Simond’s Bitter

This recipe was supplied for the 2023 Members Recipe by Martin Thompson and is based on Bill Elks recipe (Durden Park).

From Martin: This was the beer that started me brewing. I tasted Bill Elk’s Durden Park researched Simond’s bitter and was simply blown away; I had to know how to brew such a delight. Having said that I have brewed this a few times and it has been disappointing (in comparison to Bill’s) – but on occasion it is superb. I suspect, apart from our usual problems of consistency in all that we do, getting the correct balance of Amber malt bitterness to hop is some of it.


Batch Size 1 gallon (4.5l); OG 1062

Mash (See Method)

Pale Malt               2lbs 10oz (1190g)  84%   
Pale Amber Malt               8oz  (226g)  16%  

Boil – 90 Minutes

Fuggles                    0.75oz   (22g)  start
Goldings                   0.16oz    (5g)  late in boil 

(Reserve 0.1 oz (2-3g) hops for dry hopping.)


Modern interpretations of this 1880’s recipe suggest:

  1. Mash grain for 3 hours at 150º F (66±1º C)
  2. Raise temperature to 170º F (77º C) for 30 minutes
  3. Sparge with hot water at 180-185º F (82-85º C) to OG or required volume.
  4. Boil with Fuggles for 90 minutes and add the Goldings towards the end of the boil.
  5. Cool and ferment with a good quality ale yeast
  6. Mature for 3 – 5 months.

The feature image is the old Simmonds brewery malthouse in Reading, Berkshire and was taken by Graham Horn.