Oct 242012

Fursty Ferret is brewed Badger ales (Hall and Woodhouse) in dorset and is described as an ale of character. The aroma is spicy hops, orange and malt. The taste is like the aroma, gentle malty, spicy hop and slightly fruity. The taste is not strong and has a very nice hoppy malty balance that is quality. I have wanted to make this beer for a while as its my number one session ale, so time to see if I could emulate this ale of character.


1.042 OG

1.010 FG

4.3% ABV


Style 8B special/best/premium bitter


3.8kg Marris Otter (84.8%)

300g Carapils (6.7%)

300g Wheat malt (6.7%)

80g Chocolate malt (1.8%)

12g Target 13IBU 11%a 60 mins

25g EK Goldings 7IBU 5%a 20 mins

20g Styrian Goldings 6IBU 5%a 20 mins

Irish Moss 15 mins

1275 Wyeast Thames valley ale yeast (washed/ starter).


I used an infusion mash with a mash out. The 11.6 litres of strike water was heated up to  72°c to give a mash temp of 65°c. The grain was left to mash for 75 mins during which another 8 litres of strike water for the mash out was heated up rot 100°c, for a target temp of 78°c. This was added after 75 mins and left to mash for a further 10 mins. The grain was then fly  sparged with 13 litres of water at 77°c.


The 26 or so litres of wort was boiled for one hour with the hop additions as above, with Irish moss added at 15 mins to help clear the beer. After yet he boil the wort was chilled to pitching temperature and the yeast starter added.

The fermentation was vigorous and after seven days the beer was kegged and carbonated with 140g of light dry malt extract.


The beer cleared very quickly in my king keg top tap and was ready to drink after a week. The beer when poured had a amber colour with a nice tight white head. The aroma was of sweet malt with spicy hops. I did detect an estery note in the aroma, hmmm. The taste was like the aroma with a nice fruity malt flavour with a gentle hop taste. I could detect the ester taste in the beer, which was not a major problem as it is not uncommon in this style of beer. I wanted to make a clone of Fursty Ferret so was a bit disappointed with this, I suspect it was down to a high fermentation temperature (it had crept up on a warm day).  I decided to leave the beer to age for a couple of weeks longer and this did the trick. When I tasted the beer after two more weeks the taste was perfect, the slight ester was not detectable and it was a great copy of the original.


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