Dumb Question #83

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Dumb Question #83

Postby BobbyK » Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:58 pm

Does ESB mean English Special Bitter or English Strong Bitter? Since they are two different styles, I know it has to be specific to one or the other.
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ESB

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Jan 15, 2003 6:16 pm

Bobby,

English pale ale is divided into three catagories (maybe sub-catagories) Bitter, Special Bitter and Extra Special Bitter. So the ESB is the 'top shelf' version of the bitter. ESB is also called Strong Bitter. In the US we tend to to classify ESB in its own catagory.

ESB stats:
OG 1.046-1.060 (11.5-15.0 P)
FG 1.010-1.016 (2.5-4.0 P)
Alc/wt 3.8-4.6 % Vol (4.8-5.8 %)
IBU 30-55
SRM 8-14 EBC (16-28)

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Another bitter option

Postby jeff » Wed Jan 15, 2003 6:18 pm

I am under the impression that it means Extra Special Bitter. It is the strongest of the bitters, which include Ordinary Bitter and Special Bitter. ESB is sometimes called Strong Bitter (BJCP lists it as English Strong Bitter) or English Pale Ale.
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Thanks guys, but...

Postby BobbyK » Wed Jan 15, 2003 6:29 pm

Now I'm really confused!
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Extra Special Bitter

Postby jeff » Wed Jan 15, 2003 6:43 pm

Here is the formula:

ESB = Extra Special Bitter = English Strong Bitter

There is more than one name for the same beer. ESB means "Extra Special Bitter", but the BJCP calls this beer "English Strong Bitter".
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Gotcha! Thanks!

Postby BobbyK » Wed Jan 15, 2003 7:01 pm

I got it now.
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more to chew on...

Postby Gravity Thrills » Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:11 am

The preceding info is on target, re the three classes of English bitter.

An additional historic consideration is that in Britain, the appelation "bitter" was used to describe any cask versions of these real ales, while "pale ale" was used to denote bottled versions of the same products. In the wake of the craft brewing revolution, this convention has been greatly obscured, especially on this side of the Pond.

In regard to the ESB aka "Extra Special Bitter" aka "English Strong Bitter", read carefully to differentiate between that and English Strong Ale, which is another beast entirely. English Strong Ale includes Old Ales, Harvest Ales, Barleywines, etc. The name indicates a alcohol strength category only, whereas old ale also suggests a lengthy maturation time - of course the two are very often confluent in the beers in question.

Head spinning yet?
Cheers,
Jim
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I've got the solution...

Postby BobbyK » Thu Jan 16, 2003 4:41 am

I'll just stick to brewing stouts and porters...
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Don't worry

Postby fitz » Thu Jan 16, 2003 5:25 am

Don't get too hung up on styles.
ESB is the same as a Pale ale. Bitters although they sound hars are a less hoppy, less strong(alcohol), version of the pale ale. Pale ale is the standard light version of beer there. The session beer(BS session) Was the Bitter, since you could drink more before falling off the stool. Custom states that everyone buy a round of pints(20 oz) Alcohol tends to be in the 3.8 to 4.0 range for the less hoppy bitter. Pale ale is a more robust form with a little more kick.
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