Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

NB Nut Brown Ale a couple of questions

Looking at the Nut Brown Ale recipe and see where they recommend a partial boil and to add water at the end to bring it up to five gallons. I did that recently with an oatmeal stout and it’s pretty bland. I thought it was always better to do a full boil? Add about six gallons of water then at the end of the boil you are down to about five. Also they recommend a week in the primary and a week in the secondary then bottle. Lately (with recipes like this) I have been doing a week in primary and two weeks in secondary before kegging. I probably shouldn’t be second guessing a recipe written by people who’ve forgotten more about brewing than I know, but just wanted to run these questions by some more experienced brewers before I brew again.

I only do partial boils. I’ve had no problems with the outcome of the recipes. They are what they are. If you brew the Nut Brown ale I think you will find it rather bland. It is a Smithwicks English brown ale clone. Fairly good flavor, but very light. If you love full body and flavor of brown ales try the Caribou Slobber. American browns are typically fuller bodied with more hop character.
Whether or not a full boil is done is a personal preference. In my opinion if a boil is done correctly the size of the boil makes no difference. A lot of people will have a problem with this because of their personal preference.
You can do a full boil. It will not change the recipe. Do you have the equipment to boil 6 gallons and the equipment to rapidly cool 6 gallons wort? If you do I would say go for it.
The time line of a week in the primary and then two weeks in the secondary is just a guide. Hydrometer readings are the only way to tell when fermentation in the primary is complete. Having the beer sit on the yeast cake in the primary for another week will allow the yeast to clean up naturally produced off flavors of the fermentation process.
Some guides have you rack to a secondary when fermentation is almost done for CO2 production in the secondary to lessen the chance of oxidation.
I no longer use a secondary unless I’m dry hopping.
Good luck and happy brewing.

Flars, some good points to ponder. I do like a really full bodied ale. I thought about the Caribou Slobber but I’m not a big fan of beer that’s too hoppy. I was also thinking about buying a bigmouth bubbler and never using a secondary. I see a lot of guys here do not rack to a secondary. I guess one advantage of a partial boil is the fact your cold break is way quicker. The stout (partial boil) I did a few weeks ago had a cold break of about 5 minutes. The Irish red I did last weekend (full boil) had a cold break of about 20 minutes. I have the John Palmer Elevenses in the secondary now I’m hoping it will turn out as good as others have said.

Caribou Slobber isan’t really to hoppy. There is just more bitterness and hop aroma than English browns. It is only about 26 to 28 IBUs’.

OK I’ll try a batch. I just thought the nut brown looked good. I want something that will make my taste buds happy. My latest batch of oatmeal stout turned out good…but a bit on the bland side. Kind of tastes like the Guinness Black Lager.

OK I’ll try a batch. I just thought the nut brown looked good. I want something that will make my taste buds happy. My latest batch of oatmeal stout turned out good…but a bit on the bland side. Kind of tastes like the Guinness Black Lager.[/quote]
You are so right. I also tried an oatmeal stout. It turned out like an oatmeal stout. Nothing much to tingle the taste buds. NBs Dry Irish Stout has flavor. Low alcohol, but tremendous flavor.
I gave a friend of mine a couple bottles that I had brewed in March. He had said he prefers to drink stouts and porters. I visited his hunting shack a few days ago. He said the dry irish was really stout. He was surprised when I told him it was less than 4% alcohol. Flavor is what counts.

I have a Dry Irish Stout fermenting right now. I used WY1056 instead of WY1084 this time. Just wanted to see what the flavor difference might be.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com