On Sunday I bottled one of our latest beers. It had been fermenting since May 22 (16 days total). Perhaps it was a bit soon, but the general recipe we followed stated that you could be drinking this within 2 weeks so I figured 2 weeks fermenting ought to be sufficient.
The recipe we followed was for an English Bitter. Essentially that is an English pale ale. Traditionally English bitters were served draught only and by hand pump. They were also served at cellar temperature. Other considerations for this style are the type of water used (obviously the type found in England), the usage of English hops (i.e. fuggles, kent goldings) and English strains of yeast.
We have been mulling over a few ideas for names for this particular beer. I am back and forth on whether we should call it a pale ale or a bitter. We did, after all, make a few substitutions such as bottled San Diego water instead of imported water of the English variety (does that even exist?). We generously added English fuggle hops but also used some cluster, saaz, and tettnanger. We stayed true to the style and used an English Ale yeast. So, can you see my dilemma here?
By the way, this is very un-English in the fact that we used an absurd amount of hops: 3.5 total ounces (for a 2.5 gallon batch!) That is the equivalent of 7 oz of hops if we had done the full five gallon batch! Yes, very un-English indeed.
This is what has been on our mind as far as nomenclature:
Half Batch Bitter
Again and Again Ale (will follow with a post about this if it becomes the name)
In Between Bitter
I'll be sure to let you know what we decide.