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pfooti

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This is an attempt at an american brown ale. I want something that's darker than amber, and has some good malt roundness, but is a good bit more hoppy than an english brown.

While I like Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale, this is not an attempt to clone it, as I am not wild about the FG on that beer- it is a teensy bit too "chewy" for my taste. I do scotch ales also, and like a higher FG there. This one, I'm shooting for a dryer finish.

Any advice is welcome. I'm hoping to run this very soon, possibly this weekend, to be ready to drink for the Super Bowl.


Bugbear Brown

Batch size 5.5 gallons
Boil size 7.5 gallons
Boil time 120 minutes
Grain weight 13.35 pounds
Efficiency 70%
Original gravity 1.063
Final gravity 1.014
Alcohol (by volume) 6.4%
Bitterness (IBU) 54
Color (SRM) 26.2°L
Yeast WLP001 California Ale w/starter

Grains:
Maris Otter 10 pounds 75%
Crystal 120L 1.5 pounds 12%
Special Roast 1 pound 7.5%
Wheat 0.6 pounds 4.5%
Chocolate 0.25 pounds 2%

Mash 60 minutes @ 150F

Boil 120 minutes
1 oz Simcoe @ 60 min
1 oz Amarillo @ 20 min
1 oz Amarillo @ 5 min

I'm considering taking a gallon of the first runnings and boiling it down to get some real browning via kettle caramelization (maillardization?) similar to how I brew my scotch ale (skotrat's recipe, mostly). Not sure how much that will help, given that there's so much high-SRM specialty stuff in there already. The wheat is to add a bit more head and mouthfeel even if everything else ferments out dry-ish with the 150F mash.

I'm also considering mashing at 148F. I really want this to be a dry, malty brown with a good (but not overwhelming) hop presence.
 

Oldsock

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Looks pretty good to me. For my tastes I'd probably back the C120 down to .5 lbs and add .5 lbs of a medium crystal, but if you want some big burnt caramely flavors it would be fine where it is. I'd probably double the chocolate malt to get the color back and make sure it has some like roasted notes. Otherwise looks like a good slightly hoppy brown ale, good luck.
 

SporkD2

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I never understand these threads... now if you mail one to me I can comment :)
 
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pfooti

pfooti

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Thanks, oldsock. My original notes had a mix of 120 and 40 crystal. Not really sure why I went to all 120, but that seems like good advice.

I'm nervous about the amount of chocolate malt in general- I like the flavor of it, but I've definitely tasted (and brewed) recipes where it was overused. Maybe going up to a half-pound?
 

kanzimonson

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Hmmm, my perception of Dogfish's IBA is that it's too dry for me (or possibly too bitter-balanced, depending on how you look at it).

You can easily increase the chocolate to 4% without it getting too acrid, though you already have some of the flavors in the "brown" range with the dark crystal and special roast.

I'm not a big fan of the caramellization idea - this is a technique that I feel like takes a lot to master. A lot of people believe you can achieve this effect by changing up your grain bill as well (like with melanoidin malt). That's a lot less risky. The caramellization method will probably reduce your attenuation as well, if that's something you care about.
 

PT Ray

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The crystal is too high and dark. Personally I would should for 5-7% total. Maybe half or a third of that being dark.

Special Roast I would say 5%. Thought I don't think 7.5% will ruin it.

As mentioned bump the chocolate up to 4%.

With wheat I'll usually go 10%. If I'm running low than it's 5%.
 
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