Ol' Brown Dog Recipe

Ol' Brown Dog

Ol' Brown Dog (23 Litres)

This recipe makes a slightly hoppy version of the American Brown Ale style (category 10.C. of the BJCP guidelines). It’s approachable and friendly and always worth a revisit – a bit like the Ol’ Brown Dog down the street. The end result is a rich dark brown ale displaying a creamy beige head, rich coffee/chocolate aromas combined with citrus undertones. Voluminous dark malt flavours filling the mouth with coffee, chocolate and sweet toffee combined with zesty marmalade, finishing up with medium hop bitterness. Keeping within the style guidelines, you might like to lighten the colour by swapping out the Amber Malt with Light Malt and/or reduce the hopping levels.



  • Colour: Brown
  • Body: Medium
  • Bitterness: Med/High
  • Approx. Alcohol Level: 5.7%
  • Naturally Carbonated: Natural


Step 1: Mix

Place the Crystal Malt Grain in a plastic zip-lock sandwich bag and crack it using a rolling pin. In a good sized pot (around 8 litres), mix with 2 litres of hot water (not boiling) and let steep for about 1hr. Remove the grain; add 3 litres of water and 500g of Light Dry Malt then bring to the boil. Add 25g of Cascade Hops and boil for 10min then remove from the heat, add another 25g of Cascade Hops and let sit for about 5min. Set the pot in a cold/ice water bath to cool then strain into a fermenting vessel. Add the Dark Ale kit and Amber Malt, stir to dissolve then top up with cool water to the 20 litre mark and stir thoroughly. Check the brew temperature and top up to the 23 litre mark with warm or cold water (refrigerated if necessary) to get as close as possible to 20C. Sprinkle the dry yeast or stir in liquid yeast, fit the lid and try to ferment at 20C.

Step 2: Brew

On day 4, add the Centennial Hops (we recommend wrapping the hops in a mesh cleaning cloth, pulled straight from the wrapper). Fermentation has finished once the specific gravity is stable over 2 days. It should finish in the range of 1010 – 1014.

Step 3: Bottle

Bottle the brew with a priming rate of 8g per litre (2 carbonation drops per 750ml bottle).

Step 4: Enjoy!

Store the bottles at or above 18C for at least two weeks to allow the secondary fermentation to take place. To take advantage of the fresh hop characters, drink this brew early. Expect the alcohol content to be around 5.7% ABV.

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