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Old 09-14-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
wittmania
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Default Feedback Needed: 21B Christmas Ale AG Recipe

Guys,

I'm looking for feedback on the recipe below. I'm planning on entering it in a Winter Ale competition, which will be my first competition entry. I'm looking for something that will impress the BJCP judges in the first round, and also be popular with the "masses" who will rank it against 9 other beers in the finals (if I make it). The entry guidelines said they're more concerned with "good beer" than adhering closely to any one style. Here's what I've put together. Please let me know what you think!

Style: Christmas/Winter Specialty Spice Beer
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.04 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.10 gal
Estimated OG: 1.061 SG
Estimated Color: 21.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 28.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
1.0 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
1.0 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)
0.12 oz Cinnamon Stick (one stick) (Boil 5.0 mins)
1.00 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins)
0.25 oz Ginger Root (Boil 5.0 mins)
1.00 oz Perle [8.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 23.3 IBUs
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 10.0 min 5.1 IBUs

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 8.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 15.63 qt of water at 168.2 F 156.0 F 45 min

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:28 AM   #2
LexusChris
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Default Chistmas beer

I like your base beer and spice choices. The spice additions seem a bit light to me, but it depends upon how much of the herbal character you want in the final product.

Ginger & Cinnamon are strong flavors and can overwhelm a beer quickly, so keeping them light is a good first step. That being said, I used 3oz of fresh grated ginger root in my last Christmas ale with 15 minute boil, and it was the dominate flavor of the beer. I would back it down 50% on my next iteration just to give more room for the other spices & malts to come through. 0.25 oz at 5 minutes seems really light to me...

Your cinnamon and orange peel qty looks good ... but you could boil them a bit longer 15 mins each ....

So much of spicing comes from trial & error ... so keep it on the lighter side to start and take notes for next winter!

Good luck!
--LexusChris

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Old 09-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexusChris View Post
I like your base beer and spice choices. The spice additions seem a bit light to me, but it depends upon how much of the herbal character you want in the final product.

...

So much of spicing comes from trial & error ... so keep it on the lighter side to start and take notes for next winter!

Good luck!
--LexusChris
Thanks for the feedback. I had the ginger at .5 oz to start, but my LHBS guy said that he thought that quantity (if fresh ground) would put the ginger so up front that nothing else would come through. My thought here is to add just enough ginger that it gets through right at the very end of the beer, after the malty sweetness and the orange and cinnamon goodness. Kind of like an exclamation point at the end rather than a show stealer.

I am also thinking about splitting this into two 2.5 gal boils and in the second one I would use just a little brown sugar, cloves, cardamon, and lemon peel. All in reasonably small amounts, of course. I have an old German Christmas cookie recipe from my great grandmother that is spiced with these things, and I'm guessing they would give it a really interesting profile.
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