Best in Show Brown Porter

Whenever someone asks me what my favorite style of beer is my response is always, "a brown ale". Quite simply the toasted and lightly roasted malt flavors balanced with a light hop flavor is what I crave to drink everyday. Looking back at my blog over the last (almost) three years I've brewed eight different brown ales using everything from buckwheat and wild rice to ancho chilies and chicory.  The first batch of home brew I ever brewed (September 8th 2006) was an English Brown Ale kit, five years later this post represents my 163rd batch of home brew on my journey to understanding the art and science of brewing. This brown ale sits at the intersection of brown and porter.

For the Tap Vermont tasting I presented this beer as, "An English inspired brown ale brewed with an array of specialty malts creates a garnet, russet colored ale with a biscuit, toffee, and chocolate flavor and aroma. Brewed with a new hop variety, Delta, an American grown descendant of traditional English hop varieties that lends an earthy backdrop for this toasty, malty, Mild."

Briess Pale Malt
TF Brown Malt
Aromatic Malt
Flaked Barley
TF Crystal 45
TF Pale Chocolate

mash 154*f

Super Galena    :60   pellet   
Delta                :10   pellet

12.7*P (1.051sg)
Safale US-05

#1- Roast and toasted malts up front. A little over the top. No hop aroma. No DMS. No diacetyl. Low fruity esters. No alcohol.
#2- Heavy roasted malts with toasted malts. No hop aroma.

#1- Dark amber. Clear. Dense tan head with good retention.
#2- Good color with persistent head. Off white to tan in color.

#1- Chocolate malt. No hop flavor. Low bitterness leaves a malty barely sweet finish, well balanced for a Brown Porter. Some caramel, bit of toast. No DMS. No diacetyl.
#2- Chocolate malt appears to dominate with caramel malts balancing out the chocolate. Medium to low bitterness with low hop flavor.

#1- Medium body and mouthfeel
#2- Appropriate body to style with no alcohol. No astringency. Carbonation is great.

Overall Impression
#1- Very drinkable well made example of a Brown Porter. Roast/toasted malts a bit high in aroma otherwise no problems. Just a hint of added bitterness and some hop flavor would add to depth of character.
#2- A well made brown porter. Balanced nicely with the malts. Drinkable, maybe increase hop flavor a tad but otherwise well made.

#1- Grand Master IV  39/50
#2- Non-BJCP           37/50

Overall 38/50---Excellent (38-44)

1st Place in category winning Best in Style also
Winning Best in Show at the Delaware State Fair Home Brew Competition

Needless to say I was ecstatic, elated and down right excited with the results. Next batch I'll up the ten minute hop addition to bring more "depth of character" as one judge said. The two hundred and fifty dollar prize is nice but the real joy is in my creation being blind tasted and judged to be the most delicious beer on that particular day (over 200+ beers entered). A priceless pat on the back for the work I've put in over the last five years burning the candle on both ends brewing ridiculous amounts of research and development batches at home while brewing professionally by day. 

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