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Gnasty the Gnome ESB

Brewed: 02/09/2014   Kegged: 02/23/2014

Next up on SheppyBrew's 2013 goal to have brewed all-grain batches of beer in all 23 of the BJCP categories (see SheppyBrew Styles) was Category 8, English Pale Ale. Of the three beer styles in that category, I decided to go with the biggest and hoppiest, ESB.

As you may know from my blog, Gnasty the Gnome has become a SheppyBrew Brewing assistant and drinking buddy. He is also a Christmas gift designed to help me get over my irrational fear of gnomes. Plus, he is a Chicago BlackHawks fan.

As Gnasty and I have become beer-buddies, we decided to collaborate on a beer recipe. It turns out that Gnomes love English Pale Ales ... especially ESB's and the fact that I had to brew one seemed like reason enough to make this the beer we worked on together.
The beer itself is designed to be a goldish copper color with nice rich English malt flavor and aroma with lots of East Kent Golding hop character. It has a restrained fruity ester flavor, and is medium light bodied and relatively low in alcohol. It is a session beer that both Gnasty and I can enjoy while watching the BlackHawks without worrying about being hung over the next day.

This is the first beer I made with significant water modifications. I used the Beer Smith water profile tool to get my Denver water closer to that of Burton on Trent's. It was a bit scary to be adding that much mineral salts to my brewing water, but Gnasty assured me that there is nothing to be frightened of.

Gnasty and I brewed it together, and it turned out great. The first batch was a bit darker in color than I imagined. It was also more malt-forward and didn't finish quite as bitter as I thought it would. It could also probably use more hops. But it still turned out great.

I took out the dark Blackprinz malt in Batch 2 to get a lighter color beer. I moved around the hop additions to get a bit more hop bitterness and flavor.


Follow any updates to the Beer on the Gnasty label on my blog:


Gnasty the Gnome ESB --- Batch 2

Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
Batch Size
5.50 gal
All Grain
Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   75.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.057 SG
Estimated FG
1.013 SG
Recipe Bitterness
48.2 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
5.7 %
BU : GU   0.852        
Recipe Color
8.4 SRM
Measured OG:   1.056
  Measured FG:    1.011
ADF:    80   Measured ABV:    5.9


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
15.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
6.00 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2 -
3.00 g Chalk (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 3 -
1.00 g Baking Soda (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 4 -
10 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 5 93.2 %
8.0 oz Crystal, Medium (Simpsons) (55.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.5 %
4.0 oz Crystal, Dark (Simpsons) (80.0 SRM) Grain 7 2.3 %
0.500 oz Goldings, East Kent [6.30 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 8 13.5 IBUs
0.500 oz Magnum [14.70 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 9 31.6 IBUs
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 10 -
0.750 oz Goldings, East Kent [6.30 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 3.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35.49 ml] Yeast 12 -
1.500 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.80 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 13.75 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.76gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
Decided on water additions by starting with getting Denver Water profile to Burton on Trent and then reducing.
Final: Ca=169,Mg=26,Na=29,SO4=365,Cl=23,HCO3=178

Brewing Record

Brew Date:
Strike Temp:   170
Mash Temps:
 154 (maybe up to 155). Down to 149ish.
Pre-boil OG   1.046 (1.046 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   7.5 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency
Pitch Temp    60
Day 1: 60
Day 2: 63 
Day 4: 68 just about done. 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
02/08/2014 esheppy
Bought ingredients yesterday. Need to brew this weekend.
02/11/2014 esheppy
Brewed this on Sunday. Pitched at 58. Has risen since then to 63ish. Bubbling away.
02/13/2014 esheppy
Was going strong last night at 68. Pretty much done now. Starting to clear up a bit.
02/16/2014 esheppy
Dry hopped into a secondary fermentor. Ended up using the rest of the EKG, which was 1.75 oz as opposed to the 1.5 of the recipe. Gravity at 1.016, putting the abv at 5.3. Sample nice and hoppy. Color much more esb-like than last batch. Should be a great beer in a corrupt weeks.
02/23/2014 esheppy
Kegged today. FG is 1.011, considerably lower than last time I measured. This puts my abv at 5.9. Nice firm bitterness. Nice floral hop character. Beautiful color. Malt maybe not as rich as last batch, but certainly closer to an ESB than before. Success!
02/24/2014 esheppy
Chilled outside under 25 or so psi last night. Put into the keggerator at 20psi today.
02/26/2014 esheppy
Took a lurk little sample. Nice and holy with a firm bitterness. Good head formation and retention. Great golf color. Certainly more inline with what I think an ESB should be than the last batch.
04/12/2014 esheppy
Killed the keg today. Was surprised that this finished up before SWMBO. Nice to have the empty keg, though. Need it for TRASH.
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