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Old 12-04-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
devin_mac
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Default Brown Ale recipe feedback

picked up some ingredients yesterday to brew a new batch this weekend, and this is what i'm thinking. Feedback welcome. :-)

6.6lb Breiss light LME
2lb Weyermans Dark Munich
1lb Weyermans Cara Aroma

(pellet hops)
1oz Fuggles (60)
1oz Fuggles (30)
1oz Willamette (10)


Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale Yeast


plan is to mash the grains around 155 or so for an hour in about a gallon and a half of water, and sparge into 2 gallons of 170 - 180 water (essentially using Deathbrewer's stovetop partial mash method)

add extract and boil for 60 minutes with the hops schedule mentioned above.

yeast will be in a starter tomorrow (planning to brew saturday afternoon or sunday morning).

i'm hoping for a slightly dark, mild and malty brew, hopefully i'm not off track, as it should be a pretty simple recipe.

thoughts?

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Old 12-05-2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Here is a link to a great partial mash tutorial (I have had successful mashes using this very simple method). If you are not already planning on a bag method, I'd recommend considering it.

Interesting that you are mixing German malts and English hops - I have no reason to suspect it won't work though.

A lot of recipes for brown ales have a little bit of chocolate malt in them and it's real good for browns, so I am a bit surprised not to see it on your list. On the other hand I have not used the cara-aroma so I don't know what tastes it adds, maybe it's similar. Another option would be to add a few ounces of roasted barley for a hint of stout character. Actually I really like that idea and might steal your recipe and brew it that way...
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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This seems pretty good. Anyone else with a little more knowledge wanna chime in?

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Old 12-05-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goplayoutside View Post
Here is a link to a great partial mash tutorial (I have had successful mashes using this very simple method). If you are not already planning on a bag method, I'd recommend considering it.

Interesting that you are mixing German malts and English hops - I have no reason to suspect it won't work though.

A lot of recipes for brown ales have a little bit of chocolate malt in them and it's real good for browns, so I am a bit surprised not to see it on your list. On the other hand I have not used the cara-aroma so I don't know what tastes it adds, maybe it's similar. Another option would be to add a few ounces of roasted barley for a hint of stout character. Actually I really like that idea and might steal your recipe and brew it that way...
hmm, interesting point about the german/english angle. i guess i just view stuff as flavor profiles and not so much as being from/for particular beer locales. i have used fuggles/wilamette in milds before, and they tend to be fairly tame but still add that "i'm drinking a beer" aroma, so i'm not just essentially making alcoholic bread-water. any suggestions on other hops that might work better for my goals?

i haven't used cara-aroma either, but i needed something dark'ish to make the beer a little darker, and have seen the caramelized, almost toasted marshmallow flavor that a darker caramelized malt seems to bring to the table.

the dark munich is still only listed as 8-10 lovibond, but is there in force because it DEFINITELY "brings da malt" and seemed to add body to some of my earlier recipes.

the addition of the roast barley is probably a good one, which i will probably add in a future batch. but the beer i'm drinking right now had about .75 - .8 pounds of it, and i think i just need less "roast" in this batch. :-)

the yeast is the other thing i was hoping someone might have a thumbs up or down on, as yeast the the part of brewing i still understand least well.

thanks for looking/commenting!

-D

edit: some stats on the malts (from my local HBS ): Strange Brew Home-Brewing and WineMaking
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:42 PM   #5
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I punched this into BeerTools and it'll have an OG higher than any American or English Brown, and a bitterness at the high end for an American Brown, and off the charts for an English Brown. Color-wise you're a little light, and the addition of maybe 6-8 oz chocolate malt would add the right color and flavor for a Brown Ale.

I'm sure it'll be tasty as you have it laid out, but it won't really be "in style" for a traditional brown ale. Of course if you're brewing for yourself then it hardly matters. In any event, I'd add a bit of chocolate malt to what you have there.

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Old 12-05-2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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On English v. German:
Brown ale is an originally English Style but has been interpreted in the "American Brown Ale" style to include a wider variety of ingredients and generally to be a bit hoppy-er and more bad-ass. Yours works well for the American style I think. Basically the thing setting it apart from the English style is your german malts (munich). A more British version might have some victory and some brown malt in there instead of the Munich, and might use some Marris Otter in the partial mash. Cara-aroma is probably good in either style, it should give you the caramel flavor as well as some head retention and body. Your hops are already English. However, I don't think there's really an reason to change your grain bill if you aren't aiming at an English example. Brew it and if you like it, stick with it, if not, make adjustments to the next batch.

On Yeast:
I have never used that strain unless it's equivalent to one of the dry ones, but in General if it's a Bristish strain it should be appropriate in a brown so I say use it. Personally I like dry yeast when I can get it though because it's cheaper, easier, reliable and the current offerings produce great quality beer. For a brown I would probably use US-05 because it's cheap and reliable and everybody likes it. Another popular one is Nottingham, which might come out a bit drier. If you wanted a more English ester profile from a dry yeast I would try S-04. I don't usually re-hydrate my dry yeast for normal gravity brews (below about 1.055 og), I just open the packet and sprinkle it on the cooled wort, then close the fermenter up and let it go.

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Old 12-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StunnedMonkey View Post
I punched this into BeerTools and it'll have an OG higher than any American or English Brown, and a bitterness at the high end for an American Brown, and off the charts for an English Brown. Color-wise you're a little light, and the addition of maybe 6-8 oz chocolate malt would add the right color and flavor for a Brown Ale.

I'm sure it'll be tasty as you have it laid out, but it won't really be "in style" for a traditional brown ale. Of course if you're brewing for yourself then it hardly matters. In any event, I'd add a bit of chocolate malt to what you have there.
both are good points. i havent' had a chance to plug it all into beersmith yet. this was essentially just after wandering around in the supply shop brainstorming what to do with the two cans of LME i had sitting at home, and writing it down on paper. maybe i'll cut all the hop additions in half, i just want to make sure it doesn't come out tasting completely hopless.

i'll probably pick up half a pound of chocolate malt and toss that in as well.

as far as the OG, i could shoot for more like 5lb even of LME.... hmm, i gotta plug this all into beersmith before i brew it... :-)
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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maybe i'll cut all the hop additions in half, i just want to make sure it doesn't come out tasting completely hopless.
I wouldn't. Seems like it came out about 38 IBU's (I didn't save the recipe after looking at it) which is at the higher end of an American Brown...but still in range. Of course if you're shooting for a Southern English Brown, then yeah, you may want to cut it back. Beersmith will give you your answers.

I just wish I was brewing tomorrow, instead of road-tripping to some early Christmas extended family gathering. A beerless one at that.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StunnedMonkey View Post
I wouldn't. Seems like it came out about 38 IBU's (I didn't save the recipe after looking at it) which is at the higher end of an American Brown...but still in range. Of course if you're shooting for a Southern English Brown, then yeah, you may want to cut it back. Beersmith will give you your answers.

I just wish I was brewing tomorrow, instead of road-tripping to some early Christmas extended family gathering. A beerless one at that.
BOOOOOOOOO

i'm definitely shooting for < 38 IBUs, though. so the cutback will make sense. like you said, beersmith will help me out here.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=devin_mac;992698]maybe i'll cut all the hop additions in half,QUOTE]

NOOO!!! If anything add more hops

You can never have too much

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