Memorial Day Brew

June 4, 2010

Well, I didn’t brew ON Memorial Day, but it was close. Honestly, what better way to celebrate the freedom our soldiers have fought for than by brewing beer?

The Spring season is an odd one in upstate New York, you never know what kind of weather it will bring. This year it brought warmth and humidity, two things I truly dislike, so I need some lighter bodied session beers to pound on hot days.

At the end of last week I managed to pick up a 55 pound bag of Maris Otter malt, which is an English barley that is malted in an old traditional floor-malting method. This base malt gives beer a nice subtle bread/biscuit character that is prominent in most English styles. It’s easily my favorite base malt. My favorite session beers are English bitters, brown ales and mild ales, so this malt is a necessity.

The first session beer of the season is as follows:

English Brown Ale

Boil Volume: 7 gallons

Batch Volume: 5.5 gallons


  • 6.50 lb Maris Otter
  • 0.50 lb Crystal Malt 120L
  • 0.25 lb Chocolate Malt
  • 2.00 oz Roasted Barley


  • 1.00 oz Fuggles pellet hops (Boiled for 60 minutes, 4.5% Alpha Acid content)
  • 0.50 oz Fuggles ( Boiled for 15 minutes)

Mash Schedule:

  • Add 9.25 quarts of water at 172F, should equilibrate to 156F
  • Mash for 45 minutes
  • Sparge with 6.75 gallons of water at 170F


This batch uses Wyeast Labs’ British Ale yeast (#1098).

There isn’t much to note about this brewday. It went very smoothly, lasted about 4 hours 15 minutes from start to finish, and I was able to keg the Amarillo IPA during it. The only number I didn’t hit exactly was the original gravity, but that’s because I got 80% efficiency from the grains, which is rare. It should still yield a beer in the 3.5-4% ABV range, so I’m happy.

Original Gravity: 1.040


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