Quickstart Guide to Brewing English Brown Ale

This Quickstart will show you all you need to start brewing this classic style.
The process used here is the same as shown on the How-To Brew page above.

Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale


Actual Og
1.059  
Actual Fg
1.018  
Actual ABV
5.38%  

English Brown Ale Style Profile

There are three types of this classic English ale: Mild, Southern and Northern.
Mild is generally lower in alcohol and has mild bitterness and trys to retain a full flavour for it's low strength.

Southern Brown Ale is usually lighter in body with more hop flavour than Northern Brown ale, and has much less carbonation and head.


Ingredients you will use

Fermentables

0.00 Kilogram of Pale Malt
2.53 Kilograms of Lager/Pale Dry Malt (DME)
10.00 Grams of Irish Moss
85.00 Grams of Chocolate Malt
142.00 Grams of British Crystal 55

Hops

25 Grams of East Kent Golding (6.00%) for 60 minutes
15 Grams of Fuggles (5.00%) for 60 minutes
15 Grams of Fuggles (5.00%) for 15 minutes

Yeast

Safale S-04 English Ale

Tweaks

You could make this beer stronger or weaker by adjusting the amount of Dry Malt Extract from x to y. You will see how your changes affect the recipe in the calculation on the left of the screen, including the alcohol by volume.

By adding small additions of roast malt e.g. Roast Barley you can darken the beer colour, but keep the addition small in this recipe to avoid too much roastiness and astringency.

Click the button below to make a personal copy of the recipe above and start brewing.
Start Recipe

Understanding Brewing Numbers

The numbers on left tell us a lot about the beer recipe we are about to brew:

Actual OG

This is the measured Original Gravity of the finished beer. This number indicates how much of the fermentable ingredients were disolved in the wort before fermentation.

Actual FG

This is the measured Final Gravity of the finished beer. This number indicates how much non-fermentable material remains disolved in the wort after fermentation. In taste terms you can think of this as the body i.e. whether a beer tastes thick or thin.

ABV%

Alchol By Volume (ABV) is derived from the difference in the OG and FG i.e. this indicates how much sugar was consumed by the yeast and turned into alcohol.

Brewing Process

Heat some water into your brew pot (use a kettle to speed it up) to about 71C. I usually half fill my brew pot so approximately 7L.

Put the speciality grains into a grain bag and place it in the brew pot – give it a dunk and a swirl like a tea back then cover pot and, optionally, insulate it with some towels (I don't bother).


After 20 minutes remove the bag and hold it over the pot in a sieve or a colander, and pour over more 71C water to get as much flavour and colour from the grains as you can. I use 2 kettles of 1.7L.


Now bring it to the boil and start adding your hop additions. Note that recipes quote hop additions in how many minutes they will boil for, so a 60 minute addition will usually be the first addition for a 60 minute boil recipe, and a 15 minute addition will be made 15 minutes before the end. Some folks find that confusing and get it wrong by making the 60 minute addition at the end.

You can add the malt extract at any time in the boil, but be sure to boil it for sanitisation (e.g. dust on the can/package). Adding it late will reduce browning and increase hop utilisation (by lowering boil gravity), but reduces the wort temperature and stops your boil.

Remember to add the Irish Moss when you make the 15 minute hop addition.

Cool the wort in an ice bath. It's usually easier and faster to cool the wort in the pot you boiled it in, in a sink of ice just because you have a sink close your stove and you can replace the ice easily. Otherwise you can top up the fermenter with cold water now, and wait for the whole wort to cool down, in an ice bath if possible.

Pour wort into the fermenter, and add water to hit 20L

I use a garden hose to top up my wort! Just be sure to run off the stale water that's been sitting in the hose first. So far Sydney water hasn't let me down!

Record your OG using a hydrometer and update your brewday here on HopWort.
(sample pic)

Pitch yeast and ferment in a cool place, ideally at a constant 18C for this yeast in this recipe. This will reduce the amount flavours the yeast produces highlighting the hop flavours more.
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