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Old 11-11-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
Lodovico's Avatar
Oct 2009
Posts: 925
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Or is there something that I could brew this weekend that would be ready for X-Mas and be a nice bold, spiced ale?

I know I can't go with a real big beer but anyone have a recipe suggestion for a holiday ale that will go grain to glass in about 37 days??
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:34 PM   #2
LakeErieBrew's Avatar
Nov 2008
Sheffield Lake, Ohio
Posts: 269
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Here's what I would do:

Create a grain or extract bill for a brown ale, brown porter, or Irish red. Shoot for OG 1.045-1.055. If brewing all-grain or partial-mash, use a high mash temperature to create a dextrinous wort. If extract, don't worry about this and proceed as normal.

Use a small amount of bittering hops (about 20 IBU). Don't use any other hops.

Using a bag, steep a small amount of cinnamon and other spices about two minutes at flame out.

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Old 11-11-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
DubbelDach's Avatar
Apr 2008
Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,276
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Weizenbock.... The quickness of a wheat beer with the warming of a bock.

I'd go about half wheat and half pils.... Then add a touch of chocolate malt. Get that puppy up to about 7%. Some noble hops, nothing overboard.... Then use a hefe yeast to ferment.

Weizenbock is the December specialty brew at the local brewpub, and I get incredibly excited for it every year.

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Old 11-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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LakeErieBrew has a good idea and keep the gravity below 1.050. I know a few brewers who could turn out a Winter Warmer at this point, but not many.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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Old 11-11-2009, 03:51 PM   #5
Marko73's Avatar
Oct 2007
Clayton, North Carolina
Posts: 617
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I guess when I think about Holiday Brews, I think of two types: a high gravity winter warmer style or a spiced ale.

I recently saw a recipe that I will be brewing this weekend for a sort of a spiced ale. Looks like it can go from pot to glass in about 5 weeks or so.

You might be a lot more advanced than this, but I recently saw this by Charlie Papazian:

Winter Ale
1 lb. Cara-Munich malt
1 lb. honey
½ lb. dark crystal malt
4 oz. black patent malt
4 oz. chocolate malt
4 oz. roast wheat malt
8 lb. light malt extract syrup
1½ oz. Chinook hops, 60 minutes before end of boil
½ oz. Centennial hops, 30 minutes before end of boil
1 oz. Willamette hops, 10 minutes before end of boil
½ tsp. cinnamon, 5 minutes from end of boil
1 tsp. grated orange peel, 2 minutes from end of boil
American ale yeast
¾ cup corn sugar
Bring three gallons warm water to 160°F. Crush grains and steep for 30 minutes. Remove grains and add extract and honey, then bring to a boil. Boil 60 minutes, adding hops and spices at specified intervals. Transfer to fermenter with enough cold water to make five gallons. Cool to 70°F, aerate, and add yeast. Ferment at 65-70°F for two weeks or until finished. Transfer. Dissolve corn sugar into finished beer, bottle, and store at room temperature for two or three weeks, then chill and enjoy.
"It is sheer folly to be taken by the hand and led down the path of better brewing by someone who says that they know it all. No, it is your experience that counts most. It is your experience that will always lead you to more questions."

~Charlie Papazian

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Old 11-11-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
Jan 2009
North Central Mass
Posts: 205
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I brewed mine June 1st, now im having trouble keeping it til Christmas!!
but dang is it good

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:11 PM   #7
Apr 2009
Portland, OR
Posts: 403
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Originally Posted by 78kombi View Post
I brewed mine June 1st, now im having trouble keeping it til Christmas!!
but dang is it good
What did you brew?


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Old 11-11-2009, 09:32 PM   #8
Jan 2009
North Central Mass
Posts: 205
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I cheesed out and got a kit

but it makes it way easy!!

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Old 11-11-2009, 10:08 PM   #9
Aug 2009
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 2,174
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HarryHood1, you certainly have enough time for a quick turn-around beer, so long as you don't do anything that will rely on a long secondary fermentation. Add any spices to the boil or primary, let it ferment well, and then bottle as soon as you feel it's ready.

Last year I brewed a holiday brown ale about this time, including a half gallon of maple syrup (!!). I was pretty new to brewing and had no idea how much sugar it would contribute. The OG was 1.078. We drank some around the holidays and it tasted fine, but I also gave a bunch of 22oz bottles as presents encouraging people to wait as long as they could to drink it or "until it feels right." That way, at least you made your holiday ale even if you don't get to drink it til next year.

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Old 11-12-2009, 04:41 AM   #10
Sep 2009
North Dakota
Posts: 2,959
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Why don't you just by an american amber ale kit or a brown ale kit and jazz it up...maybe throw in some honey to kick up the ABV, add some spices to the boil and maybe even some apple's to secondary. A little over a month is cutting it close though. I started mine a little over a month ago, and it is drinkable now but getting better and better...apples, apple juice, ginger, nutmeg, cinn, cloves, honey.....8.5% ABV...xmas is going to be fun this year

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