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Modified Elbro Nerkte (Brown Ale)

Started by Evan, February 23, 2012, 09:59:55 PM

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I'm taking the day off work tomorrow to brew this -- it will be my first beer that didn't come from a kit! I started with the Elbro Nerkte Brown Ale recipe in Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing," and modified it a bit.

If anyone has any suggestions before tomorrow morning, let me know! Also, I'm going to explain the procedure in more detail than is typical. That way someone can tell me if I'm doing something dumb, and also this thread will be more helpful to future noobies like me -- assuming the beer turns out!

6 lbs Dark DME
8 oz American Crystal 40L
4 oz Black patent malt

3 oz Fuggles pellets (4.0% AA)
0.5 oz Cascade pellets (5.5% AA)

Yeast: Safale US-05

1. Steep the crystal malt and black patent malt in a grain bag at 65-71 C (150-160F) for 30 minutes. Use about 3 gallons of water.
2. Remove the grain bag, bring the water to a boil.
3. Take the pot off the burner. Add DME, and stir until it's dissolved.
4. Back on the burner until boiling again.
5. Add the Fuggles and start a 60 minute timer.
6. When 5 minutes are left on the timer, add the Cascade.
7. When the timer runs out, cool the wort down, transfer to primary, add water to top up to 5 gallons, and pitch yeast.

Changes from Papazian's recipe:
-I'm using Briess DME instead of Munton's LME. This is just because it was the only dark malt extract they had at the place I was ordering from. I'm using slightly less than was called for because it's dry... I know there's a formula for that conversion, but I just tweaked it a bit in Hopville's Beer Calculus until the OG and color were close to what the book listed.
-He didn't specify how dark the crystal malt should be, so 40L was pretty arbitrary
-My IBU rating calculated by Hopville was really low, so I increased the Fuggles by an ounce, which got it close to the number from the book. I'm guessing the difference is because my Fuggles are on the low end for alpha acid.
-I'm boiling more water, because my pot is (hopefully) big enough, and I've read that boiling bigger is better

Are any of my changes crazy? Have I wildly misunderstood some aspect of the brewing process? Would anyone recommend doing anything differently?

I'll be sure to post an update tomorrow after brewing... and more importantly, another update in a few weeks after drinking some! If it's good I'll probably also edit this post with more details about the procedure, to make this a better reference for potential noobs.

UPDATE: This beer turned out SUPER boring. There's nothing unpleasant about it, there's just not much to it at all. So it's not bad, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.

Dave Savoie

Make sure all of your water has been boiled so that no chance of contamination
Your primary is it just a bucket or a carboy
If its a bucket skip primary and do the whole ferment in the glass carboy
Charter Member


Oh yeah! I meant to boil a bunch of extra water last night so it would have time to cool, but I never got around to it. It's boiling now... I'll have to cool it in a water bath with ice or something. Or maybe just stick the pot outside with the lid on, and StarSan the outside of the pot when I bring it back in? We'll see how ambitious I'm feeling. :P

And yes, I'm using a carboy with a blow-off tube.

Dave Savoie

Evan are you in fredericton if so you should borrow a wort chiller if you do not have one
Charter Member


Hi Evan, as a dues paid member next time you are getting ready to brew, as Dave says, you can ask to borrow brewing stuff in the "equipment" forum
Charter Member

On Tap: DIPA, Vienna SMaSH, Imp Stout
Planned: IPA
Fermenting: --


I'll definitely keep that in mind for next time. This time, I'll just go with the ice water bath. And if that turns out to be a terrible experience, it will just motivate me to hurry up and build myself a wort chiller!


So, actually, the ice bath for wort chilling wasn't so bad. A proper chiller would obviously be better, but I managed to get it down to a suitable temperature in probably 10-15 minutes.

However, pouring the wort through a strainer and funnel filter took way longer than that. I have a hops bag, but I didn't use it because I'd read that it can reduce hops utilization. Now I really regret not using it... separating the liquid from the hop gunk at the end was so not worth the trouble. Also, since (some of) the wort was cool and exposed to air for all that time, I feel like my chance of an infection is much higher than it should have been.

But, there's nothing I can do about it now, so I guess I'll just relax, try not to worry, and grab myself a homebrew.   :drink:

Chris Craig

Quote from: "Evan"So, actually, the ice bath for wort chilling wasn't so bad. A proper chiller would obviously be better, but I managed to get it down to a suitable temperature in probably 10-15 minutes.

Wow!  That's quick.  You got 5+ gallons from 212 to mid 70s in 15 minutes?  Takes that long for my IC to do the same job.


Yeah I'm impressed too - I used to use the ice-bath method and it was a real PITA. 30 mins minimum. Guess he used more ice or a different shaped pot.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.


A cheap thin pot, and a completely unreasonable amount of ice. And I was only chilling about 3 gallons or so at a time, because of the partial boil.

I guess sometimes having subpar equipment can have some advantages? ;)