Homebrewing an English Honey Brown Ale

What happens when you have some extra English ale yeast and feel like making a beer with honey? Well in my case you end up with an English Honey Brown Ale!

Recipe Source: Northern Brewer

Beer Specifications

Beer Name: English Honey Brown Ale
Beer Style: Brown Ale
Recipe Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons / 20.8 litres
Estimated SRM: 16.2°
Estimated IBU: 20.9
Estimated OG: 1.056
Estimated FG: 1.016
Estimated ABV: 4.2%

Grain Bill/Fermentables

LBS Fermentables
8 2-Row
0.25 English Chocolate Malt
0.25 Special B
0.25 Belgian Biscuit
0.25 Briess Special Roast

Hops and Additions

Amount Time Hops
0.75 oz 60 min Cluster
1 lbs 0 min Honey


# Yeast
1 British Ale Yeast (WLP013 or WYeast 1098)

Fermentation Schedule

21 days Primary
7-14 days Bottle Conditioning
Optimal Fermentation Temperature: 66-70°F / 18.8-21°C
Place fermenter in stable temperature, out of the light.


Mash Temperature: 154°F / 67.8°C
Mash Time: 60 min
Strike Water Volume: 3.5 gallons / 15.9 litres
Sparge Water Volume: 3 gallons / 11.4 litres
Boil Duration: 60 min

This is a pretty straight forward recipe with the only “challenging” part being the need to warm up the honey so that it pours out when you need to add it to the boil.

Mmmm local honey

After chilled to pitching temperature I took a gravity reading and got a measurement of 1.052. Yeast was pitched and the beer fermented for just over two weeks.

Siphoning from the fermentation bucket

Unfortunately I didn’t have any way to chill the fermented beer so I had to work around a few yeast ‘floaties’ but I think I did alright getting mostly clean beer into the bottling bucket.

Racking to bottling bucket

I also took the opportunity to take a sample and final gravity reading.

Sample for final gravity reading

The final gravity came out to 1.006 which left me with an estimated ABV of 6.04% which was quite a bit stronger than I was expecting. Perhaps the local honey was really potent or the yeast were just really eager to make me a boozy beer! Either way I then added enough priming sugar to achieve around 2.2 volumes of CO2 and bottled the beer.

Sure is a brown ale!

After a few boring weeks of waiting I finally got to taste the final product. This was my first time homebrewing with honey and I have to admit I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but I’m happy to say that this turned out pretty well!

It has a nice, extremely smooth, just borderline sweet, taste that finishes just a little roasty but with no lingering flavour. For a somewhat stronger beer it certainly doesn’t taste it which could also be pretty dangerous if you aren’t too careful ;).

I did notice that there seems to be some inconsistencies between the different bottles of beer, and more so after letting the beer chill in the fridge for a few days. Because of that I almost wonder if either the honey didn’t get mixed up enough during bottling or if it separates out the longer you chill the beer for. I also think I’m going to put a few bottles away and see how they age over the coming months to see if the flavour profile changes at all that way.

But even with its inconsistencies I’d call this one a success!

P.S. – we called this brew “Golden Brown”

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