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Old 01-15-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default seeking an historic, robust, bold brown recipe

I have been interested lately in the early browns that were made with most brown malt, but several sources say today's brown malt is not the same as what was used then. SO, the question comes of what would be a really good dark brown ale...something without the extreme use of hops or chocolate malts, but full of plenty of complex flavors and depth. Hard to really put my finger on this. Not overwhelmed by caramel, but something where the brown is really there...far more body than a Newcastle, yet still not a porter or stout. Probably a 6.5 to 8.5 percent alcohol...not a thin beer, but not as thick as a stout. Do want to taste and be able to enjoy the hops aroma, but only in balance to the predominant brown malt flavor, but even here mellowed a bit to add some character and interest. NOT overly sweet. Your thoughts?

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:34 PM   #2
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my friend recently made a robust brown porter by using nothing but 2-row and brown and amber malts, no roasted malts.

he took off a portion (about 2 quarts, i think) and boiled it down to a thicksyrup, then added it back to the boil...it provided color and lots of flavor. it had almost a molasses taste to it (don't get me wrong...this was a good thing) and was very popular at the party he brought it to.

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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Take a look at this one http://www.homebrewtalk.com/1066004-post14.html

Or at least PM him...Bob is our resident beer historian....The man's knowlege and library is amazing.

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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You could consider Poor RIchard's ALe...though not a true historical recipe...it is a historically inspired one..based on research into Ben Franklin's journals and poor richards almanac.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f78/poor...or+Richard%27s

I brewed it last month and it is really nice...

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Old 01-15-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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[ears burning]

Someone's been invoking me again.

Strong brown historical beer, eh? Check out that thread Revvy posted. I've got all the specs in my notes.

Deathbrewer's pal is on to something pretty freakin' cool, too, even without the syrup.

Revvy is right - I do have a bigger library than is strictly good for me. Let me look through that and my bookmarks. If I don't respond by close of business tomorrow, PM me.

And Revvy - I haven't forgotten about your baseball thing. I have something for you. Just have to type it up.

Bob

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:15 AM   #6
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Traditionally speaking you may want some rauch in their to get the flavor they used to get when they dried the malt 300 or so years ago over fire. Also you may want to roast some UK malts to impart a stronger bready flavor and deeper color.

Adding chocolate malt and crystal brings it to today's modern browns which are not so far off their ancestral mark. Fuggles and EKG would balance out the maltiness superbly and leave you wanting more.

Any decent English yeast (I prefer Notty) will also impart that famous flavor and taste. You may want to try cultivating the yeast because over time it will grow to its environment and leave a very distinctive mark on the finished product in later versions. In other words, if you were to brew a series of browns with the same cake, you would get an incredibly rich, stupendous ale that will never be duplicated anywhere else.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

WW

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of the great ideas! I am probably one of the few here who do not care for the current trend of loading on the hops. How many times I have bought American brews with a pucker and smell factor that was totally off the charts. Yeah, I tend more towards a balance of the ingredients so that each complements the others. Same with caramel flavors and aromas. I want to experience all of the ingredients. Even the rising trend of in your face alcohol flavors that dominate the high proofs just leave me cold. Okay, I'm getting to be an opinionated old fart!
Over the past several months I have enjoyed something of a crash course in tasting across the style spectrum. IN so many ways, I'm reminded of my cooking where a well made dish may well use spices and many ingredients, but a truly delicious dish reflects harmony. Even in oil painting, the colors have to express themselves without turning to mud through poor mixing. Far too many disappointments wherein beers that were supposed to be a particular style were more the product of someone's drive to get hop juice or a high alcohol buzz.

My tastes have brought me repeatedly back to the porters and browns. For daily enjoyment, the stouts are too big, but the Newcastle Brown too watery. Too, I am not a great lover of in your face chocolate malt that has the burned flavor right out front. This is all why I am considering a good Brown/Porter, something in that middle ground with depth and body where everything is balanced but not just mud. Not sweet, not burned, not bitter, not caramel thick, and not dominated by alcohol. Hitting this with a few a day brew that is just beyond a session beer and neither watery nor boring is my goal.

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Old 01-16-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
And Revvy - I haven't forgotten about your baseball thing. I have something for you. Just have to type it up.

Bob

YAY!!!! I want to have something for the start of the season...though that is still many freezing months away...

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I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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