Interested in brewing with a unique malt?  Then I’d like to recommend that you try Briess Extra Special Malt because, well, it’s special!  Clocking in at 130 Lovibond, this is basically a domestic version of the imported Special B malt from across the pond. As a hybrid drum roasted malt, this is a very different animal than its close (in color) cousin, Caramel Malt 120 Lovibond. With flavors of caramel, toasted marshmallow, light coffee, prunes and a dry woody note, this flips Special B on its head as that import malt leans more toward burnt sugar with the dry woody note being more prevalent. Extra Special Malt is obviously great to use in Belgian- inspired beers like Abbey and Dubbels, but is also an excellent addition to doppelbocks, porters and stouts for extra complexity.That said, it also performed quite well as one of the stars in an Extra Special Bitter I brewed some years back pairing nicely with the use of Briess pregelatinized barley flakes. Though tough to find fresh, Stateside Fuller’s ESB (brewed since 1971) is probably the most famous version of this style.

Brewers Association specs for Extra Special Bitter

This recipe does take a twist from the Fuller’s brand in that it relies upon Willamette and East Kent Golding hops rather than the Challenger, Northdown, Golding and Target hops Fuller’s ESB utilizes. A good dose of dryhopping also punches up the hop aroma in this version!

Royal English Amber – 7BBL batch

  • 86% Briess Pale Ale Malt
  • 5% Briess Extra Special Malt
  • 5% Briess Flaked Barley
  • 3% Briess Caramel Malt 60L
  • 1% Briess Dark Chocolate Malt
  • Mash at 152F for 45 minutes, sparge at 170F
  • 2# Willamette hops – boil 90 minutes
  • 2# East Kent Goldings – boil 10 minutes
  • 3# East Kent Goldings – whirlpool
  • 5# East Kent Goldings – dryhop
  • Wyeast #1968 London ESB Ale yeast (high flocculant strain with rich malty character)
  • 13.6 Plato  34 IBU  22 SRM