About to brew based on a recipe from Charlie Papazian's book The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing:
for 5 gallons:
6.6 lbs. Munton's plain Dark LME
1/2 lb. crystal
1/4 lb. black
1/4 lb. chocolate (added by suggestion from LHBS)
2 oz. Fuggles (bittering)
1/2 oz. Fuggles (aroma)
1 tsp. gypsum
3/4 c. corn sugar or 1 1/4 c. DME
I'm brewing this in part because Papazian claims this recipe allows for a quick turnaround (approx. 2 weeks from wort to my belly) and I just like brown ale. I'm considering using about a 1/2 c. brown sugar to sub in for some of the corn sugar at bottling and/or adding a single vanilla bean also at bottling (planning on boiling it in with the priming sugar for 5 minutes). My question is, what do you all think of these possible additions and is there potential for the brown sugar to extend the time necessary for maturity, or is it almost the same as using corn sugar? I used to be patient. Thanks for the input.
Don't bother with the brown sugar. Just use corn sugar. It won't do anything drastically different.
I've never boiled a vanilla bean with the sugar, but I'm imagining you're going to get an intense flavor from that, and it might be off putting. I'd stay away from it. Also, with 1/4 pound of chocolate and 1/4 black patent, this beer is going to be dark. More like a porter than a brown, I'm thinking.
I brewed it like it is and like it. It is my first beer and I am quite happy with it. Since then, I have learned a lot... all because of this site. I am actually interested in brewing it again to see what it tastes like after learning what I have.
well the first thing is that this is definately in between a porter and a brown ale. It is quite dark as mentioned above. I dont know.. maybe next time i will scale that back a little.
The other thing is that the temperatures in the instructions do matter. When i read the book, somehow i totally missed the whole thing about what the different temperatures do and how they affect things.
I also did not realize what was needed to cool the wort and do so quickly. It says to pour the wort immediately into the carboy (WITH 2 gallons of cold water already in there so you dont crack it) but then how the heck will you cool it ??? IT took forever to get that cold keeping ice around the outisde and such. cool your wort then put it into the carboy. Leaving it all exposed to cool off seems like a poor idea.
Make sure that you have a blow off. I have done 3 beers since then and this was by far my most aggressive fermentation. I am positive i would have clogged an airlock - but of course i do use a 5 gallon fermenter.. so a 6.5 MAY be okay but use a blow off to be safe.
I guess through the whole thing is really just learned a lot about how to do things. When i first started a lot did not make any sense... now.. it makes total sense. I guess you just need to do it to understand it. Maybe watching someone else brew would help for sure.