Posts Tagged 'american brown'

PM#10 – Way to Amarillo Brown Ale


Most of the dark beers that I brew tend to be of the English variety – milds, bitters etc. As much as I like those styles of beers I always find myself asking “I wonder what this would taste like with a huge blast of Amarillo or Cascade?”. I suppose I just love that American hop flavour. I’ve had my eye on an American brown ale recipe in Jamil’s “Brewing Classic Styles” since I bought the book over a year ago. For one reason or another, I never got round to doing it. This time though, I’m determined to use lots of my fresh 2012 Amarillo hops in this brown ale recipe. I’ll be making just a few changes to the published recipe, replacing the Nugget bittering hops with Magnum and adding an extra charge of Amarillo, just because I don’t think you can have too much Amarillo in any beer. I’ll use pale chocolate malt instead of regular chocolate malt as the US chocolate malt tends to be kilned a little lighter than the varieties we get here. I used a smaller amount of pale chocolate malt in a recent mild I did and I really liked the result. Plenty of my favourite specialty malt in Jamil’s recipe too – biscuit malt! I’ll be following Jamil’s bitterness-gravity ratio and hopefully this will make a tasty, hoppy beer.


Boil Size: 16.00 l
Post Boil Volume: 14.11 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l
Bottling Volume: 20.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated Color: 19.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 65.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


2.000 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) 48.5 %
0.300 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) 7.3 %
0.225 kg Pale Chocolate Malt (300.0 SRM) 5.5 %
0.200 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 4.8 %
0.200 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) 4.8 %
0.150 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) 3.6 %
0.100 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 75L (75.0 SRM) 2.4 %
10 g Magnum [14.20 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 20.1 IBUs
0.950 kg Light Dry Extract [Boil for 20 min](8.0), 23.0 %
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
25 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 7.7 IBUs
25 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 6.4 IBUs
50 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)

Mash & Brew Day 29/03/2013 – Mash and boil conducted together. Treated 17 litres of water using campden tablet and set aside 6 litres of sparge water in small pot. Doughed-in at 74°C and after a little adjustment with both hot and cold water, settled at a mash temperature of 67°C. Sparged again in my 15 litre fermenter and allowed to steep for 10 minutes or so. The wort had that distinctive cooked corn smell you get when using CaraPils. Wort is a fantastic colour – deep mahogany. Topped-up to just under the 20 litre mark and got an OG of 1.050. Pitched about 500ml of US-05 slurry from the Downtown Train Pale Ale and a big fermentation had taken off less than 12 hours later. Nothing to report apart from my immersion chiller dismantling in front of my eyes and spraying water all the kitchen, just a loose jubilee clip.

09/04/2013 – I got only 33 bottles out of this batch which is surprising for what was supposed to be a 33 litre batch. Had slow siphon problems again – this time the culprit was those funny little seeds that you sometimes get in hops. I need to do some research on what these actually are. Primed with 130g glucose.

24/04/2013 – First taste. It might have been whatever I’d eaten or drank beforehand, but this hasn’t turned out at all like I expected. I expected a bit of a hop bomb but it’s like the chocolate malt is masking the hop flavour. Maybe it needs a couple more weeks conditioning, but with the huge amount of Amarillo that went into this, I expected it to be a more hop dominated beer. Though it is very tasty – the pale chocolate malt and crystal are making themelves known. Try again in a couple of weeks. Maybe row back on the chocolate malt next time.

23/06/2013 – Someone tasting this remarked that it reminded them of another beer, which happened to be a black IPA. After I reeoved this feedback, I can’t get the thought out of my head and I’m now myself thinking of this as a scaled-down version of a black IPA. It’s got quite a subtle roast flavour, but it doesn’t use an de-husked roasted malts, as most black IPA recipes seem to include. I presume this is because the pale chocolate malt is more subtle than the regular version. The flavours seem to have softened and mingled a little more and I think it’s drinking a lot better. It’s funny though, how someone else’s comments can change your perception of your own beer.

06/07/2013 – Wonderful stuff. A few months aging have really done wonders for this beer. It’s definitely got overtones of ‘black IPA’. Hops and caramel melting into each other, but some lovely notes of coffee and chocolate also.

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