Northern English Brown Ale

I decided that the Old Ale I have aging in the corner needs a bit more time to mature. Instead I will bring home a nice brown ale and the rest of my Farmhouse ale for Christmas instead.. As I learned from my SMaSH English Bitter a simple recipe can make a lovely been when quality ingredients are used.

What I hope I have here is a flavorful, malty English brown that my mom will like (and I will like too). As brewers we sometimes seem so focused on hoppy beers that we dismiss the simple but good styles like browns and bitters.

So here is a very English brown ale, of the Northern (Newcastle) style. It is now ready to drink, and is a deep brown, crystal clear when poured gently, and softly carbonated. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with the result, and look forward to sharing with family and friends.

The recipe:

This recipe was tuned for my simple brewing system where I can get a 75% mash efficiency consistently. I calculated 78% efficiency for this particular mash. I think if I were to track this more rigorously I would see a nearly 5% efficiency difference between the two grain mills at the supply shop. I’m going to put getting my own mill on my list of brewery upgrades.




Mash (Single infusion, 152F)


Measurement Expected Actual Reference
Efficiency 75% 78% N/A
OG 1.050 1.052 1.040 – 1.052
FG 1.013 1.013 1.008 – 1.013
ABV 4.9% 5.1% 4.2% – 5.4%
IBUs 23 23 20 – 30
Color (SRM) 19 Brown 12 – 22

— Steve

Posted on 20 December 2013