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Monday, February 21, 2011

He's a big ol' beer named Townie Brown


Yesterday, Jeff and I brewed one hell of a beer. We made 10 gallons of an imperial brown! What's that you say?, "You'll NEVER drink 10 gallons of an imperial beer". Yes, we know...at least not quickly. 5 gallons of this beer is going into the oak barrel I have and will be aged for about 6-9 months. The other five will be kegged and served. The brew day went great, though the mash was a beast this time around. The mash tun was about maxed about, check out the picture below. The beer will finish at 12.1% theoretically (OG was 1.114) and was made up of Marris Otter malt, 2-row, crystal, special roast, and a wee bit of chocolate malt. Also, we added maple syrup and dark brown sugar. We topped of our numbers with some light malt extract and corn sugar as well. It smelled and tasted delicious, strong toasted caramel and nutty flavors. The hops used were Columbus for bittering and East Kent Golding for aroma and flavor. The 10 gallons of wort is currently bubbling away in the room next to me!

Say when...









While we were brewing, we also kegged Pliny the Brother and Sally's Lil' Slice of Heaven. They both finished up at around 1.010. That is perfect for Pliny, but maybe a little too low for the barleywine. The lower OG might make the barleywine a little more drinkable, but hopefully some of the body was retained. We'll see, they both tasted fantastic and I can't wait to try them in a week or so. I have been imbibing Kitchen Sink Ale and it tastes great! It turned out like an English Old Ale (think Great Divide Hibernation Ale). The color is great and the head on it sticks around for a good while. I really like it.


Kitchen Sink Ale, freshly poured from the tap
So, the taps will now be full in a couple of weeks and the feverish brewing schedule will calm a bit, though I'm not sure I want it to. I'll have to start focusing on some more sessionable (drink more than one in a sitting) ales after this. Any suggestions? I was thinking of starting with an Amber. I'm probably going to have a Lowell.Brewing Strong Ale Festival to start clearing the taps! Stay tuned, things are rolling and I'm loving the brews off the new system...

5 comments:

Adam said...

Browns are my absolute favorite, yum. Let us know how it turns out!

Andrew Lowell said...

Will do, I checked the gravity this weekend and it is at about 1.06 from 1.114, it's getting there, but has a ways to go!

Abby said...

WHEN is the Lowell.Brewing.Festival going to be!? Will there be a band? WE'RE THERE!

Zen said...

Good stuff Andrew. What was your mash schedule for this beast? With the RIMS, are you able to do a beta rest, then flame up to alpha range? Or, are you just doing a single infusion? My concern is scorching with a malt bill this large.

-Erich Hanke

Andrew Lowell said...

Hey Erich, long time. I mashed 30 minutes each at 145, 150, and 155. The RIMS does allow me to do the rests and just set the temp to the next step up in the series each time. The heater heats the recirculating wort until it reaches the desired temp. I wanted to do a temperature step mash to make sure I got all the fermentables I could out of this one, but I'm not sure that I had to. I thought my efficiency would drop a bit (from 70% to about 60%) but I don't think it dropped that much since my OG ended up being higher than expected. I get a really nice recirculation flow and I used about a 1.25 qt./lb. water ratio in the mash. Scorching really hasn't been an issue with this system. Like I said, I have a really good flow and my heater element is only a 1500W ultra low density element. I was actually thinking about getting a new element and bumping up the wattage because it takes a little longer than I would like to bump up the temperature in the mash. How's your brewing coming along?