Tag Archives: Brown Ale

Homebrew: Smoked Brown Ale (K02)

Today we brewed a Brown Ale with the malts we smoked on Monday. Everything went very smoothly for once, and we also managed to get a huge bump in efficiency (75% instead of the 60-65% we have usually been achieving) by batch sparging. We have previously been using no-sparge, but decided to try batch sparging to improve efficiency. Couldn’t detect any smokiness in the post-boil wort, but hopefully there will be some in the final beer. The beer will most likely be a strange mix of styles, as color and malt profile brings it into Brown Ale territory, the yeast is English (WLP002), the hops are American (Summit; wanted to use up 2010 harvest hops), while the smokiness adds to the complexity. I hope the resulting beer will be drinkable. We ended up with 41 liters of 1.062 wort, which is now placed in the fermentation chamber set at 19C.

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Beer Here Kama Citra

  • Brewery: Beer Here (Brewed at Søgaards Bryghus)
  • Country: Denmark
  • Style: American Brown Ale
  • ABV: 7.0 %
  • Size: 500 ml
  • Bought from: Barley Wine, Copenhagen
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer


It’s been some time since I’ve last posted a review, so thought I’d try to drink through some of the beers left from my shopping spree in Copenhagen in August. Today I decided to try Beer Here’s Kama Citra, an American Brown Ale which has been hopped with Citra. I brewed a really hoppy Brown Ale in April that turned out really nice, so I think the combination of hoppiness and a malty and slightly roasted body work well. Citra has been one of the trendiest hop varieties the last couple of years, and in general I like Citra, though I’m getting a little tired of its massive fruitiness. Hopefully it works well in this beer. Kama Citra has been brewed with pale ale, chocolate and crystal malts, and hopped only with Citra. Let’s see how it does!

[easyreview title=”Beer Here Kama Citra” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a murky dark brown color, and when held against the light you notice some ruby red tones. Almost no head is formed, even though the pour was quite vigorous. The beer has a slightly oily texture as well, so I guess this is quite hoppy.” cat1rating=”3″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is interesting and I find it really nice. At first a citrusy hoppiness was dominating the aroma, but as you close in on the glass aromas of coffee and chocolate enter the nose. Behind all this there are some tones of caramel and tropical fruits hiding as well. The aroma makes me think of a Black IPA or a hoppy Porter. I like it!” cat2rating=”4.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor begins with a toasty and nutty maltiness, featuring lots of roasted coffee and slight ash-like tones as well. The hoppiness from the aroma is much more subdued in the flavor, with slight citrusy and fruity hop tones joining the malt. Can’t really recognize any typical Citra tones, as the hoppiness is more in the general American citrus-hop direction (think Cascade or Centennial). The flavor ends quite dry and with a moderate bitter finish. No flavors dominate, so in that way one can say that the beer is quite balanced, but feel there is a bit too much roastiness and that the beer is a little lacking in the caramel department. Nothing spectacular in the flavor.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium body and medium-low carbonation level. The beer feels a little watery, but it is quite easy to drink, if not for the slightly biting and astringent finish. As mentioned earlier, I think this would benefit from a little caramelly sweetness.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”Overall an okay beer, that failed to impress me. The flavor was a bit too bland and roasty, and when combined with the slightly biting finish and watery mouthfeel, you get a strange brew. The aroma promised a lot, but the rest of the brew didn’t really hold up. The Citra hops could have been more present as well. Still an interesting brew, though to be honest I liked my own Brown Ale more. Plus points for the interesting label.”]

Homebrew: Kegging and bottling the Brown Note

Today I kegged and bottled (50:50) the batch of American Brown Ale I brewed about 4 weeks ago. The gravity had dropped to 1.015 (7.8 brix) from 1.055 (14.0 brix), meaning the ABV should be around 5%. The taste sample was quite promising, albeit surprisingly bitter (well not actually that surprising considering the huge amount of hops added to the batch), but hopefully time will make the flavors merge together better. I didn’t get much hop aroma, but I still have a cold and the beer wasn’t carbonated, meaning it still might exist. The hop flavor was quite earthy and resiny, but hopefully some of the fruitiness and citrus from the other hops become more evident with some maturing. I cold crashed the beer for 2 days at 1 degree C before kegging and bottling, meaning the beer was crystal clear as it was removed from the fermenter. Should be ready to taste in a couple of weeks!

Homebrew: Brown Note – American Brown Ale

Brewed up a batch of Brown Ale yesterday, as I was trying to get rid of some opened packs of malt and hops. The recipe was very heavy on late-hopping, as I was hoping to get rid of as many opened packs of hops as possible, so it will be interesting to see how (and if) the hops and malts come together in the final product. I’m a little afraid that the huge late-hop additions will contribute more bitterness than predicted in Beersmith, so hopefully I won’t end up with an overly bitter beer (the malt bill is quite light as well, so there won’t be much body to counter it). The beer is currently fermenting in my fermentation fridge at a temperature of 15C (59F), as I’m hoping for a clean yeast profile and hopefully a little lower attenuation. The original gravity was 1.055 (14.0 brix), and am hoping it will end up at around 1.014. Will probably be kegging and bottling in about 3 weeks.

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Nøgne Ø Imperial Brown Ale

  • Brewery: Nøgne Ø
  • Country: Norway
  • Style: Brown Ale
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Size: 500 ml
  • Bought from: Systembolaget, ~50kr
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer


The second beer of the evening will be Nøgne Ø Imperial Brown Ale. This, American-style, Brown Ale was first brewed in 2006 as a collaboration with Nørrebro Bryghus. The beer has been brewed with Maris Otter, wheat, brown, amber, Munich and caramel malts, hopped with Columbus, Chinook and E K Goldings to an IBU of 40, and fermented with an English ale yeast strain. Nøgne Ø usually make good stuff, so am looking forward to this one.

[easyreview title=”Nøgne Ø Imperial Brown Ale” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a dark ruby color and a fluffy cream-colored head. The beer is slightly hazy, but it is difficult to see because of the dark color. The head collapses leaving drapes of lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is malty, with some hints of bread, caramel, dark fruits and even some chocolate. There is a slight hoppiness hiding behind the malt character as well. There is a slightest hint of alcohol in the aroma as well.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor begins with tones of caramel and dried fruits, and is quickly joined by some slightly roasted tones, lending hints of cocoa and coffee. There is a bit of earthy and resiny hoppiness in the background as well, but it never takes the lead role. The flavor ends with a pleasant bitterness and a slight roastiness. The beer is quite well balanced, with no particular flavor taking over.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium-full and smooth body and a moderate carbonation level. It has a slightly thick and oily feel, making it feel pleasant in the mouth.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a great beer from Nøgne Ø, that offers a nice balance of malt, roast and hops, in a easily drinkable and tasty package. Nøgne Ø beers are usually on the expensive side, as was this beer, and since it isn’t available in Finland, I probably won’t be buying it again.”]

Around the World in 1 day

Last Saturday my girlfriend had organized an ‘Around the World’-themed date for me. The day included trips to a lot of bars, and I was to have a ‘local’ beer in each one. The day began with some breakfast in France at home, and after that the first stop was Belge, a Belgian-styled bar. Here I had a Poperings Hommelbier (from tap; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer), while my girlfriend had a Lindemans Cassis (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). The Hommelbier was OK, with both fruity hop tones and spicy Belgian yeast tones, but it is not amongst my favorites. Belge is a cozy place, but a little on the expensive side. They have a (average) selection of Belgian beers on bottle and tap. We also had a waffle there that was tasty, though service was a little slow (we were one of the only customers in the bar, and it took them almost 30 minutes to prepare the waffle).


Lindemans Cassis to the left and Poperings Hommelbier to the right


After Belge, we travelled to (Bierhuis) Rotterdam, where I had a Dutch beer: Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). I was thinking about having a La Trappe, but since I knew it would be a long day and many beers I opted for the lower ABV beers in the first bars. My girlfriend a Magners Pear Cider, since she didn’t really find any beers she liked. The brown ale was also OK, with a taste that was malty, caramelly and slightly chocolately and roasty. Some Belgian yeast tones were detectable as well. It didn’t fit so well with the warm weather though. The label on the bottle featured a painting from “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. Rotterdam has a nice selection, a cozy interior, and great location, which makes it worth a visit (if you can fit in).


Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale in the front, Magners Pear Cider in the back.


After Holland it was time to travel to Italy. This time it wasn’t a bar, but we went to Cafe Java to have an espresso and ice latte. With some caffeine in the body we traveled to Africa, and went to Kiasma, where they had an African art exhibition. After some interesting art, we had lunch in Japan (Daruma Sushi in Kamppi). They had some tasty and reasonably priced sushi, so I can recommend the place! It is a little hidden in Kamppi, but worth the search. After Japan we traveled to China and with Nomads, when we visited Kulttuurien museo in Tennispalatsi. They had two exhibitions Värimatka Kiinaan (Colorful Travels in China) and Liikkuva Koti (Movable Home). The visit was free, and certainly interesting. After China it was time for another beer, so we traveled to nearby Australia, which meant a visit to Aussie Bar of course. Here I had a Coopers Sparkling Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). This is an Australian Pale/Golden Ale, featuring some honey and fruit tones in the aroma and flavour. Unfortunately I don’t recall anymore details on the beer (this was not because I was drunk, just because this beer wasn’t anything special). It was a good thirst quencher in the heat though.


Coopers Sparkling Ale


After Australia, it was time for a trip over the Pacific Ocean to the United States. It was a long visit in this country, as we first went to Chico’s, where we had some snacks and I had a Sierra Nevada Torpedo (you can read a review here). After this we went to William K Tennispalatsi, where I had a Victory HopDevil (taste notes here) and we played Kimble while waiting for our US comedy (Bad Teacher) to start at Finnkino Tennispalatsi.


Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Victory HopDevil


After the movie, we headed towards Spain and Bar Celona to have some Tapas, Cava and San Miguel. The beer was unfortunately, as I remembered, a quite typical and tasteless bulk-lager. Then it was time for the final destination of the journey: Siberia/North Pole/Some goddamn cold place. We ended the day with a visit to Arctic Icebar, a bar made out of ice and with an interior temperature of -5 degrees C. They had a very limited cocktail range, and it was expensive, but it certainly was a fantastic experience and a perfect end to a great ‘trip around the world’ here in Helsinki. I had a Screwdriver and a shot of Minttu Black (they had no beer, and only Absolut products), which helped warm the body up in the cold bar.





Thanks to Pia for arranging this fantastic day!