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Red Hook ESB Clone

Classification: pale ale, bitter, E.S.B., Red Hook, all-grain

Source: Charlie Gow (, r.c.b., 9/16/93

Here's a recipe that comes fairly close. Red Hook ESB is the reason I took up homebrewing. Can't find it here in the beer wasteland, so I had to try to brew something close. Anyway...

The only tricky thing is getting the appropriate yeast. While Paul Shipman is fairly reticent about his process, he does allow that his yeast is a British Ale yeast. I have had good results with culture Sierra Nevada Pale Ale yeast (Basically a Naragansett) and Wyeast #1098 British Ale Yeast.

This beer ages out fairly quickly (around 3 weeks at 65F cellar temp). While it doesn't duplicate Red Hook (as if anything could), it comes pretty close.



Use a one step infusion mash (Adjust water according to local conditions). Mash in at 145F, then raise mash to 156F for starch conversion. Hold at 156F for 75 minutes, boost to 168F and mash out for 10 minutes. Sparge with sufficient water at 165F to yield 6.5 gallons of wort. I keep the mash temp on the high side to leave some residual roundness in the finished product, and the Crystal give the beer a hint of sweetness.

Boil entire volume of wort for 90+ minutes, adding hops as indicated. Force chill to pitching temperature (app. 70F). Ferment at 64-68F for 6 days in primary, then rack to secondary for 14-21 days. Prime according to personal preference. I use either 1/2 cup dextrose in 1 pint of water or 3/4 cup Light DME.