Leroy Brown Ale

Thursday night saw the return of the evening brew session! I haven’t done an evening brew for ages but with time constraints and other brews to get in, the devil was driving!

The beer in question is my entry for the Leeds homebrew Ilkley brewery American brown ale competition. Tentatively names ‘Leroy Brown Ale’ after the great Jim Croce track ‘Bad Bad Leroy Brown’

So where to start? I always like to remind myself of the style guidelines when coming up with a recipe, especially for a competition!

The BJCP may not be everyones cup of tea, but I think it can give you a good starting block on which to build an idea for a recipe. I also read a couple of articles from BYO magazine on this particular style of beer.



US brown ales tend to air towards the dryer, roasted flavours you get from the higher kilnd malts such as amber, chocolate et al, while still having some underlying sweetness from crystal malts.

I didn’t want to go too over the top with crystal malt derived, un-fermentable sugars as this may taste undesirable when coupled with the US hops. To this I wanted to add a layered approach to the roasted malts.

OG: 1.038
FG: 1.009
ABV: 3.8%
IBU: 38
Attenuation: 74.9%
Pale ale malt 79.1%
UK Munich malt 10.0%
Belgian special B 4%
UK Amber 2.6%
Chocolate malt 2.6%
Roasted barley 1.3%
Black malt 0.5%
US Apollo (19.5%aa) 10g FWH
US Summit (18%aa) 15g 10 minms
US Apollo (19.5%aa) 10g 5mins
US Summit (18%aa) 20g Flame out
US Apollo (19.5%aa) 20g Flame out
US Simcoe (13%aa) 20g Flame out
US Summit (18%aa) 25g Dry hopped
US Apollo (19.5%aa) 25g Dry hopped
US Simcoe (13%aa) 25g Dry hopped

The crystal malt I decided to use is the king of craft malt, no substitute, Belgian Special B. I used 4% of special B (of the total grist).

Special B Malt (140 – 155 L)

The darkest of the Belgian crystal malts, Dingemans Special B will impart a heavy caramel taste and is often credited with the raisin-like flavors of some Belgian Abbey ales. Larger percentages (greater than 5%) will contribute a dark brown-black color and fuller body.

To add the dry, toasty, roasty flavours I wanted to use a layering of higher kilned malts. Amber, chocolate, roasted barley and black malt. totalling 7% of the grist. I am hoping that this will add some complexity to the malt profile.

As for the hops, I wanted to go for some of the big, relatively new Us varieties. Apollo and summit are just fantastic as far as I’m concerned. Big, juicy west coast hops that are full of oils. The high AA % of these big boys meant that the kettle additions were relatively modest, it is with the later additions where I plan to let the hops do the talking! πŸ˜€

To try and get a highly fermentable wort I mashed at 64oC for an hour. I’m not worried that this will come across as thin as the oils from all the late and dry hops will add to the perception of body in the beer, as well as the un-fermentable sugars from the Special B.

All in all it was a pretty smooth brewday. Collected 21L, hit my SG’s. It’s fermenting away now at 18oC. once fermentation has ended I’ll be dry hopping and then bottling! πŸ™‚

Good luck to every one who enters! May the best beer win!

Quick update

This is down to its FG so I will be dry hopping it the putting it in the conditioning fridge set at 17oC till Sunday, followed by a stint at 11oC then drop down to 4oC!



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