Boat Bitter Homebrew Recipe


As seen brewed by Wyeast Brand Manager Michael Dawson in Chop & Brew – Episode 10: Boat Bitter. Thanks to Michael Dawson for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Boat Bitter
5 gallons, All-Grain
Target OG 1.036
Target FB 1.008
ABV: 3.6%
IBU: 34-35

Optional: “Burtonize” mash water with CaSO4 and/or MgSO4 – get your local water report online, then use brewing software or an online calculator to determine additions & amounts. The salt additions for this batch were definitely calculated. The target profile was Burton-on-Trent water; we used the water tool in Beersmith to calculate the amounts (in grams) needed to get there from St. Paul water, which is quite soft and neutral. How additions affect pH is always a concern for the mash in any batch, but for this particular batch we were specifically after that mineral profile as a flavor component of the finished beer.

Mashed at 152F for 60 min. [adjust grist as needed for your efficiency]
5 lbs 12 oz Warminster floor-malted Maris Otter
2 oz Simpsons Dark Crystal

25 grams First Gold (0.87 oz) [whole leaf, 8.6%AA] @ 60 minutes
11 grams First Gold (0.37 oz) @ 15 minutes
11 grams First Gold (0.37 oz) @ 0 minutes

I used whole hops – if First Gold is unavailable use Northdown, Bodicea, or Challenger. They would all make a nice substitute

Ferment with Wyeast 1026 Cask Ale at 66-68F.
Add finings when target gravity is reached and no diacetyl.
Then package – no secondary needed.

** Wyeast 1026 British Cask Ale is a limited edition yeast strain. If it is not available when you brew this beer, considering fermenting with Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale.

Extract version:
Omit dark crystal malt, substitute about 5 lbs Northern Brewer Maris Otter LME)
You could include the crystal malt if you really want to for color… just steep grains in 150F water for about 20 minutes before bringing water to a boil and adding LME.



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  2. Would you be willing to put target IBU’s for the hop additions? It would be a bit more helpful in terms of sourcing hops. Thanks. Great episode.

  3. voodooavocado

    Would you be willing to put IBU targets for the hop additions? It would make subbing easier. Thanks! Great episode!

    • Per Dawson (adding to recipe page now.. thanks for asking!)
      My hops were 8.6%, whole. Total ibu on the batch was 34-35

  4. Great episode. One note – you suggest for extract version to replace 2oz of dark crystal with 5 lbs of Maris LME. I assumed you meant to replace the grain with the LME – but wouldn’t you still want to steep the crystal?

    • Yes. Steep the grains still. Maybe 20 min at 155F. I’ll edit the recipe when I gey to a real computer. Cheers. CW

  5. Jim

    Best episode so far. This has me excited to brew some keep your brain straight beer.

  6. Markus

    What an inspiration to brew this bitter! Great show btw.
    My home brew store of cores did not have the exact ingredients so I used for a 6 Gallon batch:
    6lbs maris otter
    1lbs dark crystal
    my hops: 60 min: 1OZ Cascade / 15 min: 1OZ Galena / 5min: 1OZ Cascade
    yeast: Wyeast 1098

    Turned out to be a fantastic bitter! Well one could say without the right yeast it’s not a bitter anymore but with more and higher alpha hops it turned out to be a fantastic like bitter!

  7. Brian

    I have a pound of Whole leaf challenger, will this be enough?

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