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Old 09-14-2009, 12:27 AM   #1
Feb 2008
Irwin, PA
Posts: 65

Could I get some help / constructive criticism on a recipe?

I want to make a spiced holiday ale for our annual Christmas party. Most of the spiced holiday ales I've had are either too rich (i.e boozy) or have too strong a spice character for my palette.

I started with a basic brown ale, and added some of the spices from the gingerbread cookies that SWMBO makes each year, in roughly the same porportions.

Here is what I've got so far:

For an OG of 1052 on my system, I've got:

8.25 lbs 2-row
12 oz CaraMunich
6 oz Chocolate Malt

1 oz Northern Brewer (8%) 60 minutes

1 cup brown sugar (10 minutes - just enough time to dissolve)

At 1 minute, followed by a 10-15 minute steep prior to cooling:
0.5 tsp ground Allspice,
0.5 tsp ground Cinnamon,
0.5 tsp ground Nutmeg
0.5 tsp ground Cloves
0.75 tsp ground ginger

Ferment with either Nottingham Dry or WLP008 East Coast Ale

I figure I'll get some roasty chocolate notes, some carameliness, and a similar spice flavor profile to the ginger bread cookies (minus the molasses).

I have never brewed with spices, with the exception of coriander in WitBier, so I am not certain how much to use here. I'm not looking for overwhelming, but I do want it to be noticeable.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 09-14-2009, 02:21 AM   #2
philrose's Avatar
Jul 2008
NoDa, Charlotte, North Carolina
Posts: 1,415
Liked 14 Times on 11 Posts

I brewed a spiced brown for my last batch, the recipe was in Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing. Only exception is that I bought some Chai Mix from a local spice shop (contained no tea).

I'm really happy with the results. Same yeast, same gravity, different grain bill. The style worked well with the spices. I just made a tea with the spices, added my priming sugar to the solution and added it in the bottling bucket.

Gordon Strong originally wrote the recipe. The spicing method is pretty tried and true and lets you control the spice flavor before things get out of hand.

Based on making that beer, I'd urge you not to spice your beer in the boil kettle.

dOATmunder Export
Planning- Red Rum Malt Liquor

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Old 09-14-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
Feb 2008
Irwin, PA
Posts: 65

I'll check out that section in his book. Thanks for the info.

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