Weary Harvester

This recipe is for a 25 litre batch. Probably an overly cautious approach but I always prepare 50 litres of water when brewing a 25 litre batch, just in case of mishaps. As we’re just starting out on all grain brewing, don’t worry about hitting the exact OG and FG figures I mention below – it’s really not important if you undershoot or overshoot. Instead, just enjoy the process.

Weary Harvester is a tribute to those marvellous smoked beers of German origin (Rauchbier). You'll see the recipe calls for a 90 minute boil. I have yet to meet any ale drinker who has tried this beer and not had only good things to say about it. Someone said this is (and I’m quoting here) "Sexy beer!"  Make of that what you will...    

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4480gms Maris Otter

665gms Munich Malt

665gms Smoked Malt

450gms Carafa Special III Malt

150gms Black Malt

300gms Chocolate Malt


White Labs Irish Ale Yeast WLP004

Hop Schedule

75 minutes from end of boil: 

11gms Green Bullet @ 13.5 AA and 36gms Tettnang @ 4.7 AA

6 minutes from end of boil: 

50gms Saaz @ 3.5 AA and 16gms Goldings @ 5.1 AA

Water Treatment

Add one crushed Campden tablet per 25 litres and stir well. Then, as recommended by laboratory analysis – add to the mash 7gms Calcium Chloride Flake, 5gms Calcium Sulphate and 4gms salt. 

Mash and Sparge

Mash in 14 litres of water at 69°C. Add 7gms of Calcium Chloride Flake, 5gms of Calcium Sulphate and 4gms salt at the start of the mash. Once all the wort has been collected, pass it through the grain bed again. I sparge this one at 62°C. Sparge temperature is not crucial as long as it doesn’t exceed 77°C.


90 minutes. No need to bother with Protafloc in dark beers! 

Fermentation and Gravity Readings

In case you like to use a hydrometer the OG reading I had was 1.058 and the FG 1.010, giving an ABV of 6.3%. If you don’t want to be bothered with a hydrometer you can rest assured primary fermentation will be complete in ten days, after which you should siphon off to secondary fermentation and let it condition for two weeks before kegging or bottling, as you prefer.  

Tasting Notes

A real show stopper! This is a dark, rich beer with great body and a superb complex taste. As with most strong dark beers, it is best drunk at room temperature and will certainly improve if left to mature in the bottle.