Amelia Loftus eco home brewer

Eco-Brewing Writer & Designer

• Home brewing as an integral part of a self sufficient sustainable lifestyle •

Barley's Bark Brown Ale

Barley the chocolate lab and wort lapper
Barley the chocolate lab and wort lapper

Partial Mash Home Brew Recipe

This is a hearty brown ale that is richer in malt and hop flavor than the milder British style nut brown ale. I named this one after my dog Barley, who is a Chocolate Lab with a rich chocolate brown coat the same color as this beer. Barley happens to like stealing a few slurps of the wort when I am brewing if given a chance! This is a full bodied, creamy brown ale with flavors of toasty malts, nuttiness, and hints of coffee. This beer goes great with harvest season salads such as spicy green and cranberry salad with roasted nuts, earthy, and nutty cheese such as Camembert, a rich mushroom gravy, or hearty beef stew. The recipe is great for a quick brew, because this beer will taste good in as little as three weeks after fermentation starts.

Recipe for 5 US Gallons

7 pounds Organic pale malt extract syrup
8 ounces Organic Vienna malt, crushed
8 ounces Organic crystal 40°L malt, crushed
8 ounces Organic crystal 60°L malt, crushed
8 ounces Organic chocolate malt, crushed
.5 ounce (4 AAU) American Bravo organic pellet hops- Boil 60 min. (12 IBU)
1 ounce (7 AAU) Kent Goldings organic pellet hops- Boil 20 min. (14 IBU)
.5 ounce (4 AAU) New Zealand Hallertaur organic whole hops- Boil 10 min. (4 IBU)
.5 teaspoon Organic Irish Moss (to help clear beer)- Boil 20 minutes
Yeast: White Labs 023 Burton Ale or Wyeast 1968 London ESB
Priming Sugar: 4 ounces organic corn sugar

O.G. 1.056
F.G. 1.012- 1.014
Total AAU’s: 15
Total IBU’s: 30

Brewing Instructions:

Mix the grains with at least two quarts of water or fill a grain bag and place it in your brew pot filled with water. Gently heat to 150°F (95°C) and steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain all the liquid from the grains (or remove grain bag). Add enough water to the sweet wort collected to fill the brew kettle—the total volume should be 5.25 to 5.5 gallons (adjust for your brewing system). Heat to just before boiling, add the extract, and dissolve completely. Bring to a boil, and add the Bravo hops. Boil for 40 minutes. Add the Irish Moss and the Kent Goldings hops and boil for 10 more minutes. Add the New Zealand Hallertaur hops, boil for another 10 minutes, then stir well and turn the heat off. Cool to 65–70°F (48–51°C). Transfer to a sanitized fermenter and aerate well. Add the yeast, then ferment for 7-14 days. Rack to a secondary fermenter after 5–7 days if desired. Prime the beer and bottle when fermentation is complete. Allow to condition for 12 to 21 days, then enjoy.

Variation—Buck-Nut Brown: If nutty is your thing, adding some buckwheat to this recipe really steps up the nutty flavor. The key to getting the maximum nutty flavor is to use toasted buckwheat, which is often called Kasha, and is sold at most health food stores. Use one pound for a five gallon batch. To enhance the nuttiness further, toast the buckwheat again right before brewing on a cookie sheet at 325° F for ten minutes. After toasting it, add to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. You can use a grain bag and slightly more water if you want.

Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes so the grains are fully cooked. Allow to cool slightly so it can be safely handled if you will be adding other grains in the brown ale recipe to the grain bag. Add the 2 gallons of water first, to bring the temperature down. Otherwise the specialty malts will get too hot. Add all the specialty grains and follow the regular instructions for this recipe to complete the batch. Because the buckwheat is not mashed, only a little fermentable sugar will be extracted, so the strength of the beer will not change much. But, the distinctive full nutty flavor of buckwheat will give this brew fantastic character.

All-Grain Version: Substitue 9.25 lbs organic pale ale malt for the malt extract. Increase the C40 and C60 to 12 ounces each, and the Vienna malt to 1 lb. Mash at 150°F in 4.5 gallons of water for 30 to 45 minutes, or until starch conversion is complete. Sparge with 3 gallons of water at 165°F. Proceed with the boiling instructions and the same hop schedule as above.