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Old 09-20-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
Rhoman
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Default Too late to start a Christmas brew?

Long time reader, first time poster... thanks for all the advice I've gathered from this site. You guys are great.

So my first brew (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone) is in the secondary (looks and tastes great so far) and I'm totally hooked into brewing. Ready to start my next batch. I really wanna make something for the winter months, but I'm afraid that it's a little late in the season. After a search for "christmas" I read that a lot of you were starting your brews in during the summer, and allowing a lot of conditioning time for that strong ale to mellow out.

So... do you think it's too late for me to give something a go? Any recommendations on recipes or advice from brews past?

Thanks!

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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There's still plenty of time to do a winter ale so long as you aren't looking to make a RIS or Barleywine or Old/Strong Ale. Why not try out a Sweet Stout or Oatmeal Stout or a nice spiced porter or nut brown ale? Just don't brew anything that needs months of aging and you'll be fine.

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Old 09-20-2008, 04:00 PM   #3
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I would try the nut brown ale...doesn't take long to condition and will defiantly be ready by christmas

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Old 09-20-2008, 04:47 PM   #4
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if you want a kit, the Northern Brewer Spiced Winter Ale is ready very quickly(6-8 weeks). I made when I was just starting out and it was a big hit. like my cousin said, "it tastes like Christmas."

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Old 09-20-2008, 05:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice... I picked up an Anchor Our Special Ale kit... a clone of their 1995 recipe. Brewin it tonight! I'll let everyone know how it goes.

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Old 09-20-2008, 05:49 PM   #6
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Christmas brews are indeed usually strong and sometimes spiced and for both of those reasons peak after some time, but there's certainly nothing to say you can't make SOMETHING christmas-y and have it ready. Maybe a chocolaty coffee stout or a nut brown with some cinnamon.

Hope yours turns out good.

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Old 09-20-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastarine View Post
Christmas brews ..................or a nut brown with some cinnamon.Hope yours turns out good.
when would the cinnamon added and would you recommend whole sticks vs ground
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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Well, I only have one experience brewing with cinnamon. I used pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice in my pumpkin ale and the taste of cinnamon is a bit overwhelming. I've heard plenty of people rack a beer onto two whole sticks. Search for some recipes including cinnamon, see what other people have done and what their results have been.

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Old 09-20-2008, 06:20 PM   #9
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Technically, it's never too late to brew a Christmas brew...it just depends on which Christmas...

If you use a lot of spices it'll add time to the aging/mellowing process.

If you want something for this year I would recommend reducing any recipe's spice quantity. For instance, whatever the recipe calls for I'd reduce it by 1/4 or a 1/3.

Most of the time All Spice has too much clove in it for me. So, I do not recommend All Spice.

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Old 09-20-2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastarine View Post
Search for some recipes including cinnamon, see what other people have done and what their results have been.
Will do. Thanks. I do not like a lot of cinnamon so I would really cut back to just give it a hint, was just wondering roughly how much as I was considering a Christmas Beer also, but with everything else on deck decided to hold off for now
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