Bad Brown (it’s not a feature, it’s a bug)

This is bad. There’s no way to get around that fact. The beer contains traces of (in no particular order) anise, molasses and a banana split in the nose. The flavors include all of the above and a solid chocolate note to top it all off.

So this didn’t work out; too sweet, too many weird flavors that aren’t meshing well.

I don’t know what happened. I added black tea at the end because I thought that a hint of the spicy flavor would be interesting with a brown ale. Nothing in the off flavors suggest black tea however, save, perhaps, for the anise. Which I still think would be interesting if everything else had worked out.

The most likely conclusion is that I pitched the yeast at a temperature that was too high but I’ve been really good about that sort of thing for awhile. I know that anything above 78 is bad news so I do my best to shoot for cooling the wort to 70-75.

Nevertheless, screwing that up is the most likely conclusion. That, or I should just stay away from tea-related adjuncts forever. The worst of it is; in addition to being barely drinkable, I can’t have more than two at night or else the caffeine from the tea keeps me awake! It’s like a terrible rum and coke.

The funny thing is, last Saturday I tried the Bananas On Fire by Stickmen brewing, a dunkelweizen with rum soaked vanilla beans. And it had the exact same off flavors as my brown, excepting anise.

So I guess it’s OK when you do it on purpose? The Stickmen beer tasted like it said it would so I can’t say that it’s flawed, I can only say that it doesn’t seem like beer ought to taste like this.

Brew Date: 8.18.13

Steeping Grains:
2 oz Black patent
6 oz C120
.25 lb Brown
12 oz C60
.5 lb 2 row

Fermentables: 6 lb LME

.75 oz Crystal @ 50
.5 oz Athuam @ 60
.25 oz Crystal @15
.5 oz Athuam @ 15
1.25 oz black tea @ flameout

Yeast: Wyeast 1318 London Ale

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.02

ABV: 5.6%

2 thoughts on “Bad Brown (it’s not a feature, it’s a bug)”

  1. People brew beers to taste like all kinds of crazy shit. Who’s to say what a beer should taste like these days, right? And hey…if you brew a bad one, just get back up on the horse and get back at it!

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