Codename : Westfort Smells of Elderberries

This one has been in the works for almost two years now, it started out as a joke, and has finally become reality. I am taking a standard English bitter recipe, and introducing a small amount dried elderberries to (hopefully) introduce the aroma so I can be accused of smelling of elderberries, 🇫🇷💨🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿. If you know, you know. A little about a best bitter;

A flavourful, yet refreshing, session beer. Some examples can be more malt balanced, but this should not override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style.


  • 1 lb Maris Otter malt (3.8L)
  • 3 oz Wheat malt (2.3L)
  • 2 oz Caramel malt (130L)
  • 2 oz Dark crystal (100L)
  • 2 oz Rye malt (3.5L)
  • 1/4 Campden tablet in strike water (optional)
  • 0.20 oz Chinook hops at 30 minutes
  • 1 oz White sugar at 20 minutes
  • 1/2 tsp Irish Moss (optional) at 15 minutes
  • 4 ml Nottingham dry yeast

Vital Stats

BJCP Style : Best bitter
Anticipated ABV : 4.5%
Anticipated IBU : 22
Anticipated SRM : 12

Pre-boil SG : 1.039
Post-boil SG: 1.058
Original SG : 1.043
Target SG : 1.009
Carbonation : 1.8
Brewhouse (in)efficiency : 70%

Brew Day

  • Prepare 5.25L strike water, 149F. 
  • Add the milled grains to the bag. 
  • Place the bag in the hot water, set the timer for 75 minutes, and maintain the temperature at 149F. It is acceptable if the temperature varies by a couple of degrees either direction.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Calibrate the sonic screwdriver.
  • Lift the bag out of the water, and allow it to drip into the pot. Every bit of sugar that can be extracted will benefit the end ABV.
  • Bring up to a boil, 212F, set the timer for 30 minutes. Add hops, sugar and Irish moss, as prescribed above.
  • Sanitise everything required for fermentation.
  • Cool to room temp, an ice-bath or a snowbank work effectively.
  • Prepare the yeast mixture, per manufacturers directions.
  • Pitch the yeast to the carboy
  • Transfer the wort to the carboy, splash the wort around to aerate the contents.
  • Add one litre of water for the top-up to the carboy.
  • Put the airlock on the carboy.
  • Store in a cool dark place for primary fermentation for 10-14 days.

Bottling Day

Brew Notes

  • The choice to use 1/4 oz of elderberries was arbitrary, it is kept low to ensure the taste is not overwhelming.
  • Rye is not normally used in a bitter, but I like the little bit of spiciness it adds.
  • The approximate cost in material goods to brew this batch is approximately $10.03
1/4 oz of elderberries have been added to the grain bill.

Brew day : 26-Jan-2024