Wednesday, October 1, 2008

India Brown Ale

My second beer since my brewing un-retirement is a hoppy brown ale. I love brown ales and I love hoppy beers so why not combine the two and come up with the Beaverdam Brewery India Brown Ale.

Beer Number: B1
Beer Name: India Brown Ale
Type: American Brown Ale / Indian Pale Ale combo.
Primary Fermenter: 6 ½ gal. glass carboy
Secondary Fermenter: n/a
OG: 1.073
FG: 1.016

7.5 lbs. light malt extract
15 oz. dry extra light extract
½ lb. Crystal 60o malt
¾ lb. Amber malt
½ lb. Chocolate malt
.125 lb. Roasted Barley
½ lb. dark brown sugar
1 oz. Summit leaf hops (16.4% AA) @ 60 min.
½ oz. Liberty pellet hops (3.6% AA) @ 15 min.
½ oz. Liberty pellet hops (3.6% AA) @ 5 min.
White Labs WLP005 British Ale yeast (32 oz. yeast starter)
1 campden tablet

With the big yeast starter, this thing took off like a rocket – I had vigorous fermentation within 6 hours.

Obviously this beer is too dark to qualify as an IPA and has too many IBUs to qualify as any type of brown ale. So this begs the question: Is it okay to stray from the BJCP style guidelines? My answer is that if it tastes good, who cares about brewing to style. This is absolutely the best beer I have ever brewed. I may not be able to win an award with this beer, but this one is very popular with my friends who are beer connoisseurs. I think I poured the first one about 3 weeks ago and I only have about a dozen left.

Right up front it has a nice nuttiness from the chocolate malt, but on the back end you definitely get smacked in the mouth with hop bitterness. It has a nice long-lasting creamy off-white head. The Summit/Liberty hops combination is perfect. Next time I’ll add a bit more chocolate malt, maybe 1 pound.

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