Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Brewday: Captain Slow's Southern English Brown

I tend to brew two batches a month, usually a week apart. This allows me to pitch the second, usually stronger, beer onto the yeast cake from the first batch. I reversed the gravities a bit this month, but the principle was the same.

The upcoming AHA Club Competition is a style that I don't particularly like and never, ever brew: English Mild and Brown Ales. But hey, time for a challenge. Maybe I'll make one I like. And Meredith has been clambering for a weaker session beer to keep on tap here. I've never even made a Brown before, so I didn't have a proven recipe to work from. So I looked at the ingredients I had. Looked at some recipes. Compared the two and decided on the Southern English Brown from Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles.

Southern English Brown is a weird category and a dying beer style. There are no commercial examples in the U.S. and only a few in the U.K.. Basically it's somewhere between a Sweet Stout and a Mild. So it's a caramelly, malty, dark, and low gravity pub session ale. Something I think that James May might like. So I'm dedicating this one to Captain Slow.

Captain Slow's Southern English Brown

6 gallon All Grain
Est O.G. 1.042
Act O.G. 1.044
Est F.G. 1.011
Act F.G. probably 1.013
25 SRM
16 IBU
4% ABV
  • 7 lbs Pale Malt (preferably British)
  • 1 lb Crystal 80
  • 10 oz Crystal 120
  • 5 oz Victory Malt
  • 3 oz Special Roast (subbed Victory for missing Special Roast)
  • 4 oz Carafa II
  • 3 oz US Chocolate Malt (350L. Use 6 oz if you can find the 200L British Light Chocolate Malt.)
  • Hops: 3/8 oz Nugget at 12% AA for 90 min.
  • Mash Water Modification: 6 gm Chalk, 2 gm Gypsum, 2 gm Baking Soda, 2 gm Kosher Salt
Mash at 153. Collected 8 gallons. Boiled 90 minutes. Whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes left. Pitched onto 3rd Gen yeast cake of Saf-04. Fermenting around 65. I boiled a bit too much, collected a bit under 6 gallons, and so my gravity was a bit high for the style. Enh.

UPDATE: 2/5/10 Man, Jamil knows what he's doing. The beer has been on for a couple weeks now and man is it good. And I normally hate English Browns. Up front is a bit of bitterness, a combo of the hops (could be dropped even a bit more I think) and astringency from the Carafa and Chocolate malts. Then it gives way to a rush of different caramel and fruit things, with a pleasant toastiness too. Changes dramatically as it warms up.

UPDATE: Gold and 3rd Best of Show at 2010 Cascade Brewers Cup


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