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Old 11-28-2010, 07:54 PM   #31
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Does the fresh ginger root need to be grated?

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Old 11-28-2010, 09:14 PM   #32
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I've done it with both dehydrated diced Ginger and grated fresh. If you're using fresh I'd peel and grate it.

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Old 11-30-2010, 06:47 PM   #33
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Been a week and a half since bottling. I know it's too early, but being my first beer, I'm sampling it along the way just for my own knowledge.

For anyone who is wondering...

Tried a couple on thanksgiving, 6 days after bottling. Carb was light but coming along. The vanilla was very forward. Tasted a little sweet still. Tried again on Saturday, I couldn't believe how much the spices had mellowed just in those 2 more days. The vanilla was still the forerunner, but it was getting a lot more balanced. Just tried one again last night, and the spices have really settled. They are getting a very nice balance now and have faded into the background a bit (in a good way). The only thing I'm not liking is a bit of an alcohol taste that is coming through, similar to the taste I was getting right before bottling (the spices + priming sugar seemed to mask it initially after bottling). It basically just tastes like it has a high alcohol content (which it does). I know they say big beers take a while to carb/condition, so I'm not worried about it yet, it will probably get better over time. Overall though, even with the slight taste of alcohol, I'm really digging it.

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Old 12-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #34
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I really like the vanilla taste in my christmas ale, I wonder how much would be too much.
2 beans, 3? 4? Maybe it would jsut get better...

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Old 12-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fermenteverything View Post
I really like the vanilla taste in my christmas ale, I wonder how much would be too much.
2 beans, 3? 4? Maybe it would jsut get better...
Mine is still in the bottle so I don't know how it tastes yet. But I think putting less in is always best. If you put too much in it, it may be overpowering.

If you add 2 beans and that is not enought then you add 3 the next time you brew it until you get the taste that you like.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:55 AM   #36
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Mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm.....I gave this a taste 13 days into carbonation and it tastes great!!!! Could still use a bit more carbing up, but it was outstanding. A nice hint of all the spices. It should taste even better as time goes by.

Thanks for the tasty recipe.

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Old 12-15-2010, 03:00 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q2XL View Post
Mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm.....I gave this a taste 13 days into carbonation and it tastes great!!!! Could still use a bit more carbing up, but it was outstanding. A nice hint of all the spices. It should taste even better as time goes by.

Thanks for the tasty recipe.
I'm glad it turned out well for you. It certainly ages well. I've found the vanilla to dominate for 3 weeks or so and after that the other spices become more noticeable. It's a great beer at 3 weeks, but an awesome beer at 2 months.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:59 PM   #38
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It's been 3.5 weeks or so since I bottled mine and it's really pretty damn delicious at this point! One of my favorite Christmas ales I've ever had for sure. After only 1.5 weeks, I thought the vanilla was too forward, they hadn't really carbed up fully yet, and had a hot alcohol taste. But now, man, they are tasty! The spices are way more balanced and the carb is about right for the style. The hot alcohol taste is gone. And for finishing at 9.0% abv, the alcohol is hidden dangerously well!

Being my first all grain, and first with spices too, I am definitely surprised what a couple weeks in the bottle can do for the beer. I read so much that said not to worry, so I didn't, I just sampled along the way for education. Everyone is totally right when they say it just needs time, and especially jmo when you say that spices really act strange in beers and need time to mellow, it really surprised me just how quickly the spices started to fall into line and how much they changed on basically a daily basis.

I'm very happy with this recipe, and I think it's going to be a staple for Christmas now! In fact, I'm sure they will be even more delicious come Christmas time in another week and half, and you bet your ass I'll be drinking a few on Christmas Also going to be saving a few to try them after another month and again in a few months, just to see how early to brew this baby next year.

Thanks a lot jmo for sharing your great recipe, and Happy Holidays!

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Old 12-16-2010, 01:05 PM   #39
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It was an adventure doing my first all grain brew (mostly due to making a shoddy mashtun), but this was an awesome recipe to get started. I bottled on Sunday, so I'll give it about another week before I try it. But I can't wait! The samples I've had while testing specific gravity were great and the spice tea smelled awesome. I'm planning on using it for a New Years Day homebrew paired dinner. I've got a hoppy barleywine and this one. I'm not sure which will be for dessert and which will be for the main course (Other courses- jalapeno-peach hefe with quesadillas > SWMBO belgian blonde with seasonal salad > scotch ale and beef beer stew > Main Course? > Bananas Foster with ? > Mead afterdinner drink).

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Old 12-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #40
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Just bottled up my batch of this beer. I made the tea and racked on top of it. Towards the end of bottling (about 7 bottles from the end) I pulled a sample to check the gravity. It was spot on. I tasted the sample out of the tube and it was nasty tasting. I tasted some out of the fermentor last week and it was really good. I realized i had some star san in the bottom of the bucket when I dumped the tea in, but can a little star san sour out 4.5 gallons of brew? It's hard to describe the taste, but it was harsh and stingy. (if that makes sense) Is this normal for this beer until it mellows out? Has anyone else experienced this?

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