This is actually my first brew (hence the 2.5 gallon batch size). I was going to follow the recipe but decided to try something a little different along the lines. Following are the ingredients I used:
3lb Multon Amber DME
1lb Flaked rice
1oz Citra hops (13.2%), half at 15min, half at 45min.
Nottingham dry yeast
1.5lb frozen raspberry
1oz cocoa powder
Batch size: 2.5 gallons
I steeped the flaked rice in 2 gallons of water at 166F for 30min, then added DME and brought to a slow boil for 1 hour (hops added @ 15' and 45'). Immediately after I turned off the heat, I added 1.5lb of frozen raspberry to the wort, then cooled the wort to 60C with ice bath. After that, I dumped the wort into sanitized primary with 0.75 gallons of cold water already in it (took into the account the evaporation during boil). I added 7g of yeast and let it sit in my basement (~66F) for 10 days.
I heat sanitized 1 oz of cocoa powder and racked primary on it and let it go for another 10 days before bottling.
I used 10% more dextrose than the normal 3/4 cup / 5gal, but it seemed to give the perfect head.
Overall, the beer turned out very well, alcohol content was pretty high but that may be a plus. The citra hops definitely gave it a really good aroma. Taste wise, raspberry flavor was very strong before bottling, but surprisingly after only 7 days, it mellowed to a point that the cocoa flavor can actually come through. I hope it'll be even better by Christmas
here're 2 pics during secondary.