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ESBs are essentially more aggressive and more balanced Bitters, both in alcohol and hop character, but nothing overpowering. Color range will be similar, though leaning towards the darker end of the scale; dark golds to copper. Low carbonation. Malts tend to be more pronounced, often toasty and fruity, with maybe some notes diacetyl. And despite "bitter" being in its name, ESBs are not really all that bitter. They key to an ESB is balance.
* From www.homebrewing.org

8" Party Pump - Black Plastic w/ Lever Handle

8" Party Pump - Black Plastic w/ Lever Handle - 7509EPJA-1: Black plastic party keg pump for home beer dispensing systems
* From www.micromatic.com

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American Ales

The defining property of American Ales is most likely the citrusy, floral aroma and flavor typical of American grown hops. The three basic substyles of american ales vary primarily in their malt profiles, ranging from American Pale Ales, with a light malt character mainly supporting the hops, to Amber ales, with an additional hint of some more flavorful malts and specialty grains, and finally Brown Ale, with plenty of malty, nutty goodness coming from chocolate and black malts, putting up an almost fair fight against the hop assault.

American Ales Recipes

English Pale Ales

English Pale Ales (also called "bitters") can be defined as having plenty of bitterness from early hop additions to the boil, without the intense aroma or hop flavor present in American Ales where later additions are typical. There are several variations, spanning the spectrum from light to dark, and from lightly sweet malt flavor to a roasted, toasted malt profile that subdues the hop presence, depending on how "special" the beer is. Typically, light to medium fruitiness from yeasty byproducts is expected, and the style is lightly carbonated.

English Pale Ales Recipes

English Mild and Brown Ales

English Mild and Brown Ales are the flip side of the coin to the English Pale Ales. Malts are showcased instead of hops and the bready, nutty, caramelly and sometimes roasty-toasty flavors take the lead. The mild, soothing properties of English hops are in the background and nicely balance the barley. The mild can be anywhere in a broad color range, but should be light tasting and not overpowering. The browns are a little more full-flavored.

English Mild and Brown Ales Recipes


Porters are darker beers with rich malt flavors from the higher kilned side of the malt specturm. The impression is of a chocolatey nature, as opposed to the bready or toffee-like malt flavors in brown or pale English Ales. A roasted malt character can be present as well, without the characteristic roasted unmalted barley presence that defines a stout. Hopping varies, but is usually within a few degrees, to one side or the other, of an even balance with the malts. The style can be split into brown or robust porters, with no distinct separation but a general trend towards higher alcohol content and roasted flavor in the latter variety.

Porters Recipes

Imperial Beers

The category we call Imperial Beers accounts for several different types of beer, as long as they fulfill the one simple requrement: potency. These brews are everything you want in a beer and sometimes more. Not meant for chugging contests or flip-cup, the best time for an imperial beer is a cold winter day in front of the fireplace while the snow falls. By their nature, imperials have a complex flavor profile from byproducts produced when the yeast has to work in such a highly alcoholic environment.

Imperial Beers Recipes

Strong Ales

The strong ale category includes two historical European beers: Strong Ale and Old Ale. Both are high in alcohol and include some complex flavors, from the alcohol itself and the side effects of the other ingredients being in such an alcoholic solution.

Strong Ales Recipes

Barley and Wheat Wines

Similar in alcohol content to wine, barley and wheat wine ales are in the upper echelon of the beer world when it comes to fullness in body, flavor, and knockdown power. Very tolerant yeast are required to keep fermenting in such a high concentration of alcohol. Typically these beers have fruity side-products from the necessarily high yeast activity, and a caramelly malt profile. The English and American styles differ primarily in their hop usage, with Americans preferring to showcase the citrusy aroma and flavor of American hops by late additions to the boil, while English style barley wines have a milder hop profile, more focused on bittering.

Barley and Wheat Wines Recipes

Irish and Scottish Ales

Great Britian isn't the only island in the East Atlantic that can craft a mean brew. Ireland and Scotland have ideal agricultural conditions for barley, so their ales are malt-rich and light on the hops. The Irish red has a chocolate malt influence with a bit of toasted or roasted character in the finish, while the Scottish Ales usually have a distinguishing peat-smoked flavor stemming from historical malt processing methods.

Irish and Scottish Ales Recipes


Stout, the saying goes, was originally a generic name for a strong version of a porter. Today, the characteristic trait of a stout is the roasted barley addition, turning the beer an opaque black color and adding a signature bitter-ish flavor. Many varieties of stouts abound, and the substyles we list here are by no means conclusive. Adding interesting and unusual grains, small amounts of adjuncts, different hops and yeasts are all great ways to tweak a stout and make it your own. One odd idea, adding milk sugar, has been so popular it's earned its own sub-category. Maybe your stout is next.

Stouts Recipes

German Weizens

Weizen = wheat. These delicacies deserve to be separated from other German Ales because the Germans' skillfully crafted wheat beers are as varied and perfected as any class of beer around the globe. The yeast is the shining star in the ingredient ensemble, producing fruity banana esters and teaming up with the wheat malt to make clove phenols. These make up a lot of the style-defining aroma and flavor of the brew. The malt side of the equation can balance the yeast to different extents, and the substyles represent the unique characteristics of the different wheat/barley combos and colors. Hopping is minimal, usually for bittering only. Yeast stays in the beer to add flavor and body.

German Weizens Recipes


The pilsner is a fairly young beer style, but has become the most emulated and popular style there is, especially in America. Originally from Plzen, in the modern day Czech Republic, the Bohemian Pilsner, and its German relative, are the epitome of a lightly colored and flavored beer with a ton of character. The combination of pilsner malts and Saaz hops create a mild, soothing aroma and flavor. The nearly pristine H2O indigenous to the Plzen township is also crucial in keeping out the harsher hop and malt flavors that can arise from interactions with carbonates or other minerals.

Pilsners Recipes

Belgian Ales

Belgian beer can refer to a very wide range of styles, none like any other type of beer on the planet. Sour beers and wild-yeast fermented lambics will likely shock the first-time drinker with their acidic nature and flavors referred to with adjectives like "horse-blanket" or "leathery", but the learned connosieur with an acquired taste is often impressed by the never-ending complexity and myriad tastes discernible. Even the more "regular" ales from Belgium are a roller-coaster ride of exotic yeast flavors and high alcohol content.

Belgian Ales Recipes

American Lagers

Most of the lagers from America are loosely based on the famous Czech Pilsner. The majority of the macro-beer market in the USA falls into this category. Unlike the brews from centuries ago Plzen, however, these beers are stripped of much of their character. With the exception of the American-style Pilsner, malt, hops and yeast based qualities are given up in favor of a refreshing, easy drinking quality. Corn and/or rice adjuncts are typically used in significant quantities. Brewing your own on a small scale takes some serious craftsmanship though, because any off-flavor, or even desired flavors in another beer, will surely shine through the sparsely decorated lager.

American Lagers Recipes

German Bocks

Bocks are dark and potent lagers that originated in Germany in the 16th Century. The cold fermenting yeast, working without creating excessive side-products really allows a clean, crisp taste. The Munich and Vienna malts used can show off their subtle complexities since they aren't masked by the fruitiness that ale yeast brings along. Lighter versions, still strong by most beer standards and medium to full-bodied, substitute some pils malt for the darker Munich, while richer and stronger versions introduce some carafa or chocolate malts in place of the pale-ish Vienna malt. Noble and other European hops are used and the buttery diacetyl should be nearly nonexistant.

German Bocks Recipes

Lagered Ales and Aled Lagers

Beers in this category throw the rules out the window when it comes to yeast. They get some pretty interesting and unique characteristics, either by fermenting ale yeast at low temperatures and lagering even lower, or by using using lager yeast at higher temperatures in the typical ale fermentation range.

Lagered Ales and Aled Lagers Recipes

European Lagers

Many of the lagers in this category are German, and the distinction between styles is basically representative of the place where they originated and the types of malt used, from light pils and vienna malts in the Munich Helles, to the darker munich and carafa malts in the Dunkel and Schwarzbier. Being lagers, the lack of yeast flavors typically present in ales allows a truer malt and subtle hop flavor to emerge and be noticed.

European Lagers Recipes

Specialty Brew

This category is here because we want to validate the notion that everything and anything is legal when it comes to brewing beer. Artistic expression and diligent engineering efforts simply cannot always be led down a straight path confined to a strict set of guidelines. Many things have been tried before, with some success and more than one failure. You may have to take some of these recipes with a grain of salt, but if you're an experimenting or off-the-wall type of person, all we can say is "Go for it".

Specialty Brew Recipes

Maple Nut Brown Ale

Panvostin Brewery Special: Dark ale crafted with pure maple syrup with a subtle hint of chocolate flavors. More

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