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-   -   Nut Brown Mild critique (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/nut-brown-mild-critique-208989/)

kanzimonson 11-30-2010 03:52 PM

Nut Brown Mild critique
By family request, I'll be making something that might be described as a Nut Brown Mild for an easy drinking beer during Christmas vacation. I'm having some trouble deciding on complexity vs simplicity, thickness both in body and malt, and alcohol levels.

Here's what I want out of the beer: a low to medium bodied beer with a quick bite of roast upfront that fades to a light sweetness. Bready and toasty aromas and flavors should be dominant notes. Caramel flavors should be less candy-like and more toffee and butterscotchy. I'm not trying to win a medal in the Mild category either.

Here's what I'm working with so far:

OG 1.044
IBU 20
SRM 18-22

68.8% Maris Otter 6.73#
10% Munich 1.01#
5% Caramunich .52#
5% Crystal 90 .52#
2.5% Special B .26#
5% Aromatic .5#
3.5% chocolate malt .44#
.2% black patent 13g

Mash salts (ppm):
Ca 287, Mg 10, Na 63, Cl 108, SO4 58, RA 169

35g Fuggle pellets - 60min
21g Fuggle pellets - 0min

Wyeast 1968 @ 68*

Before you chodes start attacking the amount of crystal malt, lemme just point out that Jamil's dark mild recipe has 18.5% crystal in it.

I'm using Caramunich because I have some on hand already, but that would have been Crystal 40. I think the extra Belgian flavors will be nice. I'm just worried that this grain bill is getting too ruddy. Every malt has been selected for a reason, but with so many different malts will the individual flavors be lost? I don't think the percentages of each are outrageous, though I wonder if the Munich and Aromatic together will give enough nutty, toasty, bready flavors?

alcibiades 11-30-2010 03:59 PM

too much crystal :)

seriously though, I think .44 lb chocolate malt is a bit too much for what you are going for. I would use a quarter pound, you dont want to make it too porter-like.

I also think the caramunich and special b are unnecesary. You want to keep this a session beer, and that might add a bit more mouthfeel than you want. I think you're right in guessing it has too many malts. (not to mention that this is a quick brew you are making for x-mas and this many malts needs time to age)

Have you tried amber malt? I just used it in an english pale ale and it definitely has this mild nutty/bready flavor that I think would go great in a nutty mild. I would use amber instead of the aromatic to give it a try.

alcibiades 11-30-2010 04:00 PM

btw, i hate you for being so close to south street brewery in cville.

BlueWolf 11-30-2010 04:12 PM

Last summer I made a very simple northern english brown that used a small amount of victory. WLP005 seemed to bring out a more subtle nuttiness as well. I'm not an expert though, so take it for what it's worth. Food for thought.

kanzimonson 11-30-2010 04:27 PM

Point taken on the chocolate malt. My choc and black patent amounts are related to the amounts in Moose Drool, which I brew a lot. I had to up the choc percentage, however, to get the color where I wanted. I'll cut the choc down to 2.5% (.33#) and bump the black patent to .5% (33g). Maybe I'll add the black to the last 10 mins of the mash.

I haven't used amber malt yet, and unfortunately my LHBS doesn't carry it so I'll have to keep that in mind for next time.

I'm not sold on changing the crystal yet, though. Mostly because I don't see how else to get the rich toffee-like flavors. I do hear you on the mouthfeel, however. To give a little more insight, I'm trying to take the flavors you get out of a Newcastle and amplify them. Up the roast, more sweetness, a little more body, and more caramel flavor. Maybe mashing low will be the key, leaving behind a minimal amount of dextrins.

Yeah, South St is a cool brewery. They have an Anniversary Barleywine right now that I'm digging. And of course, the JPAle is a great hammer-time pale ale. The four breweries in the area did a killer Black IPA this past summer.

JonK331 11-30-2010 04:43 PM

I agree that a Nut Brown should have at least some Victory. I would get rid of the Caramunich, Crystal 90, Special B, Aromatic, and black patent. Add .5 Victory, .5 Crystal 60, and keep the chocolate. You don't really need the aromatic in this beer because you are using 10% Munich, they both add melanoidins so the Munich is enough on its own. Also, I've found that when using 100% MO for the base, you don't need nearly as much crystal to get the caramelly/butterscotch richness. Just my 2 cents.

kanzimonson 11-30-2010 05:00 PM

I haven't used Victory (or Special Roast) in any of my beers because when I tasted the grains in the store I got this terrible biscuity flavor. It was caught somewhere between a dark crystal and chocolate malt... the roast of burned bread crust without any sweetness, but also without any of the chocolatey richness. I've been scared to try either of these grains since.

JonK, I like the advice on the melanoidins and nuttiness but I imagine your proposal might not have the sweetness I'm looking for.

MarsColonist 11-30-2010 05:34 PM

+1 for victory and brown malt (special roast) in a brown ... english or american yeast?
my house brown (n.uk brown) uses about 6% brown, 4% carapils, 4% c60, 2.5% victory and 2.5% pale chocolate... good stuff

kanzimonson 11-30-2010 05:38 PM

Oh, one last note about Victory and Special Roast - I had a friend's brown ale that sounds pretty similar to yours Mars, and it had this super grainy taste that is my absolute MOST HATED flavor in beer. It's why I hate so many yellow beers because it seems the only malt flavor they bring is this nasty graininess as if they've taken the toasty breadiness too far.

Maybe I should just make a Mild using the Moose Drool percentages scaled down to the proper OG...

dpittard 11-30-2010 05:43 PM

Sorry, I have absolutely NO input on the recipe other than the idea sounds ABSOLUTELY delicious. Please let us know how the final product turns out!

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