Saturday, July 12, 2008

Homebrewed Brown Ale - Initial Taste Test

Today was brewing day - my wife and I made a batch of mead, which we plan to add apricots to, and then we made a strong Scottish Ale. They're both finished, and the yeast are happily fermenting. Since today was brewing day, I decided to pop the top on the first beer of my last batch - a brown ale. I brewed this batch back in mid-June, and it's been carbonating for about 10 days. Based on my totally unbiased opinion, it's perfect! Slightly sweet with some caramel flavor, a little nutty, and a nice hop finish, balance out the ale. As you can see in the photo, it had a healthy tan head, and poured a deep brown. Here's the recipe I used to make 2.5 gallons:
3.3 lbs Briess Sparkling Amber LME
4 oz Crystal Malt 120L
2 oz Black Patent Malt
1 oz Willamette Hops for bittering
1/4 oz Amarillo Hops for finishing
Danstar Windsor Yeast
Corn Sugar for priming
I steeped the malt grains in a gallon of water on the stove, until they reached 165 degrees, then pulled them out. I then heated the wort to boiling, and added the Willamette hops. After 45 minutes, I added the LME, and 10 minutes later, the Amarillo hops. Total boil time was an hour. I then cooled the wort, and added it to a gallon of water in my fermenter, then topped it off to 2.5 gallons total. In went the yeast, and I let it sit in the fermenter for a couple of weeks before bottling. I primed the bottles with corn sugar, and let it carbonate for 10 days.
I normally let a beer sit in the bottles for 2 full weeks before tasting, but today I couldn't wait. I think the rest will be going in the fridge soon.

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