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Old 11-02-2012, 06:53 AM   #21
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Very interesting spice choices. I have been hunting for a Belgian Christmas Ale I like the looks of. Spices look super expensive though, I'd really like to sample one before taking the leap O.o Where do you source your currants from and what do you feel it adds to the beer?

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:32 PM   #22
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Very interesting spice choices. I have been hunting for a Belgian Christmas Ale I like the looks of. Spices look super expensive though, I'd really like to sample one before taking the leap O.o Where do you source your currants from and what do you feel it adds to the beer?
You can get Zante Currents from any grocery store. Just gives a little body and possibly a wee bit of flavor.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:03 PM   #23
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Huh, I've seen people mention them, but I've never actually seen them in a grocery store. Would they be around the raisins?
How much aging time are you giving yours?

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Old 11-06-2012, 08:37 PM   #24
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Yep, near raisins. Look and taste like raisins... I secondary my XMAS beer for 10-14 days.

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Old 11-07-2012, 05:12 AM   #25
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Sounds delish! What's your gravity at?
I'm gonna rack to secondary this weekend.
We may have to do a swap...
So I just bottled mine - final gravity was 1.007 which means the ABV is ~8.3%.

It settles and cleared considerably in secondary and is now a nice golden brown colour. There's a lot of ginger in the aroma but it is fairly subtle in the taste. The vanilla and phenols from the yeast come through a lot too. Taste wise it is quite sweet - caramel, dates, raisins, vanilla. Some booze and warmth of the finish.

Now of course this is just the observations at bottling, I expect after 30+ days of bottle conditioning it should become a lot more interesting.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:50 AM   #26
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Just trying a bottle of mine now.

It is a nice slightly cloudy light brown with a pretty good pale head. The ginger has dominated the aroma and the taste a little more than I would have liked, although not quite as much when it warms up a little. Definitely best drunk at about 10-15C (50-60F) rather than at fridge temp.

Definitely has a good xmas character to it, the spices add some good background complexity.

Next year I think I'll downplay the ginger somewhat and go with a little more vanilla and cocoa nibs.

I'll definitely keep some of this cellared though and see if the balance changes with age. After all it is still relatively young.

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Old 12-07-2012, 01:17 PM   #27
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The ginger will fade. The first year I made this there was way too much of it. Maybe the ginger root is more potent than the candied stuff. Just tapped mine last night. I didn't have enough vanilla beans so the ginger is coming thru but not too much. I also used another yeast. Like the Chimay yeast much better. Should be a big hit for Saturday's XMAS party!!!

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Old 12-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #28
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It's gone!!! We had a Christmas party last night and polished off the whole 5 gallons!!! Everyone really liked it. Thank god I also had some Tripel...
P.S. my head hurts today!

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Old 10-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #29
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I see multiple fermentation steps here. Are you actually re-pitching? Or are you simply moving this to another carboy?

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Old 10-02-2013, 01:01 AM   #30
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I don't re-pitch. I rack to add "stuff" and to clear a bit. Racking will stir up those lazy bastards and get them to finish their job!

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