Date Style IBU Boil Target OG Actual OG FG ABV %
11/23/2012 Bitter 41.5 60 min. 1.038 1.044 1.006 5%

One of the first beers I tasted, other than a stout, was Boddington’s Pub Ale. It’s a smooth, almost creamy ale with a dark straw color that’s crisp and sharp, but rewards with a bit of honey flavor on the back of the tongue. And once I decided to start making my own beers, I knew that a Boddington’s clone had to be part of the plan. I found this recipe on HomeBrewTalk, and modified it slightly based on the grains available at my local homebrew shop. This was also my first time priming a beer for bottle-conditioning, as well as using gelatin for clarity (something I probably won’t bother with in the future – there are better ways). All-in-all, this one came out great, and ended up being my first award-winner!

Ingredients

Grain Qty %
Pale Malt (6-row) 4.5 lb 56.2%
Roasted Malt 1 lb. 12.5%
Light Brown Sugar .5 lb 6.2%
Cara-Pils .5 lb. 6.2%
Crystal 60L .5 lb. 6.2%
Flaked Oats .5 lb. 6.2%
Flaked Wheat .5 lb. 6.2%
Hops/Additions Qty Time IBU
Hops – Goldings East Kent 1.5 oz 60 min. 31.2
Hops – Goldings East Kent 1 oz 15 min. 10.3
Irish Moss 1/2 tsp. 5 min.
Yeast Qty
Wyeast 1098 British Ale 2 package

 Brewing Notes

Nov. 23: Toasted 1 pound of the pale malt in a 275° oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Just wanted to add a bit of color to the malt, and a slightly deeper flavor. Mashed all of the grain at 168-180° for 60 minutes. This electric stovetop continues to be difficult to maintain a steady temperature. Need to work on that. Sparged the grain bag into a second kettle with 1.5 gallons of boiling water. Added these second runnings to the boil kettle. Boiled the half-pound of brown sugar in another 1.5 gallons of water to top off the boil kettle. 60 minute boil was uneventful.

Pitched my yeast at 78°, and saw decent fermentation activity within 8 hours.

Dec. 1: First tasting! Not too hoppy, pretty mild. Simple wheat ale flavor. Still a pretty high gravity (1.018), so I added 1/2 tsp. Of Amylaze extract, based on good results from the Dwarven Ale.

Dec. 2: Reading about priming techniques, realized I could actually use honey as a priming sugar, to make sure that the beer has that hint of honey I’m going for.

Dec. 7: Gravity 1.006. Racked beer over half-packet of unflavored gelatin in anticipation of bottling this weekend. Hope it’s enough to clear it.

Dec. 13: Gravity sample was crystal clear, 1.006. Mild flavor, no strong hop notes (perfect!)

Dec. 18: After five days in the bottle, the carbonation isn’t bad. The honey flavor is really coming through from the priming, so it probably needs more time in the bottle to carb up.

label_003Tasting Notes

Feb. 2, 2013: Decided to do a side-by-side comparison with an actual can of Boddington’s. The Bodd’s can has a nitro widget inside, giving the beer overall a smoother mouthfeel. The color of the Bodd’s is a bit darker, and the flavor is milder with no hop aroma. Oddly, the flavor I had always associated with honey in the true Boddington’s ale is actually more of a banana flavor, which I understand can come from the hops being used. I’ll have to look into that, but I definitely prefer a bit of honey taste to a banana smell. Also, I can darken my Bitter up a bit by using a Dark brown sugar, and maybe toasting those grains a bit more.