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Thundersmoke Brown Ale

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Batch Size (gallons)5.5
Recipe typeAll Grain
Style11C. Northern English Brown
Original Gravity1.057
Final Gravity1.015
ABV5.51% (basic)   /   5.51% (advanced)       [what's this?]
Color20.5 SRM
Boil Time60 min

YeastWhite Labs WLP037 (Yorkshire Square Ale Yeast)

Pale Malt, Maris Otter8 lbs69.6%3
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L1 lb 4 oz10.9%40
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L1 lb 4 oz10.9%60
Smoked Malt 8 oz4.3%9
Barley, Flaked 4 oz2.2%1.7
Carafa III 4 oz2.2%525

Target (Boil)1 oz6011%22.6

DirectionsMash @ 150 degrees F for 60 minutes. 

Ferment @ 65 degrees F.  I personally let this beer sit 3-4 weeks in primary, but I do that for pretty much any beer. 

Nice, full malty taste with a subdued - but very tasty - smoky undertone.  Some very subtle esters round out the flavor.  Body is fairly light; combined with a reasonably dry finish, you end up with a beer that is very, very easy to drink.

CreditsThe roots of this beer trace back to my very first brew - an Austin Homebrew extract kit given to me on Christmas of 2011.  I brewed their all grain version later, and it turned out very well - but I couldn't resist a couple of tweaks.

I went to maris otter for the base grain in an effort to add a little more of an authentic, malty flavor, and the flaked barley (and resultant awesome head) is now standard in almost anything that I brew.

As for the name - one summer night, my then five year old acted as my brewing buddy in the face of some pretty spectacular electrical storms.  The other kids had no interest in hanging out with me in the face of that kind of thunder, but Noah and I sat inside my open garage and watched the lightning dance (and also drove some Matchbox cars around while we waited on the boil).

This is a beer that has obtained "house beer" status for me - I'll always have it on hand.

Recipe Reviews

Type: Brewed this Beer

Big fan on this recipe. I switched the yeast up with "WLP007 Dry English Ale" and it turned out to be a great brew. I'm now brewing my 4th batch of this awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing!

posted by hoppydread on 1/4/2021
Type: Brewed this Beer

Recipe discrepancies: Used Londan Ale III 1318. Used cherry wood smoked malt instead of beech wood smoked.

The pour: Nice tan head, dissipates quickly. The beer is a beautifully brown color.

Aroma: Fairly fuity, a slight hint of the smoke as it warms up.

Flavor: A good combination of fruity and malty. The smoke is very subtle and seems to fade in and out with each sip. Bitterness is there to even out the sweetness, no hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin mouthfeel, very smooth drinking.

This is quite a delicious beer. The combination of the english yeast and malt make this slightly fruity and sweet, but it's the perfect amount of sweetness for me. Tastes great cold, but has way more depth when allowed to warm up a bit.

As a side note, my wife normally doesn't like brown ales. She has been picking this beer out of the fridge more and more recently. Time to make another batch.

posted by tracebusta on 1/5/2015
Type: Drank this Beer

First, a note about the label. Great ensemble with the logo on the caps, the neck piece, and the graphics. The dragon lifting a pint glass on the hoard of gold makes me think of Smaug. I like the package.

The beer poured remarkably clear in to my Chris King pint glass giving an inch or more of fine, tan head. It has decreased to about a quarter inch over about 10 minutes.

There is caramel on the nose without notes of smoke. This may have faded over time.

Slight sweetness on the initial taste with caramel notes. The hops hold the malt in balance but take a back seat here, as they should. The head is down to about an eight of an inch and lacing the glass nicely. There is the faint hint of smoke present, but, if I didn't know the grain bill I might have missed it. If anything is lacking here it might be a little more malt sweetness. I imagine that has faded over the months.

Poor Tami will miss out on the second bottle as I've almost finished it. This is an impressive brown ale, especially given the age. This is really on par with the Good People's Brown Ale. Thank you for sharing. This may be the next Brown I attempt. I just bottled one today. I can only hope it comes close to this. Must....please....the.....wife......

Enjoyed while listening to the Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed.

Time for dinner. Sadly, my glass is empty.

Bravo sir.

posted by vinpaysdoc on 9/3/2014

This all grain Northern English Brown homebrew recipe was submitted by homebrewdad.