Blend IPA w/ Brown Ale?
I recently brewed an Amer Brown ale that is clarifying in secondary at the moment and due to an ingredient swap at the last min I ended up with to sweet of malty taste and not enough bitterness to balance it.
My options are to dry hop, but that won't give me the bitterness I'm looking for or to blend in a portion of my Amer IPA that is in primary. Both used pale malt extract as the base. Also are there any good guides on blending, mabye pertaining to IBU gains.
Brown - 1.058 og 1.013 fg 20 1.5 oz 4.5% willamette @ 60 and .5 @ 25
IPA 1.078. - 1.017. 77 IBU hops all columbus
If bittering is your concern, I think you could boil up a strong hop tea and add it to the brown. I'm just shooting from the hip here and don't have time to research it right now but I know there are threads on here that talk about this if you do a search.
I have read about the hop teas and my concern is the bitterness aquired in such a small boil volume. If IBUs drop significantly with boil volume it must be quite low in a volume as small as a quart
Are the hops similar? Also, I feel like you might need to add quite a bit of IPA to make a modest difference in IBUs. I'd go for the hop tea, and go heavy on the hops, though I've had a few too many homebrews to do the IBU math for you.
Edit: how sure are you that you want to make it more bitter? CO2 will add some bitterness, and the flavor will change a bit over the next few weeks.
Never really thought of CO2 adding bitterness. It has been aging for 3 weeks as of right now (11 days in primary, 20 sec) and I have been tasting samples periodically and the best way to describe it is a light version of brandy. It finished at 5.87 ABV so it is a relatively big brown ale. Well here is the complete recipe, I formulated myself (1st one actually) so there is a great chance that the problem lies there, and as I stated before I ended up going to light on the hops in retrospect. I will look more into the tea method again since it seems to be the primary recommendation. I planned to enter this is a local competition in Oct so I would normally not really care about this and just relax.
6 lbs 9.6 oz Muntons Light LME (10.0 SRM) Extract 68.75 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.42 %
1 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 10.42 %
8.0 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 5.21 %
4.0 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (210.0 SRM) Grain 2.60 %
4.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 2.60 %
1.50 oz Williamette [4.90 %] (60 min) Hops 19.0 IBU
0.50 oz Williamette [4.90 %] (5 min) Hops 1.1 IBU
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #1087117102)
(mini mash but temps were very uneven, therefore only achieved around a 50% efficiency)
The IPA by the way is this:
3 lbs Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 27.18 %
6 lbs 9.6 oz Muntons Light LME (10.0 SRM) Extract 59.80 %
12.0 oz Caramel Malt - 40L (Briess) (40.0 SRM) Grain 6.80 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.53 %
3.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 1.70 %
1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [12.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [12.00 %] (60 min) Hops 32.9 IBU
1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [12.00 %] (25 min) Hops 22.9 IBU
1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [12.00 %] (5 min) Hops 6.6 IBU
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) [Starter 200 ml] Yeast-Ale
What is your final gravity? Maybe the sweetness is coming from the beer being under attenuated. If you are happy with your F.G. then blending is a good option. It would be easiest to do with kegs but would still work in the carboy. Start with a small amount, taste, then adds more if necessary.
So I sampled both today and compared them side by side, the 7.7 %ABV IPA is many times less harsh than my 6% brown. The only problem during fermentation that occurred with the brown was the lag time being 72 hours w/ a packet of Nottingham sprinkled on top. With the IPA I had just received my flask to wash yeast and also my O2 aeration system. So I am going to assume the alcoholic taste is due to fusel alcohols and esters due to under pitching(stressful growth phase). The IPA I might have over-pitched a bit, lag time was 4 hours and airlock in 6.5 gal bucket was completely clogged in 7 hours.
I tried blending them on a small scale and it wasn't working. Guess I'll play the waiting game on the brown till the taste mellows out. Thanks for your suggestions.
Yeah don't mess up the IPA. Maybe brew another beer next that you can blend with the brown.
You could make a 1 gal batch essentially with some DME, hop it up with a high alfa hop and add it to the existing beer to ferment completely if you have some room in your fermenter. 1oz of a 10.5% alfa hop will give about 140-200 IBUs calculated, depending on formula used in one gal volume. Adjusted for dispersing over 6 total gal and for the fact that no more than about 100 IBUs will go into solution your looking at a rise of about 18 IBUs using the rager formula. This is taking into account 2lbs of DME used to make the one gal of additional wort. I haven't done this, its just an idea.
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