• Favorite
  • Discuss
  • Subscribe
McDole's Brown Ale

McDole's Brown Ale

American Brown Ale • All Grain • 6.75 gal


This is Mike McDole's recipe for "Janet's Brown Ale" which was published in Jamil's book. It is a big & hoppy west coast style brown ale. I adjusted it for my efficiency a little and darkened it up a bit.

December 2, 2007 at 09:56pm

5.0/5.0 1 rating

Ingredients (All Grain6.75 gal)

  • 12 lbs American 2-row

    American 2-row

    Yields a slightly higher extract than Six Rox brewers Malt. Tends to give a smoother, less grainy flavored beer. Some brewers claim they can detect a significant difference in flavor. Lower protein and will yield a lower color than Six-Row Brewers Malt

  • 1.25 lbs Belgian Cara-Pils

    Belgian Cara-Pils

    Significantly increases foam/head retention and body of the beer.

  • 1.25 lbs Crystal Malt 40°L

    Crystal Malt 40°L

    Sweet, mild caramel flavor and a golden color. Use in light lagers and light ales.

  • 1 lbs White Wheat Malt

    White Wheat Malt

    Weizens. Improves head retention in all beers. Contributes spicy flavor. Protein rest required.

  • .5 lbs American Chocolate Malt

    American Chocolate Malt

    Use in all types to adjust color and add nutty, toasted flavor. Chocolate flavor.

  • .3 lbs Weyermann Carafa® III; Weyermann

    Weyermann Carafa® III; Weyermann

    Carafa I, II and III also are available de-husked. Adds aroma, color and body.

  • 1.25 oz Northern Brewer - 8.0 AA% pellets; boiled 60 min

    Northern Brewer

    Used for bittering with strong flavors and very fragrant in steam beers, dark English ales, and German lagers. Aroma is medium-strong with evergreen and mint overtones.

  • 1 oz Northern Brewer - 8.0 AA% pellets; boiled 15 min

    Northern Brewer

    Used for bittering with strong flavors and very fragrant in steam beers, dark English ales, and German lagers. Aroma is medium-strong with evergreen and mint overtones.

  • 1.5 oz Cascade - 4.0 AA% pellets; boiled 10 min


    Spicy with citrus notes. Slightly grapefruity.

  • 1.5 oz Cascade - 6.5 AA% whole; boiled 0 min


    Spicy with citrus notes. Slightly grapefruity.

  • 2 oz Centennial - 10.4 AA% pellets; added dry to primary fermenter


    Aromatic but acceptable for bittering. Medium aroma with floral and citrus tones. Good in medium to dark ales.

  • 1 oz Northern Brewer pellets added to the mash. - (omitted from calculations)

    Northern Brewer pellets added to the mash.

  • 1 tsp Whirlfloc tablet boiled for 15 minutes. - (omitted from calculations)

    Whirlfloc tablet boiled for 15 minutes.

  • White Labs WLP001 California Ale

    White Labs WLP001 California Ale

    This yeast is famous for its clean flavors, balance and ability to be used in almost any style ale. It accentuates the hop flavors and is extremely versatile.


Mash at 154F for 60 minutes. Boil 90 minutes. Ferment at 67F. Note: The 2-row malt and Carapils are Organic. The Carafa III is actually Carafa "Special" III, which is dehusked. (The addition of Carafa Special III is optional. I did this to darken the beer up a bit. Mike does not use it in his original recipe.) The final addition of Cascade whole hops was done with a Hopback. Remember to add 1 oz. Northern Brewer hops to the mash.

Style (BJCP)

Category: 10 - American Ale

Subcategory: C - American Brown Ale

Range for this Style
Original Gravity: 1.066 1.045 - 1.060
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 1.010 - 1.016
Color: 22.6 SRM 18 - 35
Alcohol: 6.7% ABV 4.3% - 6.2%
Bitterness: 49.2 IBU 20 - 40



Brewed 12/2/07

2007-12-02 10:01pm

Brewed this recipe today. Used a new shipment of Cascade hops from Hopsdirect and they seemed incredibly fresh and fragrant. This inspired me to use the Hopback for the final hop addition. I don't know if Mike McDole uses the Hopback on this recipe (it didn't mention it in the book) but since I know he frequently uses one I had a feeling it would work out OK for me to do so. Everything went smoothly. I pitched a 2 liter starter of WLP001 which was very active at the time of pitching. Wort was 72 deg. Began the brew at 10:00AM and pitched the yeast at 5:00PM. There is no visible activity yet as of 8:00PM. O.G. = 1.070 Was still working the bugs out of my system at this point and achieved higher than expected efficiency. #31


Dry Hopped 12/7/07

2007-12-10 10:29pm

Dry Hopped 12/7/07. Added hop pellets directly to primary fermenter. Rousing fermenter every day.



2007-12-19 11:00am

Turned out great. Just like I hoped it would. Lots of rich "brown ale" malt flavor and a strong but pleasant hop kick with some medium bitterness to finish it off. The alcohol content is a little bit too high, but this is quickly mellowing out and doesn't detract from enjoying the beer.


Brewed again 4/25/08

2008-05-05 6:24pm

Brewed it again. This time I hit the right gravity (1.067). Did not add the Carafa Special. Instead, added 3 oz. Pale Chocolate malt. Also used Wyeast 1056 this time. #63


Update 5/10/08

2008-05-10 2:40pm

Kegged (5/7/08) and carbonated. Dry hopped with 1 oz. Centennial. Cut this down from 2 oz. because I'm dry hopping in the keg now and it seems to be much more potent since none of the hop aroma can escape. After 1 day of dry hopping I tasted it and it had already gained a HUGE hop nose. So I took the hops out not wanting it to overpower the beer. I'm glad I did because the aroma is very nice now. Well balanced with the dark grain characters. Good strong Brown Ale flavor and a lingering bitterness. The aftertaste seems to bloom in your mouth after a few seconds leaving a really great lasting impression. FG = 1.016 ADF = 75% ABV = 6.7% Eff = 81.5%


Some changes

2008-05-18 1:15pm

I brewed this recipe but used the extract recipe. It really is delicious. I swapped out northern brewer with chinook, and then used willamette instead of centennial for the dry hop. also added 4 oz of dark brown sugar at 5 min. used 1056, a very delicious beer. people should really buy jamil and palmer's book. it's a great stepping stone and baseline. it includes extract versions of all recipes too...for the price of a couple 5 lb grain bags you can get a book that will help you brew recipes that will really wow your friends.


Drinking it

2008-05-18 6:04pm

The second brewing of this beer turned out even better than the first. The slightly lower OG makes it a lot more drinkable, for one thing. Also the hops just seem to pop a lot more and I suppose it's actually a bit out of style for an American Brown Ale, but I don't care because it's really tasty! Has a really great hop nose which is fairly complex - citrusy, woody, and a little grassy (but not in a bad way). The aroma is also filled with chocolate notes mixed with bready and toasty characters. Very complex and intriguing. The flavors jump out all over the place once you've taken a sip - a very firm toasty/chocolately flavor mixed with a punchy bitterness and a refreshing citrus undertone. After all this perhaps the best part of this beer is the aftertaste. It lingers forever on the tongue and seems to blossom there, gaining even more complexity. I can't help but take another sip! Thanks go out to Mike McDole and Jamil Zainasheff :)


Competition results

2008-07-02 4:30pm

This beer took silver in the American Brown Ale category at the 21st Annual Southern California Regional Homebrew Championship, put on by the Inland Empire Brewers club on June 22 2008!


Brewed again 11/16/08

2008-11-17 2:37pm

Brewed this one again for the Brewing Network's community brew. Used Wyeast 1272 this time. #96


Kegged 11/24/08

2008-11-25 12:06am

Kegged it tonight. Turned out delicious! I modified the recipe slightly. This is what I actually brewed: 7 Gal batch 85% efficiency OG: 1.070 FG: 1.016 ADF: 77% ABV: 7.1% 12.5 lbs. American 2-row 22 oz. Carapils 22 oz. Crystal 40 17 oz. Wheat Malt 9 oz. Chocolate Malt 2 oz. Pale Chocolate Malt 2 oz. Carafa Special II 1.75 oz. Northern Brewer 60 min. 1.25 oz. Northern Brewer 15 min. 1.75 oz. Cascade 10 min. 1.75 oz. Cascade in the HopBack 2 oz. Centennial Dry Hop for 5 days at 70F Wyeast 1272 Pitched at 64F and gradually increased temp to 70F by the end of fermentation.

Post a Comment

Subscribe to this discussion.