Posts Tagged ‘Best Bitter’

Now brewing: Red Top Best Bitter

In honour of the most entertaining news story for ages, this is Red Top Best Bitter. The trouble is, it’s not actually that red. It’s a lie!!!! Actually, I had this brew planned for ages and didn’t have a name for it. I also thought of this name, so not letting the facts get in the way of a good beer, this is the name I gave it.

Anyway, it’s a semi-clone of St.Austell’s Tribute, which is one of my favourite local beers. They brew it using “Cornish Gold” malt, which is produced for them by Tucker’s. I thought I’d give it a go, and emailed the maltsters, but as expected they said it’s onyl for St Austell, so no go there. The advice is to substitute Munich malt. I added some melanoidin malt as well. The hop schedule is accurate, though they use an interesting variant of a hop back: another mash tun with a bed of aroma hops, into which they run off the boiled wort. I just used post-boil hops as usual. These hops are American Willamette and Styrian Goldings, with the bittering done with lots of Fuggles.

For the yeast, I used some captured from a bottle of HSD and of Admiral. I may have under-pitched, as I’m not sure I built up the starter for long enough. We shall see. Target OG was 1.048, with predicted ABV of 4.8%. I hit that pretty much right on the mark, despite losing more to evaporation than I expected, as my pre-boil gravity was a bit low. I’d lost my thermometer, so had to use a BBQ thermometer, so I’m not too confident of the temperatures, which may have affected the efficiency. Of course I found my thermometer just after I’d finished brewing.


  • Maris Otter Pale malt: 3.5 kg (85%)
  • Munich malt: 400g (10%)
  • Melanoidin malt: 200g (5%)


  • 90 mins: 50g Fuggles (3.8% AA)
  • Post-boil: 30g Styrian Goldings (4.3% AA)
  • Post-boil: 30g Willamette (3.6% AA)

Yeast: St Austell. OG 1.048