Make Your Own Lagunitas Brown Shugga Beer

savvyhousekeeping make your own lagunitas brown shugga ale
I’m a fan of Lagunitas Beer, including Brown Shugga special ale, which they release in October. My husband recently made a recipe of Brown Shugga mentioned on this “Can You Brew It?” podcast, and it’s the best beer he’s made yet.
We knew we were on to something when, before even carbonating or dry hopping the beer, the wort tasted good. After only a week and a half of letting the beer carbonate in the bottle, it was good enough to drink and continues to mellow and get better as time goes on.
savvyhousekeeping make your own lagunita brown shugga beer
This is an expensive and somewhat challenging beer to make, but worth it. Brown Shugga is sort of like a smaller, heavier-hopped version of a barleywine. It has a full mouth feel, a sweet undertone, and a hoppy bite. But be careful, it’s not for lightweights. Our beer came in at around 10% alcohol.
Here is the recipe. The “I” talking is my husband:
Lagunitas Brown Shugga Ale Clone

Makes a 6 Gal. batch for 5 gallons of beer after fermentation.

    16 lbs. American Two Row
    3.8 lbs. Wheat Malt (used White Winter Wheat)
    1.05 lbs. Crystal 60L
    1lbs. Munich 10L
    .25 lbs. Caramel 80L
    .25 lbs. Belgian Special B 150L


    75 grams Willamette 4.1% Alpha Acid
    13.5 grams Nuggets 12.7% Alpha Acid
    32 grams Liberty 4.5% Alpha Acid
    43.5 grams Centennial 8% Alpha Acid
    21 grams Cascade 6.5% Alpha Acid

Other Ingredients:

    0.61 lbs. of Dark Brown Sugar
    ~10 gallons of water (7 for the mash, ~3 more for sparging)
    1 vial White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast


Mash the grain at 155F for 60 minutes.
I used a 7 gallon single infusion mash with a 2-2.5 gallon batch sparge. I collected 6.5 gallons of wort (I recommend trying to collect closer to 7 gallons if you can).
Boil the wort for 90 minutes and make the following hop and brown sugar additions at the appropriate times. I recommend putting your hops in a hop sack so you can pull them out after the boil (optional):
44g Willamette 4.1% @ 90 minutes
10 grams Nuggets 12.7% @ 45 minutes
31grams Willamette 4.1% @ 45 minutes
.61lbs. Dark Brown Sugar @ 30 minutes
3.5 grams Nuggets 12.7% @ 1 minutes
11 grams Liberty 4.5% @ 1 minutes
22.5 grams Centennial 8% @ 1 minutes
After the boil, cool the wort to at least 70F and then transfer it to a sanitized fermentation vessel. Add White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast. I noticed because of all of the hops added in the boil I had a LOT of trub–the dregs at the bottom of the kettle when you are done boiling–and only collected about 4 gallons of wort.
Ferment the wort for 5 days at 64F and raise the temp to 68-70F for the last 2 days. Transfer it to a sanitized secondary fermenter and add the following dry hops to the ~5 gallons of wort:
21 grams Cascade 6.5%
21 grams Centennial 8%
21 grams Liberty 4.5%
I had ~4 gallons of wort so I adjusted my hops proportionally. Let the beer dry hop for 5-7 days back at around 65F then bottle or keg. The beer should finish at around 1.022 final gravity.
Beer statistics:

    OG: 1.099
    FG: 1.023
    SRM: 17.5
    IBU: ~55
    ABV 10.1%


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6 thoughts on “Make Your Own Lagunitas Brown Shugga Beer”

  1. Where you able to bottle condition this beer and get it to carb up? I just made this recipe and am concerned that the high alcohol will prohibit my beer from fully carbonating with the addition of some champagne yeast or months at a high temperature.

  2. Mr. Savvy said: I didn’t have a problem bottle conditioning the beer. While 9% ABV is nothing to sneeze at, the yeast in the recipe can handle that concentration. Generally you have to worry more about that as your beer gets closer to 11-12% ABV.

  3. HI,
    I’m very keen on trying this recipe. I have one question around the hop timings. Where you have them listed like 44g Willamette 4.1% @ 90 minutes and .5 grams Nuggets 12.7% @ 1 minutes.
    Is that the amount of minutes you had those hops in the boil for?
    Thanks in advance

  4. Lamo82, Mr. Savvy says:
    That’s the amount of time remaining in the boil, to put the hops in, so at the beginning of the 90 minute boil you drop in the first round, then with 1 minute left in the boil you drop the .5g nuggets

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