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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