Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Broke Down Brown

Seeing as the leaves are changing, the sun is mostly gone, the days are shorter, the skies are gloomy, the temps have dropped, and everything is wet here in Eugene, I took a look at my brews. I have a Mild in the bottles, as well as a Fresh Hop IPA. I have a partigyle Wee Heavy & 70- Scottish Ale planned for early November, and an Imperial Stout / Oatmeal Chocolate Stout partigyle planned for early December. So I have 2 beers ready that need to be consumed quickly, and the next brews won't be ready to drink until mid to late December; I thought it would be nice to have a nice, dark, smooth, malty beer to snuggle up to on the cold, gloomy fall evenings. I wrote up a recipe for a Brown Ale with American Two-Row, Abbey Malt for maltiness, lots of Pale Chocolate Malt, a healthy dose of C60, and some Flaked Barley to give it a nice smooth mouth feel. Gave it generous additions of Nugget, Zues, and Amarillo hops, and its set for some dryhopping this weekend. But then... where did the name come from?

I had my buddy over to help me brew, and we did it after work on Friday (late start). I worked up the water additions and everything on this one. We let the strike water heat while we ate dinner, then doughed in... wait a second... I forgot the additives I spent 3 hours figuring out! Go to measure them out... wait a second... my scale just jumped from 0 grams to 4 grams... it's not measuring accurately! Pinch of this, pinch of that... fingers crossed!

Set the Brew Timer on my smart phone... wait a second... it keeps stalling, the timers went off as they should, but I had no way of knowing how long had passed, nor how long was left!

I added the sparge water at almost boiling to the mash to try to get up the temp for the sugars to move more fluidly... dumb mistake... now this is a no-sparge!

Collected our wort and fired up the burner... just about 195*F I notice there is no longer a flickering under the pot... wait a second... out of propane!

Hooked up the second tank and commenced to boil. Added all my hops, everything is going good. My buddy, a new father, had to take off while we were chilling, so I was going to drain the kettle myself, no problem since I usually brew solo anyways. Everything is sanitized, draining from the Keggle into the conical perfectly. Check my OG, 1.061, just right! Clean up my stuff and then look at the fermenter... wait a second... the volume is at 4 gals and not moving anymore! 2 gals short!

Look inside the keggle and... wait a second... the pick up tube stopped working! Tried to get it working to no avail. Sanitized my hands and un hooked it, tipped it up, still nothing. Sanitized a strainer and removed the hops. Still nothing. Sanitized a mason jar and drained it by hand, one scoop at a time. Got to 5.2 gals @ 1.061... wait a second... that's only 62% Efficiency!

I ended up boiling a pot of water, and after cooling, added it to the conical to bring the volume up, the gravity and the IBUs down.

Needless to say, I think you know why the name is Broked Down Brown!

1 comment:

  1. As if all of the above weren't bad enough, multiple bottles of this beer are infected. I submitted 3 bottles to a BJCP competition and got multiple remarks for Brett infection. I took a bottle into the LHBS to have them taste it (one of the judges owns the shop and I wanted him to give it another shot). Before he was able to pour it the foam was rising up through the neck, and after he poured 2 tasters worth, the space in the bottle filled with foam that overflowed the top. The body was very watery, and the taste was muddled and off as well. Looks like I definitely have a few things living in at least a few of these bottles. Brett on one. Pedio in another. Looks like I am going to have to tighten up my cleaning and sanitizing regimen, starting with baking all of my bottles. Guess Broke Down Brown turned out to be the proper name after all.