Big Christmas Ale recipe feedback
I like to do brews with a lot going on. I haven't brewed this one yet. I am going to make a big, spicy Christmas Ale. I have thought about putting in a little spruce. I made a big black belgian IPA last year with about 30% of the grain being flaked wheat. It came out like motor oil, but tastes great! Looking for feedback, suggestions, or constructive critism on this idea. Going to brew this one and a Serebrianka IPA on Saturday.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 50.0 %
7 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 19.4 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.2 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.8 %
1 lbs Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.8 %
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.8 %
1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 7 2.8 %
1 lbs Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 8 2.8 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 9 2.8 %
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 10 2.8 %
8.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 11 1.4 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 12 1.4 %
1.50 oz Warrior [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 13 32.6 IBUs
5.00 tsp Ginger Root (Boil 12.0 mins) Herb 14 -
2.00 oz Sterling [7.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 15 7.1 IBUs
4.00 Items Cinnamon Stick (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 16 -
3.00 tsp Cinnamon (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 17 -
2.0 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [23.66 ml] Yeast 18 -
2.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 19 -
1 lbs 8.0 oz Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 20 4.2 %
4.00 oz Oak Chips (Secondary 7.0 days) Flavor 21 -
Est Original Gravity: 1.094 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.095 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.020 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 10.1 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 10.0 %
Bitterness: 39.7 IBUs Calories: 331.7 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 27.6 SRM
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 36 lbs
Sparge Water: 6.80 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 47.13 qt of water at 162.8 F 150.0 F 75 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 6.80 gal water at 168.0 F
I've produced two over-spiced Christmas ales to date. Once the spice goes in, it doesn't come out. I'm worried about 4 cinnamon sticks, 3 tsp of cinnamon and 5 tsp ginger in the boil -- even if it is a ten gallon batch (I think). It seems excessive. You can always add more spices (if you need more) as a "dry hop" addition or in an infused liquor. That's why this year I'm going to infuse some bourbon with spices and dose the beer at kegging to taste. That's the only way I can think of to completely control the spice levels.
I'd personally skip the honey. This is going to be a big, malty, spicy, oaky brown ale and that honey is going to be completely lost in all that. If you want another layer of flavor, use a pound and a half of molasses. If you just want to lighten the workload of the yeast, just go with table sugar... save the honey for a purpose where you can enjoy its flavor (like a nice cup of tea).
My last thoughts is this: it is not likely that this beer is going to be at it's best by xmas. It's huge. Why not lower the alcohol to around 7.5% and have an ale that you can actually share with your loved ones on Christmas day?
Just my thoughts.
Good catch on the spices. I combined 2 recipe ideas. I am only going to use the cinnamon sticks. I originally had 2tsp of cinnamon and 2tsp of fresh ginger. I think I will start with that. I could skip the honey and use some of my sweet mead added at kegging.
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