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Easy Spiced Brown Ale

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Easy Spiced Brown Ale

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Beer Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer  (21A)
Recipe Type: extract
Yield: 5 US gallons

Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer


I've used cloves for spiced ales, and my advice would be go easy. It doesn't take much to add that character. I had good luck by simmering 3- 4 whole cloves (not crushed) in water, then adding the whole thing to the primary. The flaw with a lot of commercial Xmas brews is that the spices overwhelm the flavor of the beer rather than complement it.

I'm normally an all-grain brewer, but this is a twist on a kit beer. I find that spices tend to mask any sort of "canned" flavors, and with the time you save you can brew a lot of it, like for a party. The spices balanced perfectly after a few weeks in the bottle.

The flavors balance very nicely after only a short aging time, but it gets better after a couple of months. An excellent holiday beer.


  • Mountmellick brown ale kit
  • 3--4 whole cloves
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon, ground nutmeg
  • 4 oranges
  • 1/8 cup, Hallertauer hops
  • ale yeast

Click to Print Recipe


Simmer spices, hops, and zest of 1 orange in 1 quart water for 30-45 minutes. Make Brown Ale according to 3.6 gallon recipe. Add spice mixture (do not strain) and zest of other three oranges to wort. Ferment, strain, and bottle according to kit instructions.