English Pub Ale
"Once again Kal's recipe nailed it. Knew I wanted to brew this recipe and I did a few weeks ago. Transferring into keg today for carbonating. There was a small amount left over. Thought I'd sample, yes uncarbonated, some. This is it! This is the Boddington's Pub Ale clone. Also, as stated, the Wyeast 1968, is very flocculant and drops clear. Kudos to Kal for another great recipe." - KB
"My family is from the Manchester area, so Boddies is something I grew up around and being able to make something similar was why I got into homebrewing. This recipe comes very close, and has everything I like about the original. This is a very balanced beer, but there is enough flavour that it's definitely interesting. The finish leaves you wanting another sip almost immediately, so much that pints of this are vanishing pretty quickly. Between the distinct golden colour and thick head I've found myself sending lots of pictures to family bragging that I have this on tap. This beer would not be out of place in most pubs in the North West of England." - Craig B.
We've been looking for an easy drinking (lower alcohol, lower bitterness) English style pub ale with a smooth, full-bodied malty flavour that would go well with this sort of nitro / stout faucet setup. This is the recipe we came up with. It was heavily inspired by the commercial beer Boddingtons Pub Ale. While we wouldn't call it an exact clone, if you enjoy Boddingtons, you'll like this recipe.
In terms of BJCP style guidelines, this beer technically should be a Special / Best / Premium Bitter so that's how we classified it below, but it's a bit low on the bitterness (at 18.3 IBU it doesn't hit the 25 IBU minimum). You could also think of it as a slightly lighter coloured Irish Red Ale fermented with English yeast. We intentionally aimed low on the bitterness, colour, and maltiness as we wanted this beer to be quaffable. This is a refreshing, smooth & sessionable beer.
The recipe uses the Fuller's yeast which is available to homebrewers as Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale yeast or White Labs WLP002 English Ale yeast. It produces malty beers that are slightly sweet / fruity. The yeast is also highly flocculant (likes to settle out) so the beer drops brilliantly clear without need of any clarifiers.
Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!
English Pub Ale
Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 95%
Calories: 153 kcal per 12 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.046 (style range: 1.040 - 1.048)
Final Gravity: 1.012 (style range: 1.008 - 1.012)
Colour: 5.3 SRM (style range: 5 - 16)
Alcohol: 4.4% ABV (style range: 3.8% - 4.6%)
Bitterness: 18 IBU (style range: 25 - 40)
13.2 lb British Maris Otter Malt (2.5-4L) (84.6%)
1.9 lb Pale (or White) Wheat Malt (1.5-2.4L) (12.2%)
0.5 lb Weyermann CaraAmber Malt (23-31L) (3.2%)
2.5 oz UK Fuggle Hops (4.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [18.3 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
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Notes / Process
- Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine / chloramine (if required).
- Water treated with brewing salts to our Balanced flavour profile: Ca=50, Mg=10, Na=16, Cl=70, SO4=70 (Hit minimums on Ca and Mg, keep the Cl:SO4 ratio low and equal. Do not favour flavour / maltiness or bitterness / dryness. For balanced beers.). For complete details on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustment guide.
- 1.5 qt/lb mash thickness.
- Single infusion mash at 153F for 90 mins.
- Raise to 168F mashout temperature and hold for 10 mins.
- ~90 min fly sparge with ~5.6-5.8 pH water (measured at mash temperature). Collect 13.9 gallons.
- Boil for 60 minutes, adding Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
- Cool the wort quickly to 66F (we use a one-pass convoluted counterflow chiller to quickly lock in hop flavour and aroma) and transfer to fermenter.
- Aerate or oxygenate the chilled wort to a level of 8-10 ppm dissolved oxygen.
- Pitch yeast and ferment at 66-68F (wort temperature). We use modified stainless fermenting buckets in wine fridges.
- Ferment until approximately 5 points from final gravity and then raise the temperature to 70-72F until finished. In our case we simply turn off the fermenting fridges and allow the beer to naturally rise to room temperature. Assume fermentation is done if the gravity does not change over ~3 days.
- There is no need to use finings such as unflavoured gelatin as the yeast is extremely flocculant and will drop brilliantly clear on its own.
- Package as you would normally. We rack to kegs that have first been purged with CO2. We chill the kegs to near freezing while carbonating at the same time in a 6-keg conditioning fridge. After ~1-2 weeks at serving pressure the kegs will be carbonated and ready to serve. In a hurry? Feel free to raise the CO2 pressure temporarily to 30-40 PSI to carbonate fast over a 24 period, and then turn back down to serving pressure.
- Carbonate this beer to fairly low levels (the lower the better in our humble opinion, or even better, as a cask ale). If you have the means to serve it through a beer engine with no extra carbonation other than residuals left over from fermentation, do it! We think you'll really enjoy the difference. Over carbonation destroys a lot of the subtleties of this beer. Do not over carbonate. Another option that we've used (that was the original reason to make this beer) is to serve the beer on a stout faucet pushed by a 30/70 CO2/Nitrogen blend, producing a nice creamy head and close to flat beer. One inexpensive way to mimic this is to use a syringe (without needle). Pour the beer as you would normally and then suck up a syringe full and force it back into the beer, hard. Repeat 2-3 times and you'll knock most of the C02 out of solution leaving a nearly flat beer with a creamy head. Not quite the same texture, but similar to a nitro pour. We tried this for years before finally adding a real CO2/Nitrogen serving setup to our basement bar.
For detailed brewing instructions, see our Brew Day Step by Step guide.
Questions? Visit our English Pub Ale forum thread.
Pictures / Videos
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