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December 31, 2020
Last updated

English Bitter Homebrew Recipe

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
English Bitter Homebrew Recipe

An English Bitter, otherwise known as an Ordinary Bitter, is a historic, flavorful, and sessionable beer style that’s unfortunately not too popular in the modern craft beer world. Here at Clawhammer, we love bitters and it’s always a treat when we find one at a local spot that’s poured using a beer engine from a cask. If you’re looking for a beer that you can serve with light snacks during a holiday gathering and you can drink all day, this is the recipe for you.

This recipe is tailored for the Clawhammer Supply 10 Gallon 120 Volt Brewing System, watch us use it in the video below.

Full Brew Day Video



OG: 1.038

FG: 1.011

ABV: 3.5%


Start your brew day with 7.02 gallons (26.5 liters) of water. We added in some gypsum in order to help get our PH right. 


The grain bill for this recipe is as follows:

Pale Malt (Maris Otter) - 7 lbs (112 ounces)

Victory Malt - 8 oz

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 70L - 4 oz


We mashed at 156F (68.9C) for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, we raised our temp to 168F (75.5C) for a 10-minute mash out. After a 10 minute mash out, we lifted our grain basket and allowed all the wort that was absorbed by the grain to drain out. While we were waiting, we set our controller to boil temp.


Boil Volume - 6.25 gallons (23.7 liters)

Once our wort was up to boil we did 2 hop additions. We did a 60 minute boil.

  • 60 Minutes - 1 oz of East Kent Goldings
  • 10 Minutes - .5 oz of East Kent Goldings / .5 oz of Fuggles

Post Boil Volume - 5.73 gallons (21.7 liters)

Yeast and Fermentation

After boiling, cool your wort down to around 70F (21.1C) and pitch one packet of WLP002 English Ale Yeast. Ferment at 67F (19.4C) for 2 weeks.


This beer turned out exactly how we wanted it. We tasted nice malty flavors with a slightly sweet finish. Serve this beer up at a dinner party or holiday gathering and pair it with meats and cheeses or other snacks. With a final ABV of 3.5%, you could drink this all night or all day.


Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

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