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Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:49 pm
by tourer
wolfenrook, i've tried clarity ferm and the results were were great, crystal clear although i did leave to ferment for a week, secondary for a week and chill down to 2c for a further week. I have found (early tasting) that it tastes a little thin. Well done with the Banks's bitter although i'm not a big fan but i do like the mild so if you wouldn't mind passing on your recipe it would be much appreciated.

Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:53 pm
by wolfenrook
Aye, I'm thinking it's just haze rather than chill haze to be honest, which I don't think the Clarity Ferm would effect. I've improved my wort cooling since, cooling to a lower temperature over a shorter time. Could also be I'm comparing it to the commercial product, which when cask is filtered then casked with yeast, when bottled is just filtered etc, so no way I will get as clear a beer as one commercially filtered. lol

I got my recipes from the Graham Wheeler (RIP) Camra's Brew Your Own British Real Ale. The bitter recipe is in the first post. The mild recipe is VERY similar. It's the one for Banks's Original (now called Mild), there's also a recipe in there for Banks's Hanson's Mild (never actually tasted this). Past tastings of the commercial version were a very nutty tasting beer, not at all unpleasant.

For 23 litres. OG 1.036. Target FG 1.009. IBUs 25. Colour 40 EBC.

Pale Malt 3600g
Black Malt 81g

Mashed at 66 degrees C for 90 minutes.

90 minute boil (doesn't stat AA for the hops, which isn't ideal, so make sure you work it out to the IBUs for the hops you have).

Fuggles @ 90 minutes 43g
Goldings (I used East Kent Goldings in the bitter) @ last 10 minutes 14 g

If you like British real ales, it's worth getting hold of a copy of the book, ALL of the recipes in there are for British real ale. ;) If you compare that one to the recipe in the first post though, you can see that the actual ingredients are identical, just in different quantities. Holdens recipes tend to be the same (another local brewery), they literally seem to only use Fuggles in all of their beers, no other hops. Folks in these parts seem to have a liking for Fuggles it seems.... lol From the taste of this beer though, EKG makes them even better. Mind you, it's also a region very partial to milds....

Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:40 pm
by tourer
Thanks for that wolfenrook, I thought i had that book but no i've just looked. I have to say i thought that Hanson's was a better drink than Banks's. I think i'll have to go for this one on my next brew. Thanks again.

Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:21 pm
by wolfenrook
Funnily enough, I've pretty much decided to do the Hanson's version too. It's very very similar though:-

For 23 litres.

Colour: 50 EBC. IBUs: 25. Target OG: 1.036. Target FG: 1.009.

90 Minute mash at 67 (there's one difference, it's a degree warmer. lol) degrees C.

Pale malt 3190g
Crystal malt (another difference) 360g
Black malt 69g

90 minute boil, both additions at 90 minutes (start):-

Fuggles 21g
Goldings 18g

So very very similar.

The problem is, I am starting to suspect that I'm not keen on the flavour added by Crystal malt... Only solution is to brew a batch of Hanson's and a batch of Banks's original and see which I prefer. Oh the horror! ;) lol

Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:38 pm
by wolfenrook
Just did a side by side between my clone, and a bottle of the commercial product.

Very very close! Colour was spot on, although mine was obviously a little hazier (working on it, but I refuse to use any finings other than kettle finings). I also can't really cold crash, yet.

Flavour, well it's neck and neck pretty much. Hops are spot on for definitely. Malt, mine seemed to have a tiny bit more complexity in the malt profile? Could be that Maris Otter isn't a close match for the malt Marstons are using. Commercial product had more carbonation, making the beer taste a little drier. The commercial bottle was also a bit colder. Mine had more head when I poured it, not difficult though as the commercial poured without a head of any sort. lol Possibly related to the slight haze, the same proteins causing that improving the head retention a tiny bit.

Shockingly, I enjoyed both, as did my wife (we split it between us).

It WILL be getting brewed again (words I never thought I'd say), but I'll be upping the carbonation a bit. It's good for a house session beer that's very easy to drink.

Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:15 am
by Monkeybrew
This an interesting read, I'm partial to the odd bottle of Banks Bitter, especially when you can pick them up for under £1 in a supermarket!

I find it to be quite an inconsistent beer from the bottle, sometimes it is spot on and other times I find it a bit too fizzy and tasteless.

Anyway, as I often find, sometimes the simplest recipes are surprisingly good when homebrewed :)

I have only started using gelatine as a fining agent in my kegged beers over the last year and I find that it produces a very professional looking pint, even at cool ale temperatures of 9-10C for hoppy Pale ales.

I haven't even noticed any negative side effects on flavour, in actual fact I found that my last Special/Premium Bitter that was kegged with gelatine and bottled without, tasted better from the keg.



Re: (Not so...) Boring Banks's Bitter (AG #7)

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:29 am
by wolfenrook
Aye, once I've exhausted all of the improvements I can make to my process (awaiting delivery of the parts to add a recirculation pump to my boiler today) I may consider using finings. I'll be up against my wife though, with her famous "you want to drink it, not date it..." comments when I mention haze. lol She's of the mindset that if it tastes good it doesn't matter what it looks like. lol She's sort of right, but as a fellow brewer you know how it is, you kinda want perfection...

The Golden Glow clone I made is crystal clear at room temperature, but gets chill haze the minute you put it in the fridge... At least I know I'm closer to getting haze free beer from process tweaks though. I'm waiting to see what kind of clarity my Hobgoblin Gold clone has when it's had a bit of conditioning, as that was done with quite a few tweaks to my process that should improve things. Super fast cooling (water turned to max feeding the immersion chiller, stirring pretty nearly the whole time), and a very very vigorous boil (both elements on for quite a lot of the time, only dropping to the 1600 watt when it threatened to boil over. It could do with a setting in-between to be honest, say 2000 watts or something. 1600 watts gives a nice rolling boil, 2500watts tries to splosh the wort clean out of the kettle the whole time, 2000 watts might have given a nice POWERFUL rolling boil without the trying to escape.). I don't fancy messing with the electronics though, the last time I tried to use a soldering iron to make some vivarium LED lighting I came close to burning the house down.... Evidence of this below... lmao