Brown ale with Pilsen extract

So I have 4 lbs of Pilsen DME, and I want to make a crisp brown ale. Can I use the Pilsen as a base for that? I thought I read that you can use lighter malts as a base and then add color and malty flavor with specialty grains, is this accurate?

I will probably go to a local homebrew store and see if they can help me supplement the recipe, but if anyone can recommend some additional ingredients that could get me to a 5.5-6 abv brown ale, I’d appreciate it! I also have a packet of US-05, can that be used for this style or do I need to stick with an English style yeast? Again, I’m not looking for a full bodied beer, something lighter bodied is more what I’m looking for. Weird for a brown ale I guess.

Thanks in advance!

You can use Pilsen extract for pretty much any style. It will have a slightly different character than beer made from two row, but for many styles (such as brown ale) where there are strongly flavored specialty grains added, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

You’ll need to add some additional extract to reach your ABV target. Another 2.5 to 3 lbs of DME, or 3.3 to 4 lbs of LME. You could simply get dark extract for to make your brown ale, and skip specialty grains, but that’s not how I’d do it. I’d recommend you always use only light colored extract, and steep whatever specialty grains you need to fill out the beer. That gives you much better control. A bit of biscuit or special roast malt (4-6 oz) will give you a nice base for the brown ale character. Add about a pound of pale chocolate malt (or half a pound of regular chocolate malt) to give you a roasty but not overpowering flavor, and the correct color.

For hops, you can use pretty much anything to around 25 IBUs, and I would only use 60 minute hops. For example, 1.25 oz of EKG, Fuggles or Williamette will work, or 1/2 oz of Magnum.

Yeast is up to you as well. If you want it to be a bit cleaner, nothing wrong with US-05 instead of English yeast.

Good luck.

+1 on all points; you might consider using some crystal malt for a little more maltiness if you want.

I usually consider my base malt as the blank canvas a painter would start with when doing a painting… As far as a lighter brown ale I would only use about 4 oz. chocolate malt… AND ifn you like new castle, add 1-1/2 cup of dark brown sugar….Yes earthy hops are the key too!! Sneezles61 :cheers:

Thanks all, great information!

Rebuiltcellars, I’m assuming those hop amounts are for a full volume boil, right? I did some quick inputting on an IBU calculator and I would need much more for the partial boil that I do. I have some extra hops in the freezer, I’ll figure out how much I need to hit 25 IBUs. Thanks again!

Yes, that was for full boil.