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Old 06-19-2007, 10:38 AM   #1
Dark_Ale
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Default Holiday ale

I'm trying to formulate a recipe for a Christmas beer, mabe around 1.070 or so, But I am having trouble with the amount of spices to add. These are the spices I have been looking at.

5 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cloves
6 ounces ginger root

I have read the ginger is overpowing even 1oz per 5 gallons, so 6 ounces seems like allot.

Anyone have any comments on the amount of spices on a 5 gallon batch? Mabe the best times to add...Preboil, secondary, end of boil, Mabe bottleing bucket with priming sugar?
Any help is appreciated
Thanks

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Old 06-19-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
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5 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cloves
6 ounces ginger root

My .02 - I have brewed something similar, but not quite. Cinnammon at end of boil led to no detectable cinnammon flavour. I would consider using a tea in secondary for all the spices. Your spice amounts seems ok, but maybe someone with "tea" experience will chime in.

I used ~1 oz ginger boiled with the priming sugar and it was pretty potent even after a month in bottles. I have read on here though that some people put it in near the end of the boil in really large amounts. The heat supposedly cooks the giner and mellows it out allowing you to use a lot more.

Hope this helps a bit.

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Old 06-19-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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Could the discrepancy in the recipe and what you have read (and Foreigner experience) be the difference between fresh ginger root (very potent) versus some dried stuff?

I made a Winter Warmer brew a couple years ago and put in a couple ounces of Pumpkin Pie Spice. I could barely taste it, but others said they could and it was good.

Personally I think I would add this at bottling/kegging. You can taste your beer, make a "tea" with the spices and taste that and really judge how they will taste together. Of course the flavors will probably mellow in the bottles.

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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For a five gallon batch (all Grain)
How about a grain bill any ideas...
#13.5 pounds maris otter
1/2 light crystal
1/2 Medium crystal
1/2 special B


How does this look.....What about a mash temp? I'm thinking a higher temp 155 or 156? Would this leave the beer to sweet?

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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I found this recipe...
8oz english crystal
2oz black patent
#1 light dry malt extract
#6 light malt extract syrup
# 1 pound Honey

If I use this I would convernt to all grain?
Any ideas? I have not had much success with honey either

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:31 PM   #6
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Be very very careful with fresh ginger root. I used 3 ounce in a high-gravity winter ale...and it's essentially spiced ginger beer.

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:35 PM   #7
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Kind of off topic, but I added 2 lbs of brown sugar to a holiday recipe recently to up the fg for the long conditioning, and it added a nice rum like accent that really surprised me. I am not sure how it will mellow over the next 6 months, but I thought I'd share!

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:40 PM   #8
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I'd re-iterate the careful use of ginger. My holiday ale last year has 2 ounces of fresh ground ginger and it overpowered the beer, making it barely drinkable. (Although I think it is finally starting to mellow a bit after 8 months or so)

This year I used 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder to play it safe.

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:48 PM   #9
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I've made holiday brews before and all I can say is whatever spice ingredients they recommend CUT IT IN HALF!!!

I used fresh ginger and cinnamon and the flavor was way overwhelming even after 2 years old. It had to be cut with a weaker brew.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:49 AM   #10
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Using dried ground spices, .6oz for 5 gallons is my bench mark adding half 15min before flame out and the other at flame out. Last year I made 3 pumpkin beers using pumpkin pie spice and one holiday beer with straight cinnamon as my basis. The pumpkin beers were actually pretty light, the 3rd was a lager and had no problems getting an approval from a female Bud Light drinker. I would cut back using straight cinnamon to a total of .4oz to equal the same intensity as .6oz of blended spices such as pumpkin pie. At these levels I know the flavor will be very detectable without dominating.

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