Left the English bitter in the primary for 17 days. After 1 week the gravity was 1.017. I was hoping for a couple points lower, but first time using Wyeast 1968 which is notorious for low attenuation. I cranked the ferm wrap up to 70° for several days to clean up the yeast as best I could. It seems to have worked, as the final gravity came in at 1.014. This should get the beer around 4.8 ABV and 32 IBU.
English bitters traditionally are served on cask, carbonating naturally in the firkin. They tend to be much less carbonated than American brewed beers. So, I shot for about 1.8 CO2 volumes versus the 2.5 I typically aim for with American pales and IPAs. I tasted the sample and found it a bit fruity (typical for this British yeast strain) with a noticeable bitterness. 32 IBUs is low by modern American craft beers, but so is the 4.8 ABV, so I’m hoping this balances out appropriately to the style. Given my house temps never get higher than 67° in the winter, I may given them more than the two weeks I normally allow for carbing up. This session beer may not need as much time bottle conditioning though, due to it’s low ABV.
I used about eight 22 oz bottles in addition to the remainder of 12 oz bottles. Those I will give the most time to condition as from what I’ve read, bomber bottles tend to take more time to carb and condition compared to the std 12 oz bottles.