Brown Ale Category 11 B & C
11B Southern English Brown
English brown ales are generally split into sub-styles along geographic lines. Southern English (or “London-style”) brown ales are darker, sweeter, and lower gravity than their Northern cousins. As the sweetest of the brown ales, Southern English Brown Ales fall in-between the Sweet Stout and Mild styles.
Color can range from light to dark brown, can be almost black, and can be nearly opaque, although should be relatively clear if visible. It should display a low to moderate off-white to tan head. A characteristic malty-sweet, rich caramel or toffee aroma and flavor dominates this style of brown ale. Deep, caramel or toffee like malty sweetness on the palate that lasts well into the finish. Hints of biscuit and coffee are common and may have a moderate dark fruit complexity. Low hop bitterness with hop flavors low to non-existent. SEB has little or no perceivable roasty or bitter black malt flavor and a moderately sweet finish with a smooth, malty aftertaste.
English pale ale malt as a base with a healthy proportion of darker caramel malts and often some roasted (black) malt and wheat malt. Moderate to high carbonate water would appropriately balance the dark malt acidity. English hop varieties are most authentic, though with low flavor and bitterness almost any type could be used.
OG: 1.033 – 1.042, FG: 1.011 – 1.014, ABV: 2.8 – 4.1%, IBUs: 12 – 20, SRM: 19 – 35
11C Northern English Brown
Commonly referred to as Nut Brown Ale, Northern English Brown ale is dryer and leans more towards nutty instead of Toffee and caramel like it’s Southern English Brown cousin.
The color can range from dark amber to reddish-brown color and should be clear. Shows best with a low to moderate off-white to light tan head. A light sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty and/or caramel notes is most common. A light but appealing fresh hop aroma (UK varieties) may also be noticed. A light fruity ester aroma may be evident in these beers, but should not dominate. Gentle to moderate malt sweetness, with a nutty, lightly caramelly character and a medium-dry to dry finish. Malt may also have a toasted, biscuity, or toffee-like character with medium to medium-low bitterness. The malt to hop balance is nearly even, with hop flavor low to none (UK varieties). Some fruity esters can be present to fill out the profile.
English mild ale or pale ale malt base with caramel malts it may also have small amounts darker malts (e.g., chocolate) to provide color and the nutty character. English hop varieties are most authentic. Moderate carbonate water should be used to balance the dark malt acidity.
OG: 1.040 – 1.052, FG: 1.008 – 1.013, ABV: 4.2 – 5.4%, IBUs: 20 – 30, SRM: 12 – 22
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