Awesome Terrapin Rye Pale Ale Clone Recipe

Terrapin Rye Pale AleJust like wheat and barley, rye is a cereal grain that can be used in making beer. It’s a huskless grain with an assertive, spicy flavor. To design a rye pale ale beer recipe, one could easily start with a good American pale ale recipe and add between one-half and one pound of rye malt to the mash. This will contribute the distinctive spicy flavor that rye is best known for adding to a brew. Most rye pale ale beer recipes will have at most 10-20% of the grain bill come from malted rye.

Because its protein content is higher than barley, rye can improve body and head retention, but it also tends to get sticky in a mash. If your system is prone to stuck mashes or if your beer recipe uses more than about 20% rye, consider adding some rice hulls to the mash to improve filterability.

There are several good commercial examples of rye pale ale on the market. Terrapin Beer Company from Alpharetta, GA, entered the market with their Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, which won a gold medal in the American Pale Ale category in its first year at the Great American Beer Festival, in 2002. The brewery is now approaching 50,000 barrels of beer a year in production. Below is a Terrapin rye pale ale clone recipe you can brew up.

E. C. Kraus carries a great Rye Pale Ale beer recipe kit from Brewer’s Best, but feel free to use the tips below to develop your own beer recipe.

Types of Rye

Homebrewers typically work with either rye malt or flaked rye. Rye malt has been germinated and kilned, whereas flaked rye is pressed between hot rollers. Both contribute rye flavor, though the rye malt will be a little more toasty and sweet than the flakes. Both can be added directly to the mash. If brewing a partial mash recipe, combine the rye with some malted barley so the mash doesn’t stick.

Ready to brew a rye pale ale? Try this Terrapin rye pale ale clone or use it as a starting point for your own beer recipe!Shop Steam Freak Kits

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale Clone Recipe – Partial Mash 
Batch Size: 5 gallons

OG: 1.057
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 35

6 lbs. Light Malt Extract
1 lb. Rye Malt
1 lb. Munich Malt
8 oz. Victory Malt
6 oz. Honey Malt
1 tsp. Irish Moss @ 15 mins

.33 oz. Magnum hops @ 60 mins
(4.7 AAUs)
.33 oz. Fuggles hops @ 30 mins
(1.5 AAUs)
.33 oz. Kent Goldings hops @ 20 mins (1.7 AAUs)shop_brew_kettles
.33 oz. Kent Goldings hops @ 10 mins (1.7 AAUs)
1 oz. Cascade hops @ 5 mins (7 AAUs)
1 oz. Amarillo dry hop for 10 days
Yeast: Wyeast American Ale II
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Westmalle Tripel Clone Recipe (Extract & All-Grain)

Glass Of Belgian TripleTrappist beers are those made at Trappist monasteries; beers made in the Trappist style are called abbey beers. Most are characterized at malt-forward dry ales that are conditioned in the bottle. Belgian yeast strains often produce distinctive fruity or spicy qualities. Belgian beer fans go to great lengths to procure bottles from the eight Trappist breweries.

Westmalle Abbey is a monastery in Malle, Belgium, outside of Antwerp. It was founded in 1794, where brewing began in 1836. Westmalle’s Tripel is probably their most popular commercial brew.

The beer writer Michael Jackson describes the Tripel as: dry with an herbal aroma and fruity and floral flavor against a solid backdrop of malt. He recommends pairing Westmalle Tripel with asparagus, noting that “perhaps the citric note in Westmalle Tripel finds an affinity with that lemon-grassy flavor that also lurks in the plant.”

The Westmalle Tripel clone recipe below comes from the 2008 issue of Brew Your Own magazine. Simulate Westmalle’s water profile by using hard (mineral rich) water.

Westmalle Tripel Clone Recipe
(partial mash recipe, 5 gallon batch)

OG = 1.082
FG = 1.012
IBU = 35
ABV = 8.5%
Boil Time: 90 minutesShop Dried Malt Extract

5.5 lbs. pale malt
1 lb. caramel 10L malt
4 lbs. unhopped light DME
1 lb. clear candi sugar
1 oz. Styrian Goldings hops (3 AAUs) at :90
.75 oz. Tettnang hops (3 AAU) at :60
.5 oz. Fuggle hops (3 AAU) at :30
.5 oz. Saaz hops (2 AAU) at :5
2-3 packs Wyeast 3787: Trappist High Gravity

Directions, Partial-Mash: Prepare a 2L yeast starter the day before brewing using 2 packs of Wyeast. (Alternatively, use three packs without a starter.) On brew day, conduct a mini-mash with the crushed grains using about 3 gallons of clean water. Hold at 152°F. for 90 minutes. Sparge with 3.75 gallons of water at 170°F., collecting wort into boil kettle. Mix in DME and candi sugarShop Steam Freak Kits and bring to a boil. Add hops according to schedule. At end of boil, stir to create a whirlpool, remove from heat and chill wort. Pour wort into sanitized fermenter containing enough clean water to make 5.25 gallons. Pitch yeast at 70°F.. Ferment at 68°F. for two weeks, then condition at 50°F for 3-4 weeks. Prime and bottle, allowing to condition for at least 8 weeks. Age up to a year and serve in your favorite Belgian chalice glass!

Directions, All-Grain Option: Replace the 4 lbs. DME with 6 lbs. pale malt. Use 18 qts. of water for the mash and 20 qts. to sparge. Add the Belgian candi sugar when bringing wort to a boil and follow remainder of recipe above.

This Westmalle Tripel clone recipe is absolutely worth brewing. It’s a great introduction to Abby beers and Belgian beers in general.
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Tips For Brewing A Porter Beer Recipe

Porter Beer IngredientsHere’s a few insights and tips for brewing a porter beer recipe. There’s also a 5 gallon recipe for brewing an English-style porter from malt extract.

A porter beer is an ale featuring dark malts with a somewhat subdued hop flavor. Often chocolate and slightly roasty malt character is the primary flavor characteristic. A porter beer is traditionally an English beer, but American interpretations of porter might be a little more hop forward. Alcohol content ranges typically from 4.5-6% ABV, though “robust” porters can reach 6.5% or higher. It is believed that these stronger versions morphed into what we now know as stouts.

Building a Porter Beer Recipe

With all the malts available to homebrewers these days, there are many ways to get a deep brown color in the beer. Some prefer to use a pale ale malt as base, then add color and flavor with primarily chocolate and black malt. On the other hand, you can scale back on the darker malts and use some caramel malt to achieve the right color mix. The same goes for malt extracts. Use the porter beer recipe below as guidance, but by no means feel like you have to follow that grain bill!

Whatever combination of brewing grains you use, try to focus on the chocolate malt and crystal malts for your color. Roasted barley is more appropriate for stouts.

An English-style porter recipe should feature English hop varieties such as Goldings and Fuggles. American porters may use American varieties, like Cascade.

Mild porters may have as little as 18 IBUs, while the strong, robust porters could have up to 50 IBUs. In any case, remember that the main feature in the porter is the dark malts. Dry hopping is not unheard of, but try not to go overboard with the flavor and aroma hops if you want to brew a traditional porter beer.

YeastShop Steam Freak Kits
English ale yeast such as Wyeast 1098: British Ale will work well in an English porter recipe. I’m a big fan of the Safale-S04, great yeast in terms of quality, economy, and ease of use. For an American yeast, Safale-S05 and Wyeast 1272: American Ale II are two good options.

If you just want to hurry up and brew, check out our Babbage Brown Porter beer recipe kit. Otherwise, read on for some good porter beer recipe suggestions!

Brown Porter Beer Recipe (5 Gallons, Extract)
from the E. C. Kraus Beer Recipes

Style: Brown Porter:
Total Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Recipe Type: Partial Mash
Approx. Original Gravity: 1.052
Total Boil Time: 45 min.
Anticipated IBU: 28-32

6.6 lbs. Briess: Sparkling Amber

Specialty Grains:
8 oz. Carapils® Malt
8 oz. Black Malt
4 oz. Chocolate Malt

2 oz. Pelletized Willamette (45 min. Boil Time)
1 oz. Pelletized Fuggle (20 min. Boil Time)

Fermentis: Safale S-04

5 oz. Priming Sugar (Corn Sugar)
52 Bottle Caps

Shop Home Brew Starter KitDirections:
Steep grains in 152°F. water for 30 mins. Remove from heat, stir in malt extract and bring to a boil. Add Willamette hops and boil for 25 minutes. Add Fuggles hops and boil for 20 minutes. Cool the wort and pitch the beer yeast when the wort has reached 70°F. or lower. Ferment for 5-7 days at 60°F.-70°F., then rack to a secondary fermenter for 10-14 days. Bottle beer with priming sugar. Beer will be ready to drink in two weeks.

Do you have a good home brew porter beer recipe? What’s your secret?
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

What’s The Difference Between Ale And Lager Beers?

Assorted Beers In GlassesHow many times have you heard the question, “What’s the difference between ale and lager beers?” In fact, on a recent brewery tour, I overheard someone ask “What’s the difference between a lager and a pilsner?” A harmless question, but when the tour guide didn’t know the answer, it was all I could do not to smack myself in the forehead with the nearest five-gallon keg!

Now, naming conventions have changed over the years, so it’s easy to get confused. Let’s see if we can shed some light on the topic of ales vs lagers.

Ales vs. Lagers: What’s the Difference?

Let’s start top level. It’s generally agreed that there are two kinds of beer lagers and ales. (There are some hybrid styles that fall somewhere in the middle, but for now, let’s stick to the two main ones.) Within each broad category, there are dozens of different types of ales and lager beer styles. For example, pilsner is simply a style of lager, which can be further broken down into Czech-style or Bohemian pilsner, American-style pilsner, etc. One good way to get a sense of ale and lager beer styles is to look at a chart like this one.

When it comes to brewing, the difference between ale and lager beers becomes apparent. The two primary factors that make the difference are brewing yeast and fermentation practice.

Lagers are typically made using a bottom-fermenting beer yeast, which prefers cooler fermentation temperatures. As a result, lagers take more time to ferment and require homebrewers to have firm control over fermentation temperatures. Lager beer styles generally ferment at around 40°-50°F, which usually requires a dedicated room or refrigerator. For these reasons, most beginning homebrewers start with ales because they will ferment at room temperature.

Shop Steam Freak KitsAles are typically brewed using top-fermenting beer yeasts and slightly warmer temperatures. As a result ales ferment faster and are much easier to manage in terms of fermentation temperature.

Both ale and lager beer styles can run the gamut of color, gravity, and bitterness. Sometimes people think that ales are dark and heavy, while lagers are light in color and body. Don’t let the macro brand cheap lagers fool you! Lagers can be dark, hoppy, and high-gravity.

Here are some traditional lager beer styles that you may want to try to get a sense of the depth in the lager category:

  • Czech/Bohemian Pilsner – Compared to American light lagers, Czech pilsners have a much more assertive hop presence achieved through the use of noble hops. Steam Freak Pilsner Urkel is a clone of the classic Czech pilsner, Pilsner Urquell.
  • German Bock – A bock is a high-gravity lager (6-7% ABV) with a prominent malty character that’s both sweet and complex. Dopplebocks range from about 7-10% alcohol by volume. The Steam Freak Spring Loaded Bock features deep, rich malty flavors with subtle hop aroma.
  • SchwarzbierShop Home Brew Starter Kit – One of my all-time favorite beer styles, black lagers are chocolatey, roasty, and smooth. Here some more details on brewing a Schwarzbier.

As the craft beer movement continues to grow, many of the style guidelines get increasingly blurry. It could even get to the point where the difference ale and lager beer no longer even matters. Imperial pilsners and triple bocks may not fit perfectly into the BJCP guidelines, but they’re all the more reason to love lagers!

What are your favorite lager beer styles?
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Beer Recipe of the Week: Newcastle Brown Ale Clone

New Castle Brown AleConsidered by some to be the quintessential northern English brown ale, Newcastle was at one time the best-selling bottled beer in the UK. The beer, now ubiquitous throughout the US, was originally brewed in 1927 at Newcastle Upon Tyne. It’s a reddish-brown ale that highlights nutty malt flavor.

Though Newcastle is now brewed by the macro-brew powerhouse Heineken, many craft beer drinkers remember it fondly as a “gateway beer” to other traditional beer styles from around the world. Brew this Newcastle clone beer recipe and rediscover your love for brown ales!

Newcastle Brown Ale: Ingredients and Procedures

  • Malt – The key component in this brown ale is the crystal malt. The mid-range crystal 60°L malt is responsible for the nutty flavor in the beer. Small amounts of chocolate and black malt contribute color and a hint of dryness.
  • Hops – The classic English hop, East Kent Goldings, is used mostly for bitterness. Some hop flavor should be detectable, but will not overpower the malt.
  • Yeast – English ale yeast for this style of beer is essential. In the traditional brewing of this beer, the brewers would actually brew two separate beers, one high-gravity and one low-gravity. The high gravity beer would encourage the yeast to produce more fruity esters, which can then be blended down by the lower gravity beer. This is a lot of extra work for the homebrewer and is completely optional. It’s not impossible to do, but you’ll need an extra fermenter. It will be easiest if you’re using the all-grain method, taking the first runnings for a high-gravity boil, and the second runnings for the low-gravity boil. Then ferment the beers separately and blend them together at bottling time. (Again, this is completely optional.)

The beer recipe below is modified from the American Homebrewers Association. It was original printed in Zymurgy Magazine.

Newcastle Brown Ale Clone Beer RecipeShop Dried Malt Extract
(5-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

OG: 1.049
FG: 1.012
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 26
SRM: 15

5.5 lbs. light dry malt extract
12 oz. Crisp 60L crystal malt
4 oz. torrified wheat
1.5 oz. black malt
1.5 oz. Crisp chocolate maltShop Hops
1 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :90
1 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :30
1 tsp. Irish moss at :15
Fermentis Safale S-04: English Ale Yeast
corn sugar for priming

Heat about 3 gallons of clean, chlorine-free water to 150˚F. Place crushed grains in a grain bag and steep for 30 minutes. Discard grains and bring wort to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in the malt extract. Return to a boil, taking care to avoid a boilover. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops and Irish moss according to schedule above. At the end of the boil, chill wort to 70˚F or boil. Add enough cool, chlorine-free water to make five gallons of wort. Mix well with a sanitized spoon to aerate, then pitch yeast. Ferment at 65-70˚F. When fermentation in complete, bottle with priming sugar and cap. Beer will be ready to drink in 2-3 weeks.

Do you have a Newcastle brown ale clone beer recipe you’d like to share? Just leave it in the comments below.

David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Big, Hoppy, American Barleywine Recipe (All-Grain & Extract)

BarleywineJust how much flavor can you pack into a homebrew? I’m not sure if there’s a limit, but this barelywine beer recipe really pushes the envelope!

Barleywines are big, malty beers, usually featuring a complex range of flavors, from sweet caramel and toffee, to raisins, dates, and molasses. To balance out the malty sweetness, they’re usually heavily hopped, but the level of hop flavor and aroma can range from subtle to quite aggressive. Alcohol content is high, so these beers are often aged for months or even years to round out the flavors.

At 96 IBUs, this barleywine beer recipe is for hop heads. Three of the “C” hops – Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook – are added throughout the boil and as dry hops to give this beer a piney, citrusy hop character – think of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot.

Since this is such a high gravity beer (OG = 1.112), we recommend a few things to ensure a healthy fermentation:

  • Pitch a yeast starter – Pitching enough healthy, viable yeast cells is critical. At the very least, pitch two packs of liquid beer yeast into a 2L starter. Use a yeast starter calculator to determine exactly what size starter you need.
  • Use yeast nutrientYeast nutrient can give yeast an added boost for high-gravity beers. Nutrient is added during the boil, but have some yeast energizer on hand in the event of a stuck fermentation.
  • Oxygenate – if you have the equipment to oxygenate your wort, by all means use it. Otherwise, be sure to aerate the wort very well. Splash it around more than usual when pouring into the fermenter. Maybe even pour it through a strainer to maximize aeration.

Ready to brew this mammoth beer? Good luck!

Neural Rust Barleywine Beer Recipe
(5-gallon batch, all-grain)

OG: 1.112
FG: 1.023
ABV: 11.7%
IBUs: 96
SRM: 19Shop Dried Malt Extract

17.4 lbs. Pale Ale malt
1.1 lb. Carapils malt
1 lb. Caramel 60L malt
0.6 lb. Caramel 90L malt
0.4 lb. Caramel 120L malt
1.25 tsp. gypsum (added to mash)
1.2 oz. Chinook hops at :60 (13.2 AAUs)
1 oz. Chinook hops at :45 (11AAUs)
0.85 oz. Centennial hops at :30 (7.4 AAUs)
0.6 oz. Cascade hops at :15 (3 AAUs)
0.6 oz. Centennial hops at :15 (5.2 AAUs)Shop Liquid Malt Extract
1 tsp. Irish moss at :15
2 tsp. yeast nutrient at: :15
2 packs Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast
1 oz. Chinook hops, dry-hopped for 14 days
1 oz. Centennial hops, dry-hopped for 14 days
1 oz. Cascade hops, dry-hopped for 14 days


Barleywine Beer Recipe Directions: 
Mash crushed grains at in 5.25 gallons water at 150˚F for 90 minutes. Lauter and sparge to collect seven gallons of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops, Irish moss, and, yeast nutrient according to schedule above. Chill wort, aerate well, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Ferment at 68˚F for one month. Transfer to secondary and dry hop for two weeks. Bottle or force carbonate to target 2.3 vols. CO2.

Partial Mash Option:
Replace the Maris Otter malt with 2.4 lbs. Maris Otter plus 10 lbs. light DME. If possible, do a 7-gallon boil. If not, add half of the DME before the boil, the other half at the end of the boil, and increase the first hop addition to 2.4 oz.

Any barleywine can be fun to brew, but this barleywine beer recipe is particularly fun to make. And if you are not into the all-grain scene, the partial mash option fills out the flavor quite well.

David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.oz

3 Homebrews to Serve at Your Holiday Feast

Homebrew Holiday Beer In Front Of FireplaceHomebrewing is without a doubt a culinary activity. Chances are that if you’re a homebrewer, you also enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. One of my favorite things about homebrewing is translating seasonal flavors from the kitchen into seasonal beer recipes. In the winter, many spices from holiday cooking make it into the brew kettle: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom. Pumpkin and cranberry are classic elements of a holiday meal, and what would the season be without peppermint?

All of these holiday flavors can be incorporated into beer recipes. Below, find three of my favorite holiday beer recipes. Brew each one for a three-course homebrew tasting event!

Cranberry “Lambic”

This beer resembles the wild-fermented lambics of Belgium, often made with fruit. But instead of waiting for years for the wild microbes to develop the characteristic sourness, this recipe uses cranberry juice concentrate in the secondary fermenter! Serve this homebrew as an aperitif or see how it plays along with the cranberry relish! Cranberry Lambic Recipe >>

Pumpkin Porter

This heartier brew can easily accompany some of the heavier dishes at the holiday meal. Canned pumpkin, sweet roasted malts, and variety of holiday spices combine in a wonderfully sweet, roasty, and spicy brew. Be sure to save room for dessert! Pumpkin Porter Recipe >>

Peppermint Stout

And for a final holiday treat, consider this chocolaty-smooth stout recipe recipe featuring notes of peppermint. Feeling adventurous? Try adding a candy cane at the very end of the boil!

OG: 1.057
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 36
SRM: 34

3 lbs. Dark DME
3 lbs. Dark DME (late addition)
Shop Steam Freak Kits1 lb. Munich malt
0.75 lb. Chocolate wheat malt
0.25 lb. Roasted barley
0.5 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :60
1 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :30
0.5 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :10
5 grams dried peppermint at flame out
1 packet Safale S-04 

Directions: Steep crushed grains in one gallon of water at 150˚F for 30 minutes. Strain wort into brew kettle. Add half the DME and enough water to make 3.5 gallons. Bring wort to a boil and boil for one hour, adding hops according to the schedule above. At the end of the boil, remove kettle from heat, mix in the DME and the peppermint, and chill wort. Transfer wort to a clean, sanitized fermenter and add enough clean, chlorine-free water to make 5.5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68˚F.

What are some of your favorite holiday beer recipes? 
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Fall Homebrew Recipe: Pumpkin Porter (Extract)

Pumpkin Porter RecipeWith fall already here, it’s time to get to work on some seasonal brews! And no other beer screams fall like a good pumpkin porter! Below you will find a pumpkin port recipe that’s simple and delicious!

Pumpkin beers are popular this time of year, but brewing one involves figuring out the answers to several questions:

  • What kind of pumpkin, fresh or canned?
  • How to prepare the pumpkin?
  • Should I mash the pumpkin?
  • What kind of spices to use?

As the brewer, it’s up to you to figure out the method that works for you, and it may just come down to how much time you have available. Fresh pumpkin can be used, but it takes time to peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, chop it up, and bake. Some homebrewers recommend roasting the pumpkin for an hour at about 350˚F for flavor development. In terms of when to add the pumpkin, I suggest mashing it with the rest of the grains. Just be sure to use plenty of rice hulls to avoid a stuck mash.

As for spices, you’re certainly welcome to come up with your own spice blend, but a premixed pumpkin pie spice blend will already have a good balance between the different flavors. Whatever you do, use a light hand on the spices. Cinnamon is usually pretty safe, but it’s easy to go overboard with spices like cardamom, nutmeg, and clove. Start with just a pinch in a five-gallon batch, added at the very end of the boil. If using a pre-mixed spice blend, use half an ounce at the most.

For the pumpkin porter recipe below, I’ve gone with some of the easier methods. Canned pumpkin instead of fresh saves a lot of time and energy, and a premixed pumpkin pie spice blend takes some of the guesswork out of getting the balance right.

Pumpkin Porter Recipe (Extract)

OG: 1.061
FG: 1.013
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 21
SRM: 22

2 lbs. canned organic pumpkin
0.25 lb rice hulls
6.6 lbs. Munich malt extract
1 lb. Caramel 40L malt
Shop Steam Freak Kits0.5 lb. Victory malt
0.5 lb. Chocolate malt
1 oz. Willamette hops at :60
1 oz. Willamette hops at :30
1 tsp. Irish moss at :10
0.25 oz. pumpkin pie spice (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) at :0
Wyeast 1056: American ale yeast

Put the canned pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake at 350˚F for 60 minutes, then mash with the specialty grains and about 1.5 gallons water at 152˚F for one hour. Use a strainer to strain wort into the brew kettle, rinsing the grains and pumpkin with about 1/2 gallon of water at 170˚F. Add the liquid malt extract and enough water to make 3.5 gallons. Bring wort to a boil, then add hops, Irish moss, and spices according to schedule above. Whirlpool, chill, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Top off with enough clean, chlorine-free water to make 5.5 gallons. Pitch yeast at 70˚F.

Ferment at 68-70˚F for one week, then transfer to secondary for two. Prime with corn sugar, then bottle.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin porter recipe? What’s your secret?

10 Beer Recipes for Fall Brewing

Beer For FallSomething about the change of weather has a big impact on our taste buds. The pro brewers know this – seasonal beers are beginning to outpace IPAs as the most popular craft beer option. To brew your own fall seasonal beer, consider one (or more!) of these ten beer recipes for fall brewing.

Keep in mind some of these homebrew recipes take time – if you want them ready in time for a special occasion be sure to give yourself at least a month or two head start. Among the ten beers are some fall classics, some winter warmers, and of course, no such list would be complete without at least one IPA.

Classic Fall Beer Styles

  • Oktoberfest –Oktoberfest is traditionally brewed in the spring, but frankly it’s a tasty beer any time of year. This amber lager is malty, smooth, and refreshing. If time is an issue, you can always brew it as an ale to have it ready faster.
  • Amber Ale – Maybe it’s the color, but amber ale always strikes me as a good fall beer. This one features caramel malt flavors, medium hop bitterness, and 5% ABV.
  • Brown Ale – Brown ales showcase darker malt flavors, and are often describes as nutty with notes of chocolate. They’re smooth, easy drinking, and work great with grilled meat!
  • Pumpkin Ale – The quintessential beer recipe for fall, a good pumpkin ale tastes just like pumpkin pie! Be sure to brew it by mid-October to have it ready in time for Thanksgiving!

Fall Brewing for Winter Drinking

Fall’s a great time to get started on some of the higher gravity beers for the winter. Each of these tasty brews can be aged for several months or longer. Just for fun, save some for next winter to see how the flavor develops over time.

  • BarleywineBarleywine is like the port of the beer world, high alcohol with a complex range of rich caramel malt flavors. At about 10% ABV, this one’s a sipper!
  • Russian Imperial StoutSimilar to barleywine with a higher alcohol content, Russian Imperial Stout features darker malts, giving the beer deep flavors of dark fruity, chocolate, and coffee. This kit comes in at around 8% ABV.Shop Steam Freak Kits
  • Maple Scotch AleA good Scotch ale is rich, malty, and smooth. This one uses 1 lb. of maple syrup for an extra layer of deliciousness! What could be better in the fall.
  • Bock – German bock is a malt-forward lager with a somewhat higher than average alcohol content. Traditional bock is typically 6-7.5% ABV whereas dopplebock may get as high as 12%. This beer recipe kit makes a brown lager at around 7% ABV.
  • Winter Spiced Beer – Spiced beers offer a great opportunity to exercise some creativity, but sometimes it’s best to start with an established homebrew recipe to develop a sense of different spices and their flavor contribution. This recipe is an award winner, brewed with honey, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and orange peel.

IPAs Are Always in Season

One of the few IPAs made specifically for the winter also happens to be one of my favorites:

What are some of your favorite beer recipes for fall brewing?

David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

Robust Porter Beer Recipe – with Coconut! (Extract w/ Grains)

Robust Porter BeerRobust porter is a subset of porter and as you may imagine, it tends to be stronger and more flavorful than a standard brown porter. Still, it embodies the key aspects of porter: brown to dark brown, showcasing balanced malt flavors and aromas reminiscent of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. Though robust porter beer recipe may have a little more roasted malt than a regular porter, it falls short of being as roasty as a stout.
Based on the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, one might reclassify a robust porter as an American porter. Unlike English porters, American porters tend to be stronger in alcohol and hop character than their English counterparts. Alcohol content may be as high as 7% ABV, while hop bitterness can range from 25-50 IBUs. In terms of hop flavor and aroma, the American versions tend to exhibit more of both, often using American-grown hops. The hop flavor and aroma can range from fairly subtle to fairly aggressive – the level of hoppiness you want is up to you, but if you intend to enter the beer into competition be sure not to go overboard.
If you want to go to the next level, you can try what Charlotte’s NoDa Brewing Company does to their robust porter beer recipe. Their “Coco Loco” porter, brewed with toasted coconut, won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Robust Porter category. Try putting 0.5 lb. toasted coconut in the secondary fermenter for a few days to a week. Use a straining bag and a sanitized shot glass or spoon to weigh the bag down.
Happy brewing!

Robust Porter Beer Recipe – with Coconut!
(5-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

OG: 1.055
FG: 1.017
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 40
SRM: 32

6.6 lbs. Briess dark liquid malt extract
0.75 lb. light dry malt extract
0.5 lb. caramel 60L malt
0.25 lb. chocolate malt
Shop Steam Freak Kits0.25 lb. black malt
1.5 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :60
1 oz. Fuggles hops at :20
1 packet Safebrew S-33
corn sugar for priming
.5 lb. Toasted Coconut (in secondary)
bottle caps

Heat 6 gallons of chlorine-free water to 150˚F. Place crushed specialty grains in a muslin grain bag and steep in the water for 30 minutes. Remove grains, allowing wort to drip back into the pot. Mix in malt extracts and bring wort to a boil. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to schedule above. At the end of the boil, chill wort to about 70˚F and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68˚F for seven to ten days. Transfer to a secondary fermenter and add the coconut. After a few days to a week, bottle and age at room temperature for 3-4 weeks and enjoy!
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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.