"Auntie Esther's Gone West" Best Bitter

My flagship Best Bitter Ale. Banana esters, bready malts, and minimal hop character. Homebrewed with a partial mash and bottle conditioned.

Making beer is a relatively new hobby of mine, but I love the combination of chemistry, cooking, and manual labor that goes into it. Every step is a decision that will define the flavor of the beer, and it is extremely empowering to have it come out well.
An English Bitter is a style that is most commonly consumed at pubs in England. Around a table with friends, each person buys a round. Five friends? Five rounds. As such, these beers are typically very easy to drink and relatively low in alcohol content. In America, the style is often referred to as an ESB, or "English Special Bitter," but in their homeland, ESB is a specific brand of bitter, so I decided to go with the British naming convention.
The beer is a partial mash, which means I used a large amount of DME, or powdered malt extract, rather than using crushed malts to create my wort. I still used some malts, but they were mostly crystal malts, a type of malt that produces sugars that are not compatible with beer yeast. They add color and flavor, but not much alcohol.

Mashing in with British malts. Crystal, primarily, with some darker roast to add color. They're hearty and robust, but still light enough to make an excellent mid-color beer.

British hops provide further authenticity to this iconic style. Generally speaking, my partner doesn't like the flavor or aroma of hops, so I used about 50% of the typical amount at 40 and 15 minutes. I hope she appreciates me.

This beer is a favorite of mine. When the initial fermentation was complete, it smelled so richly of banana that I decided right then and there to call it "Auntie Esther" as a little joke about the fruity aroma, which is called an "ester".

Lovely golden orange with light haze. 4.3% ABV. 38 IBUs. Will clear up in the fermenter.

I ran out of bottles, so I ended up washing and using one of the bottles I had lying around. I still didn't have enough, so I co-opted my partner's kombucha bottle. At that point I still didn't have enough, so I decided I would just have a glass of room-temperature, stale beer. It was pretty good actually, I'm going to try casking this next time.

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