Recommendation: The late hop additions for American Brown Ales are 10 to 25% of the total IBUs.
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American brown ales are derived from English brown ales. The key differences are that American versions tend to be hoppier, with American hop varieties, and use neutral American Ale yeasts.
The typical grain bill is for 1 to 2% chocolate malt and generous amounts (10 to 25%) of medium crystal malt. American pale ale malt is the standard base grain, but regular American two-row is acceptable. British pale ale malt is not typical. The recommended mash is the standard single step at 149F (65C) to 153F (67C).
The typical hops are standard American varieties. This style can have some light to moderate hop flavor and aroma from late additions. Dry hopping is also a possibility (1 to 2 oz per five gallons).
The recommended yeast strains are neutral ale varieties, such as American Ale.
Pete's Wicked Ale is recognized as an important commercial beer for defining this style. This beer used 1 to 2% chocolate malt, 25 to 29% crystal malt, and pale ale malt (Gordon, 2017; Slosberg, 1995). The hops were a combination of Cascade and Brewer's Gold, with the dry hopping being two-thirds Brewer's Gold and one-third Cascade. The OG was 1.052 to 1.053. The bitterness was 29 IBUs.
The older homebrewing literature sometimes describes this style as "Texas Brown Ale". This style variant had a more pronounced hop character, with IBUs at IPA levels (50 to 60 IBUs). This hoppier brown ale style is now considered to be part of the IPA family: brown IPA (Strong, 2017).
Slosberg, P. (1995; May/June). The road to an American brown ale. Brewing Techniques, 32 - 37.
Strong, G. (2017; November). American Brown Ale: Pete's Wicked Ale created a new style. BYO, 28 - 32.
Zainasheff, J. (2009; October). American brown: An English style with a US feel. BYO, 19 - 23.
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