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Old 09-25-2012, 03:52 AM   #1
Jan 2012
Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 65
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Hey everyone,

Alright, here is my recipe:

6.5 lb Pilsner 2-Row(Bel)
3 lb Vienna Malt
1.5 lb Munich Malt
8 oz Special B
1 lb Belgian Candy sugar(D-180)

0.3 oz Magnum at 60 min
0.5 oz Saaz at 10 min


Spices(bear with me here)
Fennel Seed
Cacao Nibs(1 oz secondaries)
Almond extract(homemade)
Christmas spices(need help here)

Mash:Single Infusion
156 at 60 min

Okay, so here it is(game plan, that is). I plan on fermenting this at 68 degrees and letting it come up to room temperature(72). After primary is over, I want to split the batch between 2 three gallon carboys. The first Carboy(Carboy A) I will add 1 oz cacao nibs(ground and soaked in vodka), and the second carboy(Carboy B) I will add spice along with cacao nibs. I would like to spice B like a christmas ale and would probably make a fennel seed "tea" and add that along with either nutmeg or cinnamon(I feel like nutmeg would work better, maybe both?) . Onto bottling, I would bottle the first carboy(A) as is and then split Carboy B between half bottled directly from carboy and the other half with almond extract. Is this a sensible approach? I just don't like the idea of one ingredient taking over the whole batch, and with this being a new recipe I feel like I can see the progression of the beer through each stage of additions and manipulate it from there.

Please critique the base recipe though! You guys have always been helpful, and I appreciate it immensely!


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Old 09-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
homebrewhaha's Avatar
Oct 2008
Boston, MA
Posts: 218
Liked 13 Times on 12 Posts

I like the plan. Good to figure out which version of the recipe you like best. A bit of extra work, but worth it if you come up with a master recipe for next year that you really like. Just be sure to take really good notes so if one of your 1/4 batches ends up being perfect, you can multiply your measurements accurately for the full batch.

Fennel Seed seems a little strange to me but I guess star anise is somewhat common in brewing so maybe you'll end up with the same result? Did you consider using clove or allspice? Granted you don't want to go too crazy with the spices: best to keep it balance with the malt and hops. I see you're using magnum but do you think you'll have enough hop bitterness to round out the flavor of this brew (Edit: too much bitterness may go against the style.)? Do you have a target OG and FG? Just curious.

Good luck!

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Old 09-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
Jan 2012
Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 65
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Thanks for the reply!

Fennel seed was my choice just for the sake of originality(I should probably just use star anise haha). I've decided to intentionally omit clove and allspice due to the yeast allegedly contributing a little clove at the lower end of its preferred fermentation temperature.

I originally had this recipe up to 23 IBU's, but I decided to scale back the bittering hops in anticipation of the cacao nibs adding its own bitterness. Without the nibs, the hops will bring it up to around 16 IBU's.

The OG is 1.065 and I would like this to, ideally, ferment down between 1.015 and 1.018. It will probably have around 6.5 ABV if all goes well!

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