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Style of the Week: India Brown Ale!

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March 25, 2016 by fhsteinbart


IBA

Here we see a typical IBA with a luscious off white foam stand and nut brown color. Makes me want one!

As a person who loves hops, it comes as no surprise that I tend to enjoy hoppier beers such as IPA’s Pale Ales, Pilsners, Stouts, and Alts. When I was a young(er) home brewer, I used to make a nicely hoppy Brown Ale that was called a Texas Brown Ale back in the day. Today we call them India Brown Ales, and to be honest, they’re just hoppier versions of the Northern English Brown Ales. As a malty, dry, and hoppy beer, these beers have the best of both worlds in balancing a lot of hops against a lot of malts, but it can be done! And when its done right, it’s pure heaven in a glass in my humble opinion ☺ Below is a recipe of mine that makes an excellent IBA as is, but feel free to tinker with the recipe to suit yourself and your palate’s needs!

 

Extract:

  • 6 lbs. Light Dry Malt Extract
  • ¼ lb. Crystal 40L
  • ¼ lb. Crystal 80L
  • ¼ lb. Pale Chocolate Malt
  • ¼ lb. British Chocolate Malt
  • 2 oz. Magnum Hops (Bittering)
  • 2 oz. Golding (Flavor)
  • 2 oz. Willamette (Aroma)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • Wyeast 1968, WLP002, Imperial Pub, or Safale S-04 yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat 1 gallon of water to 155°F.
  • Turn off heat and add steeping grains, and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the steeping grains, adding the malt extract and stirring until fully dissolved, then add water to volume.
  • Return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min. then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
  • After boil has finished, turn off heat, add the aroma hops and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
  • Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 10 lbs. Pale Ale Malt
  • ¼ lb. Crystal 40L
  • ¼ lb. Crystal 80L
  • ¼ lb. Pale Chocolate Malt
  • ¼ lb. British Chocolate Malt
  • 2 oz. Magnum Hops (Bittering)
  • 2 oz. Goldings Hops (Flavor)
  • 2 oz. Willamette Hops (Aroma)
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet
  • Wyeast 1968, White Labs WLP002, or Imperial Pub, or Safale S-04 yeast

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 150°F for 1 hour, using a standard (1.33qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. Add the flavor hops  at 20 minutes remaining in the boil. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 0 minutes (knockout), add the aroma hops and cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 120 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 22 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in a Dimpled mug or modern pint glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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