Hey everyone. Quick backstory:
My now-wife lived in the Fairfax, VA area for the past few years and became a huge fan of a brewpub called Sweetwater's Tavern (they have a couple locations), and especially their annual "Happy Trails Christmas Ale". It's a really good beer that she misses terribly now that we live outside Chicago. Last year before we got married, she moved out to Chicago to be with me, so this will be her first holiday season without any of the beer. As a thank you for putting up with my new "hobsession", I'd love to do my best to brew a clone for her. The beer has similar spices to a normal holiday beer, but it's much closer to an amber in flavor and appearance than some of the rich/dark ones I'm used to (Great Lakes, Goose Island, etc).
I contacted the brewer, and this is what he was willing to tell me:
"The grist involves german caramunich malts and caraaroma. No Black.
The hops used were Northern Brewer."
I plan on using a lot of freshly grated ginger, and a moderate amount of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I have very little experience using the malts he mentioned, so that's what I was looking towards this community for help with!
How does this look:
6 lbs Light Dry Extract
1.5 lbs CaraMunich (Steeped)
.5 lbs CaraAroma (Steeped)
.5 lbs Carapils (steeped)
.5 oz Northern Brewer (60)
.5 oz Northern Brewer (30)
All at 10 minutes:
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp clove
1 tsp nutmeg
1 stick cinnamon
Taste, and add more spices at bottling as necessary.
According to TastyBrew, that's a 5.5% alcohol and the color looks about right.
I have no idea what kind of yeast to use...still learning about all those little guys.
Thanks! Appreciate it in advance.