Homebrewing OBK English Brown Ale

Heading into the holiday season always makes me want to reach for a nice darker beer like a stout, barleywine, or something similar. With that in mind I decided to brew a small batch strong English Brown Ale.

Recipe Source: Ontario Beer Kegs

Beer Specifications

Beer Name:OBK English Brown Ale
Beer Style:Ale
Recipe Type:All Grain
Pre-Boil Volume:6.25 gallons / 23.66 litres
Batch Size:5.25 gallons / 19.87 litres
Estimated SRM:22°
Estimated IBU:23
Estimated OG:1.051
Estimated FG:1.012
Estimated ABV:5%

Grain Bill/Fermentables

1Brown Malt
1Pale Chocolate Malt


160 minHallertauer


1Safale S-04 English Ale Yeast

Fermentation Schedule

21 daysPrimary
14 daysBottle Conditioning


Mash Temperature:153°F / 67.2°C
Mash Time:60 min
Boil Duration:60 min

You can see from the recipe above that this beer should have only turned out to be about 5% or so. Well through some poor math on my part I ended up with way too much grain and so this English Brown became an English Brown Barelywine!

My Original Gravity (OG) reading was a massive 1.080 and following fermentation I ended up with a Final Gravity (FG) of 1.010 for an ABV of 9.19%.

Tasting Notes

SmellYou can smell the alcoholic heat off of this beer as soon as its poured. I wouldn’t exactly describe it as a good smell.
AppearanceThe beer itself is an unremarkable brown liquid with very little carbonation and essentially no head. Not great…
TasteOh boy. I think I shot right past pleasant and boozy into rocket fuel territory. I’m not completely giving up hope on this beer yet but I’m definitely going to need to try and age it for a bit before I try it again!
YieldThis brew cost $11.24 in ingredients to make and yielded 5x355ml bottles ($2.25/bottle)

I’m reserving total judgement on this beer until I let it bottle condition for a few more months but right now I would not describe it as good. That said I would also like to re-brew this recipe under normal conditions and see what the 5% version tastes like.

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