Author Topic: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe  (Read 1328 times)

Offline GRIMREAPER

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Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« on: November 21, 2015, 12:29:39 AM »
Been brewing for a year or so and only done a few all grain.  First try at an English brown ale.  Had one that had a sweet caramel taste to it at a local tap house a few weeks ago.  Pretty malty and thick.  Really good. Trying for that ball park.

Brewer says they used caramel 80 among other.   Have only built our own recipes twice so far.  A not malty enough ESB and a really good citus'y IPA.  Looking at recipes for common ingredients i may have a vague idea of possible ingredients but trying to find a combination. 

Below is ingredients stolen from multiple brown ale recipes so i am sure the proportions are not right. Maybe starting with a too high OG?  Not to mention the free online calculator says its not in the style.  Love some suggestions to get closer to the goal.

10 lbs 12.0 oz  Maris Otter <--Maybe more like 8# maybe?
7.0 oz        Caramel 20L
7.0 oz        Caramel 60L
7.0 oz        Caramel 80L
4.0 oz        Chocolate Malt
8.8 oz        Cara-Pils/Dextrine

1.0 oz     Goldings, East Kent or challenger?  Boil 60 min
1.0 oz     Goldings, East Kent or fuggle?       Boil 5 min

maybe a WLP005 or 002?

Calculator says
OG 1.074 
FG 1.025
ABV 6.38%
IBU 36.86
SRM 24.24

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 04:13:03 PM »
You don't need the carapils unless you are looking to build body in a way you can't with your mash profile.

Crystal 60 is sort of generic caramel flavor IMO. It gets lost in a beer really quickly. I find C40 is more like candy caramel while C80 is more like a rich caramel sauce. I would probably cut the C60 and do mostly C80 with a smaller amount of C40. That is, if you're really trying to get a big caramel flavor.
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Offline kmccaf

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 08:05:50 PM »
You don't need the carapils unless you are looking to build body in a way you can't with your mash profile.

Crystal 60 is sort of generic caramel flavor IMO. It gets lost in a beer really quickly. I find C40 is more like candy caramel while C80 is more like a rich caramel sauce. I would probably cut the C60 and do mostly C80 with a smaller amount of C40. That is, if you're really trying to get a big caramel flavor.

+1 I would follow this. I would also go with about 25 IBUs of bittering hops. Challenger would be great for this. 002 would give you a nice malty brew, although 005 may do that as well but I have not used that one.
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Offline GRIMREAPER

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 10:32:43 PM »
Thanks for helping the sort of noob out guys.  Yes, big caramel is the goal.  Good body too.  Trying to make something for the wife's friends that are feeling a little left out with all the IPA's and Belgians we tend to do. 

So the C60 is out and more C80 is in.  Replace C60 with C40 (seems a small amount?) and more C80?  Challenger is in at 60 min.  Also a little worried about making sure enough IBU's to balance it out a little?

And do you think its too much to use the carapils?  Want body but not syrup.  Only the 3rd all grain try but thinking it needs to mash pretty high like maybe 158 or so?

Thinking just a little lower ABV is good for this.  So this is where i am now.

10 lbs        Maris Otter
7.0 oz        Caramel 20L
5.0 oz        Caramel 40L
1 lb          Caramel 80L
4.0 oz        Chocolate Malt
8.8 oz        Cara-Pils/Dextrine

1.0 oz     challenger                Boil 60 min
1.0 oz     Goldings, East Kent       Boil 5 min

yeast WLP002

Calculator says
OG  1.069
FG  1.023
ABV 6.06%
IBU 35.01
SRM 20.45

RPIScotty

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2015, 01:24:40 AM »

Thanks for helping the sort of noob out guys.  Yes, big caramel is the goal.  Good body too.  Trying to make something for the wife's friends that are feeling a little left out with all the IPA's and Belgians we tend to do. 

So the C60 is out and more C80 is in.  Replace C60 with C40 (seems a small amount?) and more C80?  Challenger is in at 60 min.  Also a little worried about making sure enough IBU's to balance it out a little?

And do you think its too much to use the carapils?  Want body but not syrup.  Only the 3rd all grain try but thinking it needs to mash pretty high like maybe 158 or so?

Thinking just a little lower ABV is good for this.  So this is where i am now.

10 lbs        Maris Otter
7.0 oz        Caramel 20L
5.0 oz        Caramel 40L
1 lb          Caramel 80L
4.0 oz        Chocolate Malt
8.8 oz        Cara-Pils/Dextrine

1.0 oz     challenger                Boil 60 min
1.0 oz     Goldings, East Kent       Boil 5 min

yeast WLP002

Calculator says
OG  1.069
FG  1.023
ABV 6.06%
IBU 35.01
SRM 20.45

Something about ~2.5 lbs of crystal malt would rub me the wrong way. It may be worth trying some D-45 syrup in some small amount. I get toffee, caramel type flavors from that.

Offline pete b

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2015, 04:06:21 AM »

Thanks for helping the sort of noob out guys.  Yes, big caramel is the goal.  Good body too.  Trying to make something for the wife's friends that are feeling a little left out with all the IPA's and Belgians we tend to do. 

So the C60 is out and more C80 is in.  Replace C60 with C40 (seems a small amount?) and more C80?  Challenger is in at 60 min.  Also a little worried about making sure enough IBU's to balance it out a little?

And do you think its too much to use the carapils?  Want body but not syrup.  Only the 3rd all grain try but thinking it needs to mash pretty high like maybe 158 or so?

Thinking just a little lower ABV is good for this.  So this is where i am now.

10 lbs        Maris Otter
7.0 oz        Caramel 20L
5.0 oz        Caramel 40L
1 lb          Caramel 80L
4.0 oz        Chocolate Malt
8.8 oz        Cara-Pils/Dextrine

1.0 oz     challenger                Boil 60 min
1.0 oz     Goldings, East Kent       Boil 5 min

yeast WLP002

Calculator says
OG  1.069
FG  1.023
ABV 6.06%
IBU 35.01
SRM 20.45

Something about ~2.5 lbs of crystal malt would rub me the wrong way. It may be worth trying some D-45 syrup in some small amount. I get toffee, caramel type flavors from that.
Yeah. Without too much thought that jumped out at me. Maybe keep the pound of 80 L, the chocolate malt, and of course the base malt and lose the rest. Still gives you close to 9% crystal I think.
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Offline GRIMREAPER

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2015, 06:39:05 PM »
thanks.  Is there a basic guideline for base malt vs other?  A percent that lets know you are in the ballpark?    Suppose it might vary by style too?  Or is it just experience? 

Dropping the 20L and cara takes the calculation to closer to 5.5 abv which seems more appropriate.  Maybe that should have been a clue?  Wouldn't mind getting it a little darker color somehow either.

More thoughts are still very welcome but it's on the schedule for next weekend ready or not.

Offline pete b

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 01:03:32 PM »
thanks.  Is there a basic guideline for base malt vs other?  A percent that lets know you are in the ballpark?    Suppose it might vary by style too?  Or is it just experience? 

Dropping the 20L and cara takes the calculation to closer to 5.5 abv which seems more appropriate.  Maybe that should have been a clue?  Wouldn't mind getting it a little darker color somehow either.

More thoughts are still very welcome but it's on the schedule for next weekend ready or not.
There are no rules per se only typical ranges and personal preferences. The 9 or 10% would probably be my preference but since you are purposely are trying to get lots of Carmel you might bump the crystal to 15%. That would likely get your color in the right zone too. The reason I suggested all 80l is based on someone else's post earlier which I believe to be true that 80l has the most Carmel flavor. Its important when building recipes to avoid adding more ingredients if they don't have a specific purpose. In this case you want a Carmel bomb so why not just use the crystal with the most Carmel flavor? You can actually taste the malts to see if this is true. Chew them up good so you taste the sugars and start with the more lightly kilned malts or it will be hard to evaluate the light ones.
Derek brought up candi syrup. Its true that you could get some more Carmel flavor out of that or caramelized sugar added at the end of primary but there is a trade off. While the unfermentable sugars in crystal malt create a fuller mouth feel, sugar, which is fully fermentable, thins it out. My guess is a fuller body will increase the perception of Carmel. I'm not sure if there is a sweet spot (see what I did there? ) where a little caramelized sugar would add flavor without drying out the beer too much. I also wonder if heavily caramelizing sugar reduces its fermentability.
This seems like a beer you might need to brew a few to dial in, changing a variable each time. That's the fun of home brewing...and all that beer!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 02:51:43 PM by pete b »
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Offline GRIMREAPER

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 02:50:27 AM »
Thanks.  The simple is best approach is probably a good one.  Fewer ingredients would make it easier to see how the adjustments work the second time brewing this.  And there will be a second batch if we get full body and caramel.   

For sure want the fuller body.  A higher mash temp will give me less attenuation(?) and thus a higher FG(?) to accomplish that?  Used to our usual Belgians and IPA's that have been way below 1.010 and nicely dry.

Looks like Friday is snowy so the perfect brew day!  (While sipping a few of those Belgian strongs in the basement)  Thanks again for the help.

Offline GRIMREAPER

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 02:16:26 AM »
Bottled this weekend.  Its very pretty dark brown.  Tasty too.  Worried it might not have the body i wanted but we will see in two weeks.  Will try to remember to post the follow up when its ready.  thanks again

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2016, 03:01:34 AM »
In case anyone is curious.....Body is medium.  For sure not dry but not to full either.  Taste is not quite as much caramel as we were hoping for but still pretty good.  Not as sweet as might have been expected.  Good base to try again.  Thinking of adding the cara back.  Added body might bring out the perception of caramel.  Actually i think i will ponder this over a brown ale.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Trying To Build A Caramel Brown Ale Recipe
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 11:05:30 PM »
I like Willamette hops.  my only tidbit to your beer.
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