Tag Archives: Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale – Review

Mikey and I made the Newcastle Brown Ale a few weeks ago and it’s finally ready for tasting.

This was a 23 litre kit that we bought.  It was a little bit more than a standard can of wort and a kilo of malt, but pretty similar.  Nice easy kit to make and it made a pretty decent beer as well.

Pouring it, the beer looked good.  Head retention was good, as was carbonation.brown ale

The nose was very crisp.  Floral and fruit smells were there, most likely from the Fuggles hops.  These were mostly melon and citrus smells.  This was mixed in with more earthy smell.  Generally though, the smell was mostly just bitter and crisp smells with a hint of sourness.

Drinking the beer, it’s notable how “standard” this beer is.  This isn’t a bad thing: it’s a good tasting British style brown ale.  It’s not trying to be anything it’s not, just an enjoyable beer.  Of course this makes for very easy drinking.  It would be easy to knock back a few of these.

Everything is very balanced.  There’s nothing terribly interesting about the hops; bitter and sour flavours throughout.  The earthy feel continues at the end.  In the middle, there is a hint of sweetness and malt which is where the body comes out.  Other flavours included burnt chocolate and citrus peel.

i would have liked a little more body, it just seems a little thin for me.  Checking back over the recipe, it seemed like there was a good amount of malt added: a can of liquid malt, some dry malt, and whatever was in the wort can.  Oh well…

I’d like this beer with some pizza I think.  Any food that is about medium in density – not heavy, not light.  Avoid a seafood pizza though.


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Blondes and Browns, big brew day

Sunday was another brew day at my place and it was big, in many ways.

Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale ingredient list and instructions

First up was a trip for supplies from Australian Home Brewing, aka Liquorcraft, aka Brewcraft, aka something-something. We have done a fair few porters lately. They are pretty awesome and good over the colder months, but time for something else for the cold. An English brown ale was what I wanted. Ended up with a Newcastle Brown Ale kit, plus a basic stout kit for another day.

Then back in the Mikey mobile (aka ‘car’) and back to brew headquarters (aka ‘home’) for brew day.

First order of business. Bottle the lager. Final gravity was 1.012 which means the beer will only be 3.8% alcohol, after bottle conditioning. That’s a fair bit lower than what I was going for. Rather than just a cup of dextrose we should if put in half a kilo. That aside, the sample we took was quite promising. Should be a good session beer.

We have been having some over carbonation in a couple of my beers. Nothing horrid, but the IPA and coffee porter (only a couple sample bottles) have overflowed when opened if shaken even slightly. I’ve been using caster sugar for priming and a few people have suggested this might be the reason. That said there’s not a lot of info on the internet about different types of cane sugar. To test this I primed some bottles of the lager with caster sugar and others with carbonation drops. Had a mix of different bottle sizes as well.

After bottling the lager it was time to start brewing. Cracked open one of the Summer Citrus Blonde Ales and got stuck into it. Chas is going to get a review up soon, so I’ll leave it to him.

The brown ale was a mixed kit. There was chocolate malt (200g), a can of light liquid malt, a can of Nut Brown Ale, some Fuggles Hops, and Safale S-04 yeast.
The malt was left to steep for about 45 mins rather than the 20-30 recommended. Mainly because we were trying to do to much at once.

Chas got the liquid light malt in a pot and brought it to the hot break. And I cleaned the fermenter. Hops were added with the steeped grains. The recipe said an optional 400 grams of brown sugar could be added. Only had 300, but it went in. I finally finished cleaning the fermenter just in time for the fresh wort to go in. Last was the can of Nut Brown Ale. Like the lager, we found the liquid a bit to hot. Was a lot more manageable this time round. Finally, yeast went on and airlock.

  • Black Rock Nut Brown Ale – 1.7kg
  • Black Rock Light Liquid Malt – 1.5kg
  • Crushed Chocolate Malt – 200g
  • Soft Brown Sugar – 300g
  • Fuggles Hops pellets – 15g
  • Safale S-04 yest – 11.5g

Have to say that this was a bit of a hectic brew day. Started late and had a huge amount to do. Tried to do too many things at once. Even spilt some of the strained hops back into the fermenter. Luckily it wasn’t much.

The wort smelt great. Gravity reading was only 1.045 which is a bit below what I would expect for the style. Hopefully this yeast brings the final reading right down. Anything less than 4.5% and I’m going to be disappointed. So, a final gravity from about 1.012 or lower will be good.


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