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Old 08-31-2009, 01:00 AM   #1
Kickass
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Default Christmas Ale spice question

Yes I know its still summer but my desire for winter and darker beers has begun to bleed through. This will be my first winter of drinking homebrews so I figured I’d start on a Christmas beer.

So here is what I brewed and my question will follow:

5 gallon batch
6 lb amber LME
1 lb amber DME
1 lb dark brown sugar
1 lb special B
6 oz cara45
1 oz ground allspice
1 oz ground clove
½ oz bitter orange peel
Wyeast Scottish Ale

Williamette and fuggle to 20 IBU’s


Here is my question…
After 10 days in primary and 82% attenuation I racked to secondary. The spice flavor was incredibly strong and over bearing. How much will the spice flavor mellow out in 2 to 3 months? Will this subside by Nov/Dec or should I brew another 2-3 gallons with dark DME and blend?

Thanks for the help.



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Old 08-31-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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I brewed a Christmas Ale last year with 3 cloves (I believe it was 3) and the flavor was very strong to begin with, and definitely mellows with time. Nov/Dec may not be enough time to mellow substantially, but it will improve.



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Old 08-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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I think a full oz of ground clove is a lot. I spiced my pumpkin ale very heavily with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger, but i think i only use about 1/8 of a teaspoon of ground cloves. Its an extremely strong spice when ground as opposed to whole.

But just like everything else it will mellow with time. in 2-3 months it will mellow out a little, but Whether or not it will still be overbearing I'm not sure. I'd bet that it'd still be pretty strong at that point.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:07 PM   #4
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thanks guys i'm leaning toward brewing and blending much more at this point.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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A full ounce of ground cloves?? Over bearing must be an understatement! I used about 10 whole cloves in a brew, probably about a quarter ounce at most, and it was over bearing. I blended, 3:1, and it became somewhat more balanced but still pretty in your face. I wouldn't count on much mellowing, brew and blend and brew and blend, and then give away 5 gallon cornies as christmas presents haha

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:56 PM   #6
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Why would you use allspice and clove?

By definition: Allspice: Named because it tastes like a blend of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It is also known as Jamaican Pepper. Allspice is available whole or ground.

Wouldn't that seem like too much clove when allspice already has that characteristic??

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
Why would you use allspice and clove?

By definition: Allspice: Named because it tastes like a blend of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It is also known as Jamaican Pepper. Allspice is available whole or ground.

Wouldn't that seem like too much clove when allspice already has that charateristic??
Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Call me ignorant if it makes you feel better but I’ve never been into cooking and I’m new to homebrewing.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:25 AM   #8
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Irish ale yeast would be a good canidate as well.

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Old 09-12-2009, 12:14 PM   #9
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I would like to continue this discussion as I am going to brew a spiced Biere de Noel sort of thing pretty soon in anticipation for the upcoming holidays. Is there any other spice combinations you guys love for the gingerbread sort of flavors? I am thinking I will use some powdered ginger to avoid the heat from freshly grated ginger. A bit of nutmeg and cloves will certainly be involved, but the cinnamon is still up in the air. Suggestions?

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Old 09-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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My annual holiday ale uses 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice and 1 tsp ginger...

The flavor and aroma of the spices is definately there, but it isnt overpowering. No doubt when you raise your glass that you are about to consume a holiday specialty.

I cannot imagine how much an ounce of a ground spice is... was this a recipe that you found here?



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