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Extra Special Bitter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains


SKU# U1020

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More complex than an "ordinary" low-gravity bitter, an ESB is a showcase for high-quality hops and brewing skill, meant to be enjoyed with consideration rather than merely quaffed.

We strongly recommend ordering dry yeast in the summer months. We do include complimentary Cold Ice Packs with all liquid yeasts. However, it is difficult to guarantee that the ice packs will survive the trip, given transit times and particularly hot temperatures.

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Extra Special Bitter Extract Kit   +$39.51
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Product Details
Think of this as a British Bitter squared - more malt and more hops equals higher gravity, bigger body, more bitterness, and more intense flavors and aromas. A more complex beer than an "ordinary" low-gravity bitter, an ESB is a showcase for high-quality hops and brewing skill, meant to be enjoyed with consideration rather than merely quaffed. Our kit pours with a rich red color and white head and pronounced aromas of hop and fruit.
Additional Information
Beer Kit Yield 5 Gallons
Recipe and Instructions Click Here for Extra Special Bitter Extract Kit Brewing Instructions
Regional Style British
Original Gravity 1053
Total Time to Make 6 weeks
4.8 / 5.0
34 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars
This kit is delicious!
First off, this kit is delicious. I made it using the Wyeast 1968 strain thatÕs suggested. HereÕs the reason for the summary line I used; this kit is packaged to accommodate a late-addition of the LME and so includes 2 of the 3.15 lb. containers of extract. When I made this I did a mini-mash of 5 lbs. of Maris Otter and 1 pound of Carahell along with the pound of Crystal malt that is supplied in the kit. Using the wort collected from the mash and the 1 lb. bag of DME that was in the kit, I had a 4 Ð 4.5 gallon boil volume that was pretty close to what the gravity would be if IÕd used one of the containers of LME. From this point I followed the directions as far as hop schedule and the late addition of one of the packages of LME. I measured my O.G. at 1.058 for a 5.5 gallon primary fermentation.So hereÕs where the bonus comes in. I still had the second 3.15 lb. container of LME that was unused (a $10.99 value). For the price of the grain, DME and another yeast pack I could make a second batch as I already had suitable hops in my supplies at home. Not exactly 2 for the price of 1 but hey, IÕll take any savings I can get and itÕs a great excuse to make 10 gallons of this ESB instead of just 5!
May 26, 2013
Definitely extra special!
Really like the ESB style, but they can be hard to come by around where I'm from. I saw this kit and just had to buy it. This kit is excellent! Used the 1986 London ESB yeast and also dry-hopped with 2oz. of UK Kent Goldings for a week just for experimentation sake. I gave it the full 6 weeks and man is it good! If you are a fan of ESBs or bitters in general, pick this one up stat! If you like experimenting, try the dry hops too!
August 27, 2013
Great beer that seems to please everyone.
Tasted upon racking to secondary and can't wait for the final product! Already tastes good. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but then again commercial ESB's are all I've ever had. When I tried my friend's ESB from NB I had to brew it!! Him and I did an order together and this is one of the two kits I ordered. Hit the OG right on the money.
January 17, 2014
Great ESB
This ESB got plenty of complements. Its hoppy but lighter bodied characteristics make it a great beer to enjoy in this hot weather we have been having.I finished this ESB in the middle of the summer. I didn't do a very good job in controlling the primary fermentation temps and it got a little warm which produced a subtle ester flavor. Given some extra time in the keg, this ester went away and then the flavors in the beer mellowed out. I really enjoyed this one and will most likely brew it again next year.
October 8, 2009
Update: My favorite extract kit...
This was by far my favorite extract kit. This beer was great and well balanced. I have since moved on to all grain, and brewed other ESB recipes, but this one will be my standard. The other recipes I tried claimed tobe award winning but were not nearly as good as Northern Brewer's ESB. If you like this style you will love this beer.
December 31, 2011
Good ESB
Turned out pretty decent. I'd recommend keeping the fermentation temps at the low end of the allowance. Mine was around 66 and finished with more fruity esters than desired. Still a tasty beer.
November 19, 2013
Pretty close to most British bitters
When I first tasted this one, I was a little concerned, because I expected to get hit over the head with hops. Instead I got a lot of darker, richer hop notes with a decidedly bitter taste. I liked it, but just wasn't expecting this from the write-up (and I think American IPAs have warped my taste buds). After spending a few weeks in England and drinking my way through a few dozen bitters on tap, and then coming back to the rest of the batch, I can say that - aged a bit - this brew is awfully close to British bitters. I'll make it again.
October 7, 2009
My very first LesB (Larry's extra special Bitter)
As a first brew it has exceeded expectations! Maybe not as genuine as Fuller'so but a nice drop. I'm looking forward to brew #2.
October 1, 2015
Great recipe! Possibly my new favorite!
I've always enjoyed hoppy beers - long before IPAs became obnoxiously trendy. The description of this beer as a well-balanced ale is quite accurate. It is malty enough to have great flavor, but light enough to be a refreshing thirst-quencher. The hops are substantial enough for those who prefer bitter beers, but they are balanced well by a touch of sweetness.
March 17, 2017
4 months ago
ESB extract kit.
Good kit, one of my favorites.
January 29, 2016
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Browse 4 questions Browse 4 questions and 7 answers
I don't want to bottle this beer. I want to put it into a 5gal keg with co2. So I don't need the priming suger, right?
A shopper on Mar 7, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You do not need priming sugar to keg with co2. I start the first 24 to 48 hours at 40lbs pressure then back the pressure off to 10lbs until satisfactory head is achieved. a week or so then back off to 5 to 7lbs forever after
Hi - We are new brewers. We ordered this kit because we like goose island honkers ale. I saw "low gravity" and we thought it would be similar 4-5% abv. So rookie mistake. With an OG of 1.053 we now see that is potentially almost 7% abv. Is that correct? And in the world of beer this would still be considered a low gravity beer? Just curious. Thanks.
J K on Mar 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hello, I love ESB's it is my favorite variety of beer. Anyone can make a decent IPA because hops can cover up mistakes. It takes skill to make a balanced , malt forward beer like an ESB.

Anyway you hit the OG right about on the mark. I checked my notes and I had an OG of 1.053 and my FG was 1.013, which left me with a nice 5.25% ABV. I would check your math, the only way you could get 7% would be to have a FG of 1.000. It is nearly impossible to get a FG under 1.010 due to all of the sugars, proteins and other chemical compounds that make beer great. I dont know if I'd consider an ESB as low gravity but it's also not a monster.

Give it some time and see how the FG shakes out. I have only 3-4 of that ESB left and they turned out great.

Good luck
I have avoided ESB's in the past in thinking that they were exceptionally bitter and have since learned they are not. Is this ESB over the top in bitterness?
A shopper on Jun 8, 2017
BEST ANSWER: No, this ESB is not going to be over the top bitter.
OG was 1.060. Seems high. Have others seen that with this kit?
Aaron T on Apr 17, 2017

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