Brew day: Ian Brown Ale

Brew day: Ian Brown Ale

Brew Day

I almost like English brown ale as much as I like The Stone Roses. Like the beer, frontman Ian Brown hails from the northern parts and is more than a little nutty.


Most of my darker beers have a high alcohol content (so do my pale beers for that matter). With the Ian Brown Ale, I like to make it a little less boozy so that I can have a "sessionable" dark beer on tap. This is the fourth time I'm brewing this beer and it's always gone down well with the punters.

The only difference this time around is the yeast I'm using. I recently tasted a Northern Brown Ale that Wolfman brewed, that had some really nice dark fruit characteristics from the Mangrove Jack's UK dark ale yeast. I have a couple of packs of this strain in the fridge that I got through my brew club (Merri Mashers), so this time, I'm swapping out the usual S-04 to see how what complexities the new yeast can add.

My kegerator is quickly emptying so I'd like to replenish the supplies and have the Ian Brown Ale ready to serve ASAP. The S-04 usually finishes primary fermentation in 5-6 days. My experience with the MJ yeasts so far is that they are slow to start but get the job done really quickly once the party's started. Fingers crossed the kegerator won't be dry in two weeks time.


Ian Brown Ale (English style brown ale)

Target OG: 1.051



Boil: (90 minutes)



I overshot my OG a little and ended up with a 1.056 beer (a little more boozy than I was aiming for). That's not really an issue for me as long as I still end up with an FG of 1.018 or so. This beer is really nice with a little residual sweetness to balance out the bitterness from both the malt and hops. Other than that it was a pretty smooth day.

I ended up with 26 litres of wort which I left it to chill in a cube overnight and will pitch the yeast (rehydrated) in the morning.

getting-ready.jpg Ingredients & equipment

the-mash.jpg The mash - It smells a lot better than it looks!

Stay tuned for tasting notes in a few weeks time!

UPDATE (01/09/14)

So... There was no need to be worried about slow starting yeast. 12 hours later and there was krausen overflow. Nice work Mangrove Jack.


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