Xtra Special Bitter ESB 5 Gallon

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This beer is a little bit special, maybe an xtra bit special. With the perfect balance between malt and hop bitterness, one sip of this bad boy and you will be feeling like your drinking a beer brewed for a king. This beer is an excellent all year round drinker and is perfect for any occasion.

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Xtra Special Bitter ESB 5 Gallon
Xtra Special Bitter ESB 5 Gallon

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    1 Can of Coopers Canadian Blonde HME

    1 Can of Coopers Amber Malt

    1 Packet of Crystal 40 Malt

    1 Packet of Chocolate Malt

    2 Packets of Vienna Malt

    4 Packets of Goldings Hops

    1 Packet of Nottingham Ale Yeast

    4 Muslin Hop Sacks

    2 Packets of No-Rinse Cleanser


    Fullers ESB


    Flavor: Balanced

    Original Gravity: 1.054

    Final Gravity: 1.011

    ABV: 5.6%

    SRM: (Color): 15

    IBU: (Bitterness): 40


    Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:

    1. Fill clean fermenter with 8 liters (2 Gallons) of warm water, then add 1 pack of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved.

    2. Use your measuring cup to scoop the liquid up and run it down the side of the Coopers Fermenter. Do this around the entire fermenter a few times. Then add your krousen kollar and repeat. Then take some of the solution and pour it into the lid and allow it to sit for 2 minutes. (If you have a different fermenter sanitizing may be different.) 

    3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow the liquid to flow for 5 seconds, and then close.

    4. Pour some of the solution from the fermenter into a large bowl. You need enough to fully cover your brewing utensils. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener, and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in the cleaning solution prior to use. Any remaining solution in your fermenter can be discarded.

    5. After all, surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to the top of the fermenter, proceed immediately to brewing.


    Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.

    1. Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of Brewing Extract, (You will not be using it for this recipe) then place the unopened cans in hot tap water.

    2. Add all 4 packets of malt, between two of the muslin hop sacks. Tie the bags closed so that the grain can flow freely within the sacks.

    3. Add 8 cups of water to the pot. Bring the water to a temperature of 155-160 and hold the water at that temperature.

    4. Once the temperature range is achieved, add in the grain sacks, and allow them to steep, holding the temperature range for 30 minutes.

    5. While your grain is steeping, add 2 packets each, of Goldings hops to each of the 2 remaining hopsacks and tie them closed so that the hops have room to expand within the sacks. Set aside. (2 hop sacks with two packets of hops in each sack)

    6. After the 30-minute grain steep has passed remove from heat, rinse the hop sacks in a colander with 1-2 cups of hot water, allowing the run-off to flow back into the pot. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE GRAIN SACKS. Discard grain sacks.

    7. Next, Open the can of Cooper’s Amber malt and pour the contents into the hot grain water, stir to combine, and bring this mixture to a low rolling boil.

    8. Once the mixture is boiling, Add in one of the hop sacks (this sack with boil for a total of 40 minutes).

    9. After 10 minutes have passed. Add in the second hopsack and allow everything to boil for 30 more minutes.

    10. Once a total of 40 minutes has passed, remove the mixture from the heat.

    11. Open the can of Brewing Extract and pour the contents into the hot mixture in your pot. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture of unfermented beer is called wort.

    12. Fill your fermenter with enough cold water to cover the spigot hole. Approximately 1-2 gallons of water.

    13. Pour the wort (including the hop sacks) into your fermenter, and then bring the volume of the fermenter to 5 gallons or 19-liters by adding more cold water.

    14. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.

    15. Sprinkle the Nottingham Dry Ale yeast packet into the fermenter, and place it on the lid. Do not stir.

    Place your fermenter in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 78° F (20°-25° C), and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 14 days.


    After 14 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (14 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.

    1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill 3 1-gallon containers with warm water, then split the remaining pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser between them and mix until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use.

    2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solutions into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be using for bottling. Do not rinse.

    3. Add 2 Carbonation Drops to each 740-mL bottle. For 1-liter bottles, add 2 ½ drops; for ½-liter bottles add 1 drop. Alternatively, you can add table sugar using this table as a guide. 

    4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.

    5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.

    6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation. 


    After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it. 

    This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer

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