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Ask A Brewer | Mar 6

Frank Zappa & his doppelgänger at Bonnaroo 2011

Every couple of weeks, we’ll be soliciting your brewing questions on Facebook for Brewer Dan Moss to answer here on Here are his answers to Round Two.

Michael Berry: Can you offer any direction as to the hopping schedule for Brooklyn Brown?

Sure, we blend Willamette, Cascade, and Fuggle. They are added to the boil in 3 separate additions to optimize the flavors and aromas of the finished product. If you want to brew a respectable clone of Brooklyn Brown Ale, pick up one of our new homebrew kits that Mr. Hindy and Brooklyn Brew Shop have put together. The hop bill is much more straightforward than the one we use daily, but the results are eerily similar and equally delicious!

The Brooklyn Blues Project: So which is it. . . Chicken or Egg?

Well, if the chicken and the egg are both fried, they’d arrive in tandem, preferably on a flaky biscuit. Serve alongside a Brooklyn Lager, and boom! Perfection.

Mike Conner: Do y’all remove krausen and do you think that helps home brewers?

We don’t take any special measures to remove krausen, but we rarely fill our fermenters to the absolute upper limit of their capacity, so much of the dark brown brandhefe (the stuff that you don’t want) sticks to the top and sides of the fermentation tanks. For a home brewer, removing the brandhefe and krausen will definitely help maintain a clean flavor profile. But, if you can’t maintain a sanitary environment, you’re better off letting it settle and the racking the beer off of the spent yeast.

Meghan Cogan: Why is Brooklyn Brewery so amazing? No really … Why is it?! …. looking forward to Mary’s Maple Brunch this Saturday!!!

Well, we have some really amazing fans, including you Meghan! Hope you enjoyed the brunch!

Pauly Walnuts: Do you use any special treatment for the water you use at the brewery (filtering, adding minerals, etc)?

Well Mr. Walnuts, it is absolutely certain that we treat our water very special. As you know, It makes up about 90% of our beer. There are only two things that we do here, that you yourself might also do at home. First, all of our brewing water is passed through an activated carbon filter. That’s really to remove any excess chlorine or debris from the water system (our water supply pipes are basically antiques). When brewing a beer from the English tradition like BLAST! or East India Pale Ale, we like to add brewing salts or Burton salts in order to accentuate the hop character in the finished product.

Daniel Mahon: Could you provide a recipe for a starting point to make Brooklyn Lager at home? I’d like to experiment around that perfection.

Why would you ever want to mess with perfection? I call shenanigans, but will oblige. As per Mr. Oliver’s recipe in the recent December issue of Brew Your Own Magazine:


- 9.6 lbs American 2 row malt
- 14 ozs Munich malt
- 11 ozs 60 L Caramel malt


- 1 oz Willamette (75 min.)
- 0.33 oz Cascade and 0.45 oz Vanguard (35 min.)
- 0.5 oz each, Hallertau Mittlefruh, Cascade, and Saphir (2 min.)
- 0.75 oz Cascade and 1.5 oz Hallertau Mittlefruh are used post fermentation    as a dry hop

We reccomend mashing in the grain to a starch conversion temperature of 156 or higher; This strategy will help to achieve the body and mouthfeel we aim for. Another important element is our 75-minute boil, which may lead to excess color and flavor development if you are working over a very strong, direct flame. After your wort has cooled to 55 degrees, you’re ready to pitch your favorite lager yeast! About 10 days prior to bottling or kegging, add the dry hops.

Hope this helps, and if you need any more advice, just ask!

Brendan McHenry: I know the base malt for Brooklyn Monster is specialty Scottish floor malt, how essential is that for the overall flavor? How might you replicate that flavor otherwise?

Well Mac, the Maris Otter malt we use has its own distinct fruitiness that is almost impossible to replicate. It brings a certain mellow fruity quality that is very distinctive and makes our Pennant Ale, Winter Ale, and BLAST!, the complex creatures that they are. If you wanted to replicate that quality, you might try a combination of lighter crystal or cara malts and a very small portion of acidulated malt.

Till next time…

  • Gregsheridan

    I just can’t get past Frank Zappa (the painting) I have seen him in concert more than anyone! I miss him.  Oh and I love the Chocolate Stout!  


  • Kathy Moss

    Thanks for the 411 about the water. Love the Picture!

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