Brandon Brown Ale

Loosely based on the recipe for "Mr. Squinty's Contemporary Summer Ale" in Radical Brewing. I added the roasted ESB and roasted barley because I can't resist throwing in whatever's around. That turned it into a brown ale.


Batch size: 5 gallons

Target gravity: 1.045

Grain bill:

  • 4 lb Gambrinus ESB
  • 1 lb Munich 10
  • 1 lb organic wheat malt
  • 8 oz roasted ESB
  • 2 oz roasted barley
  • 1 lb Lyle's Golden Syrup

Will mash low -- 145 F - 150 F -- to make it crisp.


  • 1 oz Cascade @ 60 (7%)
  • 1 oz Willamette @ 30 (5%)
  • 1 oz Willamette @ 5 (5%)

Yeast: Wyeast 1007, washed from the Fiverweizen.

Brew Day

May 30, 2010: Brought 7 gallons of water to 168 F, then mashed in. Temp settled at 154 F -- higher than I wanted, so I added about 750ml of water from the fridge (probably around 4 C), stirred and it came out at 150 F. I was kinda hoping for 145 F or so, like the Fiverweizen, but we'll call this good. Final temp was 148 F -- coolers, hey?

This wort has turned out much browner than expected...really, the colour makes it a brown ale. Not sure how much is the roasted barley and how much is the roasted ESB (both of which were last-minute additions). Name change ahoy!

Kids helped get the wort in the kettle. Gravity reading 1.034. Forgot the Lyle's 'til halfway through the boil. Got 6.25 gallons; after boil, it was 5 gallons just about exactly. Final gravity was 1.045 -- perfect!

Pitched one of two 500 ml bottles of yeast cake I saved from the Fiverweizen. I figure it was about 250ml of actual yeast slurry.


Fermentation took about 24 hours to start, and then slowly: only 1cm or so of kreusen to start with, 2-3 at 36 hours. Smells wonderful: the citrus from the Cascades is really coming through. Must buy more Cascades.


June 26, 2010: FG: 5.25% ABV. Tastes good, but fairly bitter. Nice dark brown colour. 18 litres yield.


July 8, 2010: First tasting. Nice big head that goes away fairly quickly. Rich, leathery brown (don't I sound fancy?). Smell is mainly green and yeasty...taste isn't bad, but mostly weet and ggreen. Good level of carb, creamy mouthfeel -- is that the dextrose again?

July 18, 2010: Coming along nicely. weet, caramelly taste that is very satisfying. Moderate amount of hop bitterness. I'm surprised how seet this tastes, given the mash temp.

August 26, 2010: Becoming less happy with this. A little too bitter (from the carbonation?); needs a little more sweetness (maybe some crystal next time?); still a little yeasty. The yeast flocculates well, but doesn't stay settled: it stirs up and starts floating around at the drop of a hat. Weird, because I used this yeast (well, first generation) in the FiverWeizen beer and didn't really notice that. OTOH, there's a nice, slightly hoppy, slightly malty lingering aftertaste that I like.

My wife says: carbonic acid taste at first, then sour, then bitter -- but not enough bitterness. Needs either sweetness to balance it out, or more time to develop the bitterness (if it will).