Founders Curmudgeon Ale Recipe | Craft Beer & Brewing

Founders Curmudgeon Ale Recipe

This old ale is brewed with molasses, a robust malt bill, then oak-aged. The result is a rich malty delight that’s deceptively smooth and drinkable. Head Brewer Jeremy Kosmicki calls it a “nighttime sipper” and a respite from the hops-forward styles.

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Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.092
FG: 1.019
IBUs: 50
ABV: 9.8%


13 lb (5.9 kg) standard 2-row base malt
2 lb (907 g) Carapils
2 lb (907 g) Munich
8 oz (227 g) Crystal Dark


0.8 oz (23 g) Nugget [14% AA] at 60 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) Perle [6% AA] at 30 minutes
8 oz (227 g) molasses at 5 minutes
2.5 oz (71 g) American oak chips in secondary


American Ale Yeast (e.g., Wyeast 1056 or White Labs WLP060)


Mash the grains at 156°F (69°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge the grains and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, following the hops and additions schedule. After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 70°F (21°C). Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast.

Ferment at 70°F (21°C) until the completion of primary fermentation (about 9 days, depending on the temperature). Rack the beer into secondary and add the oak chips. Let the beer age with the wood. Use your palate to decide how long. Oak chips are pretty quick; a week or so can be plenty.