Extra Special Bitter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains

SKU: U1020

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 ice packs with all liquid yeasts. It is difficult to guarantee that the ice packs will survive the trip given transit times and particularly hot temperatures.

Availability: In stock

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Extra Special Bitter Extract Kit   +$36.51

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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!
Regional Style British
Beer Style British Pale Ale/Bitter
Color Light
Original Gravity 1053
Total Time to Make 6 weeks

Customer Reviews

Best ESB to date Review by piercho
I ferment with plenty of Wyeast 1968 and give it no less than 2 weeks in primary, 1 month in secondary. Just after bottle conditioning I find it unpleasantly grassy but that fades over about a month. After 4 weeks in the bottle it becomes superb. Highly recommended with the 1968 yeast and plenty of time. (Posted on 5/15/14)
Great beer that seems to please everyone. Review by Thaddeus Michael
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. (Posted on 1/17/14)
Good ESB Review by Leland
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. (Posted on 11/19/13)
We loved this recipe. Review by Steve836
Brewed this recipe this August (my second solo homebrew), and served most of it this month at my son's wedding party. Needless to say, it was just about all gone during the first two hours. Will order this one again. (Posted on 10/1/13)
Awesome Review by Thomas
I'm not sure what I did, but I ended up with an OG of 1.071. The FG ended up at 1.011. I ended up with an incredible ESB with an elevated Abv, with a delightful aroma of banana bread. This kit is next in line to be made again to see what I end up with....either way it's a win..win for me! (Posted on 9/24/13)
Great ESB Review by Washoe
Great brew kit! I bumped it up to a 5 gal boil and it turned out great a little darker then expected but all around great beer. I didn't use a clearing product and it came out a little cloud but no effect on the taste. Fermented at around 68F for 1 week in primary then racked to a secondary for 2 weeks OG 1.051 Kegged at FG 1.015. (Posted on 9/23/13)
great beer Review by Barry
My first from NB and first bitter.Used dry 04. Great flavorful beer.Nice mild hop bite and a nutty toast like malt flavor.Can drink this anytime.Also,thanks for your veterans discount.Over my 24 years its those discounts,handshakes at airports,someone paying for your coffee at Dunkin that made all the deployments and hardships worth it. Thanks guys (Posted on 9/23/13)
Definitely extra special! Review by EJO
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! (Posted on 8/27/13)
Good stuff Review by Benjamin
Great Kit! Better than I expected. I liked this beer immediately. Good balance of bitter & hop, with a nice alcohol kicker :-) Recipe says ready in about 6 weeks, and it was (7 for me as I gave it 3 weeks in the secondary fermentation tank). My basement says at a very steady 68 F, which seems to be perfect for this brew’s fermentation. This beer is so good, I whish I were drinking it right now...and its not 5 o'clock. (Posted on 7/18/13)
recommended Review by jose
Excellent kit, came out a lot darker , smooth and pleasant bitter.next time will do a full boil to compare. (Posted on 7/9/13)
This kit is delicious! Review by Keith
First off, this kit is delicious. I made it using the Wyeast 1968 strain that’s suggested. Here’s 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 – 4.5 gallon boil volume that was pretty close to what the gravity would be if I’d 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 here’s 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, I’ll take any savings I can get and it’s a great excuse to make 10 gallons of this ESB instead of just 5!
(Posted on 5/26/13)
An Absolute Favorite! Review by Mike
I've been brewing for about 15 years and this is one of the very best kits I've ever brewed! Fun, too, because it is the only recipe I've ever done where you add the malt extract in stages like you normally do the hops! The flavors are awesome, flower-like aromas, worlds above and beyond the store bought ESB's I was, until THIS, a huge fan of. This will be one I come back to again and again. (We're so happy we found you!) (Posted on 7/12/12)
Easy drinking ESB Review by Tim
I have had only a couple commercial versions of an ESB, so wasn't sure what to expect with this one. I have to say I'm very happy with it. It is super easy to drink, but still filling. I have only had 1 other beer that I've made go as quickly as this one did. I can easily see myself ordering this extract kit again, or trying the all grain version to see if there is a difference. Excellent choice if you're looking for a beer you can bottle and then enjoy without aging more than a couple weeks. (Posted on 2/25/12)
Good Solid Beer Review by Danni
Accidentally left this one in primary for 6 weeks, then went to bottles for 7 days... ended up working out anyway. It's smooth and delicious. A good choice to have as a nice stock beer. I was trying to get a good pseudo-clone of Goose Island Harvest Ale and this one actually tastes better in my opinion. (Posted on 2/12/12)
Update: My favorite extract kit... Review by Rifester
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. (Posted on 12/31/11)
Great!! Review by nick
Nice easy drinking brew. Darker in color than shown. Beside the point it's a good drink'n beer. Gets better with age so I'll have lock a few bottles up to keep me from drinking them. Just a good blend of malt, grains and hops. So many beers... so little time. (Posted on 11/10/11)
Awesome Review by AGC
I just got into ESBs and I wanted a kit that would give me something close to fullers... and man... I have to tell you this kit is fantastic... I haven't tasted the 2 side by side but this is a great kit. will definitely be buying again. (Posted on 9/17/11)
Was not sure I would like it... Review by Rifester
But I LOVE it. I have tried many of the commercial ESB's. I enjoy this beer much more. It is very balanced. I don't like an overpowering, caramel taste I have found in some of the ESB's I have tasted. NB's version only has a hnit of sweetness on the finish and I find it perfect. I was very worried I would not like this kit, but wanted to try a beer out of the norm for my taste. I will always have this around my house. After a bunch of reading about this yeast (used the liquid) I decided to bottle right at the two week mark. I opened the first at two weeks. This beer was WONDERFUL at three weeks in the bottle. If you want a great beer that can come together in a shorter period of time this is it. (Posted on 9/11/11)
Great Beer Review by EAH64
I've brewed 6 NB extract kits, and this is probably my favorite (tied with the Dead Ringer). I have spent a lot of time in the UK, so I have a great fondness for bitters. I wouldn't say this is a genuinely authentic ESB, but it's a really rich, flavorful beer. Everyone that has tried is has immediately said wow - awesome. (Mine turned out quite a bit darker than the picture.) With so much super-hopped American IPA out there (which I love too), these English style beers are a great change of pace. I'm going to try The Innkeeper next to see how it compares. (Posted on 7/14/11)
ESB as expected Review by bernbrew
I just returned from 2 weeks in Great Britian and while I enjoyed sampling their cask ales (also called real ales) I was disappointed in the lack of bitterness in their ales. It appears that the Brit's taste has changed and the usual bitter ale is no more. I kept ordering Bitter, IPA and ESB only to be somewhat dissapointed. Don't get me wrong, all their ales are delicious and satisfing from a beer stand point. But, please give me some hops. Back home I am drinking my NB ESB that I brewed up in February 2011 for the first time. This brew is exactly what I expect in an ESB. I will brew this again. (Posted on 6/26/11)
Fresh ingredients make a huge difference Review by Jeff
This is my first NB kit. I normally use the BB kits from my local HB shop. Who knows how old the canned extract and hops are, and their liquid yeast is has been around for a while. This NB kit had fresh LME and fresh crushed grain. You can smell the difference. The yeast was manufactured 2 weeks ago! I'm used to smacking my yeast 2-3 days before brew day hoping that I get noticeable swelling. This stuff puffed up in a few hours and the pouch was rock hard by brew day. The lag time after pitching was only 4 hrs and by morning the airlock was going 130 bpm at 65deg. Fermented out in < 5 days and I just racked to secondary. Right now it tastes clean. I can't wait to taste the finished product. Getting ready to order 3 more kits. (Posted on 2/11/11)
VERY good ESB Review by txbrewer
10/08/09 batch (OG: 1046, FG: 1017) that was kegged, and left in the fridge. I tapped the keg 12/31/09 for the new year party. What a success. I have brewed this ESB many times and each time the resulting beer was great. (Posted on 4/28/10)

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