The veteran Hearts assistant manager returns to Easter Road on Scottish Communities League Cup duty on Wednesday for the first time since ending his nine-month spell across the city in June, and knows his young Hearts side face a tough assignment against experienced pros such as Liam Craig and James Collins, both of whom he helped to identify.
"Gary [Locke, the manager] and I are in the real world," Brown said. "We know what is front of us. The Hibs tie is a big challenge now in as much as it is at Easter Road against a big, strong experienced, powerful squad of players. Probably the second-most powerful squad in Scotland I would suggest. I didn't say 'second-best', I said second strongest in as much as they have a lot of different people they can put in."
Brown, who said he no longer feels any bitterness over his departure from Easter Road, added: "I wanted them to get Liam Craig, and when I went to see a player at Shrewsbury versus Port Vale, James Collins was playing that night and I mentioned him to Pat [Fenlon, the Hibs manager] when I came back. He was a Republic of Ireland Under-21 international so maybe Pat knew him anyway but they were the only two I really recommended."
Meanwhile, teenage striker Dale Carrick is desperate to carry his good Edinburgh derby youth record into the senior game, even if it would displease some of his closest family and friends. The father of Carrick's girlfriend Alison is Hibs' club doctor Duncan Reid and many of his own family are Hibs fans who populated the other end at the Scottish Cup final in 2012.
"The banter hasn't started yet, but I'm waiting for it," Carrick admitted. "The chat at my girlfriend's house never really gets round to football, we talk more about golf. As for my family, I'm from the Hearts side, the rest are mostly Hibs fans, uncles and aunties."
Carrick recalls scoring six as Hearts ran up a "rugby score" on his first Edinburgh derby at youth-team level, but to date has made just one appearance in the senior version, as a late substitute last May in a match decided in Hibs' favour by a late Ross Caldwell strike.
"My best memory of the derbies has to be the cup final. I was in the crowd with the boys, it was great," he said. "I had family in the other end as well - although they left quite early! I am sure if I made some kind of impact on this game I think they'd be happy for me, but gutted I'd done it to their team."