Summer Haze Brown Ale

A friend of mine who lives out east experimented with smoking his own malt–in this case, he scrounged up some sassafras root, and used it to smoke a two-row malt. It took me a bit to think about what kind of beer I wanted to make with it, because I’ve already done smoked porters, and a stout wasn’t really appealing either. Why not try a brown ale? It’s not so heavy as to be undrinkable in the summer heat, and the other malt flavors would hopefully meld well with the smoked malt. This recipe is also intended to use up many of my specialty malts, so I freshen up my stockpile with newer malts. Although they seem to keep pretty well, it probably doesn’t hurt to rotate from time to time.

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Summer Haze Brown Ale

  • 4.1 lbs. California select 2-row malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 2.5 lbs. Vienna malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 2 lbs. sassafrass smoked 2-row malt
  • 14 oz. 40° crystal malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 8 oz. pale chocolate malt (Crisp Malting Co.), 225° SRM
  • 4.3 oz. chocolate malt (Briess), 350° SRM
  • 1.9 oz. Carafa III malt (Weyermann)
  • 0.6 oz. Carafa Special II malt (Weyermann)
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. Safale US-05 dry yeast

Target Parameters

  • 1.052 o.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.4% abv, 26 IBU, 25 SRM
  • Infusion mash to hit target of 152°, 60 minutes, batch sparge.
  • Claremont tap water, treated with Campden tablet

Procedure

  • I mashed in with 3.5 gallons of tap water at 163°, to hit a mash temperature of 151°. After 60 minutes, I added 1.5 gallons of sparge water at 170°. This rested for 15 minutes, before the vorlauf and then collection of the first runnings.
  • Next, I added 3.5 gallons of water at 170°, before resting for 10 minutes, vorlaufing, and collecting the rest of the runnings.
  • I collected 6.5 gallons of runnings at a gravity of 1.041, for 71% efficiency.
  • Next, I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and Whirlfloc per the schedule.
  • After a 60 minute boil, I chilled around 80° before transferring to the fermenter. I then chilled it the rest of the way in the fermentation chamber, down to 68°.
  • I sprinkled the yeast directly into the wort, fermenting at 68°.
  • Starting gravity was 1.046–I notched back the boil intensity a bit on this one (per recent recommendations from various corners of the internet), so I’ll need to start compensating for a change in evaporation rate.
  • I brewed this batch on Wednesday, August 22, and kept it at 68° until Friday, August 31. Then, I pulled it out of the keezer (to make room), finishing up at 75° ambient temperature.
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