Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Share your recipes, or ask for advice

Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:19 am

(very new brewer here)
I picked up an English brown ale kit. I tend to find commercial brown ales lacking in flavor for what I prefer, so a stronger/hoppier but not quite pale-ale-level-bitter is kind of what I am hoping to make.
Amount Name Type #
8.0 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM) Grain 1
6.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 2
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 3
2 lbs DME Sparkling Amber (Briess) (10.5 SRM) Grain 4
1.0 oz Brewer's Gold [9.0%] - Boil 55 min Hops 5
1.0 oz Goldings, East Kent [7.2%] - Boil 10 min Hops 6
3 lbs 3oz Maris Otter LME (Muntons) (Pale Liquid Extract numbers for calc) [Boil for 7 min] (8.0 SRM) Grain 7
1.0 oz Goldings, East Kent [7.2%] - Boil 5 min Hops 8
1 pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast 9

BeerSmith calculates that following the 'included' recipe (2.5gal boil, with all extract in right after steeping grains) will result in the IBU greatly exceeding the kit's estimated IBU as listed on the packaging, and greatly exceeding the IBU guidance for any kind of brown ale.
(question 1) Which IBU estimate is more likely to be correct, the kit or BeerSmith? Should I consider reducing steep time of the bittering hop?

The kit instructions calls for a boil of 2.5gal or "more if you can". But I have read that more boil volume will significantly increase the hop utilization.
(Question 2) Should I hold back some hops if I am doing a 4+gal boil?

It is often recommended to not add extracts until near the end of the boil, to improve hop flavor.
(Question 3) Should I hold back some hops if I am waiting till the end to add extracts?

I also picked up an aroma hop to do dry: 1.0 oz Fuggles [4.5%] - Dry Hop 14 days Hops 10
(Question 4) Any opinion on this, accounting for the fact that commercial browns are too mild for my tastes?
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby whitedj » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:15 pm

1- does beersmith know how much water your adding more water to top up the fermenter? sounds like a problem with the calculation. [also sugar content affects the hop utilization so late addition of extract will change IBU's]
2 + 3- a higher volume will increase hop utilization... but then again you do prefer more hoppy beers. if you do hold back it may be worth throwing the extra in at 20 minutes for some hop flavor. [the amount of time in the kettle that a hop sees will change how the beer tastes, 45+ min goes to bitterness; ~20 minutes goes to flavor and <5 minutes goes to aroma].
I'd suggest not throwing dry hops in until ~3-5 days before your ready to bottle. they can get weird flavors if left in beer for too long.

4- you could throw another ounce of hops in at 20 minutes and set your 10 minute addition to flame out (keep in ~15 minutes during cooling). to boost body and rostiness you could increase the chocolate malt (no more than ~.5 lb total) and crystal (keep under 1lb). you can always look at other brown ale recipes and mix yours up. Brewing classic styles is a good book for extract and AG recipes.

Great intro to brewing, and how a number of us got educated in beer. http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html
The guy who submitted a barley wine in the Furious competition...
whitedj
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Marion

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:18 pm

1) yes I played with BeerSmith to change the water to a half volume boil or a full boil and I also tested adding the malt at the beginning or at the end. IBU stayed outside of the standard range for brown ales, although it did fluctuate of course.

2-3-4) thanks for the suggestions there

I actually started by buying his book and I have read all the way up to the section about creating your own recipes from scratch. Lots of info to remember even after going over my notes and rereading a few sections!
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby whitedj » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:27 pm

What's your ibu level of the kit, and what is beer smith saying your at?
The guy who submitted a barley wine in the Furious competition...
whitedj
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Marion

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:30 pm

whitedj wrote:What's your ibu level of the kit, and what is beer smith saying your at?

    Kit:
    IBU 21-25
    OG 1.045-1.049
    ABV 4.25-4.75
my try at the recipe: IBU 50+

I did some more messing around with a duplicated copy of the recipe, to get it as close as possible to the "official" instructions in the kit, and I see where I got it wrong initially.
My error was in not setting the Top Up Water field under Fermentation / Bottling in the Water Vols area. I hadn't properly worked backwards to get it to auto-calculate the Estimated pre-boil Vol as the 2.5Gal which the kit specified. I needed to set Top Up Water to 3.8, which seems crazy for a 2.5gal start and 5.2gal ferment -- lots of evaporation!

It still doesn't match the kit guidance (21-25 IBU) though -- now it's at 27 IBU so at least that's in the ballpark.

The closest I can get the recipe to the kit's instructions results in BeerSmith giving the following estimates:
    IBU 27
    OG 1.04
    ABV 3.9
I'm probably theorycrafting too much and just need to go make it and see how it turns out for the G/ABV, and do my original ideas with the hops (maybe less time for the bittering hops so it's not an India X Ale, adjust malt/times so the estimated IBU is at 40 or so and I'd probably enjoy it).

Lessons learned: malt's effect on hop utilization, how to properly use Volumes in beersmith.
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby whitedj » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:29 am

yes. some things I care about a lot- like sanitation and chlorine in tap water.

Others are 'good enough' like IBU's are within 15-20% of the guidelines... nobody will notice that when sampling or judging beers. With hops it is more about the perceived bitterness (which gets into malt content, FG, water minerals... etc)
The guy who submitted a barley wine in the Furious competition...
whitedj
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Marion

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:55 am

Decided to add all but the bittering hops as a post-boil stand, and try a 4Gal boil in a 5.2 gal pot (haven't bought a dedicated brewing one yet). Learned how fast a boilover can happen even without any hops in yet. We'll see what it's like in a month or so.
    8.0 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM) Grain 1
    6.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 2
    4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 3
    2 lbs DME Sparkling Amber (Briess) (10.5 SRM) Grain 4
    1.0 oz Brewer's Gold [9.0%] - Boil 25 min Hops 5
    3.3 lbs Maris Otter LME (Muntons) [Boil for 1 min] (8.0 SRM) Grain 6
    1.0 oz Fuggles [4.5%] - Steep 20 min Hops 7
    1.0 oz Goldings, East Kent [7.2%] - Steep 20 min Hops 8
    1.0 oz Goldings, East Kent [7.2%] - Steep 20 min Hops 9
    1 pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast 10
    Estimated Bitterness: 51.9 IBUs
    Measured OG: 1.050
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby whitedj » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:12 am

Fermcap s is something to consider. It helps to reduce boil overs. Or extra blowout in fermentation and starters
The guy who submitted a barley wine in the Furious competition...
whitedj
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:53 pm
Location: Marion

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:49 pm

whitedj wrote:Fermcap s is something to consider. It helps to reduce boil overs. Or extra blowout in fermentation and starters

Ya, I read about that. The FDA issued guidance that it should not be used in beers which will not be filtered. Fermcap makes another one (AT) that they claim is OK for unfiltered beers, BUT, according to the product label, it is the exact same active agent that you are not supposed to consume ( Dimethylpolysiloxane ), perhaps emulsified in a different carrier, and they claim it will remain with the yeast/FILTER and not carry over into the final beer product -- so again, still needs to be filtered? It sounds to me like they are being disingenuous.
I'm not big on adding unnecessary chemicals just for minor convenience, and plan to forgo all of the carrageenan-based clarifiers also.
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby Steven P » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:58 am

Irish moss is a natural product and helps clarify. Depending on your water profile it can help tremendously
Cedar Rapids Beer Nuts Secretary

"Milk does a body good my ass. Beer is the healthier choice and hops are a wonderful medicine."
MattF
User avatar
Steven P
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:51 am
Location: Cedar Rapids

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:37 am

Steven P wrote:Irish moss is a natural product and helps clarify. Depending on your water profile it can help tremendously

Yup, Irish Moss is a natural product made from seaweed, and the active compound in it is chemically known as carrageenan.
I have read that clarity can have a positive effect on longer-term shelf stability, so I may have to find a non-potentially-toxic way to do it in the future. Is it true that this is much less important when doing extract brewing versus AG?
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby Steven P » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:57 am

Sounds anecdotal to me.
Cedar Rapids Beer Nuts Secretary

"Milk does a body good my ass. Beer is the healthier choice and hops are a wonderful medicine."
MattF
User avatar
Steven P
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:51 am
Location: Cedar Rapids

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby andrewmaixner » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:04 am

Steven P wrote:Sounds anecdotal to me.

The benefit of clarity in shelf stability, or a difference in clarity/stability between extract/AG, or all the above?
User avatar
andrewmaixner
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby DrPaulsen » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:55 am

I've read articles that indicate clarity is related to shelf life, but the phenomena with which they're concerned are of interest primarily to industrial brewers. Clarity is likely a tertiary factor for us homebrewers when we think about shelf life (Sanitation & Oxidation would be #1 & 2).
DrPaulsen
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 2:55 pm
Location: Cedar Rapids

Re: Brown Ale recipe advice/questions

Postby DrPaulsen » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:58 am

In my experience fining agents are more important in extract brews than AG. Not sure I can explain why.
DrPaulsen
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 2:55 pm
Location: Cedar Rapids


Return to Recipes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron