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Old Peculier

Classification: old ale, all-grain

Source: Fred Hardy (, r.c.b., 8/3/94

This recipe and the description of Old Peculiar are derived (sometimes copied) from the book Brew Your Own Real Ale At Home, Graham Wheeler and Roger Protz, CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale), St. Albans, Herts, Eng., 1993. It is presented without the consent of the publisher, but hopefully with their understanding.

"A dark and vinous old ale from Theakston's Masham brewery in North Yorkshire. Toffee and roast malt in the mouth; deep, bitter sweet finish with delicate hop underpinning."

AHA Classification: English Old Ale (the actual starting gravity of this beer is below the AHA guidelines for this category, but hey, they're only guidelines): SG 1060-1072, IBU 30-40, SRM 10- 16.

Target profile for this recipe: SG 1059, IBU 31.6, SRM 16.8. Published recipe is for 23 litres, and all units are metric. I have converted units to USA system and modified the recipe to yield 5 US Gallons using my own Brew design model.



Crush all grains and mash into 9 quarts of brewing water preheated to 130 degrees F. When grist is thoroughly mixed in with no dry spots, add 4 quarts of boiling brewing water and increase mash heat to 152 degrees F. Hold for two hours, stirring and returning to proper heat every 20 minutes or so. Mash out at 168 degrees F for 5 minutes. Sparge with 4 1/2 gallons of 170 degree F brewing water.

Bring the wort to a boil along with the Cascade hops and 3/4 ounce of the Fuggles hops. Boil 1 1/2 hours, adding the invert sugar during the boil. Add the balance of the Fuggles hops for the last 15 minutes of the boil. Add Irish moss at the same time if you choose to use it, though it should not be necessary in a beer this dark.

Force chill the wort, rack it off of the trub into the fermenter, pitch the yeast starter and ferment to completion. Estimated FG of 1014.

Make up the dark brown sugar with a pint of water for priming, and bottle the brew. Sample after two weeks.

Malt Extract Recipe

Substitute 6 3/4 pounds of light dry malt extract (not Laaglander's, too dextrinous) for the pale malt.

Crush the specialty malts and add to 1 1/2 gallons of room temperature brewing water. turn on heat to high and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, remove it from the heat and remove the grains (use a grain bag, etc. to help, but get the grains out). Old Peculiar is a brew without a hint of astringency, and left over grains may leach tannins when the goods are returned to a boil.

Add the sugar and DME and stir until they are completely dissolved. Only then can you return the wort to the heat, add the Cascade and first batch of Fuggles, and bring to a boil. Boil 1 hour, adding the last batch of Fuggles pellets for the last 15 minutes. Again, Irish moss is optional.

Follow the directions for all grain for fermentation and bottling.