Janet's Brown Ale

Janet's Brown Ale

 

Introduction

This is a recipe by well known home brewer Mike McDole (aka 'Tasty' on the forums he frequents).

It's a recipe that received great publicity when it took gold at the 2004 National Homebrew Competition (NHC). At the time it was entered under category 23 Specialty Ale.  Today, the newest 2015 BJCP Guidelines include a category 21B called "Specialty IPA" which covers different varieties and strengths. According to both Gordon Strong (BJCP President) and Tasty, under the new guidelines this beer would be "Category 21B - Specialty IPA - American Brown IPA".

The award winning recipe was then featured in Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles (our favourite recipe book) as an example of a bigger, hoppier American Brown Ale.

It's a beer that we had heard about for years but never got around to making... We finally brewed it for the first time in October 2011. Absolutely fantastic! One of those "why didn't we brew this sooner" moments.

If you like hoppy American style ales like IPAs, this is one you definitely have to try as it leans more to an IPA than to a stout or porter. We've brewed this beer numerous times now and it's one of our favourites. The malt and hop flavours work perfectly together. For years brewers had been told that you can't mix roasty with hoppy, that the two flavours would clash and not work well together. Tasty was probably one of the first to prove the status quo wrong.

This beer is available as an extract kit or  all-grain kit  with everything you need from More Beer.

Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!

 

Shop heating elements made for brewing

 

Janet's Brown Ale

Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 95%
Attenuation: 76.8%
Original Gravity: 1.068 (style range: 1.056 - 1.070)
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (style range: 1.008 - 1.016)
Colour: 8.6 SRM (style range: 11 - 19)
Alcohol: 6.8% ABV (style range: 5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: 64 IBU (style range: 40 - 70)

Mash:
19.15 lb Domestic 2-Row Malt (1.8-2L) (75%)
1.6 lb Pale (or White) Wheat Malt (1.5-2.4L) (6.3%) 
2 lb Carapils or Carafoam (1.4-2.9L) (7.8%)
2 lb Crystal Malt (40L) (7.8%)
0.8 lb Chocolate Malt (350-500L) (3.1%)
2 oz US Northern Brewer Hops (8.5%) - added during mash* 

Boil:
3 oz US Northern Brewer Hops (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [39.8 IBU] 
2 oz US Northern Brewer Hops (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [12.7 IBU] 
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
3 oz Cascade Hops (6.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [11.2 IBU] 

Post-boil:
4 oz Cascade Hops (6.0%) - added immediately after boil 

Yeast:
48g Fermentis Safale US-05 dry yeast** (or an appropriate starter)

Dry hop: 
4 oz Centennial Hops (9.2%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3-5 days

*If using pellet hops break them up before adding them to the mash, otherwise they will clump up and you won't get much out of them. We find the easiest way to do this is to add the hops to 2-3 cups of hot strike water in a bowl and let them soak for a few minutes to allow them to break up. Then stir until it's an even soup (no clumps) and dump and mix well into the mash. You may find that your mash will foam up a bit more than usual with hops in there. This is normal.

**If you prefer to use liquid yeast, Wyeast 1056 American Ale or White Labs WLP001 California Ale are excellent choices as they are the same clean fermenting Chico strain as US-05. You'll need to use 7 packs/vials or make an appropriate starter.

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Notes / Process

  • Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine / chloramine (if required).
  • Water treated with brewing salts to our Hoppy flavour profile: Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=50, SO4=275 (Basically Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers with slightly less Sulphate). For complete details on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustment guide.
  • 1.25 qt/lb mash thickness.
  • Single infusion mash at 152F for 90 mins.
  • Raise to 168F mashout temperature and hold for 10 mins.
  • ~90 min fly sparge with ~5.6-5.8 pH water (measured at mash temperature). Collect 14.9 gallons.
  • Boil for 90 minutes, adding Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on at flameout after post-boil hops are added, start chilling immediately.
  • Cool the wort quickly to 66F (we use a one-pass convoluted counterflow chiller to quickly lock in hop flavour and aroma) and transfer to fermenter.
  • Aerate well. Pure oxygen from a tank may be used at a rate of 1 litre per minute for 120 seconds per 5 gallons.
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 66-68F (wort temperature). We use modified stainless fermenting buckets in wine fridges.
  • Add dry hops once fermentation is nearing completion (i.e. 5 points from terminal gravity) and raise the temperature to 70-72F. In our case we simply turn off the fermenting fridges and allow the beer to naturally rise to room temperature. Steep hops for 3-5 days while fermentation finishes. Assume fermentation is done if the gravity does not change over ~3 days.
  • Before packaging you may optionally rack to a brite tank (we use 5 gallon glass carboys) that has been purged with CO2 to avoid oxygen pickup, add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and allow to clear for 2-3 days. Gelatin may "round off" some hop flavour / aroma so we tend to skip this step with hop forward beers like this.
  • Package as you would normally. We rack to kegs that have first been purged with CO2, and then carbonate on the low side (around 2 volumes of CO2) to minimize carbonic bite and let the hop and malt flavours shine through. We chill the kegs to near freezing while carbonating at the same time in a 6-keg conditioning fridge. After ~1-2 weeks at serving pressure the kegs will be carbonated and ready to serve. Like all hop forward beers this IPA is best consumed fresh so feel free to raise the CO2 pressure temporarily to 30-40 PSI to carbonate fast over a 24 period, and then turn back down to serving pressure. Some hop bits will have invariably made their way into the keg during transfer so we use a Hop Stopper Keg Edition filter to ensure that hops do not clog the dip tube and/or end up in the glass. Force carbonating at high pressure and using a Hop Stopper filter allows us to serve this beer 24 hours after kegging. There's no need to wait a few days for any hop bits that made their way into the keg to first settle out.
  • For an interesting twist, try serving this through a stout faucet using a beer gas blend (we use 70% nitrogen / 30% CO2) instead of straight CO2. This gives you a nice creamy head and close to flat beer. Absolutely wonderful. We actually enjoy it this way more than on regular CO2.

For detailed brewing instructions, see our Brew Day Step by Step guide.

Enjoy!

Questions? Visit our Janet's Brown Ale forum thread

 

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Pictures / Videos

Interested in seeing what we're brewing right now? Follow us on Instagram for pictures and videos of our brewing activities as they happen.

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Brew day! Filling the HLT. Making another batch of double dry hopped Janet’s Brown Ale. Citrusy/fruity hops paired with a rich malt background of chocolate, roast, and caramel flavours and aromas. The beer that turned the brewing world upside down when it took gold at the 2004 National Homebrew Competition by combining two things that were not supposed to work together: Roast and hoppy. Recipe on my website.🍻 . ‪TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery‬ . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrewingonly #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewyourown #controlpanel #brewday #beerrecipes #janetsbrown

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Prepping for a brew day tomorrow. Five different malts and lots of hop additions. Making one of my favourites that the 'experts' for years said shouldn't work (combining hoppy with roasty). A big thank you to Mike McDole ( @tastymcd ) for not following the rules and breaking barriers in creating this beer! He definitely showed them when he took gold at the 2004 National Homebrew Competition with this beer. Recipe on my website - look for Janet's Brown Ale. 🍻 . TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #TheElectricBrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewday #beerrecipes #janetsbrown

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View this post on Instagram

Janet’s Brown Ale. Yum! Citrusy/fruity hops paired with a rich malt background of chocolate, roast, and caramel flavours and aromas. The beer that turned the brewing world upside down when it took gold at the 2004 National Homebrew Competition by combining two things that were not supposed to work together: Roast and hoppy. Recipe on my website. 🍻 . TheElectricBrewery.com ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #brewyourown #basementbrewery #beerrecipes #janetsbrown

A post shared by The Electric Brewery (@theelectricbrewery) on

 

For more pictures and videos of our Electric IPA search Instagram for #JanetsBrown.