The Mitten Brewing Company: Label Up clone

The Mitten Brewing Company: Label Up clone

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.050   FG = 1.012
IBU = 25   SRM = 23   ABV = 5%

7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg) British pale ale malt
1 lb. (0.45 kg) Munich malt
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) caramel malt (60 °L)
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) Fawcett brown malt
0.25 lb. (113 g) pale chocolate malt
0.25 lb. (113 g) roasted barley (500 °L)
6 oz. (170 g) crushed pecans (toasted)
Maple extract (to taste)
5.5 AAU Magnum hops (60 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 11% alpha acids)
2 AAU Fuggle hops (15 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 4% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Fuggle hops (0 min.)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast
2/3 cup (133 g) dextrose (if priming)

Step by Step
Mill the grains, add the toasted pecans, and mix with 3.1 gallons (11.8 L) of 167 °F (75 °C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 154 °F (68 °C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear and lauter. Sparge the grains with 3.8 gallons (14.4 L) of water and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 L) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to the ingredient list and Irish moss as desired. Chill to 66 °F (19 °C), aerate, and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C) for 14 days, or until fermentation is complete. Once the beer completes fermentation, add maple extract to taste (see Tips for Success), then bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to approximately 2.25 volumes. You may want to cold-crash the beer prior to packaging to 35 °F (2 °C) for 48 hours to improve clarity.

Extract with grains option:
Substitute the pale ale malt in the all-grain recipe with 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) pale liquid malt extract. Bring 5.4 gallons (20.4 L) of water to approximately 165 °F (74 °C) and hold there, steeping the toasted pecans and specialty malts in grain bags for 15 minutes. Remove the grain bags and let drain fully. Add malt extract while stirring, and stir until completely dissolved. Bring the wort to a boil for 60 minutes. Follow the remaining portion of the all-grain recipe.

Tips for Success:
Focus on dialing in the maple and pecan flavors in your finished beer. If either method (mashing for all-grain, steeping for extract) does not yield noticeable pecan character, try increasing the amount of pecan used, and/or adding a second charge of crushed/toasted pecans in the secondary. As for the maple extract — use it cautiously and taste as you add. It is a powerful flavor and a little goes a long way. Too much will dramatically increase the perception of sweetness, and we want to avoid that. This may call for a bit of trial and error! There are many maple extracts available and all are not created equally. For what it’s worth, The Mitten uses a maple extract from Beanilla, a local company out of Rockford, Michigan.


Issue: March-April 2017

Co-owner Chris Andrus wants to make it clear that “this is NOT a novelty beer.” Label Up is “first and foremost a brown ale.” The maple and pecan flavors are not intended to create an overly-sweet palate and should not prevent anyone from enjoying multiple pints of it!