Buckwheat ESB Honey Ale Recipe

In the strictest sense of the word, honey ales don’t have a “style.” In the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, they probably best fall into category 31B, Alternative Sugar Beer, assuming that honey is the only specialty ingredient used.

Josh Weikert May 12, 2019 - 2 min read

Buckwheat ESB Honey Ale Recipe Primary Image


Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.061
FG: 1.013
IBUs: 35
ABV: 5.2%


8 lb (3.6 kg) Maris Otter
8 oz (227 g) British Crystal 15
8 oz (227 g) British Crystal 90
1 lb (454 g) British Crystal 45
1 lb (454 g) Buckwheat honey


0.75 oz (21 g) Nugget [12% AA] at 60 minutes
1 oz (28 g) Fuggles [5% AA] at flame-out


Wyeast 1187 Ringwood


Mill the grains and mix with 3.1 gallons (11.8 l) of 163°F (73°C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 152°F (67°C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge the grains with 4.1 gallons (15.6 l) and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort. Remove from the heat (if heating the sparge), and add the honey, stirring until dissolved. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule.

After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 62°F (17°C). Aerate the wort with pure oxygen or filtered air and pitch yeast. Ferment at 62°F (17°C) for 96 hours, then allow the temperature to free rise to about 68°F (20°C). Hold there for 3 more days, then let the beer warm to wherever it wants to go. When fermentation is complete, crash the beer to 35°F (2°C), then bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to approximately 2 volumes.


Don’t be afraid of the honey or the yeast. They are both uniquely flavored but complement the recipe well!