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Old 10-19-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
Matt Up North
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Default Eggnog beer...?

So, my lady friend likes her eggnog and eggnog latte's and eggnog this and that. With Christmas on the way I am trying to think of her for drinks as well and thought that maybe a "special" eggnog beer could work for her. Maybe not a stout, perhaps a cream ale or an amber with no hops at all. Kinda like Cream Soda, just with alcohol.

You know, let's do a recipe here and just let me know what you think...

4 lbs Maris Otter
1 lbs Caramel 20L
.5 lbs Honey Malt
1 lbs Carapils or Vienna
1 lb Flaked or Rolled Oats
1 lb Flaked Barley
Some eggnog Spices (just nutmeg according to most recipes, though some cinnamon might be nice)
1 TBSP Vanilla (end of boil)

750ml Brandy (used for eggnog right?) in the bottling bucket
Nottingham Yeast

The idear being that I want as much dextrose in this mash as possible for the sweet taste, then the oats for creamy, then the vanilla for the vanilla and spices to make this "taste" like eggnog. Low alcohol because you will then add in the brandy to boost it up just a touch in the end. Is there a way to get more dextrose so that I don't ferment this dry? Oh! Lactose, that adds creamy right, I could add that at the end of the boil. How much? Getting interesting here now.

Am I crazy here or will something like this work?

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Old 10-19-2008, 06:12 PM   #2
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You might be crazy but it looks like an interesting experiment.

I would add at least 1 lb of lactose but it's such a crazy recipe, maybe more is better. It could end up tasting like kaw kaw.

I also might be tempted to up the honey malt to 1 lb but that's just me and I really like honey malt.

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Old 10-19-2008, 06:18 PM   #3
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I'm gonna puke.

Let us know how this turns out though! Maybe it is just crazy enough to ............oh.......no.......I'm gonna puke again.

Let us know what happens, and post pics!?

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Old 10-19-2008, 06:24 PM   #4
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Alot of the spices in Chai tea are similar to those in eggnog/pumpking pie. I have on more than one occasion considered a Chai Wheat, and I think I'll be brewing one next summer.

As for your recipe Matt, I give it props and I think it has merit. As for what the end result will be, there is only one way to find out.

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Old 10-19-2008, 06:25 PM   #5
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be careful with that nutmeg. go light.

i'm not sure about the brandy...sounds like it might destroy it. i'd pull a sample from your secondary and taste a small mixture before you add it.

the oats will add creaminess. i'd almost be tempted to add even more.

lactose will add sweetness and a small amount of creaminess.

my friend just made a pumpkin ale last night with vanilla bean, nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices. the spice tea smelled so good.

sounds like a fun experiment, but it does make me want to puke a little

(i'm not a big eggnog fan )

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Old 10-19-2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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I'm an eggnog junkie. As soon as fall rolls around I can't wait until Thanksgiving ends, when I can pick up a gallon of the stuff and a fifth of Buffalo Trace to take me through the winter.

Go with real vanilla beans. Sure it'll set you back worse than the extract but you'll be glad you did. As for the brandy... use a quality brand and go light. I'd think you'd risk overwhelming the beer, and possibly the yeast if you're bottle conditioning, with too much of it.

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Old 10-19-2008, 07:29 PM   #7
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I will admit that I am using the Nottingham because I have in the past and it works. I have a thing about trying new yeasts when I can plot in Excel the course that Notty takes. Very predictable.

Would another yeast be preferable? Maybe something that finishes around 1.015 or 1.018. I don't know...

I have never used Lactose either and do I just add that to the boil? Is there a calculator out there to figure out the sweetness level? Will it leave any sweetness in the end (ie, is it unfermentable?)?

I will totally put my girlfriends tastebuds on the line for this experiment and brew this up maybe in the next week or so. Any input or thoughts are welcome as it is new territory for me and sounds new to many of you too!

Is that enough vanilla by the way? I did a test with Orfy's mild brown and added some vanilla extract into it and it just tasted more and more bitter. I guess that is what it does...the vanilla smell came out though.

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Old 10-19-2008, 07:31 PM   #8
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Lactose is a add anytime ingredient. It's not fermentable so you can add it at boil, in secondary, or at bottling.

edit: If using in secondary or bottling, boil it up with a couple cups of water, cool, and add.

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Old 10-19-2008, 10:28 PM   #9
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lactose is not fermentable and will affect your final gravity...it's probably best to do it before bottling, to taste.

i'd second going with the vanilla bean as appose to extract. get the real cinnamon sticks, too.

heat up some water and put it in with all the spices in a small bowl. let it sit for a while and add at flame-out. you can also add a little bit at a time and smell it as you go.

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Old 10-19-2008, 10:35 PM   #10
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I will try to hunt down some vanilla bean, however I just got stuck with a massive bill that was totally unexpected in my hobby life. So I might start this time with the extract and then if the recipe proves drinkable then I will use the bean in a super special one.

I like the idea of the little tea just at flamout. I have a pumpkin porter that right now doesn't have enough spice flavor and I need to add a little bit of that in the bottling bucket.

Lactose - I have done a bit of research as well as what you guys say above. Will the creamy intensify the longer it is in the beer (ie...add in primary for super creamy, bottling bucket for somewhat creamy)? What kind of sweetness are we talking here, equal to sugar addition? Looks to me that half a pound should be enough, but again, I don't know how much it sweetens so...

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