Beer recipes - from the mashing process

General points

In this section you will find quantites only. To actually make beer, please refer to the two other sections on "Brewing Beer" and "Beer - Step by Step". It is worthwhile making this point about kit beers - these have their instructions clearly printed on the label. There is no need to elaborate further.

Another point worth making is that none of the recipes given here make use of sugar. It is my firm belief that sugar belongs only in a madeira cake! The Germans, very sensibly, have a law called the reinheitsgebot - or purity law - which stipulates that beer should consist of malt, hops and water only. Beer is a malt drink; if you use sugar in place of some of the malt, you will get alcohol for sure - but the price is a less full and tasty beer! After all - are we making this to enjoy or not?

Traditional Bitter (O.G. 1045 - 1060)

8 - 10 lbs (3.6 - 4.5Kg) crushed pale malt - depending on how strong you want it.

2 oz (57g) crushed crystal malt

3oz (85g) Goldings hops

1oz (28g) Fuggles hops

2 teaspoons Irish Moss

1 teaspoon gypsum

Real Ale Yeast

Mash all the malt then boil with the hops. Use the instructions given in the previous sections.



Lager - made with wheat malt (O.G. about 1050)

9lbs (4kg) crushed wheat malt

2oz (57g) Saaz hops

2oz (57g) Hallertau hops

2 teaspoons Irish Moss

Lager yeast (this is bottom fermenting)

Mash in the normal way. Starch end point might take longer than with barley malt as the wheat malt might not possess the same enzymic activity. However, I generally find the mash over in 2 - 4 hrs. Another point here - several books claim wheat beer is cloudy. Nonsense! I have never had an issue with my wheat beer not clearing - and this recipe wins prizes! No need to harden the water - lager is best made with soft water.

Rye Stout (O.G. 1045 - 1060)

8lb (3.6kg) crushed pale malt

2lb (1kg) crushed rye malt

1lb (0.45kg) dark roasted and ground barley

2 teaspoons Irish Moss

Real Ale Yeast

Mash in the normal way - but add the roasted barley to the malted grains first. This is a delicious stout! The rye malt gives it a dryness and body like no other. Look to the suppliers in the "links" section for your rye malt.

Light Ale - "Boy's Beer" O.G. 1035

There was always one category in open shows that I never competed in - this was for "light ale". As it's name suggests - this is a light, low-gravity beer. I prefer my beers to have more body than could be provided by the reduced pale malt requirement of such a beer. The solution was to include some oat malt in the mash. Malted oats (available from Copper Kettle) provide considerable body to the beer. There is a downside though - this beer takes longer to clear than normal : be patient!

Crushed pale malt - 6lbs (2.3kg)

Crushed oat malt - 1lb (454g)

Crushed crystal malt - 2oz  (57g)

Irish moss - 2 teaspoons

Goldings hops - 3oz (85g)

Real ale yeast

Mash as normal - but be prepared to wait several months to clear (keep it in the dark - avoid "light strike" like the plague)! If you wish to clear it more quickly - try isinglass. However, the haziness in this beer is the result of soluble proteins and fibres in the oat grain itself. It will clear naturally - given time.

Golden Beer O.G. - 1050

This beer is brewed with pale malt only. The use of crystal malt, in other beers, is simply to add colour to the beer, and this is not really necessary. OK - it does add a little flavour too - but with the quantities normally used (ounces) this has a very small effect.

Another difference between this and traditional bitter is the use of an exquisite American hop called "Cascade". Cascade gives the beer a fresh, light and "citrussy" flavour that makes this perfect for summer drinking in the garden.

Crushed pale malt 9lb (4kg)

Cascade hops 4oz (113g)

Irish moss

Real Ale yeast

Proceed as normal. You will enjoy this one!

Best Bitter – “Old Style” (O.G. 1055)

The motivation to produce something like this can be traced to an invitation I received to deliver a talk on the “Historical Aspects of Brewing”. I have always made bitters that are not too dark (just having a sprinkling of crystal malt to provide some colour). The reasoning was that pale malt has the highest diastatic activity (it possesses more of the essential amylases) and that conversion to maltose would be quick – resulting in a wort would be clean-tasting without charred flavours. Modern malting houses produce pale malt because they have a much better control over temperature that 18th or 19th century ones.  I reasoned that the more highly coloured malts were a feature of this somewhat primitive temperature control – and, therefore, these malts would have predominated in early brewing.

So, to break the habit of a lifetime, I used amber malt for the first time. The resulting bitter is simply gorgeous! I wish I’d experimented earlier!

Diastatic amber malt (from Copper Kettle) – 4lbs

Roasted amber malt – 1lb

Pale malt – 5lbs

Crystal malt – 4oz

Goldings hops – 4oz

Gypsum - 1 level teaspoon

Irish moss – 2 teaspoons

Real Ale yeast

Mash and proceed as normal. This had reached starch end-point after 2 hours, but I kept the mash going for 3 hours.


Les Bates' recipes

Les is a very succesful brewer of beer. All his recipes use the mashing principle - and there is NEVER a crystal of sugar anywhere near his brews. Les holds firmly to the principle that beer should be made from all malt. How wise! His recipes tend to be for smaller quantities, but if you wish to make larger quantities - simply scale up. One advantage of producing smaller quantities is that the mash can be done on an ordinary domestic cooker. Just be extremely careful about temperature control though... Small quantities of liquid will swing through temperature changes far more rapidly than larger ones...

All quantities for one gallon (UK) of beer, multiply up for your particular size of brew.

Porter (OG 1050-1055)

Pale malt, crushed 2lb

Chocolate malt, crushed 0.2lb (5.6 oz)

Goldings hops 0.6 oz


Top fermenting real ale yeast is used.

The recipe may be tweaked by substituting some of the chocolate malt with brown malt according to your taste.




Lager (OG 1050-1055)

Lager malt, crushed 1lb

Pilsner malt, crushed 1lb

Carapils malt, crushed 3oz

Hallertau hops 0.3oz

Saaz hops 0.1oz

Good quality lager yeast is required.

Kolsch style beer (OG 1050-1055)

Lager malt, crushed 2lb

Wheat malt, crushed 6oz

Hallertau hops 0.3oz


Kolsch is a mixed style beer because it uses a mixture of techniques. An infusion mash is OK but pale malt can be used if preferred. A good real ale yeast is used, fermenting at room temperature.

German style wheat beer. (OG 1050)

Pale malt, crushed 1lb

Wheat malt, crushed 1lb

Hallertau hops 0.2oz


A single infusion mash is used and the best results are obtained using a German wheat beer yeast such as Safbrew WB-06, dry wheat beer yeast, which will give the subtle ester and phenol flavour notes typical of wheat beers.

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Kelly Hubbard | Reply 09.09.2021 18:31

Looks yummy! You list garlic in the ingredients list, but I don’t see where you add it to the recipe. I would guess that you add it to the partially sautéed oni

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31.03 | 15:44

Hello, We have some demijohns and fermenting buckets, they are free of charge.If anyone would be interested please contact me.
Thank you

09.11 | 20:18

Thank you for your kind offer of the wine rack. Unfortunately Rainham is rather a long way to travel, as many of us live in Tonbridge.
Best wishes,

09.11 | 19:34

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09.09 | 18:31

Looks yummy! You list garlic in the ingredients list, but I don’t see where you add it to the recipe. I would guess that you add it to the partially sautéed oni

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