Brew Day – Bunsy Burton Ale – 11/20/18

Being sick kind of blows. I don’t get sick a lot, but when I do, it makes me really miss not being sick. Caught some type of sinus cold/infection and have been under the weather since Friday (this is my 4th day sick). It was my first time taking care of Baby Breaking all by myself when I’m ill.

Guess what – that really bites.

I love watching my kid, but he doesn’t care that I’m sick. He still wants all of his baby wants, exactly when he wants them. He doesn’t care that it feels like a elf is banging a tambourine behind my right eye, and chiseling cartoons with a dull ice pick into my skull. In fact, the little guy actually would giggle when I’d sneeze, hold back my tears, and then shake out my head like Mike Tyson just clocked me.

The best part is I can’t really sleep. Being horizontal just increases the pressure. I’ve accepted that Ibuprofen is now a dietary supplement for me until this passes. According to the internet, that should be any day now.

As the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, I took 1.5 days off work because its a ghost town in the office during this week, and I’d rather be home with the family and brewing some beer. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, so we’ll spend a majority of Wed/Thurs prepping food. So, that means I get to commandeer the kitchen for a batch of beer today (I had to look up how to spell commandeer – tricky). Don’t worry – I’ll try not to add any phlegm/hop additions.

I first read about Burton Ales in BYO (a great homebrewing magazine if you’ve never heard of it). The style of beer is named after a town across the pond in merry ol’ England. Here is an interesting article from the interweb about the style. In a nutshell, you need to make some adjustments to your water profile, you should use a burton strain of yeast, and the beer itself is on the darker/sweeter side with the hops (of course). While checking out a plethora of different ways to brew it, I saw people adding brown sugar, molasses, and some other darker fermentable adjuncts. For this beer, I’m slightly adjusting a recipe from BYO. Rather than hop blast at the end of the beer, I’m just going to put the hop blast additions (.16 oz of each East Kent and Pacific Gem) in at zero minutes, and let it set for 5 minutes before cooling. The darkest IPA I’ve ever made was the Hop Dump, and I thought that was a touch on the dark side (it used Crystal 60). I can only imagine the color this will have with crystal 80 AND chocolate malt in it.

I’ve had a Burton style ale before – it was the Burton Baton by Dogfish Head Brewing. It was amazing. That certainly was a one and done type beer because it was right around 10% (bordering on Barleywine territory). As you can see below, this will be slightly less potent if I hit my numbers. Overall, looking forward to this one. That seems silly to say – I look forward to ALL OF THESE!

The Recipe:

bunsy burton ale

Brew notes (I’m not going to regurgitate all of the steps – just the ones that are important):

  • Add water adjuncts into mash
  • 75 minute mash
  • Hops at 60/15/10/1

Target numbers:

  • Pre boil SG: 1.056
  • OG – 1.073, FG – 1.017

This will be bottled once it reaches its final gravity.

Bought ingredients at my local homebrew store (Bacchus & Barleycorn).

Brew day notes:

  • Date: 11/20/18
  • Stovetop BIAB setup
  • Total time (including cleaning): 4 hours
  • Brew day beer of choice:
    • Homebrew – El Hefe
  • Brew day A/V stylings of choice:
    • “The Office,” season 8
  • Actual OG: 1.076
  • Final OG: 1.020
  • Final ABV: 7.4%
  • What went well:
    • Nailed pre-boil gravity
    • Nailed post-boil gravity
  • What went bad:
    • had to add water to top off again – need to adjust my boil metrics in BeerSmith
    • original recipe called for Northdown Hops, but I used them in another recipe, so I subbed in Pacific Gem as the 60 min bittering hops (since the alpha acid was in the ballpark of Northdown).
  • Fermentation notes:
    • 11/20 – in to the tank – MAN, this thing is dark brown
    • 11/21 – slight bubbling
    • 11/22 – BUBBLES!
    • 11/27 – 1.020 gravity, added dry hop addition
    • 12/4 – bottled
      • Sample is dark and sweet but bitter. Doesn’t have much hop aroma. I’m enjoying the flat/room temp sample. Certainly a different beer.


Have you ever brewed this style beer before? Please let us know about your brewing experiences. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share. Thanks!


One thought on “Brew Day – Bunsy Burton Ale – 11/20/18”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.