Skull Splitter Dark Ale

This clone is probably my favorite beer we’ve made so far, and I’ve had people say it’s better than the original Skull Splitter. It’s dark, complex, ages well, and packs a punch, at 8.5% ABV, thanks to the enormous amount of malt. Here’s the recipe we used for 5 gallons.

Crush and steep in half a gallon of water at 150 degrees F for 20 minutes:

  • 10 oz. 55*L British Crystal Malt
  • 4 oz. Belgian aromatic malt
  • 2 oz. roasted barley
  • 1 0z. peat-smoked malt

Strain the grain water into your brew pot. Sparge the grains with another half gallon of water at 150 degrees. Add water to the brew pot for 1.5 gallons total volume. Bring the water to a boil, remove the pot from the stove, and add the following:

  • 4 lb. Light DME
  • 1/2 lb. Wheat DME
  • 6.6 lb. John Bull light malt syrup
  • 2 0z. East Kent Goldings @ 4.75% AA bittering hops

Add water until total volume in the brew pot is 3 gallons. Boil for 45 minutes, then add

  • 1 tsp Irish Moss

Boil for 15 minutes, remove pot from the stove, and cool for 15 minutes. Strain the cooled wort into the primary fermenter and add cold water to make 5 gallons total. When the wort is under 80 degrees, pitch your yeast:

  • Wyeast’s 1084 Irish ale yeast, or the closest you can find.

Ferment in the primary for about a week, then siphon into the secondary and add:

  • 1/4 oz. steamed oak chips

When fermentation is complete, bottle with 1 1/4 cup Wheat DME.

Our notes:

It’s well known that unless you’re drinking while you brew, your beer will turn out horrible. Don’t ever let this happen.

Else it goes bad

This was only our second beer, so experienced homebrewer Mark showed up to teach us basics, like throwing your cans of malt syrup into hot water before you start so it’s pourable. If you happen to know a local homebrewer, it’s in your best interests to bribe him for hands-on help.


Proper stirring is a must.

Bubble Bubble

It’s like you’re cooking up a delicious batch of used motor oil.

Motor Oil?

A big strainer is a must for this recipe. It’ll look disgusting, but it’s worth it.

You do NOT want to drink this now

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