Northern english brown receipes

I’m looking at making a Northern style English Brown Ale and would appreciate any recipes or design advice. I like the non-roasty nutty flavor of some that I’ve had at various brewpubs. I’ve seen a couple of sources swearing that Special Roast is the secret sauce for getting the nutty character. Others sources have said simply the use of MO is all that is necessary or a bit of Victory.

I had one local version in a Denver pub that used “lots of Munich” as described and some rye malt. I’m wondering if a good brown ale would simply be a Munich Dunkel with ale yeast vs lager yeast??

Many recipes I’ve seen are heavy on crystal (a pound or more in 5g batch) and I’ve never been a fan of anything with that much crystal as it tends to get cloying and gunky in flavor. Gunky is of course a technical term…

For such an apparently simple style, I find it elusive and hard to get what I’m after. I’m rambling, so I’ll leave it there. I appreciate any insight. Cheers and happy brewing.

If you are an all grain brewer these is an easier question to answer. Find your favorite malt it will be the backbone and the body, and just enough special roasted malt to get your color. Not much hop profile and a clean well attenuating yeast. There’s no reason to overthink it and I’d encourage you to used MO as the entirety of your base malt. My personal favorite malts are Mecca Grade Estate Malts. I’ve never made a beer I didn’t like with them

There is a pretty well known recipe for Janet’s Nut Brown Ale that is popular with home brewers. I have not made it, but have heard many others rave about it.

Marries Otter is an English malt, I’ve used it alot….
Should you want color, start with 3 oz per 5 gallon batch… IF you remember the old New Castle style, I think there is 3/4 cup of brown sugar… That is the brew that put me on the trail to brewing…. Perhaps, time to brew one here… aim for 4.8%…

Well, did you brew one? If so, how did it turn out?
And your grainbill?

No I haven’t yet. We’re in the process of trying to sell our house and moving to Florida. Leaving good old South Dakota for the sunshine state… TM

packed away most of my supplies. I have to get this move done so I can make a northern brown ale!


Big endeavor for sure… retirement?
I will brew in the next week, focusing on English and lower abv beverages…

Spend some time in Florida in the summer before moving here :palm_tree: It’s hot. If you use a chiller the water from your tap might be is the high 70s. We head back up north for summer.

The taxes are pretty good and there are plenty of jobs though.

Back on topic. I agree with @sneezles61 about brown sugar. Or you can use some molasses since brown sugar is just just sucrose (sugar) and molasses.

Yep, retirement. Will split time between Denver and Tampa. Just can’t seem to sell our house here in South Dakota. Great craft beer scene in Tampa and certainly in Denver. Looking forward to firing the kettle back up hopefully early spring.

Thanks for checking in and happy brewing.


Congrats and enjoy your retirement!

Thanks. Now I won’t have any more excuses for making bad beer!


Not wanting to hi-jack your thread, BUT, today is brew day and I’ll be doing a New Castle clone…
Edit: 1.040…

no worries here. any chance of sharing your recipe?

Sure can!
4 lbs Pils
4lbs Vienna
4oz chocolate malt
End of boil, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar…
Corrected mash water before adding grist, to 5.8… maybe I didn’t try hard enuff with calcium chloride, after 2 tsp, I switched to phosphorus acid…
2 oz of tettnang, 3.8%AA… FWH

Looks great. If you’ve made it before, how does the brown sugar factor in flavor wise?

When I started… 2001, New Castle is the brew that got me learning… If you’ve had the original(not the crumby stuff that’s made now) then you’ll get that, caramel/molasses hint in the background… that’s what brown sugar does in my recipe… Some peeps can taste better than I… so it can be adjusted to suit… I did go lower in ABV… so that might alter the B. sugar mix…
Edit: started at 1.040…today it’s at 1.008… still burping, albeit slowly… Safale 05
Edit: tilt sez its down to 1.002!!! That’s not good… but I won’t have time to keg til this W/E… maybe some yeast sediment causing the tilt to give this reading?

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Perhaps a Brut- brown ale?

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I completely forgot about that “Brut” style…. hhhmmm

So has the rest of America. Try finding one in the store now. Another fad gone away.