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Old 06-10-2009, 05:13 AM   #1
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Default Thoughts On Brown Ale Recipe

I have only brewed for myself up to this point so never really was concerned. But now I am entering a local competition and would like your guys opinions on my recipe. Let me know what you all think!

8 lbs Maris Otter
4 lbs Honey Malt
8.0 oz Brown Malt
4.0 oz Carapils
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt

90 min 0.50 oz Centennial
45 min 1.00 oz Cascade
15 min 0.50 oz Centennial
0 min 1.00 oz Cascade
1.00 oz Centennial (Dry Hop 14 days)

American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272)

Triple Stage Decoction
Bottling with Krausen (wort reserved from brew day)

Was thinking about going Ringwood Ale yeast as I have done a brown ale with it before, but was unsure about the flavor combo with honey malt as I have never used it before.

Honest thoughts/opinions welcomed!

Reason: Added info
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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Requested thoughts:

That's WAAAAAAAAY too much honey malt. 20% of the grist is the absolute maximum you should ever consider - and most people would find that proportion overpowering. Your grist stands at 31% honey malt.

It's a very strong brown ale - ProMash tells me you're looking at an OG of 1069 in 5 US Gallons. If you cut the honey malt back to a sensible proportion - say, 10% - the OG comes down to a sensible 1054.

For why the CaraPils? Habit? It's really not necessary; if you have foam or body problems, it's due to a problem in your mash process.

Speaking of process, I don't understand why you'd decoct a beer like this. I mean, you can if you want, but I think it's unnecessary. Decocting is a PITA that won't add anything perceptible to the beer. If this were a Bock or Pils or something, I'd be nodding so hard my neck would be strained, but Brown Ale? Overkill.

Bottling with krauesen is cool.

Ringwood is a fantastic yeast. I'd split the batch and ferment half with each. Two gains there: 1. you get to tweak your competition recipe; 2. you don't have to build a starter to pitch the correct amount of yeast. Win win!


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Old 06-10-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input! Yea this is for a 6 Gallon batch, don't know why but that's how I started doing them and haven't deviated from it since. I killed some of the honey malt and then I had to bump the chocolate up a bit to keep the color in spec. I know decoction is overkill, but ever since I started doing decoction mashing it has become an enjoyable part of my brewday. I just sit out in the garage playing music, and drinking. I don't know but it has become a part of the experience for me, plus while it is probably all in my head it tastes a little better to me (probably because of how hard I had to work).

I like the idea of splitting the batch and using both yeasts, that is probably how I will do it. Great idea! Yea carapils have been out of habit as I have only been doing this about a year and thought it was necessary. If it's not, then I will remove them and see what happens.

Here are my beersmith numbers now (probably should've done the first post like this but it was late and I was tired)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 8.62 gal
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 21.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
9 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 75.00 %
2 lbs Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 16.67 %
8.0 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 4.17 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4.17 %
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (90 min) Hops 14.6 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 14 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (45 min) Hops 13.8 IBU
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (15 min) Hops 6.8 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) Yeast-Ale

I was originally going to use honey in the primary, but read some suggestions to try honey malt instead which is why I may be a little heavy on the honey malt. Not too sure how much honey-like flavor it will impart (if any at all), but figured I should atleast keep it at 2 pounds.

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