Back To My Roots: Brewing Beer: The Brown Ale

This is my second post of my new “Back To My Roots” Brewing Beer” series. In these posts I will explain the styles of beer I plan on brewing at the Cool Luckett Brewery as well as provide information on brewing techniques. Hope you enjoy! Don’t worry, relax, have a homebrew!

The Story:

Until recently, I had always found the brown ale style to be quite boring. I always had the mindset that why would I drink a brown ale when I could drink a more “flavorful” and “robust” porter? I tried many brown ale’s over the years and I just never found them complex enough for me to purchase.

I decided I wanted to open up my mind. That’s the beauty of craft beer. There are so many different versions of the brown ale out there that I knew there would be one that would turn my mind around about the style. The beer was the Brooklyn Brown Ale. I finally understood the style and why people love these nutty, toasty, caramel, fruity beers! What an incredibly sessionable beer!

I decided it was about time I brewed one of these brown ales.

Some commercial Brown Ale’s to seek out: Brooklyn Brown, Foothills Low Down Brown, Bell’s Best Brown.

The Recipe:

There are two distinct types of brown ales. Southern English Brown Ale are generally darker, sweater, and lower in gravity. Northern English Brown Ale’s are usually drier, hopier, and higher in gravity. They also tend to have more of a “nutty” characteristic.

I decided I wanted to make a Northern English Brown Ale for the added hoppiness, higher alcohol content, and that nutty characteristic.

Crushed grain bill. You want to just crush the husks of the barley, not shred to powder.

Crushed grain bill. You want to just crush the husks of the barley, not shred to powder.

Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 45.71 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 11.43 %
1.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 11.43 %
0.50 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 5.71 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 5.71 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 5.71 %
0.50 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5.71 %
0.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5.71 %
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2.86 %

1.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (60 min) Hops 25.3 IBU
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (15 min) Hops 7.5 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (15 min) Hops 4.2 IBU

1 Pkgs British Ale (White Labs #WLP005) Yeast-Ale

As you can see this a malt dominated beer. I had a bunch of Crystal Malt left over from years ago so I decided to use 3 different levels of C-malt(really just deals with how dark a color is imparted), to enhance any caramel flavors. Then added some biscuit and Victory malt to impart some biscuity/toasty notes. Followed by some flaked oats to give it a creamy mouthfeel. Last I used some chocolate malt to impart that nutty flavor.

Est Original Gravity: 1.060 SG

Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG

Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.58 %

Bitterness: 37.1 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint

Est Color: 20.4 SRM

The Brew Day

The brew day went pretty well except for a few difficulties. Again I struggled to figure out how to control the temperature of the burner. I ended up mashing around 165 plus for the whole mash. I wanted to mash pretty high to have a heavy body, but was aiming for 158.

The Equipment

The Equipment

The Mash: Submerging the crushed barley into heated water to convert the starch in the grains to fermentable sugar.

The Mash: Submerging the crushed barley into heated water to convert the starch in the grains to fermentable sugar.

The Boil: Boiling Wort(Brewer's term for sugar water). Brewer's make wort, yeast makes beer.

The Boil: Boiling Wort(Brewer’s term for sugar water). Brewer’s make wort, yeast makes beer.

Other than struggling to hit the mash temp this was a fairly straight forward brew. Very excited to see how the grain bill turns out!

I will let this beer and my Rye Saison ferment for a month before kegging them the first week of school. I have high hopes for both of these beers!

Next Brew:

Things I have planned for the Fall:

Return of our Mellow Moods Pale Ale

Forsythia’s Chocolate Bourbon Stout: Aged on cocoa nibbs and bourbon soaked wood chips.

Kolsh

Oatmeal Porter

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