Mike brewed a winter ale – a winter red ale to be precise – and his special ingredient in this beer was molasses. If you’ve ever wanted to brew with this byproduct of refining sugar cane, this post is for you.

Looks good, don’t it?

Winter Red Ale Recipe

From Mike’s notes, here is the recipe for a 5 US gallon batch:


12 pounds (5.44 kg) of US Pale Malt
1 pound (454 g) of Flaked Rye
10 ounces (284 g) Caramel Malt 80L
4 ounces (113 g) Carafa Special II
3 ounces (85 g) Molasses
2 ounces (56 g) of Challenger hops – added with 60 minutes to go in the boil


Mashed at 152° F (66.7° C) for one hour
Boiled for one hour
Fermented at 68°-70° F (20-21°C) for 2 weeks


Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV: ~6%

What Did We Think of This Beer?

Mike wanted to brew a deep, red colored ale and he did that. This winter ale had the mahogany with ruby highlights that he was targeting.

The beer had hints of caramel and toast on the nose. In the flavor, the molasses brought a dark caramel note along with the strong malt presence from the specialty grains. The richness of the rye was complemented well with the added molasses.

Mike thought this beer could have attenuated more but overall, we were pleased with this winter red ale.

Let us know about your molasses brewing adventures in the comments.