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Old 11-16-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
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Default Big Brown Ale advice

Hi Guys, just looking for some input on a recipe I want to brew this weekend. It's only my 3rd all-grain batch and it's my first "original" recipe. I haven't brewed a darker beer before so I'm looking to get any input possible. Going for a brown ale with a slightly higher ABV for the holidays. Do you think 1 lb. of caramel 80 will be too much? I don't mind a nice caramel presence but just looking for input as I said before:

Recipe Type: All-Grain
Yeast: US-05 (Wyeast 1056) 1 packet
Starter: No
Batch Size: 5.5 gal
Pre-Boil Volume: 7.5 Gal
Target OG: 1.073
Target OG: 1.017
Estimated ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 50
Estimated SRM: 23
Mash Details: Strike water at 167F, 60 Minutes single-infusion at 155F, batch sparge with 170F to achieve 7.5 gallon pre-boil

13 lbs. American 2-Row Pale Malt
1.0 lb. Caramel 80
8 oz. Chocolate Malt
1.0 oz. Target 60 min. (11% AA)
1.0 oz. Willamette 15 min. (4.5% AA)
1.0 oz. Willamette 5 min. (4.5% AA)

Ferment 14-21 days at 67F

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
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Well, it will be a brown ale (~21.5 SRM) with a higher kick (at 7.3% via BeerSmith, factoring efficiency for your estimated/target OG). It's a bit above the American brown ale style range in IBU's. Consider moving the 15 minute addition to 10 minutes. You could also move the 5 minute addition to either 1 minute, or at flame-out.

I would plan to ferment in the lower 60's if at all possible for you. See how it tastes after 3 weeks. It's highly likely you'll want to give it more time so that it's not as hot.

IME, brown ales are really good when balanced (IBU:GU) and given enough time when bigger (above 6%).

If you want to get it darker, without using more dark malts (3.4% chocolate is getting up there), consider doing a caramelizing boil with part of the wort you collect. Pulling off even a gallon, and reducing it down to a quart (pint, or less) will get it to darken. It can also bring something extra/special to the brew. At least look into it and decide.
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