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Old 08-28-2009, 03:45 PM   #1
tomwirsing
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Default Trappist yeast with Cascade for Christmas?

I'm doing my Winter Warmer/Christmas Ale tomorrow. I'm making some slight modifications to a couple of recipes I've found. Minor changes to the grain bill, adding some ginger, and switching from lemon peels to orange zest, changes I'm not overly concerned with (although feedback on how much orange zest and ginger is appropriate would be welcome). I'm looking for something big, warming, and noticeably seasonal/Christmasy. The recipe is below.

My main concern is with the interplay of the hops and yeast. I wanted to conribute some funky Belgian flavor (which seems Christmasy to me) so I'm planning on using White Labs Trappist Ale-WLP500. One of the recipes I'm basing this on called for Wyeast American Ale Yeast, the other for Mauri Brew 514 Ale—Dry. Both are using Cascade for finishing hops. I still have time to get different hops (or yeast for that matter, but I'd like to stick with the Trappist). Will the Cascade work well with the Trappist, or would you recommend switching to noble hops? If they'll complement each other, does the amount of Cascade seem right?

10 Gallons
65% efficiency
Target OG 1.077
Target FG 1.019
Target SRM 18
Target ABV 7.60%
Target IBU 20


14 lbs Pilsner
14 lbs 2 row
2 lbs med crystal
3 lbs dark crystal
4 oz Liberty @ 60 min
Irish moss @ 15 min
2 oz Cascade @ 5 min
2 oz Cascade @ flame out
Trappist Ale Yeast

Allspice 1.0 tsp @ 5 min
Ground clove 0.5 tsp-@ 5 min
Zest of 2 oranges @ 5 min
Cinnamon 2 tsp @5 min
Cardamom 4 seeds - crushed @ 5 min
1/4 oz fresh grated ginger @ 5 min
Zest of 2 oranges - @ flameout
1/4 oz fresh grated ginger @ flameout

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Old 08-28-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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I dont' see why not. These yeasts tend to have a more "forward," spicy profile which might complement the Cascades very nicely. Cascades will also stand up to the spices well. I know it's not traditional, and that trappist beers often aren't extremely hoppy, but I don't see a reason not to try this.

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Old 08-28-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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Looks like a good recipe to me. I'd be tempted to shoot for higher IBU's, but then again, I've brewed some Xmas ales where the spices got lost... I think the spices, citrus zest, citrusy Cascade, and phenolic-spicey trappist flavor profile all play together.

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Old 08-28-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
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Two 1/4 ounce ginger additions seems like too little to me. Keep in mind, most of fresh ginger is water. I don't think a 1/4 ounce will add much. Personally, I'd at least double it & maybe go up to 1 ounce for each addition. Also, instead of using ground cloves & cinnamon, I'd use whole cloves and stick cinnamon. (Think mulled wine)

I think the Cascade hops will be fine with this. However, I also think moving some of those Liberty to end additions would be nice. Using so much of such a nice, low AA hop as your 60 minute addition seems like a bit of a waste. Trappist Ale yeast will also be nice here.

Just my $.02. Have fun with it.

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Old 08-28-2009, 05:56 PM   #5
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I have often thought about that myself. I have been told the bolder hops would overpower to yeast esters but I say go for it. I would reduce the citrus though because you'll get some of that from the Cascades anyway and I do think there is a level of spice additions where things get muddy...

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Old 08-28-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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One more comment - to compete with the other spices it might be worth trying a saison yeast fermented pretty warm to get even heavier esters. Just a thought...

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Old 08-28-2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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Good idea!

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Old 08-28-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher View Post
Good idea!
What's the good idea?
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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It came out great. Banana from the yeast ended up being the dominant aroma and flavor.

I'm thrilled with it, but may have been bit too subtle with my spicing. I think next year I'll either switch to a cleaner yeast and up the spices or just do a triple or big dubble and call it a day.

Admittedly, it's the first beer I've made that has limited appeal. "Very flavorful" is the euphemism I'm getting from people who find it to be a bit too much. I half expected this with the trappist yeast.

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:01 AM   #10
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"Very flavorful"--haha, yeah, that just means more for the maker when I hear stuff like that! But you said you might have been too subtle in your spicing and still got 'very flavorful'?

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