Author Topic: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)  (Read 437 times)

Offline Brewtopalonian

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Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« on: September 26, 2018, 03:19:08 PM »
Hey you Beautiful Brilliant Brewers!

I was wondering if it would be appropriate, or even well received, if I were to post my recipe for my London Brown Ale that recently won gold at a competition in SLC, UT and some of the comments made by the Judges to see if I can improve upon it?  It scored 38/50, and to me, that's not good enough.  I want to cross into the 40's threshold and would love some advice on how to do so.  The judges didn't give me too much to work with in their comments, or if they did, I missed it completely. 

Here is the Recipe:

"The Dark Side of Brown Ale"

10.90 gal Distilled Water Water
8 lbs 4.7 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 62.9 % 0.65 gal
2 lbs 14.0 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 3 21.8 % 0.22 gal
1 lbs 7.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4 10.9 % 0.11 gal
4.6 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.2 % 0.02 gal
4.6 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.2 % 0.02 gal
0.94 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 23.1 IBUs
0.32 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8
0.78 oz Fuggle [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 2.1 IBUs
1.2 pkg British Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1098) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10

Water Profile:
Brown Balanced (as per Bru'n Water)
Started with RO Water

Single infusion mash 4.4gal 150*F 60 mins
Fly Sparge 6 gal @ 168*F

Keg Carbonation to 2.4vols.


Judges Notes:

Aroma:

Sweet dark fruit aroma.  sugary dates or prune.  hints of dark wine, pino noir. 9/12.

Toffee, caramel, sweet typical fruity esters common with british yeast.  9/12

Nice malt forward aroma.  roasty notes, mild fruit esthers.  10/12

Appearance:

Dark brown.  Solid head retains throughout. 3/3

Very dark brown, poured with a thick head with fine carbonation little high for style. 2/3

Very dark brown, nice color, nice carbonation, good head retention, maybe too dark. 2/3

Flavor:

Hints of sweet caramel fruit.  Flavor stays thru entire tasting lingering sweetness on the after taste. Plums. 14/20

Very similar to aroma, toffee caramel & subtle roast.  Flavor fades quickly & doesnt lingure.  15/20

Nice mild flavor, lots of biscuit up front.  Lots of lingering flavor, a bit of a bitter finish, not sure if its.... 15/20

Mouthfeel:

Medium body.  Bright creamy mouthfeel.  Sweet but in a good way. 4/5

High carbonation & dry for style. 3/5

Nice carbonation, nothing off in the mouthfeel really clean.

Overall Impression:

This is a very enjoyable beer.  Reminds me of a visit to Sherlock Holmes Pub in London. 7/10

Good beer with no off flavors.  I feel the carbonation is a little high for style and it could be a little sweeter, more linguring on the palate 7/10

Very clean drinkable beer. nice carbonation, very clean flavor with just a bit of bitterness on the finish.  8/10


I really want to take this to the next level.  It's my best beer by far, but I want to learn how to push beyond good, into EXCELLENT or even PERFECT.  I know that perfect is a crazy thing to search for, but I always strive to make the best I possibly can.  Thanks for all your brilliant knowledge, I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Jared
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 04:05:46 PM »
I have lots of thoughts for you:

•   The Chinook bittering hop might be okay but is totally out of place.  Try an English type.
•   WAY too much honey malt.  Take that down to 0-4 oz.
•   Where’s the British medium & dark crystal?  That can replace some or all of the honey malt.  Dark British crystal malt is a MUST.  I would use both medium and dark for more complexity.
•   Add 4-8 oz lactose.  This is appropriate and traditional for this style, which should be sort of like a brown version of a milk stout.
•   Tone down the carbonation apparently.  2.0 volumes is plenty.

That’s about it.  I like your choices of brown malt and special roast, that’s great stuff, keep that as-is.

Cheers and good luck!
Dave

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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 04:46:33 PM »
I have lots of thoughts for you:

•   The Chinook bittering hop might be okay but is totally out of place.  Try an English type.
•   WAY too much honey malt.  Take that down to 0-4 oz.
•   Where’s the British medium & dark crystal?  That can replace some or all of the honey malt.  Dark British crystal malt is a MUST.  I would use both medium and dark for more complexity.
•   Add 4-8 oz lactose.  This is appropriate and traditional for this style, which should be sort of like a brown version of a milk stout.
•   Tone down the carbonation apparently.  2.0 volumes is plenty.

That’s about it.  I like your choices of brown malt and special roast, that’s great stuff, keep that as-is.

Cheers and good luck!
I actually did tone down the Honey to 6 oz for the actual competition brew, it was in my notes, I forgot to adjust the recipe as I made it. 

Thanks for the suggestions!  I'll tinker a little more with the malts and change the bittering hops out, though the Chinook works nicely.

It was a VERY dark brown, almost black and opaque.  Some red hues.  Any way to improve upon the color to style without losing the complexity of the chocolate and special roast?

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Offline denny

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 05:02:03 PM »
I have lots of thoughts for you:

•   The Chinook bittering hop might be okay but is totally out of place.  Try an English type.
•   WAY too much honey malt.  Take that down to 0-4 oz.
•   Where’s the British medium & dark crystal?  That can replace some or all of the honey malt.  Dark British crystal malt is a MUST.  I would use both medium and dark for more complexity.
•   Add 4-8 oz lactose.  This is appropriate and traditional for this style, which should be sort of like a brown version of a milk stout.
•   Tone down the carbonation apparently.  2.0 volumes is plenty.

That’s about it.  I like your choices of brown malt and special roast, that’s great stuff, keep that as-is.

Cheers and good luck!
I actually did tone down the Honey to 6 oz for the actual competition brew, it was in my notes, I forgot to adjust the recipe as I made it. 

Thanks for the suggestions!  I'll tinker a little more with the malts and change the bittering hops out, though the Chinook works nicely.

It was a VERY dark brown, almost black and opaque.  Some red hues.  Any way to improve upon the color to style without losing the complexity of the chocolate and special roast?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Keep the Chinook.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 05:38:09 PM »
It was a VERY dark brown, almost black and opaque.  Some red hues.  Any way to improve upon the color to style without losing the complexity of the chocolate and special roast?

Try using 1/2 to 3/4 as much brown malt and/or chocolate malt.  This will lighten without huge impact on flavor.  Start with maybe 3/4 as much of each.
Dave

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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2018, 05:44:25 PM »
Thanks Taylor, I appreciate that.  I was hoping the flavor wouldn't change too much if I decreased the amount.  Good to hear a confirmation.

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Offline denny

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2018, 05:58:03 PM »
Thanks Taylor, I appreciate that.  I was hoping the flavor wouldn't change too much if I decreased the amount.  Good to hear a confirmation.

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What chocolate malt are you using?  My brown ale improved dramatically when I started using Castle chocolate malt.
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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2018, 06:21:34 PM »
Honestly I have no idea.  I just told the guys at my LHBS chocolate malt and they weighed it out for me.
Thanks Taylor, I appreciate that.  I was hoping the flavor wouldn't change too much if I decreased the amount.  Good to hear a confirmation.

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What chocolate malt are you using?  My brown ale improved dramatically when I started using Castle chocolate malt.

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Offline denny

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2018, 07:25:03 PM »
Honestly I have no idea.  I just told the guys at my LHBS chocolate malt and they weighed it out for me.
Thanks Taylor, I appreciate that.  I was hoping the flavor wouldn't change too much if I decreased the amount.  Good to hear a confirmation.

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What chocolate malt are you using?  My brown ale improved dramatically when I started using Castle chocolate malt.

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You might want to experiment with different brands of malt.  I've found that to make a world of difference.  It appears that malt is not just malt.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline BrewBama

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Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2018, 08:27:49 PM »
...  It appears that malt is not just malt.

I agree. I’ve found there are remarkable differences. You can make Grain/Malt Tea https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/testing-malt-grain-teas/ or use the Hot Steep Method to determine your preference.


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Offline Robert

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2018, 09:32:01 PM »
...  It appears that malt is not just malt.

I agree. I’ve found there are remarkable differences. You can make Grain/Malt Tea https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/testing-malt-grain-teas/ or use the Hot Steep Method to determine your preference.


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I just drove over 40 miles round trip for a British crystal malt the same color as the one I get at LHBS.  Same color, not at all the same flavor and aroma. (At least the farther away shop gives AHA discounts!)
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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2018, 09:34:33 PM »
Nice!  I'll have to experiment with the different brands.  They guys at this shop let you have a sample to chew on if you want... But I have feeling chewing on chocolate malt will be a bit bitter.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 10:02:33 PM »
I have feeling chewing on chocolate malt will be a bit bitter.

It won't kill you, and you'll learn a ton.

I always munch before I mill, and before I buy whenever possible.  I recently had to throw away some old malt that was well past its prime, stale as heck.  I've also formed opinions on which brands I love and hate.  Some of the well known brands might not be your favorites necessarily......
Dave

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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 10:10:02 PM »
I have feeling chewing on chocolate malt will be a bit bitter.

It won't kill you, and you'll learn a ton.


I also always chew my malts before milling for mash-in.  I love to get an idea of what my beer will taste like throughout the process as it develops.  I taste it every step of the way....  just don't try munching on hop pellets, that'll put hair on your chest.  LOL

I've changed some things up in the recipe as per everyones suggestions and will probably give it another run next week.  Thanks for the input fellas!
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Offline Richard

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Re: Room for Improvement (Brown Ale Comp Results)
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2018, 01:54:45 AM »
Don't take a sip of your yeast, either!
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