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BJCP Style Question - Pale Ale

So, I’m currently fermenting what I think is an English Pale Ale, based on what I read in Ray Daniels’ Designing Great Beers. However, in looking at BJCP Style Guidelines, it seems “English Pale Ale” is the parent category, whereas Standard, Special, and Extra Special Bitters are the subcategories. Interestingly, under ESB, BJCP (I think) recognizes “English Pale Ale” as a type of ESB (???). But, Daniels categorizes ESB and EPA as completely different styles with different gravities, bitterness, and alcohol content. So, all you style experts and BJCP judges, what did I just brew?

  • Rahr Pale - 13 lbs.
  • Dingeman’s Biscuit - 0.7 lbs.
  • Great Western 40L Crystal - 0.9 lbs.
    OG = 1.058
  • Kent Goldings, 6.1%, 1 oz. @ 60 min.
  • Kent Goldings, 6.1%, 1 oz. @ 30 min.
  • Fuggles, 4.0%, 1 oz. @ 10 min.
    IBU = 48.9

Basically, the BJCP asserts that ESB and EPA are one and the same. Enter it as 8C. Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale).

In my opinion, this is one of those badly worded BJCP style categories. It seems the beers that win are either a really well made, fresh ordinary bitter, or more often, the ESB. I would probably call your beer an ESB. How does it taste? Does the biscuit malt make up for the American base malt?

SA Brew - It’s not finished (racked to secondary two days ago), but it’s shaping up to be a bit stronger / sweeter / maltier than a Bass, but not quite a Fuller’s. I really liked how the biscuit did exactly what its name would apply - added a little bit, but not too much bready, biscuity flavor. I think it balances out the pale malt very nicely. I’ve read it can push an already malty beer over the top, but it didn’t with mine.

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