British Brown Ale with body

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by The Green Man, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Hello Brewers, It's taken me a while but I'm on the verge of brewing again. I have moved continents and finally have a new set-up and am going to try this recipe. It's a British Brown Ale, but is bit darker with more body than the average for the style and it's slightly hoppier too...at least that is the idea. It would be an American version....I think....except that the hops are EKG.
    I'm going for it with water chemistry too (well more than I have so far;)). Treating my strike water overnight with quarter of a campden tablet. These tabs are Sodium metabisulphite rather than Sodium metabisulphate...anyone any ideas about the difference here?. I think this tablet is usually used in wine at the end of fermentation, but I'm guessing I'm ok to use it to drive off chloramine and free chlorine in my tap water (water profile added) here in much smaller concentrations.
    Also, adding gypsum and calcium chloride to the strike water to get a malty taste.
    Anyway, link to the recipe is below:

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/702777/dorset-brown-ale

    Any and all feedback welcome and appreciated: the good, the bad and not so ugly, please.:D
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I just brewed something similar recently. And used some calcium chloride for the first time. About half a teaspoon.

    The Campden should be good, I don't think you need to leave it over night though. It works pretty fast.

    My one suggestion would be to simplify the malt bill a little bit
     
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  3. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    I like oats in my brews, but with the Wheat Malt, do you think it might be over-kill? What do you think?
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Re water treatment: A single Campden tab is good for 20 gallons of water. A 5-gallon brew uses about 10, so a quarter tab might be a bit too little for the water. It works in seconds, stir it in and brew. It's metabisulfite you're looking for. To the recipe, it'll make a good beer, my only concern would be that there are too many strongly-flavored malts in there, might come out a bit "brown", if you'll pardon the pun.
     
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  5. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Thanks Nosybear, I was hoping for 'Malt complexity', but maybe I'm heading for 'Malt confusion'. Perhaps Munich is the one to drop and compensate with more MO? Chocolate, Crystal and Amber seem to be the Brown Ale essentials anyway. I'm adding wheat and thought of adding the oats for head retention and mouthfeel.

    I forgot to factor in boil off and grist absorption. Of course, half a tab is the way to go. Thanks.
     
  6. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I used a lb of flaked oats, no wheat. Idk about overkill if you simplify things elsewhere
     
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  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Fwiw, one of my earlier brown ales had about 6 specialty malts in it, plus some jaghery sugar. I just liked the descriptions of each malt
    It wasn t bad, but it was definitely brown tasting like most said
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's kind of what I was thinking - the Munich is a bit of a different dimension than the others.
     
  9. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Well, this is now 5 weeks from brew day, 3 weeks on the yeast and 2 in the bottle. Very happy to announce that it is a keeper. I was aiming at a darker Brown Ale. One of my favourites is Hobgoblin, which markets itself as a 'Ruby Ale', though I've heard that it actually is a Brown Ale. But, anyway, who cares about names? It tastes great and I was gunning for a Hobgoblin-esque ale.
    We have a budget supermarket in the UK called Aldi that stocks a decent range of ales and they stock a 'Ruby Ale' called Medusa. This latest creation of mine is very close to this. I hadn't tried Medusa until last night, so it is more coincidence than anything else...
    It is very dark and very tasty. I reduced the Munich in the end, but kept it in though. As predicted, it is a Malt explosion, which is really what I was hoping for. Definitely an ale for cold and increasingly dark, Autumn evenings.:D
    Using a new set-up, my mash temps were probably on the high side and resulted in a high FG of 1.020, but the ale doesn't taste sweet, so I believe (and am praying at the same time;)) that it has fermented out.
     
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  10. JT_YYC

    JT_YYC Member

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    I'm also brewing 13 litres right now. The recipe looks good. A nice spread of malts and good break down of base and other malts. I also like doing FWH. As for your mash in volume, is that your normal volume? I am normally mashing in at 6-9 L (between 2 and 3 L/Kg), so that seems quite high to me anyways.
     
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  11. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Hello, thanks for the kind comments. This brew is really deepening in flavour, it is now somewhere between and a deep brown ale and a porter. It actually seems to be getting sweeter, if anything. Very flavourful.
    As for mashing, I tried a looser mash with this, as I have new equipment which has enabled me to up the volumes. I found with 2L per kg I wasn't getting good efficiency with my smaller batches. I think some people go up to 6L per kg. My last brew a stout was probably 18L to a bit over 5kg grist and seemed pretty good. It reached target pre-boil gravity.
    I remember that my boil was very vigorous with this batch and my final volume was quite a lot lower than I envisaged. I'm still experimenting with my set-up though...
     
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  12. JT_YYC

    JT_YYC Member

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    Being in the UK, with the humidity such that it is an island, I would expect the boil off rate to be on the lower side. I would bet that if you were to mash in with 13.2L, and sparge with 6.6L, Your boil start volume would be closer to 19.7L. I would suspect, with these calculations you would get a lot closer to final volume of 13L.

    I built a spreadsheet that calculates mash in volume, sparge volume, boil start volume, and the lot. Its not perfect, but based on personal trials, it has yet to lead me astray!
     

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