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Brown Ale Brew (Fall 2011 #1)

September 17, 2011

During a recent trip to Union South for lunch, I ordered an old favorite from last fall/winter:  Ale Asylum’s Madtown Nut Brown Ale.  With the recent cool weather, it sounded good and tasted better.  Now I have to return to my quest for brewing a good brown ale.  I went through 3 iterations last fall/winter and when all was said and done (and I sampled the 2nd iteration a few months down the line), I decided the 2nd iteration was probably best, so I’ve started with it as a base.  As I suggested to myself in the blog post, I replaced the crystal 40L with crystal 80L.  I also bumped up the OG fairly substantially, since I’m sure Ale Asylum’s isn’t within the style guidelines and I’ve generally not been happy with my low-gravity brews.


BeerSmith Recipe / Brewsheet


1.015 after 5 days:  not much aroma with the lack of carbonation but slight chocolate.  Chocolate flavor primary in the flavor with some sweet caramel.

Kegging & Bottling (10/4/11)

  • I decided to not fight with bottling from the keg this time and bottled 1 gallon directly from the fermentor with priming sugar.
  • Used a new and improved closed transfer (carboy cap, filter, racking can, keg liquid in quick disconnect) for the first time.  Similar to MoreBeer’s Sterile Siphon Starter


The morning after kegging, I jacked up the pressure in the keg to ~30 psi.  I figured I’d leave it at that for the day and I’d work on force carbing in the evening.  When I got home in the evening, I realized the keg was much lighter than I expected.  Turns out the ‘out’ post had been leaking (actually something that I’ve had problems with in the past with this keg) and I lost ~1.7 gallons into the bottom of my keezer.  Unfortunately, I had spilled some solution from a DampRid bucket, there was a little bit of rust, and just general undesirables in it, so I had to pitch it.  Luckily there was still most of it left.

First Impressions

Sweetness is somewhat subdued, with chocolate flavors coming through.  Bitterness quickly enters and finishes through firmly.  There’s a bit of a sharp band-aid (?) smell initially along with the caramel notes.

Final Impressions

Nice chocolate aroma.  Ruby color.  Great clarity.  Small, lasting head.  Not much flavor.  Thin body, somewhat astringent.


From → Ale, All-Grain, Brews

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