When the hobbits Merry and Pippin were being entertained by the ent Fangorn at one of his ent houses, the Shire boys had the rare privilege of drinking ent draughts — with odd consequences.
Fangorn had different styles of ent draughts — some on the light and refreshing side, and some more hearty and nutritious.
Entish Brown Ale is an attempt to recreate in beer the spirit of those heartier ent draughts. Its deep brown color, earthy flavors and aromas, and full, satisfying mouth feel do the job for me!
This is an ale for those who crave woodland adventures. Or at least enjoy a pint at the elbow while reading about them.
It may not curl the hair on your feet or cause you to grow a few extra inches, but it will embolden the heart and satisfy the craving for something real and substantial in your mug.
7 pounds English pale malt
2 pounds Brown malt
0.5 pounds Crystal 60 malt
1 T gypsum
2 oz. Northern Brewer pellet hops (60 minutes)
1 tsp. Irish Moss
2 oz. heather tips
Safale 05 yeast
Put all the grains in your infusion mash tun. (I use the picnic cooler variety, although I have done a stove-top mash with this batch as well.) Bring 9 quarts of water to 168 F degrees and add it to the grains. Try to distribute the water evenly and be sure to stir it up to avoid pockets of dryness or excessive heat. The mash should settle at about 150 F degrees. Mash for one hour.
Take the first runnings and then sparge twice with 9 quarts of 170 degree water. You might need to add an additional quart of water to get six gallons for the boil.
Boil for one hour with the Northern Brewer hops. Add the Irish Moss during the last 10 minutes of the boil.
Cool the wort and “dry hop” with the heather. (It’s best to put heather in a grain bag to avoid a big mess later when you syphon to secondary fermentation.) Cool the wort as quickly as possible — in a snow drift, or with a wort chiller — and pitch the yeast when you’ve got the temperature well below 80 degrees. Transfer to secondary after five days.
I prefer to keg this ale and give it a lower dose of the old CO2. If you bottle, you might try slightly less priming sugar for this one — like 2/3 cup.