had disappointing results (though I am geared up for another tasting to see if time has helped). Cranberries contain a lot of tannins and they seemed to add a fair amount of astringent bite to the last beer, which was too much for such a dry beer to handle. But, I've been thinking that a richer, maltier, "sweeter" beer would work well with cranberries. Especially if I don't overdo the cranberry addition. So, I brewed up an English-style brown ale sort of beer that will hopefully hold up to the cranberries.
As you can see from the grist bill below, this is decidedly not a standard brown ale recipe and is not the way I would build a brown ale if I were starting from scratch. But I wasn't starting from scratch. You see, I had grain already milled for another version of my ongoing attempt to perfect a hoppy red ale recipe I've been playing with the past couple of years. However, I never got around to brewing it, and I wanted to brew up this new beer so that it would be ready in time for Thanksgiving, and I didn't feel like wasting all this grain. So, I decided I could start with the grain I had, add some more crystal malt and some chocolate malt and...voila...turn it into a "brown" ale. Some of the grain weights are a little weird too since I had too much grain in the original red ale recipe for the lower gravity I was looking for with this beer, so I pulled out a couple of pounds of grain and just extrapolated the remaining grain weights based on percentages.
As for the yeast...I decided to go with the Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois strain I harvested from my multi-grain farmhouse style ale I brewed over the summer. I absolutely loved the fruity character I got from that strain and I am thinking that it will complement both the malt and the cranberries.
Speaking of the cranberries....I am planning on picking up some freshly harvested fruit from one of the original cultivated cranberry bogs on Cape Cod. This bog is now currently owned by "Annie's Crannies", but was originally farmed by Captain Henry Hall, the man credited with being the first to commercially cultivate cranberries. I'll add the fruit to secondary once the fermentation is fully complete. I'm not sure yet how much I will use, but am thinking on the order of 0.25 pounds per gallon. I figure it is better to be conservative. I may also bottle some of the base beer without the cranberries just in case the cranberry version turns out to be not so great.
So much for trying a simpler approach this time around....
Henry Hall Ale
brewed on 9/26/12
Batch Size: 3.75 gal
Estimated Color: 22.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
OG: 1.046 SG
3 lbs 10.0 oz Pale Malt - 58.9%
12.0 oz Pilsner Malt - 12.2%
6.0 oz Crystal 120 - 6.1%
6.0 oz Crystal 60 - 6.1%
6.0 oz Munich I - 6.1%
6.0 oz White Wheat Malt - 6.1%
3.0 oz Chocolate Malt - 3.0%
0.7 oz Roasted Barley - 0.7%
0.7 oz Acidulated - 0.7% (for mash pH)
9 g EKG [4.50 %] - 60 min
7 g Challenger [7.20 %] - 30 min
1 lb of fresh cranberries added to secondary
Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois (WLP644)
Single Infusion, 150ºF, batch sparge