Adventures in Homebrew: English Brown Ale
by Kevin – Beer and Coding in Eugene

Last night, my friend (and Ninkasi cellar man) Louie and I brewed the latest beer in my series of session strength ales; an English Brown. For those of you who live and die by style guidelines, yes, it was a conscious decision to omit the Northern/Southern prefix. With the dark crystal malts of a London-style Brown and the nutty toasted grains of a Northern, my geographically challenged brown beer falls somewhere between the two recognized styles.

English Brown Ale

Batch Size: 5.0 gallons
Boil Volume: 6.5 gallons

7 lb Crisp Maris Otter (80%)
8 oz Briess Special Roast (5.7%)
8 oz Crisp British Crystal 55-65 (5.7%)
8 oz Hugh Baird British Crystal 135-165 (5.7%)
4 oz Crisp Pale Chocolate (2.9%)

1.0 oz Goldings (4.5 AA%) @ 60
0.5 oz Sterling (7.9 AA%) @ 15
0.5 oz Goldings (4.5 AA%) @ Flame Out, steeped for 20 minutes

1 pt slurry of Wyeast 1469 – West Yorkshire (Timothy Taylor)

Estimated Efficiency: 68%
Estimated Attenuation 75%
Estimated OG: 1.044
Estimated FG: 1.011
Estimated ABV: 4.3%
Estimated IBU: 28
Estimated SRM: 18

Mash @ 152º(F) for 1 hour

Ferment @ 68º(F)

As with my British-ish Bitter, the brew session was plagued by high winds, resulting in a huge amount of evaporation. 6.5 gallons of wort went into the kettle, 4 survived to the fermenter. I thought about leaving the considerable stronger wort at 1.054, but decided to top off the fermenter and put myself back into the session range. 3 quarts of water were added, giving us a final volume of 4.75 gallons at 1.046. That works out to a completely acceptable 67% efficiency.

The ale received about a pint of 3rd gen Timothy Taylor (Wyeast 1469) yeast slurry, harvested from the British-ish Bitter. Within a few hours, the airlock was bubbling away and a thin krausen had formed. Now that the fermenter is generating heat, it has been moved to the conditioning closet where bottles of my bitter are struggling to carb at a less than optimal temperature.

I am planning on brewing once more with the yeast before dumping it and starting over with a new gen 2 start. I haven’t decided yet if I want to go for a forth session ale, or take advantage of the entire cake for an English Strong Ale or Barleywine. Or perhaps, in my typical day-late fashion, I will start a Winter Warmer that should be ready to drink some time in late spring. Suggestions?


Beer and Coding