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Old 11-09-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
JustinG
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Default Winter Warmer recipe advice

I'm putting together a winter warmer to brew in about a week and a half, but I would really love some input on the tentative recipe, as well as advice.

1bbl batch size
OG 1.069 FG 1.017 abv 6.95%
IBU 18.5 Color 14.7 SRM
Mash 152F for 60min

50lb Pale 2-row (US)
12lb Marris Otter 2-row
6lb Biscuit
4lb Special roast (overload, with 6lb biscuit?)
4lb Crystal 40
3lb Crystal 80 (too much Crystal?)
2oz Warrior 60min
1oz Willamette 15min
1oz Willamette 5min
6x Safale S-04

Here are my main questions:

- With such a big biscuit/special/crystal bill, is mashing at 152 redundant in terms of residual sweetness?
- I'm planning on spicing this with vanilla (beans) and hazelnut (extract). I'll add them at flameout, but should I leave the vanilla beans in primary, or just remove them prior to fermentation?

I also welcome overall input on the recipe as a whole. Thanks!

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Old 11-09-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Do you want a winter warmer as in the actual style (most people don't realize it's a distinct style, listed in the BJCP as a subcategory under Old Ale), or just a good brew that suits the winter? And do you plan on it being ready for the Winter that is just around the corner, or the next one?

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Old 11-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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If my math is right, you are nearing 15% biscuit-type malt, which is overkill. I would drop the special roast altogether and reduce the biscuit to closer to 5%, or 4lbs max. That with the MO should give you plenty of toasty-grainy flavor. Moreover, your crystal malts are around 10% and that is fine, the mix of 40 and 80L is fine too. Depending on how much caramel flavor you are looking for, you could also sub the 80L for an extra dark English crystal 120-150L. (max 2lbs). Thomas Fawcett and Simpsons both make wonderful versions and its character in this type of beer (old ale/winter warmer) is especially nice since it lends a rummy, raisin, port-wine type "aged" flavor. You could also sub some of the darker crystal malt for a portion of dark brewers invert syrup (NOT THE BELGIAN STUFF) as it also adds a very nice rum-raisin type of flavor too.

Hopping looks good, although unless you are familiar with S-04 and have excellent fermentation control, I would suggest using a different yeast. This type of beer really benefits from a characterful yeast and especially one that leaves some sweetness. Wy1968, 1318, 1469, 1882, and 1769 would be very nice choices.

Lastly, I would wait to add your flavorings to the secondary, where you'll have more control over their contribution than blindly adding them to the boil. Good luck with the beer.

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Old 11-09-2013, 10:26 PM   #4
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I disagree about the hopping. I'd lose everything but the bittering charge.

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Old 11-10-2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emjay View Post
Do you want a winter warmer as in the actual style (most people don't realize it's a distinct style, listed in the BJCP as a subcategory under Old Ale), or just a good brew that suits the winter? And do you plan on it being ready for the Winter that is just around the corner, or the next one?
I don't really care too much about the actual style, so I guess more of the latter (good brew for winter). However, it does fit the BJCP WW style guidelines. I want it to be ready for this Christmas, but the idea will be to encourage folks to cellar their bottles. I understand that it will be a little green by this Christmas, but it should still be plenty drinkable. Maybe I'll knock the abv down a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bierhaus15 View Post
If my math is right, you are nearing 15% biscuit-type malt, which is overkill. I would drop the special roast altogether and reduce the biscuit to closer to 5%, or 4lbs max. That with the MO should give you plenty of toasty-grainy flavor. Moreover, your crystal malts are around 10% and that is fine, the mix of 40 and 80L is fine too. Depending on how much caramel flavor you are looking for, you could also sub the 80L for an extra dark English crystal 120-150L. (max 2lbs). Thomas Fawcett and Simpsons both make wonderful versions and its character in this type of beer (old ale/winter warmer) is especially nice since it lends a rummy, raisin, port-wine type "aged" flavor. You could also sub some of the darker crystal malt for a portion of dark brewers invert syrup (NOT THE BELGIAN STUFF) as it also adds a very nice rum-raisin type of flavor too.

Hopping looks good, although unless you are familiar with S-04 and have excellent fermentation control, I would suggest using a different yeast. This type of beer really benefits from a characterful yeast and especially one that leaves some sweetness. Wy1968, 1318, 1469, 1882, and 1769 would be very nice choices.

Lastly, I would wait to add your flavorings to the secondary, where you'll have more control over their contribution than blindly adding them to the boil. Good luck with the beer.
Excellent advice, thanks! I do have experience with S-04 and I have very consistent fermentation controls. As far as the biscuit-type malts go, that was definitely a big concern of mine. I'll tinker with this a bit and post an updated recipe for you guys to peruse.

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I disagree about the hopping. I'd lose everything but the bittering charge.
Oh? Are you concerned that the aromatic contribution will clash with the spicing? The IBU is reasonable for the OG and style, but I would see maybe dialing them back even more and just keeping the 15min addition, or even nixing that and adding 2oz Willamette at flameout. I'm curious what your thoughts are here.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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Are you using spices like cinnamon and nutmeg? I'd drop the late hops, too. There's no reason you need to have a late addition, and I tend to think of this type of beer as a malt bomb which doesn't need aroma/flavor hops to get in the way, especially when adding spices.

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Old 11-13-2013, 06:27 PM   #7
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No spices, other than possible some spiced tea, which I'll add at flameout and steep for 10 minutes. I also appreciate the advice on the hops. I'm still torn on whether or not I want to remove them entirely or simple include a single, 1oz late addition to "spice" it up a bit. I'll probably do a 15-minute addition and leave it at that.

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Old 01-09-2014, 07:51 PM   #8
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So do we get to see your updated recipe??

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