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Old 05-07-2010, 02:45 AM   #1
pernox
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Default Recipe help please - big winter beer

Hello, knowledgeable HBT brewers!

I'm looking to brew a beer now that I can set aside until the holiday season - something big and with complex flavors that will benefit from sitting bottled in the basement for six months.

I'd like to primarily stick with the ingredients that I have on hand, but wouldn't be adverse to hitting up the LHBS or my favorite online vendor for an ounce or two of must-have hops or a couple pounds of malt that will really kick it up a notch. I'd prefer a dark red, "glowing" brown color.

I'd like to include some spice additions, I was thinking cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice... From reading the forum quite a bit on these subjects, I see that cinnamon is best used in secondary, and clove should be used in moderation. (say one or two cloves per five gallon batch?)

Here's what I have in my supply..
Pale Ale malt
Maris Otter
Munich Malt
Chocolate Malt
Roasted Barley
Crystal 60
A little Crystal 120

Chinook, Cascade, Centennial, and German Tettnanger for hops.

Any recommendations would be very much appreciated!

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Old 05-07-2010, 04:35 AM   #2
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I'm making a Widmer Brrr clone which looks like this:

Recipe Name: Brrr Clone
Style: Winter Ale
Recipe Type: Partial Mash
Batch Size (gallons): 5.20
Boil Gravity: 1.031
Expected Original Gravity: 1.071
Expected Final Gravity: 1.016
Expected % ABV: 7.18
Yeast: White Labs WLP028 | Edinburgh Ale
IBU: 49.46
Boil Size (gallons): 3.50
Boil Time (minutes): 60
Color (SRM): 15.07
Primary Fermentation (days/temp): 21/63˚F
Secondary Fermentation (days/temp): 35/63˚F

Ingredients: 6 lbs. Light DME
3 lbs. American 2-Row
1 lb. Munich Malt
1 lb. Caramel 80
1 lb. Caramel 10
.5 lbs. Carapils
1oz Pale Chocolate


Hops:
.4oz Warrior 15.8%AA (P-60 min-23.93)
.5oz Simcoe 12.2%AA (P-20 min-8.2)
.5oz Cascade 7.5%AA (P-20 min-5.04)
.5oz Simcoe 12.2%AA (P-10 min-4.91)
.5oz Cascade 7.5%AA (P-10 min-3.02)
.5oz Simcoe 12.2%AA (P-5 min-2.7)
.5oz Cascade 7.5%AA (P-5 min-1.66)
1 tsp. Irish Moss

You can change the DME for more pale malt, and add more Caramel 60 for the Caramel 10 and Carapils, then supplement with a bit of the Caramel 120 for a little more complexity. Maybe some Maris Otter plus pale malt for a little sweetness instead of the caramel 10. Chinook instead of Warrior, and all cascade for the flavor and aroma additions? If you've never tried the Widmer winter ale, it's super delicious, with just a bit of sweetness, and well balanced hops. But that's just my suggestion.

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for the recommendations and the recipe, storunner. Do you have any thoughts on spice additions? I'll have to keep an eye out for the Widmer's - not sure if it's available in my area. I don't recall having seen it.

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:17 AM   #4
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There's a wiki on some common brewing spices here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Spices

I saw a winter ale somewhere here on HBT which had cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and something else. I was thinking of making a Winter Ale with Cardamom before I decided on the Brrr clone. I think most people would suggest adding the spices to a secondary rather than during the boil. I remember one person who steeped his spices in rum before adding the rum to the secondary or before bottling. There should be some good info if you do a search.

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:20 AM   #5
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Here's the one I was thinking of..

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/northern-brewer-winter-spice-ale-145769/

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Old 05-11-2010, 01:24 AM   #6
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I like the rum idea, and I think I will go with a "dry hop" addition on the spices. I plan on making this a big one, and don't need it ready until Christmas, so I guess I can lean on the heavy side with the spice mix, knowing that it will have about five months in the bottle to relax. (assuming a month in primary and a month in secondary soaking up the spice flavor and getting nice and clear before bottling)

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Originally Posted by storunner13 View Post
There's a wiki on some common brewing spices here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Spices

I saw a winter ale somewhere here on HBT which had cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and something else. I was thinking of making a Winter Ale with Cardamom before I decided on the Brrr clone. I think most people would suggest adding the spices to a secondary rather than during the boil. I remember one person who steeped his spices in rum before adding the rum to the secondary or before bottling. There should be some good info if you do a search.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:48 AM   #7
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I'd say a good mix of your base grains like 40% pale, 40% maris, 20% munich, add a small amount of chocolate and barley, and then a decent amount of 60 and 120. If you're daring, maybe 1/2# sugar. Centennial for bittering, tettnanger for aroma. Once your primary is done, add small amounts of clove, ginger, cinnamin, and allspice until you hit a desirable flavor.

You can always add to the brew to build on the flavor...once it seems good, bulk age for a month or two and then bottle until winter.

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