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Fullers ESB Clone

Classification: pale ale, bitter, E.S.B., Fuller's, all-grain

Source: Larry Bristol (LBRISTOL@SYSUBMC.BMC.COM), HBD Issue #1509, 8/24/94

Fuller's ESB is by far and away my favorite (commercial) beer, and it has always been a high priority with me to find a way to clone it. Several attempts have brought forth some very pleasing beers, but they never quite matched up to the taste of the commercial variety.

Until the most recent attempt, that is! I think I have a very close clone on tap right now. I keg rather than bottle, and I am comparing this brew to the draught Fuller's that is available in the Houston area; I would suspect (hope, anyway) that the same recipe, if bottled, would be comparable to the bottled Fuller's ESB species.

Incidentally, I am just about 125% sure that Fuller's does *NOT* use centennials in their ESB. This recipe is not an attempt to duplicate their processing or ingredients, just the flavor of the finished product. So no flames about how this could not possibly be an authentic recipe, please! A reasonable substitute (and probably closer to reality) would be to use all fuggles (about 2.75 oz for equivalent bittering).

Ingredients: (for 5 gallons)


Mash at 154F (high temp to promote dextrins) for 60 mins or until starch test negative. Sparge to collect 6 gallons. Boil for 20 minutes before hop addition. Boil centennials for 60 mins; add fuggles when 15 mins remain; goldings for dry hopping in secondary. I calculate the hop rate at 12.2 HBU.

kegged and force carbonated at 8psi/40F, tapping after 18 days. At first, I was concerned that the dry hops had given it too much of a hop character, certainly more than present on the target. But after a few more days, the hops had blended and softened quite a bit and seems to . be about right. If anything is wrong with the recipe, I think it gives a bit more body than Fuller's, so I will probably cut back slightly (maybe reduce the carapils from 1.5# to only 1#) next time. A