Janet's Brown Ale - Archived
Held on the first Saturday in May, Big Brew for National Homebrew Day is an opportunity to fire up the kettle and raise a glass to the greatest hobby there is— homebrewing! In 1988, May 7 was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association created Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. Below is the description for Janet's Brown Ale provided by the American Homebrewers Association.
We updated the recipe to include Mr. Beer's ingredients, the brew specs are spot on to the original recipe.
Janet’s Brown Ale has quite the pedigree. Mike “Tasty” McDole took home a medal when this recipe won gold in the Brown Ale category in the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) in 2004. The award-winning recipe was then featured in Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer’s book, Brewing Classic Styles, as an example of a bigger, hoppier American Brown Ale. In 2009, McDole took gold again at the NHC with an updated recipe that he categorized as Imperial Brown Ale, but this time in the Specialty Beers category. Though Janet’s Brown Ale deviates a bit from the style guidelines for a traditional American Brown Ale, surely you will not be upset by the higher IBUs and ABV after taking a sip!
What You Get
1 Golden Ale Brewing Extract (HME)
1 Canadian Blonde Brewing Extract (HME)
1 Packet of Carapils Malt
1 Packet of Crystal Malt 40
1 Packet of Chocolate Malt
1 Packet of Northern Brewer Hops
1 Packet of Cascade Hops
1 Packet of Centennial Hops
2 Muslin Hop Sacks
1 Packet of US-05 Dry Ale Yeast
1 Packet of No-Rinse Cleanser
For Fans Of
Big Brew Day & Brown Ales
Original Gravity: 1.081
Final Gravity: 1.015
SRM: (Color): 24
STEP 1: Sanitizing
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:
1. Fill clean keg with warm water to line mark 1 on the back, then add ½ pack (about 1 tablespoon) of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, the solution is ready to use. Save the remaining ½ of No-Rinse Cleanser because you will need it for bottling.
2. Screw-on the lid and swirl the keg so that the cleaning solution makes contact with the entire interior of the keg, including the underside of the lid. Note that the ventilation notches under the lid may leak the solution. Allow to sit for at least 2 minutes and swirl again.
3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow the liquid to flow for 5 seconds, and then close.
4. Pour the rest of the solution from the keg into a large bowl. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener, and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in a cleaning solution prior to use.
5. After all, surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to the top of the keg, proceed immediately to brewing.
STEP 2: BREWING
Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.
1. Remove the yeast packets from under the lid of the cans of Brewing Extract (you will not need this), then place the unopened cans in hot tap water.
2. Add all the grains into one of the muslin sacks and tie it closed so that the grain can flow freely within the sack. Set aside.
3. Add 8 cups of water to a 1 gallon or larger boil pot. Begin heating the water to a range of 155-165 degrees F and hold, at this range. Next, add the grain sack into the water, and maintain the 155-165 temp for 30 minutes.
4. While you wait, add the packets of Cascade and Northern Brewer hops into one muslin sack. Tie closed and trim away any excess material.
5. After the 30 minute steep has completed, turn off the heat and remove the grain sack from the pot and place it into a colander to drain, allowing the runoff to flow back into the pot, and rinse the grain with one cup of hot water (around 160 degrees), letting the excess runoff flow back into your pot. DO NOT squeeze the grain sack. Once drained, discard the grain sack.
6. Bring grain water to a low, rolling boil. Once boiling add in your hopsack and let it boil for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes have passed remove your pot from the heat.
7. Open the HME cans and add them to the pot of grain water and stir with a sanitized spoon until combined.
8. Fill your fermenter with cold tap water to mark 1 on the back. If using any other fermenter this would be approximately 1 gallon of water.
9. Pour the wort including the hop sack, into your fermenter, and then bring the volume of the fermenter to mark 2 by adding more cold water. (If you have a different fermenter top it off to 8.5 liters).
10. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.
11. Sprinkle the US-05 Dry brewing yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.
Put your fermenter in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 78° F, and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 21 days.
STEP 3: Dry Hopping
Dry hopping is the process of adding hops to a beer which will impart more hop flavor and aroma to your beer.
1. On day 18 of your 21-day fermentation, add the packet of Centennial into your fermenter. Using clean scissors open the bag of hops. Remove the lid on your fermenter and gently dump in the hops and close the lid.
STEP 4: Bottling & Carbonating
After 21 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (24 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.
1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill a 1-gallon container with warm water, then add the remaining ½ pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use.
2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solution into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be used for bottling. Do not rinse.
3. Add 2 Carbonation Drops to each 740-mL bottle. For 1-liter bottles, add 2 ½ drops; for ½-liter bottles add 1 drop. Alternatively, you can add table sugar using this table as a guide.
4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.
5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.
6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation.
Tip from our Brewmasters
After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it.
This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer.