American Brown Ale & Making your own Amber Malt

When we think of a beer-style brown ale we typically think of the English variety. Something like Newcastle brown. There is an American version of the brown ale as well. And that is what we are brewing today. We will also be going to have a go at roasting our own malt.

English version of brown ale is divided into a Northern English and Southern English version. The Southern style really emphasizes rich caramel sweetness while the Northern versions have more nutty characteristics in the beer. American brown ale is a little bolder, stronger, and just a little hoppier too.

If you are interested in all things American about a beer be sure to try How to brew American Light Lager.

The Grain Bill

A glass of American brown ale beer a wooden spoon and some spice.

We are building a beer with an original gravity of 1.055 so about 5.5 % alcohol by volume. In terms of grains we are adding in the following.

  • 71 % Two Row Malt
  • 13 % Amber Malt
  • 9 % Caramunich 1
  • 5 % Special B
  • 2 % Chocolate Malt

How to Roast your Malt

We put Two-Row malt out onto a baking tray. Set the oven for 350 F and put it inside. Were kilning our malt by putting it into the oven. You have to leave it in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Keep an eye on it. What you are looking for in terms of appearance is a pale copper color. You need to be careful not to take it too far and end up with a fully roasted malt.

A mug of American brown ale with some wheat.

The hops and yeast for this beer

For bittering, we are using Cascade. Adding 1 oz of Cascade at 60 minutes will give us about 20 ibu. Then we have a mixture of Cascade and Willamette for additional flavor and aroma. This hop additions will be done at 5 minutes to go.

The yeast for this beer we have made a starter of American ale yeast. This is a nice clean strain that will go pretty well with this beer. We will add it to the fermenter and ferment at 68 F and then give it a taste.

This beer has aged some 4 weeks before we decided to taste it. It has that brown ale taste that beer drinkers will immediately recognize. Cascade has added some really nice hop characters to it. A really nice and simple to make beer. Cheers.

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