Is this the BEST BITTER?

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Steve797, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. Steve797

    Steve797 Member

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    This is the first recipe I have posted on Brewers Friend.
    My cousin who lives in England reckons that Harvey's Best bitter is the best beer he has ever had. I have never tasted it, but I have taken a stab at brewing it.
    I found the basis of the recipe through my research but tweaked the ABV and used available fermentables as substitutes where appropriate.
    I welcome and appreciate any feedback, comments, criticism and advice on this recipe.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1185692/harvey-s-clone-tweak-3
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious why there's adjuncts that tend to cancel on another out. Seems like there are a few ingredients that aren't really necessary. If corn is necessary for a certain flavor profile, 4 percent isn't going to have much impact. The DME seems redundant. Why not just up the base malt? Dextrine and maltodextrine are doing similar things...do you really need both?
    Seems to me that a streamlined grist bill of MO, corn (at least 10%) and Caramalt mashed at 154 to 156 or so would give you what you need.
     
  3. Minbari

    Minbari Well-Known Member

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    Agree with above. Would have just gone all grain, but it looks good!

    I like the use of gypsum to up the bitter.
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm agreeing with JA: You're adding maltodextrine, its purpose is to add body to the beer, then thinning the body through the use of sugar (dextrose) and maize. The recipe is overcomplicated and I can't determine why. It blends both all-grain and extract, not bad of itself but why? I'd lose the dextrine and sugar, they cancel each other. Up the base malt to get rid of the DME addition, it's expensive and nothing but concentrated wort. I'm not sure of the hops combination.... Might make a good beer but it's more complicated than necessary.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've drawn up a version that may untangle things a bit and (with possible tweaks to fit your system and water profile) should make a very fine beer. I've only changed the grist and mash temp from the original recipe and haven't checked to see whether the brewing salts additions are proper. That's going to depend on your water using the proper water chemistry calculator to get the desired profile.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1192766/harvey-s-clone-simpler
     
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  6. Steve797

    Steve797 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. This is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for.
    JA, thank you for going to the trouble of writing an improved variation of the recipe. I appreciate it and I will definitely brew up a batch of this version within the next few weeks.
    I'll let you know how it goes.
     
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  7. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    That’s a pretty good Looking Bitter @J A
    @Steve797 welcome to the forum. I learn from these guys and gals everyday
     
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  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I read down in the recipie comments you couldnt link your water calc it might be because your a trial member...
    Good luck on your quest for the best bitter;).
    As above I'd go with JA's recipie and tweek to fit your brew system.

    Oh if that water profile done give you the bite you need I'd double the sulpate ratio.
    Is 30ibus bitter enough with a 1.050 SG?
    I dont brew English styles so take with a grain of salt.
     
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  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    JA's recipe looks good and I've had his beer: I'd trust what he wrote. Not to mention, if I were designing this beer, it would look like that, maybe one or two fewer hops (British beers don't tend to be hop-forward).
     
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  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned, I didn't really look at anything other than grist. As Nosy says, have a look at your hops and make sure you're not overdoing it.
    Regarding gypsum and CaCO3 additions, don't accept any additions for water chemistry as a recipe to follow. For my water, for instance, I'd be using Gypsum/CaCO3 at about 2:1 for a beer like this and for a lager, it would be more like 1:2. You have to work up proper levels for your specific water profile. You can take shortcuts by using RO water and using a calculated profile. It may be that your additions are fine but do some work on it. When in doubt, leave it out. :)
     
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  11. Steve797

    Steve797 Member

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    Thanks J A. The water additions were calculated based on the mean values of our local water supply. The full water chemistry reports do not differ considerably over time. We have fairly soft water overall, so there is no real need for RO water. I am relying on the information on water profiles for a particular style given here at Brewers Friend. All of the profiles I have looked at so far are harder than our supply water, so additions are necessary to achieve the target.
    The actual SO42-/Cl- ratio in this (given) water profile after additions is close to 1:1 (39:36 to be precise) + - margins for error.
    I am , of course, only relying on the information pertaining to profiles suggested for particular styles of beer and I can honestly say that I don't really understand all of it anyway. I am therefore very grateful for any and all advice given.
     
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  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Looking back at it, your additions are in a range that they're not likely to cause any problems with just about any water profile.
    I've reworked the hops in my revised recipe to be more in line with the style. If I were brewing this beer (and I might... :) ) I think I'd add in just an ounce or two of dark malt - maybe chocolate roast - to give a little color and deepen the flavor profile.
    Good luck with it.
     
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  13. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I like adding 1% of a chocolate in my Bitters. I may brew this too :)
     
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  14. Steve797

    Steve797 Member

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    Looks great. I want to give this a try but admiral hops are proving a little difficult to obtain here at the moment. Our state is in lock-down and the brew stores are closed. My go to on-line stores don't stock it. I will probably need to substitute......Suggestions?
     
  15. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    Challenger would be a good sub. Target is good as well but different than challenger
     
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  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...what @Josh Hughes said. I tend to use high alpha hops for bittering but any good UK hop will do - Fuggles, Goldings, etc. You just need more of the lower-alpha varieties and that's the only disadvantage. Just keep most of the IBUs - 3/4 or 2/3 of the total - in the 60 minute addition.
     
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  17. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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  18. Steve797

    Steve797 Member

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    Thanks guys. I'm learning a lot here and I'm taking this all on board.
    x ?
     
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  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #19 J A, Sep 9, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
    Was an inadvertent duplicated comment. You used to be able to delete a posted comment completely. Now all you can do is edit it. You have to have at least one character in the post, so there you are. :D
     
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  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Mysterious none the less;)
     
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