Recipe for Janet’s Brown Ale or Recipe Kits Benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

From MoreBeer:

Brew Janet’s Brown For Big Brew Day!

Every year on the first Saturday in May, the AHA promotes it’s annual Big Brew for National Homebrew Day. It’s an opportunity to fire up the kettle and raise a glass to the greatest hobby there is— homebrewing! This year is no different, however one of the official big brew day recipes “Janet’s Brown” celebrates a dear friend we all lost this last year Mike “Tasty” McDole!

This now iconic recipe comes from the late homebrewing legend—and our dear friend—Mike “Tasty” McDole. Mike is one of the best homebrewers we’ve ever known, and one of our original customers way back when the entire MoreBeer! operation fit inside a storage shed. Aside from brewing many award-winning beers, Tasty helped grow homebrewing as a hobby, and as a community, here in the Bay Area and well beyond.

100% of the proceeds from this kit are donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a leading nonprofit in the fight to cure cancer.

To purchase your Janet’s Brown Kit for Big Brew Day, click here!

Recipe for Janet's Brown via the AHA

Yield: 5 US gal (18.9 L)

Thank you to Big Brew 2021 sponsors BSG Handcraft and Lallemand Brewing.

Janet’s Brown Ale has quite the pedigree. Mike “Tasty” McDole took home a medal when this recipe won gold in the Brown Ale category in the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) in 2004. The award-winning recipe was then featured in Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer’s book, Brewing Classic Styles, as an example of a bigger, hoppier American Brown Ale. In 2009, McDole took gold again at the NHC with an updated recipe that he categorized as Imperial Brown Ale, but this time in the Specialty Beers category. Though Janet’s Brown Ale deviates a bit from the style guidelines for a traditional American Brown Ale, surely you will not be upset by the higher IBUs and ABV after taking a sip!

*If you prefer a more sessionable beer, feel free to omit the corn sugar to reduce the ABV from 7.4% to 6.6%.*

11.8 lb. (5.35 kg) pale malt
1.3 lb. (590 g) dextrin malt
1 lb. (454 g) 40L crystal malt
0.8 lb. (363 g) wheat malt
0.4 lb. (181 g) 350L chocolate malt
0.5 lb. (227 g) corn sugar @ 0 min

1.25 oz. (35 g) US Northern Brewer pellet hops, 5.1% a.a. (mash)
1.25 oz. (35 g) US Northern Brewer pellet hops, 5.1% a.a. (60 min)
0.75 oz. (21 g) US Northern Brewer pellet hops, 5.1% a.a. (15 min)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Cascade pellet hops, 5.6% a.a. (10 min)
1.75 oz. (50 g) Cascade whole hops, 5.8% a.a. (0 min, hopback)
1.75 oz. (50 g) Centennial pellet hops, 10.5% a.a. (dry hop)

Lallemand LalBrew BRY-97 West Coast Ale Yeast, Fermentis US-05, Wyeast 1217-PC West Coast IPA, or White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast

Ca 110 ppm, Mg 18 ppm, Na 17 ppm, SO4 350 ppm, Cl 50 ppm

1 cup (190 g) corn sugar (if priming in bottles)


  • Original Gravity: 1.074 (18°P)
  • Final Gravity: 1.018 (4.6°P)
  • ABV: 7.4%
  • IBU: 38
  • SRM: 20

Mash the malts with the mash hops at 154°F (68°C) for 30 minutes. Raise to 170°F (77°C) and hold for 15 minutes. Sparge at 170°F (77°C) for 45 minutes. Collect 6.5 gallons (24.5 L) of wort.

Heat to boiling and boil the wort 60 minutes, adding hops at the times indicated in the recipe. Adjust original gravity post-boil with reverse osmosis water as required.

Chill the wort to approximately 68˚F (20˚C). Pitch yeast, and ferment between 60 ˚F and 68˚F (15.5–20˚C) until complete. Prime and bottle condition, or serve from keg if naturally conditioned during aging.

7.5 lb. (3.4 kg) Briess Golden Light Liquid Malt Extract
12 oz. (340 g) Briess Bavarian Wheat Liquid Malt Extract
1.3 lb. (590 g) dextrin malt
1 lb. (454 g) 40L crystal malt
0.4 lb. (181 g) 350L chocolate malt
0.5 lb. (227 g) corn sugar @ 0 min
Steep the dextrin malt, crystal malt, chocolate malt, and mash hops in a grain bag at 154°F (68°C) for 30 minutes in 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) water. Remove the grains and mash hops and fully dissolve the malt extracts in the hot wort. Adjust kettle volume to 6.5 gallons (25 liters) with reverse osmosis water. Proceed with the boil and follow the remaining recipe as above.


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