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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Too bitter/hoppy for an American Brown?
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Too bitter/hoppy for an American Brown?

So the following recipe was loosely based on Janet's Brown Ale from Brewing Classic Styles. My question is. Did I go too crazy on the hops? Is this beer going to end up being more of an India Brown than an American Brown ale. Our local competition is coming up and I'm not sure if I should enter it as a specialty beer. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 51.1 %
2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 14.6 %
2.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 14.6 %
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 7.3 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 7.3 %
0.70 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5.1 %
1.50 oz Simcoe [12.50%] (60 min) Hops 56.0 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.30%] (15 min) Hops 13.8 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.30%] (1 min) Hops 1.2 IBU
0.50 oz Simcoe [12.00%] (1 min) Hops 0.8 IBU

Beer Profile Estimated Original Gravity: 1.052 SG (1.040-1.060 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014 SG (1.010-1.017 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Color: 32.6 SRM (15.0-22.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 71.8 IBU (25.0-60.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 4.7 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.0 % (4.0-6.0 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 6.1 %
Actual Calories: 226 cal/pint

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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No such thing as "too hoppy" for an American brown! Janet's Brown Ale (from Mike "Tasty" McDole) pushed the style limits above any BJCP rules and it's good.

However, I think if the beer is perceptibly as bitter as the IBUs indicate, you may find yourself gigged on being too bitter. If you haven't brewed it yet, simply reducing the 60 minute addition may completely change the "feel" of the beer.

If the beer is done, how does it taste to you? If it's hoppy but feels balanced with the roast and caramel, I'd call it an American brown. If it's bitter and not really feeling balanced, I'd call it a brown IPA in the specialty category. Without dryhopping, it make be lacking as an IPA, though.

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Thanks! What do you think about entering the same beer in two different categories if it really rides the line of a certain style?

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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Personally I wouldn't use that much Crystal 120. That'd add too much body/too much richness for my tastes.

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel80
Thanks! What do you think about entering the same beer in two different categories if it really rides the line of a certain style?
From what I hear on The Jamil Show, both JZ and Tasty have entered one beer in more than one category.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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29% crystal malts is a lot! Might want to think that over...

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Old 01-02-2012, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
29% crystal malts is a lot! Might want to think that over...
Well, you can't really count the carapils as a crystal malt imho. If you take that out then the crystal malts are only at about 21% which is a little more reasonable.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel80 View Post
Well, you can't really count the carapils as a crystal malt imho. If you take that out then the crystal malts are only at about 21% which is a little more reasonable.
Huh? Carapils IS a crystal malt (unfermentables) and you absolutely count it. At 29% unfermentables you will have a beer that is on the sweet side and have a lot of mouthfeel. If that's what you're after then go for it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah58

Huh? Carapils IS a crystal malt (unfermentables) and you absolutely count it.
I understand what he is saying, and he's absolutely right.

When you tell a person to go easy on the crystal malts, it's because they will make a beer overly sweet and cloying. However, Carapils does not have these characteristics, and as such doesn't need to be restricted in the same way that other crystal malts do. Because of this, pointing out that over 29% of the grain bill is crystal malts (without any further qualification) is somewhat misleading, while pointing out that 21.9% are crystal malts other than Carapils/Cara foam/Dextrine/etc, actually tells you a lot more about the beer and is far more relevant.

Though it's still a lot IMO, ESPECIALLY since there's almost 15% C120!
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel80 View Post
Well, you can't really count the carapils as a crystal malt imho. If you take that out then the crystal malts are only at about 21% which is a little more reasonable.
even if that were the case (which it isn't), 21% is already pushing the limit on the amount of crystal to include in a beer. hopefully the high bitterness balances all the crystal
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