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Boddington's Bitter

Classification: pale ale, bitter, ordinary bitter, all-grain, Boddington's

Source: Fred Hardy (, r.c.b., 9/26/94

This recipe and the description of Boddington's Bitter are derived (sometimes copied) from the book Brew Your Own Real Ale At Home, Graham Wheeler and Roger Protz, CAMRA, St. Albans, Herts, Eng., 1993. It is presented without the consent of the publisher, but hopefully with their understanding.

Target profile for this recipe: SG 1037, IBU 31.6, SRM 8-9. Published recipe is for 23 litres, and all units are metric. I have converted units to USA system and modified recipe quantities to yield 5 US Gallons using my own Brew design model.

Ingredients: (for 5 gallons)


Crush all grains and mash into 9 quarts of brewing water preheated to 130 degrees F (54 C). When grist is thoroughly mixed in with no dry spots, add 4 quarts of boiling brewing water and increase mash heat to 152 degrees F (66-67 C). Hold for two hours, stirring and returning to proper heat every 20 minutes or so. Mash out at 168 degrees F (76 C) for 5 minutes. Sparge with 3 1/2 gallons of 170 degree F (77 C) brewing water. Top up kettle to 6-6 1/2 gallons for full length boil.

Bring the wort to a boil along with the Fuggles hops and 3/4 ounce (21 g) of the E.K. Goldings hops. Boil 1 1/2 hours, adding the cane sugar during the boil. Add the balance of the hops for the last 15 minutes of the boil. If you use Irish moss, add 1 1/2 tsp. for the last 20 minutes of the boil.

Force chill the wort, rack it off of the trub into the fermenter being sure to aerate well, pitch the yeast starter and ferment to completion. Estimated FG of 1014.

Make up the dark brown sugar with a pint of water for priming, and bottle the brew. Sample after two weeks.

Malt Extract Recipe:

Substitute 5 pounds (2270 g) of amber dry malt extract (not Laaglander's, too dextrinous) for the pale malt. No grains are needed. Bring 2 gallons (8 litres) of brewing water to a full boil. As soon as the water boils, remove it from the heat and add sugar and DME. Stir until they are completely dissolved. Only then can you return the wort to the heat, add the hops as above, and return to a boil. Boil 1 hour, adding the last batch of hop pellets for the final 15 minutes. Again, Irish moss is optional.

Force chill and make up to the full 5 gallons (19 litres) with brewing water, aerate well and follow the directions for all grain for fermentation and bottling.