Further adventures in Homebrewing: This is the recipe I designed for Bronze Dragon Brown Ale.

Bronze Dragon Ale LabelsThis is the recipe I designed for Bronze Dragon Brown Ale.

I'm not sure what happened in Beersmith2, but when I opened it up a little bit ago, my entire recipe database vanished, so I had to manually enter all this stuff from my brewing journal notes (keep good notes, kids). It is telling me that there aren't any hops in it, but I can see them, so I don't know WTF is wrong with my installation. If anyone out there knows how to make it go, I look for things… things to make it go.

Anyway, this should be about 28 IBUs. When I do it again, I'm going to dial back the Chocolate Malt from 1 pound to maybe 8 or 10 ounces. 

Right now, it's got a nutty sweetness, maybe a hint of caramel, with just a bit of hops on the back of the tongue. I really like it. It's not especially carbonated (I think I messed that up) and it doesn't have much of a head.

Feel free to do whatever you want with this; I'm releasing it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike license. If you brew it, I'd love to know hear your results.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Bronze Dragon Brown Ale
Brewer: Wil Wheaton
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Brown Ale
TYPE: Extract
Taste: (0.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 2.60 gal
Post Boil Volume: 2.60 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 31.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 72.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
16.0 oz Chocolate Malt (US) (350.0 SRM) Grain 1 13.8 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.4 %
6 lbs.         Dry Extract (DME) - Light (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 3 82.8 %
0.75 oz Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 5 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Ahtanum [6.00 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 6 0.0 IBUs
4.2 pkg American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) Yeast 7 -

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

If you can't see the recipe clearly, here's a plain text version you can download: Download Bronze Dragon Brown Ale


32 thoughts on “Further adventures in Homebrewing: This is the recipe I designed for Bronze Dragon Brown Ale.”

  1. That sounds tasty! I’ve been having great luck lately with doing smaller 3 gallon batches and using a quick-n-dirty 20 minute boil method to cut down on time and smell (the wife hates the smell of boiling hops, but I love it).
    Just brewed a honey chamomile wheat ale with a touch of lemon zest that came out great! Only It’s a little late in the summer season for such a light effervescent brew.
    Anyhow, I’m a long-time fan and I dig hearing about your homebrewing adventures!

  2. Do you have any plans to try brewing President Obama’s Honey Brown Ale, Honey Porter and/or Honey Blonde now that the recipes have been released?

  3. Your hops all show a IBU rating of 0 on an individual basis, so the total is naturally 0. They show a alpha acid to be non-zero, which I think is the only setting in the ingredient file, so it must be the bittering calculation. Look in the profiles at the tab for hops or bittering, and it should have the selected formula as well as utilization percentages. My guess is you a util% at 0.
    Although I am not sure how you are going to handle the -.25 gal sparge. Why no full volume boil?
    I love your label artwork – Maybe you want to make a nice one for my “Mr. Potatohead sweet potato ale” that I bottle tomorrow, and will be ready for turkey day.
    PS – Are you sharing recipes on the beersmith cloud. I have just started looking there and will be putting some up there shortly.

  4. Hmm. The sparge step is a Beersmith screwup; I'll edit that out. It
    should be about a 1.5 gallon steep and a total 3.5 or so gallon boil,
    with 1 to 2 gallons top off.

  5. In honor of this post, you should design a Pakled stout. I imagine that it would be a heavy beer with a thick head that requires a much slower process than an average brew.

  6. Wil,
    I haven’t tried Beersmith yet and am using Brewtarget instead. I seem to recall pulling Brewtarget out of one of your other beer posts and am curious what Beersmith does that Brewtarget doesn’t besides the obvious cloud sharing? While I like Brewtarget, I’m looking for something else that doesn’t tie me to a particular app. I’m currently using Hopville.com as a backup to my regular process.
    Based on reading your posts (and a willing neighbor to walk me through the process), I brewed my first batch of my own a few weeks ago. It was a Honey wheat that’s turned out pretty well. I’ll add yours to my growing “To Brew” queue. I’ll be trying the Presidential brews as well seeing as how I took the time to sign the petition. 😉
    Happy Brewing!

  7. I know you are busy with your many projects, but have you ever though about opening a microbrewery, or working with a microbrewery to release your recipies? I would love to try some of your brews, and with a name like Wheaton, you would have all sorts of good names.
    For example have a picture of you jumping on the label of your IPA and call it “Wheaton Hops IPA.” (Feel free to use that one if you ever do release a beer. 100% free, as in beer)

  8. Wil – I’m Brad Smith the author of BeerSmith. I can help you out with the data issues – BeerSmith keeps automatic backups of your data which you can use to recover your recipes at any time. Just drop me a note at “beersmith [at] beersmith [dot] com” and I can quickly resolve any issues you are having.

  9. Sure sounds good. Perhaps similar to one of my favorites, Deschutes Brewery Obsidian Stout? Is the “Bronze Dragon” name in honor of the bronze dragons in “The Dragonriders of Pern”?

  10. Wil, That sounds really amazing and similar to brews I’ve done in the past. Do you really use a full pound of chocolate malt? I find that it can lend a distinctly bitter taste at times. Can’t wait to give your brew a try.

  11. Brewtarget is fantastic, because it's open source and free (as in
    beer and speech). Beersmith is what all the major brewers use, though,
    so I needed it for my eventual scaling up to being a nanobrewery and beyond.
    Congratulations on your first homebrew!

  12. Oh, and that said, Beersmith does a ton of really great stuff, like
    cloud synching, and the add-on recipe database is fantastic. I
    understand that it's without equal on the Windows platform (I run it on
    my mac).

  13. I just completed my first batch of homebrew a few days ago (though I made some mead years ago) and I too had the carbonation problem. I used someone else’s recipe this time. I’ll let creativity rear it’s head once I’ve ironed out some kinks. Not sure what went wrong though.
    Good luck!

  14. Wil, I used beersmith on my desktop and I agree it is an unparalleled program. Love it to bits. But because I try to take notes in order to gain a better understanding of how I brewed a specific batch and I always seemed to forget to power up my desk top and log them. As a result I switched to ibrewmaster for the iPad and have zero regrets. Portability for the win. If beersmith comes out with an ipad app that would allow synching with their desktop program I’d switch back in a heart beat. Just something to think about.
    On a related note I brewed a beer with 7.5 ounces of chocolate malt in a 10 gallon batch (1.41% of the grain bill), all Chinook hops, and the chocolate malt was present as a subtle chocolate flavour that blended well the assertive bitterness of the hops. So you might find that using even less might get the job done.

  15. My Hubs uses the chromatic dragons as the names for many of his brews. Black Dragon is my fave, a stout with coffee and chocolate notes that actually goes great with a rich chocolate dessert.

  16. Wil, as I’ve said before, I love your beer posts. I’ll write this recipe down for future use. My brewing is taking a hiatus for now: I ruptured a disk in my neck but, fortunately, I had already brewed some fall and winter beers so I have plenty to last until I recover from surgery. What really sucks is the four (yes four) Raspberry Chocolate Port wine kits that I advance ordered from AHS arrived at my office today but I can’t lift them to get them home, much less get them going. The down time will let me thoroughly read and reread Zainasheff’s “Brewing Classic Styles” and Daniels’ “Designing Great Beers”.
    Love the Pacled (sp?) reference.

  17. Wil I would be interested to see some pictures of your equipment.
    You mentioned in the last post you made your own mash tun, would be awesome to see. Currently brewing kits, but I want to move to All-grain in a couple of brews.

  18. nice recipe!
    I’m in a brew sci class at college and i’m wondering how would the measurements change for a 2.5 gal batch?
    Common sense would say to cut the measurements in half, but would that change the flavor balance at all? Or would the taste have to be fine tuned another way?

  19. Hey Wil, Thanks for a fantastic recipe. I dialed the Black malt back to 4 oz and added 4 oz of chocolate malt. Instead of the malt extract I used US 2-row. Fermented out really nicely and carbonated in a corny keg. My friends kicked it very quickly.

  20. Recipe: Bronze Dragon Brown Ale – Ben’s Mod
    Asst Brewer:
    Style: American Brown Ale
    TYPE: All Grain
    Taste: (30.0)
    Recipe Specifications
    Boil Size: 6.52 gal
    Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
    Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
    Bottling Volume: 4.60 gal
    Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
    Estimated Color: 20.4 SRM
    Estimated IBU: 28.4 IBUs
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 82.8 %
    Boil Time: 60 Minutes
    Amt Name Type # %/IBU
    9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 92.3 %
    4.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 2 2.6 %
    4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.6 %
    4.0 oz Chocolate (Briess) (350.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.6 %
    0.46 oz Nugget [13.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 20.8 IBUs
    0.62 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 6.3 IBUs
    0.31 oz Ahtanum [6.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 7 1.3 IBUs
    1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast 8 –
    Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
    Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 12.0 oz
    Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
    Mash In Add 12.19 qt of water at 164.9 F 150.0 F 75 min
    Sparge: Fly sparge with 4.89 gal water at 168.0 F
    -Wil Sorry this didn’t post as nicely as yours but this is the first incarnation. Falls nicely into the American Brown ale category. I’m thinking about adding a little more chocolate and caramel malt ( 60L).

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