Looking for a classic English-style beer that’s both malty and hoppy? Look no further than this ESB Ale recipe! With a blend of pale and crystal malts, as well as three different types of hops, this beer has a complex flavor profile that’s sure to satisfy any beer lover. And best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home with the right equipment and a little bit of patience.


ESB, or "Extra Special Bitter", is traditionally brewed as a premium pale ale. Strong, malty, and with a slightly fruity, caramel finish, it is dangerously drinkable!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time28 days 2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Beer
Cuisine: Larger
Keyword: ESB ALE
Servings: 40 pints
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Dan Smullen


  • 1 Brew kettle
  • 1 Mash tun
  • 1 Fermentation vessel (e.g. carboy or bucket)
  • 1 Airlock and stopper
  • 1 Immersion or counterflow wort chiller
  • 1 Thermometer (preferably digital)
  • 1 Hydrometer and test jar
  • 1 Racking cane and tubing
  • 1 Bottling bucket and spigot
  • 1 Bottles, caps, and capper
  • 1 Sanitizer solution (e.g. Star San)
  • 1 Auto-siphon (optional, but recommended)


For the Mash – Liquor 13.5 Litres (24 Pints) – Mash Time 1hr – Temperature 65°C (149°F)

  • 11 lb Pale malt Quantity 5 kg
  • 8 oz Medium crystal malt Quantity 224 g
  • 4 oz Torrified wheat Quantity 115 g
  • 2/3 oz Chocolate malt Quantity 17 g

For the Boil – 27 Litres (47 1/2 Pints) – Boil Time 1 hr – 10 mins

  • 1 1/4 oz (Hops) Challenger 7% When to add – At start of boil (IBU 28.4)
  • 2/3 oz (Hops) East Kent Golding 5.5% When to add – For last 10 mins of boil (IBU 4.1)
  • 1/2 oz (Hops) Fuggle 4.5% When to add – At turn off (IBU 0.0)
  • 1 tsp Protofloc Other – When to add – For last 15 mins of boil

To Ferment – 20°C (68°F) – Conditioning 4 weeks at 12°C (54°F)

  • 1 Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale Yeast


Mash the grains:

  • Heat 13.5 liters (24 pints) of water to 65°C (149°F) in a large pot or mash tun. Add the Pale malt, Medium crystal malt, Torrified wheat, and Chocolate malt and stir until the temperature stabilizes at 65°C (149°F). Let it rest for 1 hour.

Sparge the grains:

  • After the mash has rested for an hour, sparge the grains by slowly adding 27 liters (47 1/2 pints) of water to the mash tun while collecting the wort in a separate pot or bucket.

Boil the wort:

  • Bring the wort to a boil and add Challenger hops. Boil for 50 minutes, then add East Kent Golding hops and Protofloc. Boil for an additional 10 minutes, then add Fuggle hops and turn off the heat.

Cool the wort:

  • Cool the wort to 20°C (68°F) as quickly as possible. You can use a wort chiller or an ice bath to do this.

Ferment the beer:

  • Transfer the cooled wort to a fermenter, add Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale Yeast, and let it ferment for 1-2 weeks at 20°C (68°F) or until fermentation has slowed down.

Condition the beer:

  • After fermentation is complete, transfer the beer to a secondary fermenter or a keg, and let it condition for 4 weeks at 12°C (54°F).

Carbonate and serve:

  • After conditioning, carbonate the beer by adding sugar or force carbonating if using a keg. Chill the beer to 12°C (54°F) and serve.
Makes 🍻Ready to Drink 🍺Estimated ABVBitterness RatingColor Rating
23 Litres (40 Pints)5 Weeks5.1%32.5 IBU16.2 EBC

Malty and Hoppy Flavor

This ESB Ale recipe is perfect for those who enjoy a beer that is both malty and hoppy. The combination of pale and crystal malts gives the beer a rich, complex flavor, while the three types of hops (Challenger, East Kent Golding, and Fuggle) provide a balanced bitterness.

Easy to Make at Home

Despite its complex flavor profile, this ESB Ale recipe is surprisingly easy to make at home with the right equipment and a little bit of patience. With detailed instructions and a list of required equipment, even novice homebrewers can successfully make this beer.

Perfect for Beer Lovers

If you’re a beer lover looking to try something new, this ESB Ale recipe is definitely worth a shot. With its traditional English-style brewing process and premium ingredients, this beer is sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

Great for Any Occasion

Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing evening at home or hosting a party with friends, this ESB Ale recipe is a great choice. With a 5.1% ABV and a smooth, drinkable flavor, this beer is perfect for any occasion.

FAQ on Making this ESB Ale Recipe

What are the key ingredients required to make ESB Ale?

The key ingredients for ESB Ale include pale malt, crystal malt, torrified wheat, chocolate malt, and three types of hops (Challenger, East Kent Golding, and Fuggle).

What is the recommended mash time and temperature for this recipe?

The recommended mash time for this recipe is 1 hour, with a mash temperature of 65°C (149°F).

How many pints of beer does this recipe yield?

This recipe yields 40 pints (23 liters) of beer.

What is the estimated ABV and bitterness rating of the finished beer?

The estimated ABV of the finished beer is 5.1%, and the bitterness rating is 32.5 IBU.

What equipment is required to make ESB Ale at home?

Equipment required to make ESB Ale at home includes a large stockpot, a mash tun, a lauter tun, a fermenter, a chiller, bottles or kegs, and various other accessories.

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.