How To Brew a Delicious British Golden Ale

British Golden Ale

The British Golden Ale is a wonderful beer that is unfortunately very uncommon in American breweries. It is a hop-forward golden ale with a bready, biscuity malt character paired with earthy, floral, and citrusy English hops. Also known as a British Summer Ale, this style is known for its drinkability and quenching characteristics. The BJCP guidelines are below.

  • Original Gravity: 1.038 – 1.053
  • Final Gravity: 1.006 – 1.012
  • Alcohol by Volume: 3.8% – 5.0%
  • Bitterness: 20 – 45 IBU
  • Color (SRM): 2 – 6

British Golden Ale Ingredients

Malt

The British Golden Ale needs to have a bready, biscuity malt backbone to accompany the hop additions. To do this, I use Maris Otter as my base malt at a rate of around 80% – 85% of the grain bill. This will give us a biscuity, toasty flavor. To this, I add around 15% – 20% of wheat malt to add a doughy flavor. Depending on how much wheat malt you use, you may want to consider adding rice hulls (1/2 lb per 5 gallons) to enhance your mash bed stability.

Hops

I am a sucker for East Kent Goldings so I had to include them, but I also added First Gold. It was my first time using First Gold and I was pleasantly surprised. While the EKG adds a nice earthy, spicy, honey character, the First Gold is much more citrus-forward with notes of orange and marmalade. I add 18 – 20 IBUs of EKG at 60 minutes, 9 – 10 IBUs of EKG at 15 minutes, and 1 ounce per 5 gallons of First Gold at flameout.

Yeast

For the British Golden Ale:

  • British Ale Yeast – WLP005 (White Labs)
  • English Ale Yeast – WLP002 (White Labs)
  • London Ale III – 1318 (Wyeast)

Water

Last but not least, the water. I use a reverse osmosis filtration system and build my water profile from scratch. My water profile looked like this:

  • Calcium: 50 ppm
  • Sodium: 5 ppm
  • Sulfates: 75 ppm
  • Chloride: 60 ppm

British Golden Ale Recipe

The following is a 5-gallon batch of our British Golden Ale. The numbers for this beer are included below.

  • Original Gravity: 1.042
  • Final Gravity: 1.008 – 1.012
  • Alcohol by Volume: 4.2%
  • Bitterness: 27.6 IBU
  • Color (SRM): 3.7

Grain Bill

  • Maris Otter – 6 lbs 8 oz (83.9%)
  • Wheat Malt – 1 lb 4 oz (16.1%)

Hops

  • 1.00 oz East Kent Goldings at 60 minutes (18.4 IBUs)
  • 1.00 oz East Kent Goldings at 30 minutes (9.1 IBUs)
  • 1.00 oz First Gold at Flameout

Yeast

  • London Ale III – 1318 (Wyeast)

Mash

Add your salts, if needed, and fill your mash tun to the required volume and temperature for your mash to drop to 152 degrees Fahrenheit. For me, it was 2.42 gallons at 163 degrees Fahrenheit. After 60 minutes, raise your mash temperature to 168 degrees for mash out. After mashing out, sparge until you reach a pre-boil gravity of around 1.037. For me, it was 5.3 gallons.

Boil

Boil the wort for 90 minutes. Add the hops in as necessary. At 10 minutes, I added yeast nutrients and at 5 minutes I added whirlfloc tablets as my clarifying agent. Once the boil is complete, whirlpool the wort for 10 minutes and then let it wind down for 10 minutes.

Fermentation

Knock the wort out in your heat exchanger so that the pitching temperature is 64 degrees and then measure the gravity and pitch the yeast. My initial gravity was 1.042. Let the temperature free rise up to 67 degrees and hold through fermentation. Once you are within 5 specific gravity points from your target FG, let the temperature free rise up to 72 degrees. After 48 hours, cold crash to 33 degrees and hold for another 48 hours. Once your cold crash is complete, transfer it to the brite tank and carbonate it to 2.6 vols. After 3 days in the brite tank, keg it and enjoy!

If you decide to try this recipe, or another British Golden Ale recipe, feel free to send us a comment and let us know how it went! And if you want to see more recipes like this, sign up for our newsletter below to be notified when a new post is released. Cheers!

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