Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

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Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby haeffnkr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:57 pm

Hello,
Anyone have the recipe or know who to ask to get me the grain ratios used for the Civil Life Brown Ale?
I really want to make something like it.

I assume it mostly 2 row but how much Maris Otter, Crystal, Brown and Carafa?
And what level Crystal and Carfa malts?

From their website -
ABV: 4.8%
IBU: 35
COLOUR: Nice deep brown colour with creamy, long-lasting off-white foam and lace.
BJCP STYLE: 10C. American Brown Ale, one of our all-time favourites

INGREDIENTS: US pale malt, UK Maris Otter pale malt, Crystal, Brown and Carafa dark malts, Cascade hops, American ale yeast


Any help would be appreciated
thanks Kevin
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby TCochran » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:02 pm

haeffnkr wrote:Hello,
Anyone have the recipe or know who to ask to get me the grain ratios used for the Civil Life Brown Ale?
I really want to make something like it.

I assume it mostly 2 row but how much Maris Otter, Crystal, Brown and Carafa?
And what level Crystal and Carfa malts?

From their website -
ABV: 4.8%
IBU: 35
COLOUR: Nice deep brown colour with creamy, long-lasting off-white foam and lace.
BJCP STYLE: 10C. American Brown Ale, one of our all-time favourites

INGREDIENTS: US pale malt, UK Maris Otter pale malt, Crystal, Brown and Carafa dark malts, Cascade hops, American ale yeast


Any help would be appreciated
thanks Kevin


Recipes are proprietary. You need to talk to the brewery. Jake Hafner is the owner & Dylan Mosely is the brewer. I would definitely not post a recipe without their approval.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby haeffnkr » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:44 pm

I contacted Civil via email and Jake very politely responded to me.
Unfortunately they would not help with the recipe since they had a recipe/beer copied by someone else when they helped a fellow homebrewer out in regards to an English Beer they have.

It is great that they list the ingredients of the beer on the website so I can get close and guess at the ratios of the specialty grains.

If anyone has a good Brown Ale/Brown Porter recipe please PM me.

thanks Kevin
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby TCochran » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:07 pm

Janet's Brown ale is a popular recipe. I would give it a try. Here is the link. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/beer-recipe-of-the-week-janets-brown-ale/
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby seymour » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:39 pm

Though theirs is uniquely tasty, The Civil Life American Brown Ale is an excellent true-to-style BJCP American Brown Ale. I'm not at liberty to share their exact recipe, but here are two American Brown Ale threads I wrote for an English brewing forum, complete with recipes, historical background, anecdotes, etc:

http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/view ... =3&t=55018
http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/view ... =3&t=61722

This linked PDF features homebrew clone recipes for Grand Teton Bitch Creek and Big Sky Moose Drool, both excellent. Moose Drool is similar (though not quite as good of course) to The Civil Life American Brown Ale.

But don't over-think it. Between you, me, and the lamp-post: if you brew a proven English brown ale recipe to your desired strength, except substituting 100% US Cascade hops and American ale yeast, you'll be spot on.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby haeffnkr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:18 pm

Hello Guys,
thanks for the links.

I will buy some Moose Drool, I saw it locally somewhere, and give this a beer/recipe a try.

Yes the ingredients in Moose Drool look similar to what I see on the Civil Life site.

Moose Drool
OG 1.052
Color 38
IBU 26

Pale 87%
Crystal 75 10%
Chocolate 2.8%
Black .2%

Not sure what hops to try, I like Cascades and Willamette so I might combine those.
Probably make this with 2042 lager yeast also.

I recently made a similar lager beer recently

44.9 % British Two-row Pale
22.5 % Vienna
18.0 % German Munich
4.5 % British Crystal 70-80L
4.5 % Flaked Barley
4.5 % Belgian CaraMunich
1.1 % Roasted Barley
Cascade hops = 39 IBU -

This is awesome beer.

thanks again
Kevin
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby seymour » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:37 pm

I bet that recipe would brew delicious beer, and I'd love to taste it, but being fermented with lager yeast it would most likely be marketed as a Baltic Porter or Schwarzbier.

In contrast, American Ale yeast is an essential aspect of the American Brown Ale category, of which The Civil Life American Brown Ale is a perfect example. Lucky for you, American Ale yeast is probably the easiest, cheapest, more plentiful, and forgiving yeast around.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby jeffjm » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:37 pm

I agree with Seymour - don't use the lager yeast if you want to clone Moose Drool, or make any other American brown. If you want more malt character, use 002/1968 and keep it cool. If you want the hops to come through more, and get a little more attenuation, use 001/1056.

The lager yeast is too clean and will take more time and effort than a brown ale requires.
I set out running but I take my time.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby seymour » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:27 pm

Yeah, I agree. I think it all comes down to what exactly you're hoping to accomplish with any particular brew. As I see it, there are (at least) four possible homebrew goals. Each time you brew, it's probably helpful to take these into consideration and decide for yourself how to proceed. "Know the rules, so you know when you're breaking them," that sorta thing. I think a highly skilled brewer can accomplish any of these goals, but it's impossible to accomplish all with one brew, because of intrinsic contradictions.

    1. Brewing a 100% accurate replication of a historical beer.
    These brewers go to great lengths retrieving yeasts from old bottles, national archives, top-cropping and open-fermenting, etc. We seek out region-specific ingredients, water-chemistry, technological limitations, etc. We may use period-specific equipment. We may even go so far as growing heritage hops, malting their own grains, selecting authentic firewoods over which to dry it, etc. Of course, even if we are 100% successful, the beer often tastes terrible by today's standards.

    2. Brewing an exact clone of a favourite commercial beer.
    "Clone brewers" milk as much detail as possible out of pro-brewers, searching the internet for proprietary brewery info, comparing multiple so-called "cracked" recipes, intelligently diciphering real data versus "I bet these unrelated ingredients would end up tasting like that well-known beer..." We'll go to great lengths to buy the exact brand and variety of each ingredient, replicating exact temperatures, times, techniques, etc. As before, it could be argued that even when we're 100% successful, the final beer is only as good as the commercial beer, which more daring/arrogant homebrewers would rather consider a starting point to experiment upon, hopefully brewing something better yet.

    3. Brewing a 100% true-to-style BJCP/AHA-approved competition submission.
    Everyone loves bragging rights, and you can spot these ultra-competitive homebrewers right away. It's a big theme of most homebrew clubs, I get it. Learning these rules is a good thing. They make us better beer drinkers and better beer brewers. Judging beer is a very tricky process of making a subjective thing as objective as possible, so we need a standardized/repeatable method for worldwide beer contests. That said, the winning beer is the most conforming beer, not the tastiest beer, and these rules unfortunately become enshrined as the end-all-be-all for too many people, who sometimes adopt a near-religious fervor about it, forsaking any other interpretations past, present, and future, blindly perpetuating some errors...but I digress.

    4. Brewing the beer you wanna drink...better, cheaper, fresher, stronger than any store-bought alternatives.
    This is the crux of homebrewing, or should be. The rules inform your process. Everything you've read or heard at club meetings, beer fests, brewery tours, etc, informs your process. Every good and bad beer you've ever drunk informs your process. But YOU own the process and YOU own the resulting beer. If YOU like the way it turned out, it doesn't really matter how historically accurate it is, nor how closely it matches a store-bought beer, nor whether it wins a medal in a BJCP/AHA competition. Freedom! Power to the people! From this point of view, the trickiest part is becoming skilled enough to repeat the particularly happy accidents.

So, let's reconsider the OP to drive the point home, pretending it was about yeast, not grain :-)
haeffnkr wrote:Hello,
Anyone have the recipe or know who to ask to get me the grain ratios used for the Civil Life Brown Ale?
I really want to make something like it.

    1. Historically accurate answer: American Brown Ale isn't very historical, but even so, the category evolved from the earliest examples of Pete's Wicked Ale, Purple Passion Brown Ale, "Texas Brown Ale" homebrew recipes, etc. More modern examples such as Moose Drool or The Civil Life American Brown Ale are different but better. Regardless, none of these beers were fermented with lager yeast, so you should use an "historically accurate" American Ale strain. Q: what differentiates American Brown Ale from English Brown Ale? A: American ale yeast. Q: what differentiates American Brown Ale from Baltic Porter, Dunkel, Schwarzbier, etc? A: American ale yeast. I'm oversimplifying, but you get the idea. One last quibble: if you must make a yeast substitution, it should be a more estery English ale strain, not a cleaner lager strain.

    2. Clone brewing answer: The Civil Life American Brown Ale is fermented with American Ale yeast, not a lager strain. They brew lagers too, and maintain an excellent clean-fermenting proprietary strain, so it's not like they couldn't use it on the ABA too if they wanted to. From a strict clone-brewing perspective, you must respect Dylan's creative choice. But as I said, YOU are the only one who should enforce this rule on yourself.

    3. Competition brewing answer: BJCP Style 10C. American Brown Ale is clearly an ale, not a lager, which is an obvious yeast delineation. When you're allowed to use lager yeast for otherwise traditional ale-like styles such as Baltic Porter, the rules say so. Now for a quick reality check: American ale strains can produce extremely neutral fermentations, especially "Chico"/Sierra Nevada/US05/Wyeast 1056/White Labs WLP001, even more especially when fermented at the cool-end of the spectrum, and given extended chilling in bright tanks and serving tanks. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose the ancients would consider this a form of "lagering", and I seriously doubt most beer judges would be able to tell you used lager yeast...but again I digress. If you're really trying to win a contest in the BJCP Style 10C. American Brown Ale category, American Ale yeast produces the subtle esters as well as leaving-behind some residual malt sweetness, body, and mouthfeel which lager yeast would not.

    4. Pure hedonism answer: from this point of view, if you wanna brew something similar to The Civil Life American Brown Ale but cleaner like a lager, and you've successfully done something similar and have a proven/repeatable process which pleases you and your drinking buddies...then by all means, use lager yeast and don't let anyone talk you out of it. My personal opinion is you're just showing-off your fancy-pants temperature control. I kid.

See what I mean? Sorry for the diatribe. Happy brewing!
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby siwelwerd » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:15 pm

seymour wrote:Yeah, I agree. I think it all comes down to what exactly you're hoping to accomplish with any particular brew. As I see it, there are (at least) four possible homebrew goals.


+1. Although I'd add that it's easier to get to option 4 by starting with one of the first three options, and then tweak from there to suit your tastes.

I disagree with using 002, it is going to be tough to get the proper attenuation . 007, however, is an excellent choice if you want just a touch more yeast character without sacrificing attenuation. You can keep it quite clean if you ferment cool, and ramp up towards the end.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby dvdaniels » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:51 pm

Just a complete and total guess using the parameters from the OP. This could be good or totally bad. That is why I give the chain of zeros. You have to start somewhere and cloning usually takes a lot of misses before you get it right. Other things to consider is process and water. Water to me is the single most important aspect of beer. I would start with blank water (RO) and build up to the Bru'n Water brown balanced profile. I am just throwing this out there.


BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Civil Life Brown Ale Clone 0000001
Brewer: DVD
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Brown Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.74 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.24 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 21.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 33.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 96.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs Pale Malt - 2 Row (Cargill) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 49.2 %
2 lbs Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 2 24.6 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3 12.3 %
12.0 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 4 9.2 %
6.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.6 %
1.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 25.5 IBUs
0.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 7.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
2.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast 9 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs 2.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 10.16 qt of water at 162.5 F 151.0 F 90 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 7.68 gal water at 168.0 F
Notes:
------


Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also note the efficiency. Yours may be better or worse. You will have to adjust. Open to comments.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby ddrrseio » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:03 pm

the above looks pretty solid. i think the level of brown is dead-on for the way their beer tastes. i might scale back the crystal, but that's personal preference. i assume they are using carafa special to minimize added astringency and to supplement color.
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Re: Civil Life Brown Ale - recipe help

Postby bradleyfastcode » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:14 am

Hey guys! I'm new to the board.

I just brewed a brown that is heavily inspired by the guys over at Civil Life. I figured you might be interested: https://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/barbarian-brown

Cheers!
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