Brown Ale grain bill

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MicMurphy

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I Would be grateful if someone with more experience with brown ales could take a look at my grain bill which will end up being a pumpkin brown. I'm basing the recipe off some sweeter London or Southern English Brown recipes, but scaled it up a tad to bring the est ABV from 3.6 to about 5. I'm using London ale yeast and a little East Kent Goldings for the bittering addition.

7 lb 8 oz Marris Otter
1 lb Crystal, Extra Dark
12 oz Caramel 30L
8 oz Crystal Dark
8 oz Pale Chocolate malt
4 oz flaked oats

Does anything here jump out as a batch killer or potentially overpowering? Any input would be really appreaciated
 

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dwhite60

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Sounds like a porter. All that crystal it's going to be way dark and way sweet too.

I'd eliminate the crystal dark. I'd eliminate the caramel 30L. I'd reduce the 1# crystal, extra dark to 4 oz. I'd cut the pale chocolate to 6 oz., maybe even 4 oz. This should get you into Newcastle territory.

I'd also probably add another 1 to 1.5 pounds of Marris Otter.

Just my 2p.

All the Best,
D. White
 

rburrelli

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I agree with dwhite that it will be pretty dark and sweet with your current grist.
 

Dgallo

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I say remove all your dark crystals, use a lb of Caramunich II or III for some maltiness and cut down to 3/4oz of chocolate malt.
 

dwhite60

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I think most people way, way, overuse crystal. To me, 4 ounces in 2.5 gallons is all I want to use. There are other better ways to get color if required. I'm brewing 2.5 gallons of an American pale ale tomorrow and added one ounce of 60L just for color. It makes up .1 percent of the grain bill.

All the Best,
D. White
 

Brewsncrabs

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If you are looking for a big mouth feel, up the oats to 1/2 lb. and maybe toast them. Google Moose Drool for a great American Brown that would work great with pumpkin IMO. I have tweaked that recipe many times and it is good with English yeasts and med and dark British crystals. I use MO all of the time with it.
 

AJinJacksonville

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Sounds like a porter. All that crystal it's going to be way dark and way sweet too.

I'd eliminate the crystal dark. I'd eliminate the caramel 30L. I'd reduce the 1# crystal, extra dark to 4 oz. I'd cut the pale chocolate to 6 oz., maybe even 4 oz. This should get you into Newcastle territory.

I'd also probably add another 1 to 1.5 pounds of Marris Otter.

Just my 2p.

All the Best,
D. White
Agreed. I just brewed a brown a couple of months back...can't recall the exact grain bill...but I recall using 6oz of chocolate and it nailed those tones. Agreed on the MO too. You don't want to overpower the pumpkin. How do you plan on adding that? Any spices? I'm about to brew one from here under Punkin Ale (if you search for it). A bunch of tried and true recipes and tips on that post.
 
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MicMurphy

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I really appreciate all the feedback! Let me ask a question in terms of the color, sweetness, and style. If I wasn't married to the Brown Ale guidelines, and in fact was trying to brew something on the sweet side to make a dark pumpkin pie beer, would any of your opinions change? To put it the best way I know how, is this going to be a trainwreck of a beer, or do you think it could potentially turn out good and I am just mis-styling this beer? I already purchased and milled the grain (time constraints), but could easily be convinced to make some changes (omit some of the ingredients, change the amounts, etc...) based on all of your time tested experience. I think when I started to build this recipe, I was looking towards a porter without the roasty notes, which led me down the London Brown Ale path.... Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 
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MicMurphy

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If you are looking for a big mouth feel, up the oats to 1/2 lb. and maybe toast them. Google Moose Drool for a great American Brown that would work great with pumpkin IMO. I have tweaked that recipe many times and it is good with English yeasts and med and dark British crystals. I use MO all of the time with it.
I checked out some clones recipes for Moose Drool, and I'm marginally more comfortable with my choices. I'm definitely upping the oats and will likely make some other tweaks.
 
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MicMurphy

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Agreed. I just brewed a brown a couple of months back...can't recall the exact grain bill...but I recall using 6oz of chocolate and it nailed those tones. Agreed on the MO too. You don't want to overpower the pumpkin. How do you plan on adding that? Any spices? I'm about to brew one from here under Punkin Ale (if you search for it). A bunch of tried and true recipes and tips on that post.
I'm mashing in with 2 lb of canned pumpkin and rice hulls, am working on spices now based on lighter pumpkin beers I've done in the past. Cinnamon, fresh ginger, whole clove, a little nutmeg, vanilla bean all in the whirlpool... Ratios likely to be worked out tonight.
 

brewbama

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Base/base combination + 4% med caramel/crystal + 2-4% roasted chocolate/carafa is all I use in any brown/dunkel. The oats sound good though.

IMO there’s about a pound and a half or more too much caramel/crystal in the original recipe. Adding the holiday spices doesn’t change the basic recipe formula IMO.
 
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MicMurphy

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So I've eliminated the caramel 30 altogether and scaled down the dark and extra dark crystal quite a bit. Does this recipe seem reasonable? Thanks in advance to everyone for the guidance, I'm grateful to be able to draw from your collective experiences. Either way, HLT starts heating at 7a!

Best,
Mic
 

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GPNewBrew

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jamil (Classic Brews) has a good recipe called “nut castle” ( if I remember correctly). It utilizes Maris Otter as the base, and uses some special roast, a little Crystal 40L, a little Victory Malt (Biscuit), and a small amount of Pale Chocolate (150 SRM). I just brewed it today with EK Goldings for buttering and aroma, and Nottingham dry yeast. The color is real good. I think the Oat is too much for an English Brown.
 

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