Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Clone

UPDATE: So I cracked one the other night and it actually turned out pretty good! Three weeks bottle conditioning and it’s come good. The flavour and aroma were much for subtle than I would expect from a Dogfish Head recipe and this might have something to do with my recipe scaling. the caramel from the Muscovado sugar didn’t really come through and I think it might have actually been fermented all up, which would explain why the body is slightly thinner than I would expect from a Brown/Scotch Ale. The malt bil;l could be more intense on the speciality side as well. However this all seemed to work with the way the hop profile turned out, which also wasn’t as intense as I would expect from and IPA/DFH recipe.

I decided to brew this one to enter in to the Darlo Local Taphouse Brewshare night in mid November. The theme is “Weird Styles” and I wanted to bring something more normal than I usually do but at the same time different enough that anyone at the Brew Share wouldn’t have had anything like it before. I took the recipe from the Extreme Brewing book. It was originally for a extract and specialty grain extract and I modified it to be an all grain batch.

The grain, mixed and crushed

About half way through the ferment I realised I couldn’t really smell much of the hops and I was worried it was going to come out too sweet so I dry hopped some XXX in there. Stupidly, I didn’t use a hop sack and when bottling I ended up with a bunch of hop matter that I think made it over to the bottles. I also had a massive fail when bottling. I got about 4 or 5 bottles in and I realised I hadn’t bulk primed! I had to empty the bottles and start over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up with an infection and I probably won’t enter this in Brew Share.

I had a go at crushing some grain with my Delhongi coffee grinder. As you can see, pulverised and there is no way a single husk was left in tact. However I think I heard Jamil say that darker grains can be crushed fine...

This one also seems to be taking longer to carbonate. It’s been more than two weeks and it still comes out a bit flat. I can be patient I guess!

And some shots of my homemade wort chiller in action. Turns out our ground water has a high temp so I have trouble chilling below 26C. I used sterilised ice bricks to get down that extra few degrees.

Batch 1 of Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Target Wort Volume Before Boil: 12.00 l Actual Wort Volume Before Boil: 12.00 l
Target Wort Volume After Boil: 10.02 l Actual Wort Volume After Boil: 10.02 l
Target Volume Transferred: 10.00 l Actual Volume Transferred: 10.00 l
Target Volume At Pitching: 10.00 l Actual Volume At Pitching: 10.00 l
Target Volume Of Finished Beer: 9.50 l Actual Volume Of Finished Beer: 9.50 l
Target Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.055 SG Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.054 SG
Target OG: 1.073 SG Actual OG: 1.061 SG
Target FG: 1.017 SG Actual FG: 1.013 SG
Target Apparent Attenuation:: 75.5 % Actual Apparent Attenuation: 77.1 %
Target ABV: 7.5 % Actual ABV: 6.4 %
Target ABW: 5.9 % Actual ABW: 5.0 %
Target IBU (using Tinseth): 57.8 IBU Actual IBU: 58.4 IBU
Target Color (using Morey): 37.5 EBC Actual Color: 37.5 EBC
Target Mash Efficiency: 75.0 % Actual Mash Efficiency: 73.4 %
Target Fermentation Temp: 18 degC Actual Fermentation Temp: 18 degC


Ingredient Amount % MCU When
US Pale Ale Malt 2.600 kg 83.3 % 7.6 In Mash/Steeped
UK Amber Malt 0.100 kg 3.2 % 1.7 In Mash/Steeped
Australian Crystal 140 0.100 kg 3.2 % 6.2 In Mash/Steeped
UK Pale Chocolate Malt 0.100 kg 3.2 % 16.6 In Mash/Steeped
German Carafa Special I 0.200 kg 6.4 5.5 In Mash/Steeped
Sugar – Muscovado 0.201 kg 6.4 % 3.3 End Of Boil



Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
US Warrior 17.2 % 15 g 57.8 Bagged Pellet Hops 60 Min From End
US Vanguard 5.0 % 30 g 0.0 Bagged Pellet Hops At turn off

YEAST Wyeast 1187-Ringwood Ale

Mash Schedule

Mash Type: Brew In A Bag
Schedule Name: Single Step Infusion (65C/149F)
Step Type Temperature Duration
Rest at 65 degC 90 minutes


Mash Notes

Am I measuring right? First reading had pre boil gravity at 1.023. Then I did it again and with temp adjust was at 1.054. Probably somewhere in between because OG ended up 14 points shy. Why? Did some research and it has to do with volumes of water. Turns out you can’t just guess the boil off and compensate, it’s more complicated than that


Boil Notes

Sugar added at 15 minutes before the end of boil


Fermentation Notes

Kept it downstairs near the door and the ambient temp was about 18 for 6 days. I waited for bubbles to stop alltogether before racking off to secondary and getting the yeast out, which i’ve since found out isn’t ideal. You should rack it over when primary is about 90% done.

I also did a dry hop addition of Vanguard. Nearly 20g. Straight in, no bag. The beer smelt very sweet and tasted so too. I never thought the hop additions were enough and from smelling and tasting I think I was right. This is supposed to be heavily hopped like an ipa but the rates just don’t match. Having said that they were high alpha hops so who knows. Trust in thy dogfish! I also could have made a mistake when scaling the recipe down from 19L to 12L.

At racking to secondary the hydrometer read about 1.020. Hoping it clears more!

Did a diacatyl rest and moved fermenter upstairs where the ambient temp is about 21-22C. In the cupboard, insulated.

At Bottling the FG was at 1.012. BAM!

Head of Community at Blackbird Ventures, Festival Director of Sydney Craft Beer Week, ex-artist Manager at Umbrella. Family man, dedicated home brewer. Sydney sider. All 'round rad dude. I blog sometimes but it has never really become a habit, however I'm all over the Internet and you can find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook (only if you're a mate).

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Head of Community at Blackbird Ventures. Festival Director of Sydney Craft Beer Week. Homebrewer. Family man. Former Artist Manager / Founder at (The Rubens, Cloud Control, Urthboy, Winterbourne and more).

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