Brown Ale

This beer takes a bit to make and you will need a candy thermometer to get the right temperatures and colour. It's all extract (sorghum syrup) but if you wanted to add malted millet to it the malt flavours would only benefit this beer. I've made this as a Munich Dunkel as well (using lager yeast instead of Ale yeast) and it came up nice although I'd use a more traditional hop rather than the Magnum that I used. This recipe uses caramelised sorghum syrup and this is done by bringing 3.0kg of sorghum syrup up to the boil and allowing it to reach 120 degrees celsius. Once it has done this place pot in an oven at the same temperature with a lid on and let sit for 2 hours. This will bring the sorghum syrup to a nice dark colour with some nice roasted notes in the flavour.

Here's the recipe..


                                           3kg of sorghum syrup (2hr caramelisation)

                                          250g of maltodextrin (from tapioca)

                               250g of D2 Belgian Candi Syrup

                                                       200g of Billingtons Molasses

20g of Magnum hops @ 13.8%AA (60 min boil) 

  1 teaspoon each of Irish Moss and yeast nutrient @ 45 mins into boil

Yeast to suit

Priming sugar (household white sugar)


 Caramelise all sorghum syrup in a pot by bringing it up to 120 degrees celsius and placing in a 120 degree oven for 2 hours. 

Add boiling water to the pot to liquify the sorghum syrup, then add the sugars and the maltodextrin. Add enough water to make 15 litres and bring to the boil.

Add the hops and boil for 45 minutes.

Then add the Irish Moss and Yeast Nutrient.

After a 60 minute boil turn off the heat and chill wort. 

Add to your fermenter and top up with cold water to make 23 litres.

4.9% ABV 21 IBU OG 1.049 FG 1.012 


Basic Stout

This recipes main ingredient is sorghum syrup and is an adaption of the Guinness recipe found in a clone recipe book. The key to getting the dark colour and roasted burnt flavour is to actuallu burn some of the sorghum syrup through excessive caramellisation. Be careful when doing this as it actually causes alot of smoke because of the amount of time it is on the heat, but the efforts are worth it.

Two days before you intend to brew make the yeast starter by boiling the 1 cup of dark brown sugar in two cups of water for 10 minutes. Allow this to cool (less than 24 C). Place the liquid into a sterilised 3 litre bottle and fill up with enough cool tap water to make 2 litres in total. Pitch the S-04 yeast and place the lid on the bottle. Shake vigorously for about 1 minute and let sit in a cool dark place for two days. NOTE: Ensure to check the bottle every couple of hours to release the gas from the fermenting sugar or just twist the lid a little until a hissing sound comes out and leave it in that position. 


1 cup of dark brown sugar (yeast starter)

S-04 English Ale yeast (yeast starter)

50 grams of Fuggles hop pellets @ 5%AA

14 grams of E.K. Goldings hop pellets @ 5.4%AA

3kg of sorghum syrup

60 grams of blackstrap mollasses

1 teaspoon of Irish Moss 

Demerara sugar for priming 


Put 1.1 kg of sorghum syrup into a pot and place on a hot burner and caramellise until burnt. On my wok burner on the stove top this takes 19 minutes. Once this is done add about 3 litres of boiling water to the same pot and bring back to the boil, constantly stirring until all the burnt sorghum syrup is dissolved. Add this black wort to your large pot of boiling water and add another 400g of sorghum syrup, the 60g of mollasses and all the hops.Boil for 45 minutes.

At the 45 minute mark add 1 teaspoon of Irish Moss. Boil for another 15 minutes.

At the 60 minute mark remove the heat and add  the last 1.5kg of sorghum syrup. Stir vigorously.

 Allow wort (liquid) to sit for 10 minutes. Strain the wort through your kitchen strainer into your fermenting vessel. Add enough water to make 21 litres and stir for about 5 minutes to oxygenate the beer. When the beer is cool enough (24 C or less), pitch the yeast starter. This will make 23 litres of beer.

 Ferment between 18 & 21 C.

Priming the bottles:

Prime the bottles with Demerara sugar. Allow a minimum of two weeks to ferment in the bottle. The longer the better the flavour. 

Additional comments: 

As with some of the other recipes a great way to get a better depth of flavour is to caramellise the sorghum syrup or other sugars. You could caramellise sorghum syrup for varying lengths of time to give this stout more complexity, ie 250 g of sorghum syrup caramellised for 5 minutes as well as 250 g caramellised for 7 minutes. Or maybe some caramellised brown sugar or honey. Just be careful with the blackstrap mollasses. Too much can add a metallic taste to stout that is not very nice. I use it to add a little tang to the stout. 

Starting gravity 1.044. Finishing gravity 1.010. 5% ABV bottled. 

Chocolate Milk Stout

This recipe is exactly the same for the basic stout except of the addition of 330g of lactose at the start of the boil and 50ml of chocolate flavoured spirit essence, added two days into the fermentation. This stout is best fresh as I am finding the chocolate flavour is starting to disappear. I really like this stout, it has a nice sessionability and the flavours are subtle, but saying that I think the next time I brew this I will up the lactose to 500g and add 100ml of chocolate essence. I'll also only add enough water to make 20 litres in total just to give it a fuller mouth feel and make it a nice winter warmer.


Treacle & Honey Porter (sorghum based)

I didn't start this experimental porter expecting this beer to come out as it did, but I have to say I was very impressed with this. This recipe is a little harder as I've partially mashed some grains. It has a nice sweetness to it finished with a well balanced hop bitterness. It is a great dark brown colour and has beautiful head retention and mouthfeel. This beer will benefit from at least one month bottle conditioning at room temperature.


370ml of mineral spring water

2kg of sorghum syrup

850g of treacle

500g of black quinoa (crushed into a grist) 

250g of roasted buckwheat (crushed into a grist)

250g of maltodextrin

1 teaspoon of Irish Moss

84g of Fuggles hop pellets (3.4%AA)

500g of honey

4 roasted dandelion and chickory teabags

Safale S-04 English Ale yeast

1 cup of honey for priming


Mash quinoa and buckwheat grist in 2.5 litres of water at 65 c for 1 hour. Lauter the wort into your main boiler and add spring water and enough tap water to make at least 8 litres. Bring to the boil. Add the sorghum syrup, treacle, maltodextrin and 56g of Fuggles hop pellets. Bring back up to the boil and boil for 45 minutes. 

At the 45 minute mark add 28g of Fuggles hop pellets and the Irish Moss. Boil for 15 minutes.

At the 60 minute mark turn off the heat and add the Dandelion & Chickory tea bags and the honey. Let steep for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Strain wort into your fermenter and add enough cold water to make 18 litres and the temperature is below 25 C. Pitch yeast. 

Starting gravity: 1.052. Finished gravity: 1.014 (approx). Alc/Vol: 5.6% (approx)

Additional notes:

 Adding a splash of spiced rum to the bottom of your pint glass before adding this porter in will really liftthe flavours and aromas. It was a great winter warmer.

Yorkshire Bitter/Old Ale

I started this recipe formulation in the hope of making what I thought would be a nice      Yorkshire Bitter, but after reading some style profiles in BYO magazine I've come to 

theconclusion that it is more of an old ale. But none the less it is a nice tasty brew. You will need two pots for brewing this beer as the wort and the caramelised sorghum syrup will need to be held separately whilst caramelising the sorghum at different times (if that makes sense).

I made a 2 litre yeast starter for this beer, consisting of US-05 yeast and 300 grams of sorghum syrup. Letting it ferment for 2 days.


500g of crystal malted millet (homemade)

250g of dark crystal malt millet (homemade)

300g of caramellised sorghum syrup (5 mins on heat)

660g of caramellised sorghum syrup (5 mins on heat)(there is a difference)

Note: All the sorghum syrup in this recipe equals a total of 2x 1.5kg canisters 

250g of maltodextrin

300g of treacle 

400ml of mineral spring water

50g of Fuggles hops @ 5%AA 


2 days before brew day make the yeast starter.

Mash in crushed millet at 67 degrees C with 4 grams of Alpha Amylase enzymes and hold for an hour. Sparge with 77 degree C water into the boil kettle until run off is clear (about 1 to 2 litres).

Add 300g of sorghum syrup to another pot and place on high heat on your stove and caramelise for 5 minutes (start timer as soon as pot hits the heat, I use the wok burner on my gas stove). Once it has reached 5 minutes add boiled water to the pot to liquefy the syrup. When it is fully mixed pour the liquid into your boil kettle.

Do exactly the same for the next 660g of sorghum syrup.

Do not add do these two steps together, ie caramelising 960g of sorghum, as the heat will caramelise smaller amounts of sorghum quicker and darker.

 Now add the maltodextrin and enough water to fill your kettle with out boiling over. Bring the kettle up to a vigorous boil.

You should have about 250g to 300g  of sorghum left in your canister. Keep this aside for priming your bottles.

Once the kettle is boiling add 40g of the Fuggles hop pellets. Boil for 45 minutes then add 1 teaspoon of Irish Moss.

Boil for another 10 minutes then add your other 1.5kg of sorghum syrup, 300g of treacle, 400ml of mineral spring water and the last 10g of Fuggles hop pellets. Bring the kettle back up to the boil for another 5 minutes.

After a total of a 60 minute boil turn off the heat. Cool and strain into your fermenter. Add enough cool water to make up 21 litres then add your 2 litre yeast starter.

Ferment between 20 and 21 degrees C

O.G. 1.042 F.G. 1.010  4.5% Alc/vol bottled