Bonedigger Brown Ale

Things finally seem to be clicking along with my all-grain setup; I’ve got my mash tun properties dialed in, my grain mill configured, and everything else coming up aces. The all-grain learning curve is perhaps a bit frustrating, after feeling like I was so proficient at extract brewing, but it feels like the pay-off is finally here. I’m now getting consistent extract efficiency (thanks in large part to owning my own grain mill), and the beers are turning out quite tasty.

For today’s brew session, I wanted to play with a style I haven’t brewed previously: American brown ale. Looking back at the blog, I brewed a British-style nut brown from a kit a few years back, but that’s it! I got some advice from Ray Daniels’ Designing Great Beers, and set up a recipe in BeerSmith. I was also inspired by a recent visit to Rök House Brewing Company, which had an incredibly tasty SMaSH ESB; on asking, I learned that the wonderfully malty flavor was courtesy of Maris Otter malt. So, I knew I had to incorporate that into my next recipe!

Bonedigger Brown Ale

  • 9 lbs. 2-row malt
  • 1 lb. Maris Otter pale malt
  • 0.75 lb. 80°L crystal malt
  • 0.5 lb. carapils malt
  • 0.5 lb. chocolate malt
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops, bittering (60 minute boil)
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops, bittering (20 minute boil)
  • 0.5 oz. Willamette hops pellets, aroma (5.3% alpha; 3.7% beta; 5 minute boil)
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (10 minute boil)
  • 1 pkg. US-05 Safale American Yeast
Procedure
  • I mashed in with 3.75 gallons of water at 165°. This hit my target mash temperature of 153°. The mash ended at around 151-152°, an hour later.
  • After 60 minutes, I stirred in 0.82 gallons of water just below boiling temperature, and let this sit for 10 minutes. I collected ~3.1 gallons of first runnings.
  • Then, I added 3.14 gallons of water at 185°; the mash temperature stabilized at 168°. I let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • After the second runnings, I had collected 6.5 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.049. This works out to 75.7% efficiency.
  • I brought the wort to a boil, and added the hops as indicated. The wort boiled for a total of 60 minutes.
  • After flame-out, I cooled the wort to ~78° using my wort chiller, whirlpooled, rehydrated the yeast, and pitched the yeast. I will be fermenting this beer for 2 weeks at 65°.
  • Starting gravity is 1.057, with a total of 5.1 gallons of wort. I brewed this up on 27 September 2014.
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