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Brown Ale Re-brew

October 31, 2010

Brew Day (Halloween 2010)

Got to use my spanking new MLT!  Of course this was just a 1 gallon batch so I didn’t use it to mash.  I just dumped the contents of the crock pot (grain bag and all) into it after the 75 minute mash and used it for lautering.  I added my 1/2 gallon at ~190F to get the overall temp to ~168F, drained and performed the second sparge with ~1 gallon at ~175F.  It was pretty nice, and I’m looking forward to having enough grains to actually get use out of it next week.  I should be doing a re-brew of my Loch Ness, so it should involve plenty of grain to make it useful.

Recipe

BeerSmith Recipe

Evaluation

Unfortunately, I didn’t evaluate this when it was fresh.  Now that it’s a few months down the line (2/21/2011), I’m getting a later sample and I can’t compare it to what I had before…

In any case, I remember being disappointed in it.  Maybe it didn’t live up to my expectations then, but right now it’s a pretty decent beer.  Notably, it’s not suffering from any perceptible infection characteristics like the Test Porter that I cracked open last night from about the same time.  I can’t say for sure whether it’s better because of reduced expectations or because it genuinely got better, but here’s my current evaluation (I did this evaluation before reviewing the recipe, so it will be interesting to see if I identify any ingredients):

Aroma:  Faint, but a little roasty.  No hop aroma.

Appearance:  A tad on the dark side, but a nice clear brown with a decent head (nice staying power, but little lace – though that could easily have a lot to do with the glass).

Flavor:  Subdued chocolate, some higher level caramel (a little less caramel and a little more fig/plum).

Mouthfeel:  To style.   Full, but not overly so.

Overall:  I like it fine.  I’d rather make something better, but this is nothing to be ashamed of.  Of course it’s the last bottle…

Changes for the future

Comparing my impressions of this (~3 months in the bottle) with what I did to the recipe to re-brew it (which tasted more like a porter), what I’d like to do in the future, is just replace the Crystal 80L with Crystal 40L.  I think that might give me the more sweet flavor I like in Ale Asylum’s Madtown Nut Brown, but not change what is really a pretty decent recipe too much.

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