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Big Ben Special Bitter

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Big Ben Special Bitter

back to search Back to Search  Style Details 

Beer Style: Standard/Ordinary Bitter  (8A)
Recipe Type: all-grain
Yield: 5 US gallons

Standard/Ordinary Bitter


My version of a traditional English favorite. For those not familiar with English beer, despite the name, bitter's are not strong and have less hop flavor than pale ales. This recipe eases off the hops a bit and is low in alcohol making it a great session beer when your're in the mood for 3+ beers. Enjoy!

Bitterness: 30.3 IBU
Color 6.5 (SRM)
Alcohol: 3.9%


  • 7.5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) UK
  • 1 lb Flaked Corn
  • 8 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
  • 1 oz Challenger Hops (6.3% AAU) - 60 min (T60)
  • .5 oz Kent Goldings Hops (4.5% AAU) - 30 min (T60)
  • .5 oz Kent Goldings Hops (4.5% AAU) - 5 min (T5)
  • 1 tsp Burton Water Salts - 60 min (T60)
  • Yeast - Wyeast Witbread Ale #1099

Additional Instructions

Primary Ferment: 7 days @ 64-75 degrees (cooler the better)
Secondary Ferment: 7 days

Beer Profile

Original Gravity: 1.043
Final Gravity: 1.013
Alcohol by Vol: 3.93%
Recipe Type: all-grain
Yield: 5.00 US Gallons

Click to Print Recipe


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion / Batch Sparge

Heat 3.25 gal of water @ 159.1F to get a mash temp of 149.0F (Bitter's should be mashed at lower temps -- preferably under 150.0F). Mash for one hour and drain. Heat 4.75 gal of water @ 175.9F to get a sparge temp of 165.2F. Mash for 15 min and drain. Heat to boil. At first sign of boil, (T60) add hops and Burton Water Salts. Boil for one hour. Thirty minutes into the boil (T30), add 1/2 oz of Kent Goldings hops. I add Irish Moss at T15 to help with protein break and clarify the beer. At T5 add remaining 1/2 oz of Kent Goldings. Cool and pitch yeast.