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Old 12-15-2013, 03:47 PM   #121
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Three of us guys in my brew club brewed this recipe - unbeknownst to one another. Our brew cub meets at a bar, and they just happened to have GLCA on tap.

Their two beers came out very true to color as the original. My beer came out much darker. Not stout dark, but pretty close. I also forgot to add 1/2 ounce of bittering hops, so I only used 1Oz Hallertau. OG was 1.07, and FG was 1.010. I only used 1.75 ounces of cubed ginger, yet ginger was a predominant flavor.

Though it didn't come out as true to the original as I'd have liked, my take on this beer took 1st place in our winter warmer / spice beer contest out of ten entrants. Not too shabby.

Now if I only liked spiced beers myself, I'd probably sit back and enjoy one!

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Old 12-15-2013, 04:29 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by PuppetmanInBC View Post
After brewing it 6 weeks ago.

I brewed 3 gallons, not six, and found the cinnamon a bit overpowering, and the ginger not very noticeable.

It's not bad, but it definitely needs adjustment. I am going to brew a couple of gallons of a pale-and-caramel malt beer, with just ginger, and use a clean yeast to mix it in to see if I can re-balance the flavours....

There are different varieties of cinnamon - not sure what mine was, but I wish I had paid more attention...
I've brewed this twice, the last time using a slightly different approach from the first in regards to the spices.

The first time I brewed this time was back in February (!). I tasted the wort throughout the boil to make spice adjustments. Here was my approach and findings:

Cinnamon:
I added 3 cinnamon sticks (.5 oz) at 60' (FW actually).
The "cinnamon" I used was the common reddish, thick bark variety, referred to as Vietnamese or Saigon Cinnamon also known as Cassia. I intentionally used a smaller amount, knowing the potency of it from Indian cooking. I can always add more.
The "cinnamon" (Cassia) flavor was present throughout the boil, and I left it at that. The flavor became deeper, darker during the hour boil.

Ginger:
I added 3/4 oz of fresh thinly sliced ginger root also at FW. The ginger was not noticeable as such so I kept adding .6 oz amounts of ginger at 45', 10' and 5' where the ginger started to appear nicely, but somewhat masked.

Other spices:
Although the recipe did not call for it, I had added some fresh orange peel too, I thought it would help in making it more "seasonal." I now have mixed feelings about doing that, after tasting the finished beer and after bottle aging for up to 9 months. It is very prominent and changes the character of the beer, not in a bad way, just making it too different from the GL original, which I've had on several occasions in Cleveland.

The second time I brewed this (last weekend):
I obtained real Ceylon Cinnamon from WholeFoods Market and added 2 sticks (ground up in coffee grinder) and 3/4 oz freshly grated ginger, both at 30' (not 60'). I could smell the spice during the boil, particularly the cinnamon. But...the hydro sample had no obvious spice notes, whatsoever. I could detect neither cinnamon nor ginger, but there was a background flavor hinting it was more than a regular ale wort. If anything, it tasted like a really, really good tea.

"Dry spicing:"
I'm going to add more of the same spices directly to the primary now fermentation has noticeably subsided, and a few days before kegging/bottling. I'll soak them in vodka for a day or 2 to sanitize and eek out some flavor and aroma.

I'll keep you posted on the progress and outcome.
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Old 12-20-2013, 01:04 PM   #123
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Question on cinnamon sticks:
Do they float, or sink? If I'm adding to the boil and they sink I guess I'll add them to my hop spider to not clog the drain pipe, otherwise I'll just throw them onto the boil.

Thanks.

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Old 12-20-2013, 01:24 PM   #124
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They sunk initially for me and eventually came up. I tied unwaxed, flavor-free, dental floss around them to grab them.

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Old 12-20-2013, 03:00 PM   #125
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They sink. If you drain carefully I doubt they will block your kettle port.

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Old 12-20-2013, 03:12 PM   #126
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They sink. If you drain carefully I doubt they will block your kettle port.
OK, thanks. I think I'll throw them in the hop spider anyway to avoid any complications.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:02 PM   #127
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Any thoughts on the particular spice blends used year to year on this beer? 3 years ago I do t remember it too well. Last year was heavier on the nutmeg, but that's all I can pin down. This year, less nutmeg, but better than previous years overall.

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Old 01-14-2014, 11:31 PM   #128
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My friends love GLCA but I'm just getting started in the brewing hobby. Is there a variation of this that I could make using extracts instead of all grain?

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