) of pale malt syrup and 0.7 lb (318 g) of pale dry malt extract. Increase bittering hop addition to 2.5 oz (71 g). Steep crystal malt around 155 °F (68 °C) for 30 minutes in about 1.5 gallons of water. Top off your kettle, add extract, and bring to boil. Follow the same boil and post-boil procedures as the all grain recipe.

    Mini Mash Option

    One pound of extract can be substituted with 2 lb (0.9 kg) of pale malt to do a partial mash. Mash the 2 pounds of pale malt with 1-2 quarts of water at around 150 °F (65.5 °C). Strain of the liquor, and rinse the mash with hot water. Add collected runnings to kettle.

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