Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bad Bear 2 - British Brown Ale

As you may recall about two years ago I made my first attempt at an English Brown Ale.  It had a nice malt profile, but there was this tangy sour character I didn't find appealing.  I went ahead and blamed it on the S-04 yeast I used.  But after further research I may have placed the blame on the wrong ingredient, or maybe not.

I looked back at the old recipe and noticed I had Victory, Biscuit and Special Roast.  I have come to learn that Victory is Briess' brand of biscuit malt.  I decided to swap out the Biscuit (think the maltser I use is Dingmanns) for all Victory in this recipe.  I then did some research on Special Roast.  Lo and behold it can produce that tangy sour character!  See description from Briess below.

"Special Roast is not only more deeply roasted than Victory® Malt, it is also produced from a proprietary malting/roasting process that kicks up the intensity of the toasty and biscuity flavors, develops noticeable bran flake notes and creates its distinguishing bold sourdough/tangy flavor" - Briess Malting

Harvest WLP002 English Ale Yeast
Harvested WLP002 from inTROduction
So I may have written of S-04 too soon, but I like WLP002 so much and I didn't want to take a chance on the sour/tart character coming from yeast either.  Plus I have been trying to harvest yeast using the simple method and had a couple mason jars left over from my inTROduction session ale ready to ferment away.

Anyways, now that I cut out the Special Roast and S-04, this beer is looking less and less like a slightly modified Bad Bear so I decided to go with pale chocolate, at twice the amount, instead of chocolate malt in the original.  I am a big fan of pale chocolate malt and hope this dosage works well for this beer.  I also am using Caramunich because its what I have on hand.

I made some modifications to my brewing procedures to speed things up on brewday and was able to make this All-Grain batch happen in 3 hours!  I did a 30 min mash and a 45 min boil.  I then fermented directly in the kettle - a practice I may need to implement more often in the future.  The only real issue with the speed brew was that I forgot to take an OG reading so I have no clue what this beers ABV is and am providing the numbers below as a rough guess.

Despite the numerous recipe changes, I am sticking with the name since I enjoy the label so much!

Bad Bear 2 - British Brown Ale

Brewed On: October 6, 2012
Kegged On: October 27, 2012
Style: 11C - Northern English Brown
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Efficiency: 75%
OG: 1.048?
FG: 1.012
IBU: 26 (Rager) 
ABV: 4?%
Yeast: Harvested WLP002 ~250 billion viable cells Fermented at 64°

Grist Mashed at 148 for an hour
80% - Pale Ale Malt (Rahr) -8 lb
10%  - Victory (Briess) - 1 lb
5%  - Caramunich - 8 oz
5%  - Pale Chocolate - 8 oz

Hop Additions 
.4 oz - Magnum 14.7% AAU - FWH in a 45 minutes boil- 26 IBUs


Water Adjustments
Montgomery County, MD Water - 1/2 Campden Tablet for all brewing water
2 grams gypsum to mash water
2 grams CaCl to mash water
2 oz of acid malt used

Tasting Notes: Batch Infected!  Maybe Bad Bear Brown Ale is destined to be bad...I plan on re-brewing this again in the future to try and conquer this style which continually seems to allude me!

See this post for further details

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