For my first batch of homebrew, I decided to build my own recipe. I wanted to create a light, refreshing ale to reflect the seasonal changes here in England as the first few colours of spring appear after a long, grey winter.
I decided to stick to an extract recipe for my first brew, as I was not confident enough to start mashing grains with no prior experience. I used BeerSmith software to help build my recipe; the interface is fantastic and makes for easy calculation of IBUs, gravities and alcohol content. I based my recipe on the BJCP style guide for Extra Special/Strong Bitter (Style number 8C), although Beersmith calculated the colour as 8.2EBC which is under the style guidelines for Extra Special Bitter, the beer turned out exactly the right colour for the style. Continue reading