Jeff's Brown Ale

>> Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm posting this a little late, but I did my first all-grain batch on 08/13/2006. The recipe I chose was Jeff's Brown Ale. I chose this recipe because it was relatively simple and the guys at Basic Brewing Radio seemed to really like it. I did have to modify the recipe slightly because of availability of ingredients at my local brew shop. Here's the recipe as I made it:

Yield: 5 Gal.
OG: 1.044
IBU: 41.7
SRM: 22.6

Specialty Malts:
1.00 lb. Briess Crystal 60L
0.50 lb. Briess Chocolate Malt

All Grain Base:
9.25 lbs. Maris Otter Pale 2 Row

1 oz. Centennial @ 60 Minutes 8.1AAU
0.5 oz. Fuggles @ 20 Minutes 4.2AAU
0.25 oz. Fuggles @ 5 Minutes 4.2AAU
0.25 oz. Fuggles 4.2AAU dry-hopped in secondary

White Labs WLP002 English Ale

All in all the process was much more simple than I had anticipated. As far as lessons learned:

1. I thought I'd heated enough water for the hot liquor tank. When I went to pour it in, it turned out I'd only boiled about 4 gallons worth, which seemed to not be quite enough.
2. I'm still using my water-bath canner as my boil kettle. It's not large enough to do a full boil; bite the bullet and buy a bigger kettle.
3. In all the excitement, I forgot to do my iodine test to make sure all the starches had been converted to sugars.
4. I had a very small amount of leaking around the ball valves on the mashtun and HLT. I'd guess maybe a drip or two or three from each. Not a big deal, but I may need to redesign the bulkhead attachment slightly.

Here's an overview of the process and a couple pics:

1. I heated 11 quarts of water to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and poured the water into my mashtun.
2. I slowly added the grain to the mashtun, stirring to avoid dough balls. I checked the temperature in the mashtun and it was 151 degrees.
3. Put the top on the mashtun and let it sit for an hour.
4. Heated sparge water to 170 and poured it into my HLT. The HLT was then placed on top of my fridge, the mashtun on the kitchen table, and the kettle on the kitchen floor.
5. Connected my sparge arm to the HLT. Opened the ball valve on the mashtun and collected the first runnings. They were extremely clear and did not appear to contain any husks.
6. I gently returned the first runnings to the mash tun so as not to disturb the grain bed.
7. Opened the ball valve on the HLT and began sparge. Was able to match sparge inflow to mashtun outflow fairly closely.
8. Once the brew kettle was full, it's basically the same as making an extract batch.


The Mashtun


Brew Kettle

08/14/2006 morning - Slow bubbling in air lock; approx one per 2-7 seconds
08/14 evening - continuous bubbling
08/15 morning through 08/16 evening - continuous bubbling
08/18 evening - bubbling slowed to one per 30+ seconds; racked to secondary
08/19 morning - decided to dry hop with remainng .25 oz of fuggles. I'd never tried dryhopping before. I figured I'd give it a try and start with a relatively conservative amount.

Recipe Feedback 12/06/2006
I liked this one quite a bit. It's definitely a dark fairly strong ale. My wife said it reminds her of coffee.

Rating: C+/B-