Christmas Brown Ale

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Pete-Hoff, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. Pete-Hoff

    Pete-Hoff New Member

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    I would appreciate some feedback on this Christmas Brown Ale recipe I have put together. Never brewed a brown ale / Christmas ale before and wanted to take a shot at this year. A buddy of mine gave me his chinook hops he grew and figured I'd try something new with them this year instead of an IPA like I have done in the years past.

    Thanks!!

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1062985/a-winter-warmer
     
  2. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I would be inclined to cut back the IBU by about 10 points. Reducing your Chinook hop addition from 0.75 to 0.5 should do it.

    Also, I might be inclined to simplify the grain bill a bit. Is there a particular reason for using Crystal 40, 80, and 120? You could probably get a similar result just using 80. I like the use and quantity of Carafa malt.

    One ingredient that is often used in the type of recipe is some sort of dark sugar, such as Black Treacle, molasses, or dark Belgian candy sugar. This will lighten the body just a bit and add some subtle aroma and flavor. If you decide to try it, you might substitute a half pound for one of the crystal additions.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
     
  3. Pete-Hoff

    Pete-Hoff New Member

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    I can definitely pull some of the chinook out to drop the IBU.

    For the crystal, I used a similar blend in an amber ale that turned out very well. When doing some research for a Brown Ale, I read somewhere that Brown Ale is similar to that of an Amber ale, so I used my Amber Ale as a starting place. Is that true about those two styles?

    Not sure if that was the best starting place so I’m open to changing things up.
     
  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I see you have just the one response on this topic. I have never brewed a brown ale before, so I don't have anything to offer on this. I was looking at the spice additions though, and it seems like too many conflicting flavors. Having said that, the spice mix looks more like a pumpkin ale spice mix. My Christmas Ale gets cinnamon and ginger, and some sugar to bump up the alcohol, and thin it out a bit. I personally don't care for Pumpkin Ales, so unfortunately I can't comment on your recipe if this is what you are going for.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I like ginger and orange zest together for christmas beer, maybe a touch of vanilla or lactose....
     
  6. Pete-Hoff

    Pete-Hoff New Member

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    I had thought about adding some vanilla, never thought about lactose though.
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I prefer higher mash temperatures to leave more dextrines in the beer. The saliva in your mouth then breaks the dextrines down and makes sugar, making the beer taste sweet. But if I can't do that, lactose is unfermentable and if you put enough of it in, sweet.
     
  8. Pete-Hoff

    Pete-Hoff New Member

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    What temp do you consider a high mash temp? Like 158?
     
  9. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    @Nosybear has much more experience on this so grain of salt with what I’m saying. My Christmas ale I mashed at 155 for that reason.
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I typically mash the darker beers that I want to have some body around 155-156.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    158 sounds good, you can go as high as 162.
     
  12. Pete-Hoff

    Pete-Hoff New Member

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    I gotcha thank you.
     
  13. Pete-Hoff

    Pete-Hoff New Member

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    Brewed this today. Ended up going with 1lb of C-80 with 0.25lb of C-120. Hit the OG dead on. Tasted a little bitter which might have from not knowing the exact alpha-acid of the chinook hops. Had the aroma I was going for so well see come about 2 weeks from now.
     
    Sunfire96 and Josh Hughes like this.
  14. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    That’s awesome
     

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