Final Gravity – American Brown

In the “Final Gravity” blog posts, Mike provides a written report of how the beers turned out, after they are finally finished. These are in addition to the “Final Gravity” podcast episodes that will still be airing. What went wrong, what went right, but most importantly, what did we learn?

The American Brown was brewed in episode 21 of By The Mash Tun which can be found at

Episode 21 – American Brown

The final finished beer is absolutely lovely, but (as often happens) not quite as I had hoped! What I had hoped would be a well-balanced beer with just the right amount of hops, and just the right amount of malt, instead became more like a Brown IPA the malty goodness almost completely swamped by the sheer awesomeness of the BBC hops.

I had heard rumours. I had been warned. I had even taken a deep enjoyable sniff upon opening but I ignored all that, hoping that the malt would be enough to cut through. As it turns out BBC hops are big, potent monsters. Only 180g total in 20L of beer was so huge that the malt turns into a complete afterthought, dominated by a huge grapefruit hit so citrussy and rich that overtones of lemon, tangerine and pine are not difficult to find. The malt is present and pleasant, but it’s almost like a light sprinkling of brown sugar over my hoppy fruit salad.

I will savour drinking what is a delicious accidental Brown IPA, but I will lament my inability to make a well balanced American Brown. Ah well. Next time!

If I was to brew it again:
I would be tempted to half the hop load both in the aroma hops and dry hop. Either that or taste it post fermentation and decide if I want to add the dry hops. I did this but ploughed ahead anyway.. Regardless it’s delicious!

– Mike