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Adventures in Home Brewing: Making an ESB

January 16, 2012 3 comments

Your humble narrator brewing beer with a smile.

Yesterday, just days before the birthday of my lovely wife, I decided to try and brew a take on one of her favorite styles – the ESB (extra special bitter). Despite receiving a brewing kit for my own birthday some five months ago, I still had not put my own equipment to use. So my plan was to invite over the fine folks of the Bartlesville Beer Club to help brew the first beer ever created at the Barlass house. Little did I know, before we began, that the day’s festivities would turn into a plastic melting, propane exploding, home brewing adventure.

Before I go into the gritty details of yesterday’s less than smooth brewing experience, I figured I would share a little knowledge about the somewhat obscure beer style known as the ESB. The term extra special bitter was actually an invention used by the historic Fuller’s Brewery out of London. Fuller’s ESB, introduced in 1969, was just a stronger spin on the typical English bitter. A bitter style beer is more or less a British term for what we here in the States call a pale ale. The funny thing is that compared to modern brewing trends in America, the bitter is really not very bitter at all. Instead, bitters or pale ales tend to be more malty than hoppy.
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Creating a Peppermint Porter

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday, for the first time since late summer, I helped partake in the brewing of a beer. You tend to forget how amazing the sweet aroma of malted barley cooking on an open fire really is until you’re able to enjoy it in a small brewroom filled with the astringent fumes of carbon monoxide. The beer that the BBC (Bartlesville Beer Club), decided to put into action yesterday was a McClung family recipe that featured the odd pairing of porter beer and peppermint. The general consensus, before the beer was sealed up to go through the ravages of fermentation, was that the peppermint porter had a pretty awesome tasting wort. It will be a month or so before the fruit of our labor will be ready for consumption, but the excitement is palpable.

Truth be told, this stuff is mainly just alcohol.

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