Since I love Browns so much, I decided that I’d like to have one or two "signature" beers that I brew often - tweaking the recipes until I’ve got them just right. Old Brown Shoe, therefore, has been deemed one of those beers.
This time I changed the Crystal Malt to British Dark Crystal 120L (sounds like a movie title) and increased the amount to 2 pounds. Also, since the last incarnation was a ligher brown than I wanted, I added in 4 oz. of black patent. The hops I kept relatively the same but went with, out of necessity since the brewstore was out of Crystal, Mt. Hood for the finish hops. To impart some extra sweetness I added some brown sugar to the boil.
Unfortunately, I missed the boat with brewing a brown this time around. Actually, upon looking at the ingredient list, calculating the bitterness, and figuring out the alcohol content, this beer actually turned out to be more of a robust porter. Therefore, I’m reclassifiying it. Nonetheless, the beer is very good. It’s going to take me a few tries to get a brown where I want it, but as porters go, this one is pretty damn tasty. No wonder the brew store employee asked me if I was brewing a porter...friggin’ A.
Next time, to brew a true Northern English Brown, I’ll ease up on the bittering hops, reducing them down to 1 ounce or so. The other hop additions should also be cut down, probably in half. Additionally, I think I’ll omit the black patent and roasted barley, change up the crystal from 120 to 40 or 60, and reduce the chocolate malt in half. I may consider adding some biscuit malt to round out the flavor. Harumph!
The wort is very dark - which is what I’m going for. Since this was an extract brew, and I could not boil all 5 gallons in the brewpot, the color diluted a bit when I added the wort to the primary. After about 15 hours, vigirous fermentation began.
After 7 days in the primary, I racked all 5 gallons to the secondary making sure to strain out any stray trub (February 27, 2006).
Racked to keg and forced carbonated after 9 days in secondary (March 8, 2006). Beer is a very dark brown - nearly black but not quite - and opaque at this early stage. Definately not your typical brown. As for taste, the beer is sweet and fruity, with a floral hop nose and a pleasant aftertaste. Reminds me of Pete’s Wicked Ale. It’s more of a porter than a brown, however. No worries.
By April 15, 2006 the brew has matured and is very easy to drink. Bitterness has mellowed out, but is still pronounced.
After 6 weeks of aging, this beer is excellent and it packs a punch. Smooth, creamy head. Nice balance of bitterness and maltiness. Big flavor.
|Amount||Extract||% of Grist|
|6.00 pounds||LME - Light||67.8%|
|6.00 pounds||Total Extract Weight||67.8% of grist|
|2.00 pounds||British Dark Crystal Malt||22.6%|
|0.50 pounds||British Chocolate Malt||5.6%|
|0.25 pounds||British Black Patent Malt||2.8%|
|0.10 pounds||British Roasted Barley||1.1%|
|2.85 pounds||Total Grain Weight||32.2%|
|1 tsp.||Gypsum||60 minutes|
|2.00 ounces||Kent Golding||60 min||6.2%|
|1.00 ounces||Fuggle||60 min||4.2%|
|1.00 ounces||Mount Hood||3 min||3.2%|
|4.00 ounces||Total Hop Weight|
|Dry English Ale||White Labs||Liquid||35 ml|