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Thursday, October 13, 2016

October Brew of the Month: Mark's American Brown

Mark Iacopelli

Now that Octoberfest is over — yes, it actually is celebrated in September — and fall is in full swing, it's time for the dark, malty ales of the season. It is an exciting time in the beer world with countless seasonal beers on the shelves. For this month’s brew I decided to do an American Brown ale to kick off the fall, and to pay tribute to the browning leaves.

To make this one different I decided to go with a Munich malt base and omitted any type of caramel malt. Caramel malt is in almost every brown ale recipe I have seen and/or written for myself and for our customers. My reason for opting against Munich is to challenge my recipe design skills and to explore new malts. I believe that putting limitations on yourself in this way can better familiarize you with the different flavors you are picking up from each malt. To fill the void that the caramel malt left I decided to boil for two hours to pick up some maillard (browning) reactions. This is where I hoped to get the caramel sweetness found in many browns.

The finished product pours a deep brown with dark ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is a light tan with medium retention. On the nose the beer is predominately biscuity and bready with very slight chocolate, but mostly clean. In the flavor the beer is considerably toasty up front. In the middle it has a balanced savory sweetness before finishing a nutty dry. The carbonation is medium with a soft round body, yet finishes dry.

Overall, I found it to be a pretty comforting beer that is satisfying on its own, but light enough to have two or three in a sitting. I think the only change I would consider in a rebrew is to add a little rye in order to give the beer slight fruitiness. If you choose to pair this beer it would go well with honey ham and a side of mashed potatoes with apple pie for dessert.

All Grain Recipe

    • 8lb Briess Munich Malt
    • 1lb Pilot 6 Row
    • 1lb Biscuit Malt
    • 1lb Crisp Pale Chocolate
    • .5lb Aromatic Malt
    • .5oz Centennial (60mins)
    • 1oz Northern Brewer (15mins)
    • .5oz East Kent Goldings (5mins)
    • US-05 yeast

Extract with Specialty Grains

    • 6.6lb Liquid Munich Extract
    • 1lb Liquid Pilsner Light Extract (bring a mason jar)
    • .75lb Biscuit Malt
    • .75lb Crisp Pale Chocolate
    • .5lb Aromatic Malt
    • .5oz Centennial (90mins)
    • 1oz Northern Brewer (15mins)
    • 1oz East Kent Goldings (5mins)
    • US-05 yeast
The staff at Siciliano's is always eager to answer your homebrewing questions. Stop by for help developing custom-made recipes like this one!

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