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American Brown Ale Recipe

Here is the recipe for the American Brown Ale I brewed last night. This recipe is a tweak on a a previous attempt. I hope it comes out great, although it seemed a little darker than I anticipated in the fermentor.

Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 76.34 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 15L (15.0 SRM) Grain 6.94 %
1.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.94 %
0.66 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4.58 %
0.50 lb Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 3.47 %
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 1.73 %
0.75 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 29.2 IBU
1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (10 min) Hops 8.3 IBU
1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (1 min) Hops 1.0 IBU
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale
1 Pkgs English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) Yeast-Ale

For this recipe I employed a 90minute boil. 30 minute preboil before first hop addition. I split the batch into to carboys and pitch one vial in each to compare the yeast side by side. I am also experimenting with the wheat. I actually used torrified wheat as some brewing friends of mine really swear by it when you want to add some head retention properties without the wheaty character of a traditional wheat malt.


Original Post 

The Friday after Thanksgiving I got up before the sun on that cool autumn morning and fired up the kettles to make this starting attempt at an American Brown Ale.  I had over half a pound of Cascade hop pellets (5.8%AA) sitting around which I used exclusively.  My main reason for this was that I have an single hop American Pale Ale I want to make in a manner very similar to this brown ale just without the roast.
The other unique part of this brew was that I had two packets of dried yeast that I were close to their expiration date.  So I re-hydrated both and pitched them in.  That doesn’t sound very novel does it….well one packet was US-05 the other was S-04.  So this brown has a yeast blend of my favorite American yeast and my favorite English yeast.  More on yeast blending in another post…

Here is the recipe:

10.0 lbs  American 2-row
1.0 lbs    Crystal 15L
0.25 lbs  Crystal 125L
0.5 lbs    Special Roast
0.75 lbs  Chocolate Malt
2.0 oz    Roasted Barley
(Mash temp 155 F)

1.5 oz Cascade pellet 60min
1.5 oz Cascade pellet 10min
1.5 oz Cascade pellet 1min

1 packet US-05 (Fermentis)
1 packet Safale-04 (Fermentis)

I made this as a 6 gallon batch and my OG was riding a little higher than I wanted at 1.055, so I diluted it out to 1.048 with some cold water in the fermentor.  (Total fermentor volume was 5.5 gallons)  I anticipate the IBUs at ~43, a little high for my tastes but it think it will work well with the crystal and special roasts in the grain bill… and the other hop heads in my life.

Keep you eyes peeled for my Cascade Pale Ale recipe which will eerily mirror this one just minus the roasted malts.  I hope to use the cake from this brew to ferment the next!


Check out our other homebrew recipes.


American Brown Ale Brew Day


American Brown Brew Log 2


  1. I think American Brown Ale is my favorite style. I made one a month or so ago and it came out great. Can’t wait to hear how this one turns out.


  2. Stephen Marcus

    Where’s the ABV, Gravity and IBU for this recipe? Those can be calculated ahead of time.

  3. Bostontparties

    my dad loves to brew american pale ale. usually it comes out overly hoppy, but when it’s right… heaven

  4. Joe

    This is not a brown ale. It is too hoppy. It fits the profile of am American IPA if you give it a lot of carbonation.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments.
    Stephen Marcus:
    I never worry about ABV. I brew good beer first and whatever the ABV comes out to be is an after thought. On top of that, you can’t really calculate ABV ahead of time, you need the ACTUAL final gravity. I can easily estimate with a supposed %attenuation figure, but again I never worry about ABV when making recipes.
    The OG and IBU are in the post 1.048 and ~43IBUs (or are you happier with 42.7?)
    The Bitterness here is not going to be anything like an IPA. Only 1.5oz of hops for bittering. While there will be some bittering from the 10min charge, it will be minimal, mostly flavor. (I really like the 10min addition for focusing in hop flavor). While the total IBUs does come in slightly over BJCP Guidelines for the style, most calculators don’t do a great job of calculating bitterness from late additions like I have it. So while the raw # is 43IBU, the percieved bitterness is likely to be less. Lastly, I think that all the crystals and roasted malts will lower the perceived bitterness too, which is why I pushed it to the higher end. The real impact will be how bitter the Cascade Pale Ale will be. I would agree there that it will likely be IPA like.

    Thanks for the input and insight.

  6. Delightful, I passed this on to a friend of mine, and he actually bought me lunch because I found this for him, so let me rephrase: Thanks for lunch.

  7. Ted

    I like the use of “Roasted Barely”, no need to over do it, that’s for sure!

  8. Ha Ha. Mike has a hard time spelling sometimes. I fixed it.

  9. chris

    It might be a bit dark because you added TWO THIRDS of a pound of chocolate malt. It will probably be a bit chocolatey too! Not that this is a bad thing in an american brown ale.

  10. chris

    I agree with the torrified wheat guys, it does give good head. However i’d have been tempted to skip using the english ale yeast. I’ve been consistently disappointed with the results (i’m English, this was a bitter pill to swallow). The california 001 yeast is a fabulous beer making organism and if you want some fruitiness try California V (WLP051) its reliable too.

  11. Do you use the beer calculus on hopville.com? I typed in your grain bill and it came out as ‘black’.

  12. @ Hestor I use beersmith. I find the color rating on Beersmith to be a bit darker than reality in the end. I certainly wasn’t black in the fermentor, a very deep brown. We’ll see. I’ll put a picture up of the beer in the pint glass. We’ll judge the color then.

  13. ezcurdia

    …too much foam and preasure with my ABA. anyone can tell me what did I do wrong?
    thank you.

  14. @ezcurdia
    Isn’t the answer in your question? Turn down the pressure and bleed off the excess. To much foam may also mean you need longer beer lines to the tap. Most applications need at least 5-6 feet of line.

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