Curmudgeon Old Ale for Homebrewers

Sad about Curmudgeon’s retirement? Well, you’re in luck, because we’re sharing the recipe with you on Learn to Homebrew Day!

This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill, then oak-aged. The result is a rich, malty delight that’s deceptively smooth and drinkable. Check out our Brewmaster, Jeremy’s, Curmudgeon recipe below!

Bottle of Founders Curmudgeon sitting in oak chips



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.

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13 Comments on “Curmudgeon Old Ale for Homebrewers”
  1. Rob

    I wish I had the setup to make this. Would it work if you cut the batch to maybe 1/4 or would the numbers not work?

  2. Edge

    Talk about perfect timing. I was at Red Bus Brewing Co here in Folsom, CA for a Brewing Class making A Malze N Cream Ale. Now I have the perfect recipe to finally impose on my Brewing Buddies to Brew this fine Curmudgeon beer. Thanks!

  3. As the chief instigator of the Curmudgeon Suds Brewery I will be sure to give this one a try! Thanks

  4. Steven S Sekol

    Question on your hop additions, when I entered the .8 oz of Nugget @ 60 minutes and .5 oz of Perle @ 30 minutes I only come up with 3.5 IBUs not the 50 you have in your recipe am I reading something wrong?

    • Founders Brewing Co.

      Hey there! We heard back from our Brewmaster in regard to your question and he said – Those hop amounts are correct for a 5-gallon batch. Everyone’s efficiencies will be different, but it will definitely be closer to 50 than 3.5.

  5. Parlie Charpazian

    Insane focus on the malt bill is an understatement. I would brew it with English Marris Otter in place of crappy 2-row. I would use two or three different English crystal malts instead of the one type. I would add a slight amount of light chocolate malt and presoak the American oak chips in whiskey or rum drain the booze and then use the chips. London ale 3 or a similar yeast would be better as well.

  6. Dan Fick

    Could you list the SRM of the malts used?

    Also, what level of toast for the oak chips?

    • Founders Brewing Co.

      The Munich we use is 10 Lovibond. The Crystal Dark is 100 Lovibond. We use a medium level of toast for the oak chips.

  7. Brian

    Great idea! Also, I heard you were no longer going to brew CBS. Will you also give us “Learn to Homebrew” CBS?

    • Founders Brewing Co.

      We don’t have plans to share the CBS recipe but maybe one day in the future!

  8. Rob Cruiess

    Is it just me or does this move make no sense? From a complexity stand point Curmudgeon seems like a rather straight forward, albeit not standard, production. It is also for many drinkers considered Founders best (or most certainly in the top 3) beers that the brewery makes. I’m guessing the small batch brews are simply not cost effective? I mean Curmudgeon took time off before returning, so it was not really an every year beer. So, why say it’s retired, when you could bring it back at any time. I guess while on the subject CBS going away is another strange move. It just seems like a extremely poor business decision from a consumer perspective, but not making enough nickels from a bottom line perspective? Anyway you look at it this is another blow to the hardcore Founders fans.

  9. kevin connolly

    The best is your KBS——I found at my local DeCicco,in Scarsdale, New York. I bought the KBS 4 pack and gave out to friends over the summer——there are real friends because your beer is expensive but worth every penny. I still have 4 bottles left BUT saving them. Get in touch with the Scarsdale DeCicco and tell them to try this new beer coming to market

  10. Jon

    I just wanted to drop a quick thanks. It’s awesome that you shared the recipe to an amazing beer. This type of sharing really characterizes the community spirit of Home and professional brewer alike!

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