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Ordinary Bitter Recipe

I wrote recently about my best beer ever brewed so here is the recipe.  It’s very simple, which is one of the reasons it’s so good. It’s also cheap on ingredients too.

Far from ordinary this beer provides a great malty flavor and plenty of classic English hop character.  This beer goes down smoothly and has a low ABV, so you can enjoy quite a bit of it with out getting blitzed.  You’ll find some recipes for this style using a little more darker crystal malts, I liked mine a little drier than that and lighter in color.  I also like the reinforcement of the nutty biscuit flavors so I use a good dose of victory malt also.

Brew this one in good health! I may need to go brew this one this weekend!

Pub Bitter

8-A Standard/Ordinary Bitter

BeerTools Pro Color Graphic

Size: 6.5 gal
Efficiency: 70.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Original Gravity: 1.037
Terminal Gravity: 1.009
Color: 9.75
Alcohol: 3.63%
Bitterness: 29.6 (tinseth formula, 10% pellet hops adjustment)


8.45 lb English 2-row Pale (Marris Otter or Golden Promise)
0.65 lb Crystal Malt 40°L
0.65 lb American Victory (or English Biscuit malt if you can get it)
1.95 oz East Kent Goldings (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
1.3 oz East Kent Goldings (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 2 min
White Labs WLP002 English Ale (or Safale-04)


Mash Temp = 154F, 60 minutes

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.0

Here is an alternate version for a darker more malt complex Bitter.
I added more crystal and a touch of chocolate malt to add some deeper/richer depth to the beer.
We’ll see how it turns out. I left the biscuit/victory addition out.  I wanted to see how the Maris Otter alone carried the malt profile…along with that 1oz of chocolate malt in there too.


Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.25 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 91.06 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 5.52 %
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2.76 %
0.06 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 0.66 %
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 13.4 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (30 min) Hops 7.3 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (10 min) Hops 3.4 IBU
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs English Ale (Fermentis #Safale-04) Yeast-Ale

OG 1.037
IBUs 24
SRM 11
Mash temp 154F
Ferment at 68F


Homebrew Equipment Calibration


Uncarbonated Beer


  1. I gotta ask, why not just use 2.00 ounces of bittering hops? Can you actually tell the difference between 1.95 and 2.00? I’ve seen similar things done in other recipes and I’ve come to the conclusion that my palette and nose are too unrefined because I can’t tell the difference.

  2. Mike

    Good catch. I would likely use 2.o oz of hops myself. I usually correct the recipe for those things too. I use brewing software to help generate the written recipes and calculate numbers for posting on the site.
    I likely had done a rescaling for a different batch size at one point when my system requirements changed. The calculator re-figured the hops to be 1.95 oz.
    I agree I can’t taste the difference of 0.05oz. And anyone who thinks they can is probably dreaming.
    Sorry for the confusion.

  3. Walt

    Very bread like, malty and balanced. Not bitter. Great beer!

  4. andy

    my goto is the Boddingtons Clone by Graham Weaver (not the rubbish boddies in cans but the Boddies of my youth 1980s)
    MO 2660 gms
    Crystal malt 165gms
    Sugar 84gm
    Golding 32gm (60 mins)
    Fuggles 11gm ( 10 mins)

    so simple and so nice , even my lager drinking friends like it.

  5. Thanks Andy!

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