Janet's Brown Ale

>> Saturday, March 30, 2013

Today I'm brewing a version of Janet's Brown Ale. This is based on the gold medal recipe from The Brewing Network's Mike "Tasty" McDole. This beer was his late wife's favorite brew, and it's named after her. It's described as an American Brown Ale which tends to be hoppier than an English Brown. This one even pushes the hop limits for an American Brown but I've been craving some hoppy beers lately so I'm looking forward to it.

I ran into a little hiccup on my version. I adjusted the recipe for my efficiency and went to the LHBS to pick up my specialty grains. When I got home I threw them on my digital scale and I was almost eight ounces short of my target. I measured each one closely but this shop doesn't have digital scales so I must have messed up on at least one of them; I suspect they're all a bit shy. Since I didn't know which one, I decided to make up the difference with base malt. I still think this is going to be a great beer, but it'll probably be a tad lighter brown than intended and also a tad higher ABV. This is the first time doing a mash hop addition. It's said it gives it a different bitterness profile than boil hops (smoother is one description) so I'm excited to try it out. It's also the first time using Patagonia Malt. I guess the LHBS has carried it for a little while but I just didn't notice it. I was planning on using Crisp's Chocolate Malt but decided to give this a try.

Below is the intended recipe, not exactly as I brewed it:

10.03 # Briess Pale 2-row Malt
1.04 # Briess Crystal 40L
1.04 # Briess Carapils
0.83 # Rahr White Wheat Malt
0.42 # Patagonia Chocolate Malt
1.00 oz (28g) Northern Brewer (Mash Hop)
1.25 oz (36g) Northern Brewer (60 min)
1.00 oz (28g) Northern Brewer (15 min)
1.50 oz (43g) Cascade (10 min)
1.50 oz (43g) Cascade (0 min)
2.00 oz (57g) Centennial (Dry Hop)
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
WLP001 California Ale Yeast in a 1.120L starter

Mash at 154F. 60 minute boil. Ferment at 67F

Brewing Notes
Other than the recipe hiccup, everything went well on this batch. Since I kind of screwed up the recipe, I'm not going to bother trying to figure out my efficiency on this batch. The color doesn't seem too far off for a brown ale, so that was a relief.

Update 3/31/2013
I checked on the fermentation this afternoon and as you can see it's pretty active. I normally ferment with the lid on but the gasket on my conical broke before the last brew session. I ordered a replacement but it hasn't arrived yet. I don't get a very good seal without the gasket, so it's less messy without the lid than trying to use a blow-off hose. This beer smells fantastic so I'm looking forward to trying it.

Update 5/18/2013
I put this beer on tap a couple weeks ago for National Homebrew Day. I can see why this brew has won so many awards. I'll definitely be brewing this one again.