Not As Old As Me Ale
Home Brewing Recipes
Baker Street Ales Associate Brewer
Arny Lands
Beer Nexus
the crossroads of the beer world
First let me thank all the readers who sent me names for my Mild which was
featured in my last column.  Most were really funny, especially the ones that
won't get past the BeerNexus censors.  Of the acceptable ones my favorite was
"Imperial Mild".   I'll be sending out a Nexus sweatshirt to the guy who came up
with it.  Now I've got to go back and find out who it was.  Guess I should have
another pint or two of first in his honor.   Hmmm.... maybe that's how I lost it.  Oh,
well, now to business.

The mailbag found several requests for Old Ale extract recipe.  Here's one that
will give you a brew with a caramel/nutty malt character with toffee-like, roasty
overtones. It is full bodied with a smooth malty-sweet finish. By the way. the
addition of dark candi sugar boosts the gravity, while adding a rich, rum-like
dimension to the complex flavor profile.


.•6.0 lbs. (2.7 kg) gold liquid malt extract
•2.0 lbs. (0.9 kg) light dry malt extract
•1.0 lb. (0.45) dark candi sugar
•8 oz. (224 kg) Simpsons Dark Crystal malt (75 ºL)
•8 oz. (224 kg) Simpsons Golden Naked Oats
•6.4 AAU Target pellet hops (60 min.)
•(0.75 oz./21 g of 8.5% alpha acids)
•2.2 AAU Fuggle pellet hops (10 min.)
•(0.5 oz./14 g of 4.4% alpha acids)
•2.2 AAU Fuggle pellet hops (1 min.)
•(0.5 oz./14 g of 4.4% alpha acids)
•Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale) yeast

1.  Heat 5 gallons (19 L) of water in your boiling kettle.
2.  Steep specialty grains in water for 15 minutes or until the water has reached
170 ºF (77 ºC).
3.  Remove grains and bring water to a boil.
4,  Once a boil has been reached, remove kettle from heat and add malt extract
and candi sugar while stirring. Bring to a boil for 60 minutes, adding hops
according to the hop schedule.
5.  After 60 minutes, chill and ferment between 62–72 ºF (17–22 ºC) for two
6.  Age for 6–12 weeks in secondary.
7.  Bottle and enjoy!



Now to answer a few of the many questions I've received.  By the way,  keep      
sending them in.  It's all about making good beer and that's the fun of it!

Q-  My beer only took a day to ferment.  Does that mean it will be lousy?
A -  If the weather is warm and with some strains of yeast (usually dry yeasts) it
is not uncommon for beers to ferment very quickly. Take a hydrometer reading
and record the value (don't forget to apply any temperature correction). Wait
three days and take another. Compare the two readings. If they are the same
(and in the proper range), your beer is done fermenting. You could bottle the beer
now but I advise you wait a full two weeks to allow the beer to settle and clear. If
your hydrometer reading is still high, then your fermentation may be stuck. You
can usually get your beer going again by "rousing" the yeast. Do this by stirring
up the yeast sediment with your sterilized brewing spoon.

Q-  I'm using liquid yeast. I popped the packet and it swelled up but nothing is
happening. Is the yeast dead?
A - Not if the packet swelled up. That's a sign of healthy yeast. Your beer will
eventually start fermenting.

Q:  My beer is over-carbonated. What happened?
A:  Several things could have happened. You could have used too much priming
sugar. You might not have waited long enough and the beer was still fermenting
when you bottled. And you could have an infection that is fermenting things that
beer yeast doesn't. Or it could any combination of three.

Q:  Can I make pumpkin beer without using any real pumpkin?
A.  Absolutely.  It isn't necessary. The flavors we associate with pumpkin ales
come from the spices - nutmeg, ginger etc. Pumpkin in and of itself adds: no
fermentable sugars, no color, no flavors.

Q:  My beer has a horrible, metallic taste.  What's going one?
A:  Your beer is contaminated by bacteria. You will have to dump it and give your
bottles and equipment a thorough over-night sanitation. This sort of
contamination is usually caused by wort spoilage bacteria. This means the beer
became infected before the fermentation got started. These bacteria cannot
survive in fermented beer. That is why it is so important to get the fermentation
off to a fast start.

            That's it for this column.  Hope to see you next time!

       Good Brewing and Cheers!

           Arny Lands
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