Saturday, April 30, 2016

Shoulder Season Brown Ale

It's that time of year again, time to brew a Brown Ale. Truth be told, I wish I had started this two months ago, but time has not been on my side so this beer will be enjoyed in 2016.  And that's ok!  As per usual, a Brown Ale with a malt-forward  character is on the brain.

I recently  read about a brew using more than one sugar, lets run with that.  I also have some Vermont maple syrup from Uncle Leo in hand, he wanted a beer from that and I'm feeling a little crazy.  Plus, my boy butch loves his honey malt and I've never used it, I'll pay homage to him in this beer, then we will drink it.
Malt forward, caramel  and dark fruits, rum flavors to accent, light fruity esters...I'm so thirsty.  Been in a car getting limo'd from JFK to Newark for 2 hours after 8 hours in the cockpit.   I'm calling this beer,  my butt hurts Brown Ale.
The plan is a 10 gallon split batch.  Half gets a 30 minute boil and is off to the FauxMouth Solera project.  Plus, Solera beer gets 1# flaked oats steeped up to boil.
Leaving .5G of that big infested Faux Lambic juice behind and rack right on the beer and fourth gen yeast cake, and add a new pitch of lacto to help that process along. No worries on autolysis, its Brett food!
The other half will get a 90 minute boil and all the sugar, a pitch on British ale yeast of some sort, fermented appropriately and landing in the high teens.  Even a low 20 brew for Fall/Winter will be delectable.  If it's too sweet, 3711 to finish.
Let's begin
12 lbs Marris Otter
2 lbs Victory
2 lbs Brown Malt
1 lbs Honey Malt (your welcome Butch)
.5 lbs C60
.5 lbs Special B (or 120)
.25 lbs Pale Chocolate
Then the clean beer gets
.25 lbs of Dark Brown Sugar, Demarera sugar and Molasses  in the boil.  Then .25 Vermont Maple Syrup near the end of primary to keep more of the aromatics in play.
I could bottle the clean brew with some of the Maple Syrup as well if I don't get as much Maple as I'd like.  Food for thought.
Clean OG/FG - 1058/1018
IBU - target 20 with Warrior
SRM - 24
ABV - 5.5
Solera OG/FG - 1050/100?
Just a few hop pellets for good measure.
Mash at 158.
No starters required - but if I have time I'll do a 500ml day of, also for good measure.

Let's begin.

Brew Day!  11/17/15
Gorgeous autumn Cape Cod day.  Mom is visiting.  Macy is assisting.
Mashed 156 for 90.
Split sparge
Sparging 7 for clean Brown
Sparging 4.5 for dirty as it is getting pitched to ~.75G yeast faux-lambic I racked.

Preboil clean - 1052: boil started at 1130. 1oz northern brewer at 75. Parental duties took boil to 120 (Macy is a genius) OG - 1068 Rehydrated safale 04 and pitched at 65.

Dirty - no hop. 30 min soft boil. OG - 1048, 10B L.Acidophilus at 90.  Pitched to solera at 80. Added 200ml second gen BrettC slurry....should have steeped a pound of flaked for thought if its too thin.

D1 clean - ripping. 
D1 dirty - dead. Added dregs lambic cherry, Belgian Sour 2015, yogurtweisse, more 100% brettC, and krausen of clean Brown.
D3 - dirty - rippin.  Fruity aroma from airlock.  No krausen forming, just a rigorous fermentation. 68.

11/21/15 - just had my first Cigar City Beer.  Maduro.  Amazing!   2.5% roasted malt in the next iteration.
12/1/15 - tastes solid.  Brix 11???  Obviously a ways to go.  Def a significant residual sugar on the lips.  Will check back in 2 weeks.  The flavor is very full, with a lovey malty bouquet and depth.  Cold and carbed this will work.  Gave a love swirl.  Still sold on the roasted barley in this recipe.  If we are stalled, I'll call Uncle Brett to finish the job.  Fun to split the batch if I go that route and bottle half then pitch the Brett.

12/12/15 - added 200ml French Saison Slurry to clean Brown

12/13-20: St. Maarten

12/22/15 - airlock active in clean brown

12/23/15 - first tasting of dirty brown - now this is most interesting!  Big Pablano or chipotle pepper aroma and flavor!  Plenty of malt in this, but this phenolic character is a trip!  Light tart characteristics as well, no perceivable off flavors.

1/8/16 - clean Brown off to barrel - the french saison took it down to 1014!  Its a bit edgey and lacking in depth - the barrel will compliment perfectly.  Rum and oak would have worked as well.

Feb - added 2 lbs Vermont Maple Syrup and transferred to keg.  Delish.

April - took keg out of fridge in March and have been purging.

Late April - back on gas - the beer is good, but lacking the depth of flavor Id hoped for.  The sugar adds and the french saison took this beer in a direction I did not intend to go and left me fixing instead of enjoying.  It is a nice brown ale and perhaps with some age the edgy quality if possess will fade, but it didnt have to be along term project.

Moving forward Id just add molasses to get molasses character/complexity if thats the goal as thats the underlying flavor component of all those different sugars anyway then use sugar or fermentation to attenuate appropriately.

No tatsting notes at this stage, not worth it for a mediocre attempt.  Maybe in 6 months during the next shoulder season.  C+ on this one.

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