Maris Otter + Centennial ESBA few weeks back, my brother Nate…

Maris Otter + Centennial ESB

A few weeks back, my brother Nate came over to brew some beer. I picked up ingredients for a pale ale with a sort of English bent. Maris Otter malt and Yakima Valley grown Centennial hops and Wyeast’s ESB strain.

I have a theory about homebrewing. People always start out trying to copy a beer they really like. They find a recipe with ten separate ingredients using three different timers. In the chaos something inevitably gets left out, a step is missed, something gets burnt, and the results are muddled at best. I’ve been there. So my last few recipes have been incredibly simple – one malt, one hop.

As I master the simple steps of mashing grains and boiling hops, I can start to experiment with dry hopping and inventive ingredients. This time around for instance, inspired by that best bitter I had on our trip to Virginia, I added honey at during bottling instead of the usual corn sugar. The results, while not spectacularly complex, taste pretty good.

I brought a whole gallon of the stuff to a family gathering, and the lot of it was gone in a few hours. Though, I may have drunk the majority. The finished beer was a little under carbonated, but that didn’t seem to matter. The malt flavor was nice, not sweet, but full. The honey flavor didn’t come out in the finished product, but I might try it again.

The hops were just bitter enough to balance. But I would like some more aroma in there. Next time I think I’ve try dry hopping. But dang, it was quaffable.