Tag Archives: Janet’s Brown Ale

Bagshot Pale 3.0 – APA

APA_3.0

I spoke to the first and second iteration of this recipe in this post so I’ll keep this post brief. Obviously this is the third iteration of this recipe – I brewed this one with NHC in mind. I liked the previous versions a lot, but I think I nailed exactly what I was going for the third time.

I entered both previous versions in 3 competitions each and ended up with some pretty good results. In one competition it was dinged for high diacetyl, which I think was probably from another beer in that flight because the same batch did well in 2 other competitions and I never picked up any diacetyl. I took the feedback from all the scoresheets giving more weight to the 2nd version as well as my notes and decided on a few changes:

  • The hop flavor seemed a bit muddled so I decided to move the Amarillo from the Dry Hop and use it all in the hopstand while moving the Centennial from the hopstand to dry hop. I really liked the aroma of Janet’s Brown Ale which was dry hopped with 2 oz Centennial. I also thought having Cascade and Amarillo in the hopstand without Centennial would focus the flavors a bit more.
  • I thought the bitterness could be a bit higher and some scoresheets more or less concurred, but I didn’t want to add a large bittering addition – in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the original recipe (which focuses on the “whirlpool” hop stand for nearly all bitterness) I decided to use the water profile I use for all my other hoppy beers, which is the one Tasty McDole uses (I had previously used Firestone Walker’s profile for this recipe). I do not know much about water chemistry, but I know this profile works and accentuates bitterness so I figured this was a pretty safe change without modifying the hopping schedule.
  • A couple of scoresheets mentioned malt aroma as being a bit low. The style guideline says low-moderate for both malt aroma and flavor so I opted to increase the Victory from 3.6% to 5.8%. I’m hoping that gets me a hint of malty/toasty aroma as it was pretty much all hop aroma before – hopefully the 2.2% increase was enough to be noticed. I modified the grist percentage for everything to accommodate this change, but only slightly from version 2.0.

Bagshot Pale 3.0:

5 finished gallons (6.5 gallon batch size – 1.25 left in kettle, 5.25 into carboy)

90 minute boil

1.054 OG

1.014 FG

73% Rahr 2 Row

15.4% Weyermann Munich (8L)

5.8% Briess CaraPils

5.8% Briess Victory Malt

5 grams Cascade 5.6% 90 mins

5 grams Cascade 5.6% 30 mins

46.8 grams Cascade 5.6% 0 mins – 30 minute hot steep

56.8 grams Amarillo 9.2% 0 mins – 30 minute hot steep

28.4 grams Cascade 5.6% Dry hop for 6 days

56.8 grams Centennial 8.7% Dry hop for 6 days

WLP002

Pitch at 63, let rise to 66F. As fermentation wraps up increase temp to 68F. When within about .002 gravity points of target final gravity add dry hops. After 3 days cold crash for 3 days before packaging.

I have found that this beer is very drinkable after a week in the keg, but even better if you wait until about 6 weeks from brew day. This particular version has an intensely citrusy and spicy aroma with hints of orange,  grapefruit and some clean malt character. The spiciness is a bit higher than in 2.0 and I’m really liking it – overall the aroma screams American C hops, and more importantly it screams American Pale Ale. The color is golden with a hint of orange – brilliantly clear (it’s lighter than the picture above shows – had trouble with lighting). The bitterness and moderate carbonation hit you first, but the flavor quickly shifts to citrus/grapefruit with some breadiness and orange flavor. I don’t pick up any toastiness still, that is one thing I’d consider trying to increase, but it’s just so drinkable as is I think any more malt character might detract from the beer overall. The finish is dry by design with a hint of lingering bitterness and even hop flavor. The older it gets the more the malt flavor comes through (as the hops fade).

I entered this in NHC, but category 10 is never easy so I’m not holding my breath.

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In Search of Gold……Medals

As happens several times throughout the year there are several competitions coming up within weeks of each other in the area that allow drop offs at Northern Brewer – meaning no hassle with shipping. Whenever this happens I try to brew up a few beers to enter in each – which I’ve made mention of in some recent posts. I also had some bottles left of other beers brewed last year that I decided to enter. I was really hoping to volunteer at the Mashout, but couldn’t get out of work Friday and Saturday (during judging) so hopefully I’ll have that chance later this year as I’ve never helped out with a competition.

 

Bagshot Pale

Bagshot Pale

American Pale Ale - Bagshot Pale – this is the second iteration of the recipe, see the post for more info there. The first iteration got 1st, 1st, 3rd in the three competitions I entered it in. I’m really happy with the changes made in this version – the hop flavor is amazing. I’m planning to enter this recipe in NHC, which may or may not change depending on scores/feedback from the upcoming competitions. This is entered in Upper Mississippi Mashout 1/26, The Great Northern Brew-Ha-Ha! 2/9 and MMXIII Midwinter Home Brew Competition 2/15.

 

Hamfast the Gaffer

Hamfast the Gaffer

Imperial IPA - Hamfast the Gaffer – once again, this is the second iteration of a Pliny clone – lots of info in that post. Also, once again, I’m really happy with how this turned out in it’s second iteration. I probably wont rebrew this to enter it in NHC, but I will brew it at some point again this year probably whenever the next group of competitions around here are together (probably late summer/early fall). Upper Mississippi Mashout 1/26, The Great Northern Brew-Ha-Ha! 2/9 and MMXIII Midwinter Home Brew Competition 2/15.

 

Crickhollow Mild

Crickhollow Mild

English MildCrickhollow Mild – this is my third attempt at a Mild – I go into great (probably too much) detail about the recipe in the post, but in this case I’m not thrilled with what the amber malt brought in – almost an astringent-like flavor that is a bit strong at this point. I’ve read that the flavor can/will fade over time, but I’m not sure how patient I’ll be with it. I figured I’d enter it anyway and see if the judges like it better than I do or if they think the astringent flavor is a process issue or something. This is entered in Upper Mississippi Mashout 1/26.

 

MacAulish

MacAulish

Scottish 70/- MacAulish – I brewed this back in August and it has been at about 35* F since early September – for whatever reason this beer really improves with extended cold storage. This got a silver medal in Hoppy Halloween scoring 36.5. This is Jamil’s recipe with Simpson’s Caramalt/Extra Dark Crystal (as opposed to American crystal) and Northdown for bittering. This is entered in Upper Mississippi Mashout 1/26.

 

Oatmeal Stout w/ Espresso shot

Oatmeal Stout w/ Espresso shot

Oatmeal Stout - Ivy Bush Oat Stout - This was brewed in early October and turned out fairly good. This is essentially Jamil’s recipe with a few tweaks (UK crystals, toasted the oats, etc) – see recipe in the post (which is in the Oatmeal Stout Chili post) for more info. The only glaring issue with this beer is the head retention is fairly poor (unlike when you add a shot of espresso as in the pic) – I know that will count against the score as it’s mentioned in the style guidelines (“Thick, creamy, persistent tan- to brown-colored head.”), but I wanted to get some feedback anyway since I haven’t entered a stout in a competition yet. This is entered in The Great Northern Brew-Ha-Ha! 2/9.

 

Janet's Brown Ale

Janet’s Brown Ale

American Brown Ale – Janet’s Brown Ale – brewday post here and tasting notes here. I happened to have exactly 2 bottles left of this after giving some away and decided to enter them instead of drink them. Last time I had one of these (1-2 weeks ago) it tasted excellent so I’m hoping it’ll hold up for another month until the competition. They’ll be picking one Brown Ale (English or American) to be ramped up and brewed at the Milwaukee Ale House sometime this year so I figured it was worth a shot, just wish this was fresher (brewed 10/27/12). This is entered in MMXIII Midwinter Home Brew Competition 2/15.

 

I’ll get a post up at some point after each or all of the competitions. For past results see competition results page.

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Janet’s Brown tasting notes

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This batch was brewed 10/27 and the brew day post is here. This was dry hopped with pellets in the primary on 11/1, cold crashed starting 11/6 and kegged on 11/11. We hit the target OG of 1.066, but this ended up at FG 1.012 instead of 1.016, this was due to a thermometer issue that has been dun taken care of (mashed a few degrees lower then thermometer was showing).

We started drinking this about a week after kegging. It’s now just about 6 weeks old which is when Tasty has stated most (hoppy?) ales are at their prime.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep following this format, but I thought I would evaluate this beer almost like I was filling out a scoresheet (but I’m not actually trying to score the beer or anything) – full disclosure here – I will not be objective and I have no training whatsoever with the BJCP.

Aroma

Very clean smelling – no esters, alcohol, DMS or diacetyl. There is a huge clean citrus/floral aroma (clearly from the Centennials) with hints of evergreen, chocolate and malt. Smells a bit sweet with almost a hint of toffee. Good clarity, nearly brilliant when held up to light. As the beer has warmed the aroma has a hint of alcohol, but it’s not harsh or anything.

Appearance

Thick head, about .75″ in a pint glass even when poured at low PSI from the keg. Head retention is long lasting, there is foam left when the glass is drained. Beer is dark brown with ruby highlights. Good clarity, nearly brilliant.

Flavor

The flavor of this beer is difficult to describe, there is so much going on. There is a spicy resinous hop flavor, almost minty which must be from the Northern Brewer hops. I almost think there is some spice character coming from the English Chocolate Malt as well (or there is just some roastyness coming in with the spiciness?). The beer leans towards bitter, but finishes clean with some nice chocolatey roast flavor and some malt flavor as well. There is some significant body to this beer. There are also hints of grapefruit, evergreen, pine, caramel, alcohol and dark fruit.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel has a hint of sharpness from the IBU load and the carbonation level. It isn’t thin, but it is lacking something that I think is due to the low finishing gravity.

Overall Impression

Janet’s Brown Ale is an awesome recipe from a passionate, passionate man in Tasty McDole (Jamil says he has the biggest dick he’s ever known, or is the biggest dick he’s ever known – I was not clear on that in the podcast, but I like to think it’s the former). The beer is very complex, but well balanced. The hop aroma/flavor combined with the malt aroma/flavor makes for a very interesting and tasty brew. The beer would likely be improved if it had finished closer to the target FG of 1.016. We will for sure brew this again.

#hobbitlife

- The Gaffer

 

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A Brew Day to Remember

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This past Saturday some friends came over for some #hobbitlife festivities, chiefly the drinking and brewing of ale and the breaking of bread. There were lots of chips/snack mixes, Oatmeal Stout Chili, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Espresso/Oatmeal Stouts and some Meatball Sandwiches. Many a pint of Oatmeal Stout and Janet’s Brown Ale were imbibed as well as some meads. It was a bit chilly, but the burner and some spooning/heavy petting kept us warm enough. We ended up chilling the wort in the basement since the hose outside was frozen solid, the temp dropped so rapidly on Thanksgiving I never had time to bring the hose inside. Didn’t realize this until now, but this was the 20th batch of 2012, hoping to squeeze 2-3 more in before year end.

In the past, we’ve found that our mash efficiency really suffers with grainbills above 16 pounds or so of grain (to get to around 1.070 or so). Initially, to brew this Barleywine (targeting 1.100 OG) I figured we’d be best off just getting some Marris Otter malt extract to get us from 1.065 or so to 1.100. Before I bought the ingredients I remembered reading about a double brew to produce a strong wort (Radical Brewing). Essentially you mash once, collect the wort, and mash again (with new grain) in said wort. I did some google searching and found that some BIABers had attempted this with good results. BIAB actually lends itself to a double brew better then any other all grain brewing method I’d have to say. We really weren’t sure how this would work out, but with a strategy formed and a goal in mind we forged ahead.

 
The recipe was pretty basic, I’ll post it below as well, but the grist was just 24 pounds of Floor Malted Marris Otter, a half pound of Simpsons Medium Crystal and a half pound of Simpson’s Extra Dark Crystal. The grain was split evenly into 2 bags (12 lbs MO, .25 Medium Crystal, .25 Extra Dark Crystal) and each mash was done at 148F for 75 minutes. Since the sach rest was at a lower temp and we wanted to drive up both efficiency and fermentability we figured an extra 15 minutes for each mash would maybe help, but certainly wouldn’t hurt anything.

I really went back and forth on the hopping. Part of me wanted to use all EKG with a 4-5 oz bittering addition, but ultimately I decided to use some higher alpha UK Target hops for the bittering addition (2 oz). I figured the cleaner bittering would be welcome and we could still add plenty of EKG at 10, 5 and 0 mins (1 oz at each). I’m planning to brew an Old Ale soon enough (likely an 1845 clone or something close) and will feature a huge EKG load at 60 mins in that brew instead.

For the yeast selection there was never really a question on deviating from the ever staunch, ever steadful WLP002 English Ale Yeast (WY1968 aka Fullers strain). I use this yeast for the vast majority of British/American ales that I make. A lot of brewers would shy away from using this yeast, convinced it would leave too much residual sweetness, but I have faith. I’m thinking it’ll bring the beer to around 1.020-1.025 within about a week, but we’ll see. I pitched directly on top of the yeast cake from Crichollow Mild 3.0 brewed a week prior to brew day. I was hesitant to do this, but Dawson (MZA on WordPress/Gravatar, blog here) answered some questions I had about pitching on a yeast cake (and about this recipe) and gave me the courage to try it without washing the yeast between. If anyone has tried washing WLP002 you’ll understand why I didn’t want to wash the yeast for a beer this big.

The double brew went really well. We just used the standard amount of water We’d use for 25 lbs of grain (according to beersmith). For the first mash we used our original pillowcase style grain bag.

After 75 minutes we removed the bag and put it in a bucket with an upside-down colander to drain.

Gravity after mash 1 was 1.038.

We raised the wort back up to strike temp and put the 2nd set of grain in the new bag that is shaped like men’s underwear. Once that mash was over we raised the bag and heated up to mashout temp and let the 2nd bag sit for about 10 mins. After mashout we raised the bag and let it drain while heating up to boil. The preboil gravity after Mash 2 was 1.078.

Here is where we hit our only snag of the day, the wort was so thick it wouldn’t drain effectively. We ended up having to squeeze the bag quite a bit, typically we don’t squeeze at all.

Our preboil volume was short by a quarter gallon, all in all not the end of the world. Next time we do a big beer we’ll account for more grain absorpotion. We thought about adding water back, but decided to just boil the 8 gallons and end up with 6.25 gallons post-boil instead of 6.5 gallons (which we did). This resulted in a bit more trub ending up in the Better Bottle, but that shouldn’t really matter in this beer.

The wort was chilled to 64 before racking onto the yeast cake and adding O2 for 90 seconds at a fairly high rate. The OG was 1.102.

The fermentation brought it up to 66F (where it will ferment for the first 2 days) and a blow off tube was needed within 7 hours. At the 2 day mark I’m setting the temp controller to 68F to encourage the yeast to keep working.

It was really fun to brew a beer like this with some BFFs. The beer will be good for years to come and we’ll enjoy it together, but the event itself and the memories are something we’ll have forever.

#hobbitlife for life

WC for life

Gaffer’s Reserve:

5 gallons

60 minute boil

1.102 OG

96% Floor Malted Marris Otter

2% Simpson’s Medium Crystal

2% Simpson’s Extra Dark Crystal

Mash half of grist at 148 for 75 minutes, remove and mash 2nd half of grist at 148 for 75 minutes

2 0z Target at 60 mins

1 oz EKG at 10, 5 and 0 minutes

WLP002

Pitch at 63F-64F, let free rise to 66F, when fermentation starts to slow down (day 2-3) raise temp to 68F

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is nearly here, lots of brewing stuff on my mind:

  • Kitchen remodel is nearly complete at Bag End – not brewing related, but deal with it
  • Janet’s Brown Ale is tasting mighty fine
  • Crickhollow Mild 3.0 is fermenting away, should be ready to keg in time to pitch an upcoming big beer on the yeast cake (stay tuned) – will be trying the oxygen free transfer “system” out for the first time
  • Fermentation Chamber of Secrets 3.0 is performing admirably – had to take apart the old chamber as I built it in front of the water shut off for the house
  • Oatmeal Stout Chili batch 2 is on the horizon
  • Weather isn’t too cold here in MN, shouldn’t make brewing this Saturday too difficult (chilling with frozen hoses doesn’t work well)
  • Got scoresheets back from LOTMW (1st 1st) and SCH*ABC V (2nd 3rd) with some useful feedback as I get ready to rebrew Hamfast the Gaffer (Pliny clone) and Bagshot Pale (APA)
  • Have 4 batches planned between now and mid-December, good times

Mild 3.0 in the Fermentation Chamber of Secrets 3.0

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Janet’s Brown Ale Brewday

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I’m a big fan of The Brewing Network and their podcasts, especially Can You Brew it and Brew Strong. After listening to nearly every episode of both shows  it’s become very clear that Tasty McDole knows a lot about brewing and, especially, recipe formulation – an area that I still have a lot to learn about. Tasty is well known for his recipe Tasty’s APA and, of course, Janet’s Brown Ale.

 
Janet’s Brown Ale is an American Brown Ale that is a bit stronger/hoppier than most for the style, but that hasn’t stopped it from doing quite well at NHC (2004 Category 10 gold medal, imperial version 2009 Category 23 gold medal). The recipe is all over the internet – or in your copy of Brewing Classic Styles. The only change I made was using English Chocolate Malt (430L) as I couldn’t find a domestic chocolate malt close to 420L. I also plan to dry hop in the primary fermenter instead of a secondary, just because I almost always dry hop in primary. I had never mash hopped – will be interesting to see the flavor impact.

 
It’s long overdue, I’ve been wanting to brew this for about a year and just never squeezed it in – luckily my brewing partner Jay mentioned brewing a brown ale to end his brewing hiatus. Here are some pics of the brew session (brewed on 10/27). This ought to be a great fall/winter beer – plenty of body and some residual sweetness to go with the bitterness and hop flavor.

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Brewday prep, other stuff

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Got a small starter of washed WLP001 from a Scottish Ale (MacAulish) that was brewed in August. I typically don’t use yeast that is this old, but figured I’d make a small starter and give it a shot. It’s looking fine this morning so I’ll probably step it up to maybe 2 liters tomorrow so it’ll be ready for brewing Tasty McDole’s Janet’s Brown Ale this weekend. I’ve heard nothing but good things about that beer – been meaning to brew it for some time now.
Got a couple entries (Hamfast the Gaffer and Bagshot Pale) shipped off to both the Land of the Muddy Waters and SCH*ABC V competitions for judging on 11/10/12. These are 2 beers that I’m planning to rebrew for some competitions early next year so I want some feedback on them since it was the first time I brewed both of those.
I’ll get a new post up this weekend after brewing – hopefully with good news from Hoppy Halloween for which judging starts tonight!

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