HBP Brown Ale

I had two goals with this beer. The first being to make a beer a nice beer for Fall. The second was I wanted to use peppers; specifically, some hot banana peppers I had growing in the garden. I decided to do a brown (though a little on the lighter side given the Pilsner Extract) to give it a fall feel, used plenty of hops per usual, and added in the hot peppers at the same time as the yeast. We’ll see how it goes!

Recipe:

  • Steeping Grains
    • Brown Malt – .75Lbs
    • Caramel 40L – .50Lbs
    • 2 Row Pale – .25Lbs
    • Roasted Barley – .25Lbs
  •  Extract
    • Breiss Pilsner Light Extract – 6.6lbs
  • Hops
    • Cascade (6o min) – 2 ounces
    • Cascade (20 min) – 2 ounces
    • AU Stella (5 min) – 2 ounces
    • AU Stella (1 min) – 1 ounce
  • Other Ingredients
    • Whirfloc Tablet (5 min)
    • 6 Hot Banana Peppers, mostly deseeded (Pitched with Yeast)
    • Safale US-05 Yeast
    • 1/2 Cup Table Sugar (for priming)

9/30/15: Brew Date IMG_3162Thoughts:

I am pretty worried about this beer. Firstly, I really wasn’t sure how many peppers to use. I used 6, because I want it to have the pepper flavor, but I took most of the seeds out, because I don’t want the heat to overwhelm the beer. Hopefully this works, but there is a chance the pepper taste won’t come through at all, or even worse, it’ll just be too hot to drink. I also used over 7 ounces of hops so this thing is going to be really hoppy. I think that is great, but just hoping the hops work well with the brown grains (and the Pilsner Extract), as well as the peppers. Other areas of concern are the hops I used called “AU Stella”, which I’ve never used before. I decide to risk it because they had similar acidity to Simcoe (what I had planned to use), and they were majorly on sale. I also realized while brewing that I don’t have any corn sugar left. After consulting other brewing blogs, I think I am just going to keep the risks going here and try using table sugar for the first time as a primer.

10/14/15: Bottling Day Thoughts:

Based on the FG, looks like this beer is only 4.6% ABV. Seems rather low. Taste wasn’t bad though, so optimistic it might turn out alright.

12/18/15: Final Thoughts:

I’ve drank many of these beers trying to decide what I think of it, and I think I’ve decided its rather good. All of the things that I was worried about ended up not being a real issue. The pepper amount was perfect – noticeable, but not overbearing. The table sugar worked just fine. It’s very drinkable and has a flavor that is unlike any other beer I’ve had. The hops do drown out the malts quite a lot, so there really isn’t much “Brown” character to the beer. Not a complaint, but didn’t really turn out like I had originally envisioned. I think if I could do it over, I would have gone less on hops and heavier on the brown malt. While I do enjoy the beer, I don’t see a compelling reason to make this again. I do really enjoy the peppery aspect of the beer though, and definitely try to do that again in the future. Maybe something a little lighter so the pepper can shine through even more.

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