Recipe: Opus 10, Benjamin Britton ESB

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Recipes

I’m on break this week, so…time to brew! Since I have the house to myself, I thought I’d try my first BiaB and brew up an ESB for the winter. I created this recipe by researching the Schlafly Winter ESB, one of my favorites. I then matched up the IBUs and OG to qbrew. It looks like this will be right in the middle of the style, although hoppier than the original, and should be some English hoppy goodness (thus the name, from the famous English composer!).

Opus 10, Benjamin Britton ESB
Recipe Opus 10, Benjamin Britton ESB Style Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
Brewer Bandmaster’s Brewing Batch 2.40 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.056 OG Estimated FG 1.014 FG
Recipe Bitterness 40 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.4%
Recipe Color 11° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.3%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.50 lb Crystal 40L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Munich (German) – [Malty, Sweet] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Rye Malt Grain Mashed
3.50 lb Two-row (US) Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.75 oz Challenger (U.K.) – Bittering and flavor/aroma with strong refined spicy notes can have a fruity character Pellet 40 minutes
0.50 oz Willamette – Very popular aroma hop with earthy, spicy character for any English or American ales Pellet 10 minutes
0.50 oz Willamette – Very popular aroma hop with earthy, spicy character for any English or American ales Pellet 0 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Safale S-04 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast


Being my first BiaB, the process was quite different. I tried to follow the step by step directions at, with a couple alterations. Turns out my stock pot is only 5 gallons, not 6, so fitting 4.75 gallons of water is a bit tough. I decided to use 3.25 gallons for the mash, and reserve 1.5 gallons for a sparge, combining for the boil.

I brought the 3.25 gallons up to 158 degrees, added the bag and grains, stirred, and put it in a warmed oven. After about 1 hour, I heated the remaining 1.5 gallons to 170, dumped it over the grains, and continued to raise the temp to 170 for the full amount. Then I turned the flame off, covered, and left for 15 minutes.

My pot was not big enough, and barely held the wort. Next time, I think I will sparge in a separate pot, then combine for the boil. Oops!

After this process, and draining (using a cooling rack…great tip!), I continued with a normal boil process. I had to keep a close eye on the boil initially, but all went well. I also had to keep the stove on high the entire time. That’s a lot of water to keep at temperature!

As for cooling, I started with my normal ice bath, but also played with another recent tip, the deep freeze. Right now, our freezer is kind of empty, so with some rearranging, I was able to fit the brew pot in there. After the bath brought it down to 144, I put the pot in the freezer, checking it every 15 minutes for 30 minutes. After only moving 10 degrees in 30 minutes, I came back into the ice bath. Perhaps more research will help, but I’ll just stick to this for now and work on purchasing a wort chiller.

I ended up putting the wort into the LBK, and placing it in the freezer to bring the temperature down. After about 1 hour, it hit 64 and was ready to pitch!

My OG ended up measuring at 1.044. After running the numbers in TastyBrew’s efficiency calculator, my first efficiency is 59.3%., and my color will be around 7 instead of the estimated 11 SRM. I will try a true sparge next time and see if I can get that to go up. But, for my first BiaB, I’ll take it! We’ll see how this ESB turns out in several weeks!

  1. […] Recipe: Opus 10, Benjamin Britton ESB […]

  2. […] Recipe: Opus 10, Benjamin Britton ESB […]

  3. […] first impression of the Britton ESB was not good. But after giving it some time, it’s much improved. It’s way undercarbed, […]

  4. […] from High Iron, a poster over at Mr. Beer Fans, and combined with my new found knowledge from my first BiAB attempt, It’s pretty fantastic, jet black with a light body and mouthfeel. It has enough bitterness […]

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