Homebrewing – Suntanned Penguin Brown Ale

I can’t even pretend to say I’m an expert at homebrewing. In fact, this was my first time without a kit. But, I think it turned out good.

I digress, let me go back a bit. A few years ago, my wife got me a Mr. Beer kit. I loved it, but the Mr. Beer brewing kits are pretty well unchangeable. The equipment is pretty good, though, and I had wondered if it were possible to make a beer from an original recipe, but using the Mr. Beer as a fermenter.

So, on a visit to Brock’s Homebrew Supply, I posed that question to their assistant manager Mike. And, with his help, I was able to develop a very basic recipe for an American Brown Ale.

Ingredients from Brock's Homebrew

Ingredients from Brock’s Homebrew

Yeah, I used malt extracts. I’m not ready for full grain brewing yet. And I’ll probably be doing extract brewing for some time. But I did have some grain malts for steeping before the boil.

Steeping the malts.

Steeping the malts.

It smelled good. Certainly so. especially when adding the Kent Goldings hop pellets.

When it came time for fermenting in the Mr. Beer kit, I was basically missing two things. One, no corn sugar. I thought it was going to be a lot easier to find it by me. Not the case. Bummer, so in with the cane sugar.

Second, no hydrometer. I knew that with the Mr. Beer recipes, it called for a fermentation time of roughly 2 weeks. so I sort of eyeballed it, and when two weeks (plus a day or two) came around, I sanitized the bomber bottles that came with my Mr. Beer kit, poured more cane sugar in each one (don’t hate), and poured the beer in for a nice 2 weeks of bottle fermentation.

What came out was my first beer, Suntanned Penguin.

Suntanned Penguin by ME!

Suntanned Penguin by ME!

It’s a brown ale, but it’s a really strong and hoppy one. I used a full ounce of East Kent Goldings hops for a 2-gallon batch, so that might have been why. The flavor was rich and slightly caramel-y, with a moderately small coffee taste, too. The aroma was pretty similar, with the hops slightly more prominent that I may have liked.

There’s a first time for everything. And now I know a few changes I’d make wen I try remaking this beer. In the meantime, I have an orange hefeweizen brewing. Looking forward to that.

Drink Florida Craft,


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