Holitastic Holiday Ale
This is a very tasty, roasty holiday beer. Dark and smooth, with hints of citrus and spices. Very very good on a cold winter evening. Drink it slow, to let it warm up. At low temperatures the spices are almost completely masked by the roasted malt, but come into their own as the beer warms.
Bill of Materials for 5 gallons:
8 lbs 6-row pale
3 lbs Crystal 20L
1 lb Black Patent
1 oz. Cascade Leaf (8.7%AA) @45 min
1 lb Orange blossom honey @30 min
1 oz. Bitter orange peel @10 min
2 3" cinnamon sticks @10 min
1 oz. grated ginger root @10 min
1 tsp Irish moss @10 min
2 tsp Bentonite @10 min
0.5 oz. Saaz Leaf (3.2%AA) @5 min
0.5 oz. Saaz Leaf (3.2%AA) @flameout
1) Mash in at 129F to stabilize around 120F for a 30-minute protein rest.
2) Step up the mash to 150F for a 60-minute saccharification rest.
3) Mash out at 170F.
4) Sparge to collect 6 gallons of wort.
5) Drain off the last of the water from your MLT and put it into a separate kettle. Get it boiling right away (We had about a gallon of extra low-gravity runnings).
6) Get your main kettle boiling and add Cascade hops.
7) Follow boil schedule as noted above, adding honey, spices, finings, and hops at the times remaining listed.
8) When your separate, smaller boil has been reduced down by about half, add it back into the main kettle. (This helps to up the gravity and efficiency an extra few points).
9) Chill with your standard method, aerate and transfer to primary.
10) When at pitching temperature, add WLP002. USE A BLOWOFF TUBE IF USING A CARBOY!!!!!!!!!!
11) After ~2 weeks, rack to secondary. Let ferment 2 weeks in secondary, then package as you normally do (I used carb tabs for this batch. 5 tabs per 22 oz. bottle, 4 tabs per 16 oz. bottle. Probably a bit high, but oh well). If bottling, let sit for at least a month before drinking!! AT LEAST!!
This is one that really benefits from a bit of extra bottle conditioning. Give it some time to sit and carbonate and you will be amply rewarded for your efforts. I think I'm going to back off on the crystal a bit next time, as well as the black patent. Maybe go with some 2-row instead of 6-row, and likely add a bit of honey malt as well. The spices could also DEFINITELY be stepped up, as they barely show through right now, though they are there. If anyone brews this, any and all feedback is appreciated! Skål!
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