Many thanks to Wes via Great Fermentations for this special Guest Post! Read more about Wes below.
his month, we will be looking at a no-sparge recipe for a peanut brittle brown ale developed by one of our customers, Jerry Tyson. Jerry made this beer for one of our monthly Friday Night Club gatherings, and it made quite an impression! It was like liquid peanut brittle, and upon trying it, I immediately had a million questions. Where did he get the idea for this beer? How did he do it? And most importantly, could I share his recipe as one of our Recipe of the Month blog posts?!?!
Jerry has been kind enough to share the recipe and his method with me. But first, a little about Jerry. He has a long and storied history with beer. Growing up, his dad drank MGD, and while he gave Jerry one of these after his high school graduation, Jerry really didn’t have much of a taste for beer until two things happened. For one, his dad started exploring different craft beers when Jerry graduated college, which started opening his eyes to the world of craft beer. Around that time, Jerry also had the opportunity to go to Germany, where he fell in love with German culture and of course, German beer. He would help his friend Johnny brew for several years until he finally started brewing his own beers and making his own recipes. With a background in Chemistry from his college days at Ball State, Jerry focuses on methodology and the ability to repeat results that scientific process brings to the world of brewing.
Jerry’s recipe is a no-sparge recipe that uses RO water without added minerals. While this might be a little unusual, Jerry has had excellent results (as I, having tasted this wonderful and fun beer, can attest) and has been able to successfully repeat the brew three times doing this method. One thing that he says he cannot stress enough: when doing a no-sparge beer, be sure to take all the time you need to slowly run off the wort! A slow run-off can ensure you collect the sugars you need to make this beer properly. He also stabilized this beer with potassium sorbate in the keg and force-carbonated so as to not lose some of the sweetness of the maple syrup. However, after talking it over, we decided that those who bottle could leave out the potassium sorbate and instead prime the beer with maple syrup to get carbonation and retain some woodsy maple character.
The peanut butter flavoring really does wonders in conjunction with the maple syrup and a little bit of salt. Jerry also tries to cold crash this beer as soon as fermentation is complete and the expected final gravity is reached, and tries NOT to do a diacetyl rest because the trace diacetyl notes, while unwanted in many beer styles, can contribute a slight buttery flavor that actually complements this beer quite well!
Now, let’s get into the recipe. Again, a big thanks to Jerry Tyson for sharing this incredible and delicious recipe. If you would like to try this beer in person, Jerry will be pouring the Nutty Brit for the Circle City Zymurgy homebrew club at Death and Taxes Day at Taxman Brewing on April 22nd, 2017. Cheers!
Nutty Brit Peanut Brittle Beer Recipe (for final volume of 5.25 gallons)
Estimated O.G. = 1.057
Estimated F.G. = 1.014
Estimated ABV = 5.3%
Estimated bitterness = 29
Estimated SRM: 25
2 packs (or make an appropriate starter) of White Labs WLP 001 California Ale, Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast or 1-2 packs of dry Safale S-05 yeast. You might also use 1 can of Imperial Organic Yeast A07 Flagship
8 oz Lactose
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
2 vanilla beans covered in vodka (about 1/3 cup)
4 oz peanut butter flavoring
4 oz grade A maple syrup. (Grade B adds extra vanilla flavor)
If Kegging: 2 tsp potassium sorbate
Brewing Process (No-Sparge with Keg)
- Jerry uses 9.75 gallons RO water with no additives (pH is fine due to no-sparge method). However, you may use spring water or add 3 tsp calcium chloride and 1 tsp calcium sulfate (gypsum) to the 9.75 gallons RO water to give it a good mineral content.
- Mash 60 min @ 154°F single infusion no-sparge, then drain slowly to guarantee efficiency (Jerry stressed that taking your time and draining slowly is key to getting good efficiency.)
- Boil 60 min. First hop addition at start of boil. 2nd addition @ 15 min to flame out. Add lactose @ 10 min.
- Chill wort to 68°F, aerate, and pitch. Ferment between 70 – 72°F but don’t allow it to go higher than 74.
- After 72 hrs, check gravity. Cold crash as soon as expected final gravity is achieved (3 – 5 days) to maintain traces of diacetyl (Yes, you want this!)
- Cold crash for 3 days between 32 and 36 degrees to halt activity guarantee good flocculation of yeast.
- Transfer to keg, add potassium sorbate, and purge keg of oxygen. Let sit 24 hrs.
- Mix together peanut butter extract, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt in a small saucepan and heat just until the salt dissolves completely.
- Add mixture to the keg, purge O2, and then shake to mix. Chill for 24 hrs @ serving temp, then force carbonate to reach 2.6 volumes.
- Enjoy! (Note: this beer hits peak flavor after about 2 weeks, so wait… if you can!)
- If bottling instead of kegging: This beer can still be done without a keg, but will be handled a bit differently. Please note that the amount of maple syrup may be increased to 5 or 6 oz if your beer is going to be warmer (around 68F) for bottle conditioning. Follow instructions up unto transferring to keg. DO NOT ADD POTASSIUM SORBATE! Potassium sorbate is used to stabilize the beer and prevent re-fermentation. Instead mix peanut butter flavoring, vanilla extract and salt and heat on low heat in a small saucepan just until the salt dissolved completely. Separately, mix maple syrup with 1-2 cups water and bring to a boil t for 5 to 10 minutes, then allow to cool. Transfer beer to bottling bucket, add flavoring mixture and maple syrup priming mixture and stir gently with a sanitized spoon. Bottle and allow to condition for 2 weeks at room temperature. Bottling may cause the beer to be a bit drier than the kegged version, but it will still be a very tasty brew!
- Extract Version:Replace the 2-row brewer’s malt with 6 lbs of light dry malt extract . Steep the specialty grains at 150-155F for 30 minutes using a muslin grain bag. Remove the bag, allowing the grains to drain into the boil kettle. Turn off the flame and dissolve the extract in the kettle. Turn the flame back on, bring to a boil and proceed as as above. NOTE: as the extract version is slightly different than the all-grain, you may have a slightly different starting and finishing gravity.
About the Author Wes has had an intense interest in brewing craft beer for ages. His brother, a brewer at Hair of the Dog in Portland Oregon, as well as the head brewer at Alameda Brewhouse, a local brewpub, first introduced Wes to craft beer during summer trips to Oregon when he was younger. After graduating with a degree in Communication from Indiana University, Wes went to Korea to teach English. Unable to find a good beer in the country, Wes soon turned to home brewing to produce his much-loved ales. Upon returning to the states, his interest took off, and he continued brewing incessantly while taking biology and chemistry classes at IUPUI. As of 2014 he has been brewing for seven years. Known around Great Fermentations as a serial brewer, he produces a vast array of different beers, as well as wine, mead and cider.
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