Decisions, Decisions.

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. 




  1. I vote to call it a bitter, here's why: it may lead to conversations with people asking what a bitter is. This will provide the opportunity for beerducation (beer + education). As long as you are discussing the 'impurities' in your bitter, such as here on this blog, then I think you are respecting the art of craft brews.

  2. nice sam. thanks for the input. i agree with you. i also like the opportunity to educate whenever possible.

    i think we will settle on Half Batch Bitter. The half having two meanings: (1) the obvious: that it was only half of a standard homebrew batch, (2) half american pale ale, half english pale ale.