Mackenzie's Windsor Ale

20 litres; OG = 1.088; IBU =28; ABV = 8.5% (calculated; actual levels may vary.)

A rustic, robust English country ale.


  • 7kg Maris Otter pale ale malt (if that is not available, use British pale ale malt. As a last resort, substitute a blend of 80% pale malt and 20% Munich malt)
  • 30g E. Kent Golding pellets 5% AA (90 minutes)
  • 30g E. Kent Golding pellets 5% AA (30 minutes)
  • 30g E. Kent Golding pellets 5% AA (5 minutes)
  • Your favourite London ale yeast (or Lallemand/Danstar Windsor Ale Yeast)
  • 60g honey, added at end of boil
  • Spices &/or Herbs:
    • 5g coriander seeds (end of boil)
    • 2g Grains of Paradise (end of boil)
    • 10g licorice root (end of boil)
    • 4g bitter orange peel (end of boil)
    • 1.5g ground ginger (primary fermentation)
    • 1.5g ground caraway (primary fermentation)

Brewing instructions:

  • Soak ground ginger and ground caraway in enough unflavoured vodka to cover for at least 24 hours to sterilise.
  • Mash 1 hour at 67°C, then step up to a mash out at 77°C with an addition of near-boiling water.
  • Hop calculations are based on pellets. Figure on 25% more if using whole hops. If you want to be completely authentic, the original recipe suggested soaking the hops overnight in cold water and then adding the hops and the water to the kettle.
  • Add coriander, Grains of Paradise, licorice root and bitter orange peel at end of boil.
  • Transfer to fermenter, adding whole solution of ginger, caraway and vodka.
  • Ferment at normal cellar temperatures (16-20°C) depending on yeast temperature requirements. This beer would be a good candidate for some extended wood aging if desired.
  • Serve at low carbonation levels, ideally as real ale in cask or bottle.

(Source: Recipe adapted to Imperial measurements as well as for availability of ingredients in South Africa.)