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Old 11-13-2010, 03:13 AM   #1
Sacto-SF
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Jan 2008
Boston Area, MA
Posts: 9


At this point in my life I am extremely time limited so my brew days double as monthly social events that my wife and I host for our friends and their families. Essentially, any beer that I brew needs to be drinkable five weeks later at the next gathering. Given that, we've had a slate of moderate to low alcohol English ales which can make the turnaround in fairly good form.

For the mid-December event I'd like to brew a Holiday beer which would be ready exactly five weeks later in mid-January. So what I have in mind is an amber or brown ale with a bit of spice. The gravity and spice need to be fairly tame for the required schedule. If anyone knows of a tested and true example of something similar, I'd love to hear it. Else, my plan is to do a variation of Papazian's Holiday Cheer as outlined in JOHB. Here's the recipe with my changes in parenthesis:

7 (6) lbs Light LME
1 (0.5) lb Light Honey
0.5 lb Crystal Malt [steeping]
2 oz Black Malt [steeping]
2 (1.5) oz Cascade [60 min]
0.5 oz Saaz [2 min]
1 (0.5) oz Grated Ginger Root [10 min]
6 (3) in Cinnamon Stick [10 min]
4 (2) Grated Orange Peels

I'm not a wizard with brew calcs, but I think that gets me below 1.050 and my hope is that cutting the spices in half will keep them in check for quick drinking. I'm particularly worried about the ginger.

All comments and suggestions are appreciated.

 
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:38 AM   #2
RIT_Warrior
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Nov 2007
Rochester, NY
Posts: 257
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My friends and I brewed Holiday Cheer once. We actually had a refrigerator open at the time, so we used lager yeast and used the fridge to lager it. Fermentation got stuck somehow halfway through for reasons unknown, so I repitched some saflager to get it going again. Took about 3 months total. Best beer we ever made.

As for your question, I don't see why you need to hold back on the spices. They make that beer what it is. I'd just brew it like the normal recipe and cut down the time on the secondary to make up the diff. 1.5 weeks in the primary, 1.5 weeks in the secondary, 2 weeks in the bottle...you should be good to go, right? Even better: 2 weeks in the primary, 3, in the secondary, keg and force carbonate. If you are worried about fermentation times, cut a pound off of the LME. I'd definitely leave the rest as is, though.

 
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:25 AM   #3
Sacto-SF
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Jan 2008
Boston Area, MA
Posts: 9

My concern on the spices comes from having made a variation on Papazian's Vagabond (a black gingered ale). I tried some of those early and the ginger was overpowering. It took quite a while to be drinkable. The spiced holiday ales are generally big and have the expectation that they will be mellowing for a while anyway which will tame the spice.

 
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
birvine
 
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Oct 2010
Cochrane, Ontario, CANADA
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Not to hijack this discussion, but this concern is similar to mine. I am ok with ginger but too much is a no-go for me. I haven't a scale that is any way decent so am wondering how much ginger is an ounce. If fresh grated can someone give me an idea how much it would be in teaspoons?

Thanks

B

EDIT Just found out that it would be about 2 tbsp (kept ths post here in case anyone else is considering this recipe; I'm trying it in a few weeks).

Reason: Found my answer

 
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:20 PM   #5
ajbosco
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Oct 2010
Somerville, MA
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Monthly play dates with your friends? Is this what being boring is like?

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Old 11-15-2010, 03:15 AM   #6
dpu2002
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Nov 2010
Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajbosco View Post
Monthly play dates with your friends? Is this what being boring is like?

 
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