Recipe: Opus 15, Earle Brown Ale

Posted: April 6, 2013 in Recipes

Yesterday was my last day on paternity leave, and a beautiful day, so it gave me the opportunity to brew up an all grain batch before heading back to work on Monday. I wanted to brew up something my wife would enjoy (read that: malty), but something that my hoppy preference would like as well. I settled in on an American Brown Ale, looking for a balanced, but malty flavor.

For this batch, I am using my new brew pot, and for the first time, working outside on a new to me turkey burner. The pot came from Academy Sports, a bargain for 30 quarts. The burner came from a buddy of mine. This is also only my second batch at the new house. With this setup, I expanded up to a 4 gallon batch, fermenting in an icing bucket picked up free at Sam’s Club.

Here’s a pic of the new setup:


Looks pretty good, right? That was before I noticed the spigot leaking into the house, flooding the basement, and leading to an insurance claim.

The name, Earle Brown, besides obviously fitting an American Brown, is an American avant-garde composer. Yes, I had to google him, too.

On to the brew…

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.063 OG Estimated FG 1.016 FG
Recipe Bitterness 34 IBU Alcohol by Volume 6.1%
Recipe Color 18° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.8%


Quantity Grain Type Use
7.00 lb Maris Otter Malt – [Nutty] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Crystal 40L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
0.75 lb CaraPils – [Body, Head] Grain Mashed
0.33 lb Chocolate Malt (US)- [Chocolate, Coffee, Nutty, Toasted] Grain Mashed
0.25 lb Victory Malt Grain Mashed
0.25 lb Crystal 60L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Northern Brewer Pellet 60 minutes
0.25 oz Northern Brewer Pellet 20 minutes
0.50 oz Cascade Pellet 5 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Pellet 1 minutes
1.00 oz Centennial Pellet Dry hop
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Irish Moss Fining 1 tsp at 15 minutes
1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast American: Temperature Range: 55°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS

Recipe Notes

BiaB mash, 6.75 G at 152 for 60 minutes, mash out at 170 for 15 minutes (raising temp, hold for 15 minutes)

Batch Notes

Too much water, as I spilled some of it out. Try 6.1 G next time. I think the mash was okay, but I need to work on heat retention. I threw a moving blanket over the pot during the hour. I did fire up the burner for about 30 seconds at the 25 minute mark to be sure the heat was still there. I’m going to have to research how to maintain temperature during a BiaB.

I also may keep my mash out water out of the bot initially, and add it to raise the temp at mashout. This will keep me from refiring the burner while the grain is in the pot. To do this, though, I’m going to have to use either the stove, or the side burner on my grill to heat a gallon of additional water.

Fermenting four gallons at 66. Debated on using Nottingham yeast instead, but I wanted it to be more American than English. Rehydrated as usual, and pitched at 64 degrees. Took about 20 minutes to cool, so I didn’t get much of a cold break. This was probably because half of my water was ruining my carpet instead of cooling. I also had a bit less than 1/2 gallon of crud, so I ended up using a bit more than I wanted into the fermenter. This will probably lead to a cloudier beer. Being a brown, however, I may not notice.

Preboil: 1.061 corrected OG. Totally forgot to take an actual OG before pitching, but I think it’s close. I got around 73% efficiency, based on these numbers.

Outside of the ruining my carpet thing, it was a nice relaxed afternoon. I’m really looking forward to seeing this one progress!


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