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Old 03-03-2008, 03:25 AM   #1
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts

Brewed my 2008 Christmas Ale this weekend. It was a fun day! The beer smells great and the color is fantastic. Recipe is below for anyone interested.

Here are a few pics:

My brew assistant cleaning the Barley Crusher

First runnings

(My MLT is 15 years old and was scrounged from Clemson University's Athletic Department by SWMBO when she used to work there. If you look carefully you can still see "CUAD Volleyball" written on the cooler.)

The first batch in my new 15 gallon kettle

Fermentation activity 18 hours after pitching

Brewday was fun and went well even though I didn't hit my numbers. I undershot my mash temp by 2, which is a lot IMO, and couldn't add any more hot water because my MLT was just about to overflow. My efficiency sucked (73%; I'm used to 85%) because of the low mash temp, no mashout, and the sparge wasn't hot enough. So my OG was only 1.072 when I was planning on 1.083. Oh well, its still plenty big enough and should age well.

BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Christmas Old Ale
Brewer: Beerthoven
Style: Christmas/Winter Specialty Spice Beer
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.33 gal
Estimated OG: 1.083 SG
Estimated Color: 19.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 44.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
13 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3 SRM) Grain 90.03 %
12 oz Crystal Malt - 60L (60 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
8 oz Crystal Malt - 120L (120 SRM) Grain 3.46 %
3 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500 SRM) Grain 1.32 %

1.00 oz Warrior [16.90 %] (60 min) Hops 44.9 IBU

0.50 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 15 min) Misc
4.00 items Clove (whole, crushed) (Boil 1 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Cinnamon (ground, dry) (Boil 1 min) Misc

1 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10 min) Misc

1 Pkg Nottingham dry ale yeast

Total Grain Weight: 14.44 lb
Step Time Step Temp
60 min 152.0 F

Ferment at 68 for 21 days. Secondary for 21 days. Bottle condition until Christmas.

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

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Old 03-03-2008, 04:29 AM   #2
Aug 2007
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 955
Liked 6 Times on 3 Posts

So you brewed the beer you will be drinking during Christmas now?! Well, patience is a virtue!
Looks really good.

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Old 03-03-2008, 05:22 AM   #3
Professor Frink
Professor Frink's Avatar
Sep 2006
San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,085
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

Looks like it's gonna be a great beer!
Primary: Cherrywood Smoked Porter
60 Minute IPA
On tap:Amber Ale
Milk Stout


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Old 03-03-2008, 05:31 AM   #4
Brewsmith's Avatar
Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,252
Liked 62 Times on 58 Posts

Nice planning ahead. That beer should be mellowed out quite a bit by then. The spices need it.
Fermenting:#160 Apollo/Calypso Pale Ale
Kegged:#153 Old Helicon Barleywine 2013, #157 Irish Red, #158 Mosaic IPA, #159 Bravo/Delta ESB
Up Next:Brown Porter, American Stout, Imperial Stout
My Recipes
Tuba Sonata

Smith & Co. Custom Tap Handles

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Old 03-03-2008, 05:33 AM   #5
Nov 2007
Halifax, Canada
Posts: 279

Your assistant looks delighted by that barley crusher. Cute kid.
The Greenwall

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Old 03-03-2008, 05:34 AM   #6
Limited Visibility
Feb 2008
North Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 579

Looks it is going to be one tasty holiday time for you this year.
Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.

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Old 03-03-2008, 02:59 PM   #7
Nov 2005
Newport News, VA
Posts: 662
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Looks good. I'm gonna have to go report you to Terry Don Phillips about that cooler though. Go Tigers!
Primary - Empty
Secondary - Empty
Bottle Conditioning - None
Drinking - Peanut Butter Oatmeal Stout, Barleywine, Saison, APA, Strawberry mead
In the Works - Summer Rye for my wedding, May 15, 2010

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Old 03-03-2008, 03:01 PM   #8
Soulive's Avatar
Mar 2007
The Middle of NJ
Posts: 4,278
Liked 25 Times on 25 Posts

Looks good! I love the MLT...

Green Lane Brewing

Primary = Evan!'s Special Bitter
On Deck = EdWort's Porter / American Amber

EdWort's Haus Pale Ale Count

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Old 03-03-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Oct 2006
Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,787
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Wow, this is a good idea - thanks for the reminder!

I can't brew every weekend, or even every other, bc I don't consume it fast enough. However, I could always brew ahead by brewing up an oktoberfest, a pumpkin ale and christmas ales ahead of time...

I need to start doing some planning!
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.

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Old 03-12-2008, 09:01 PM   #10
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts

FG reading 9 days after pitching is 1.012. That's about 82% apparent attenuation, for 7.8% ABV.

This is higher than I expected. I'm somewhat relieved, though, since this brew will condition in the bottle for many months and I won't have to worry about bottle bombs.

The spices were definately prominent in the flavor, maybe too much so. It has only been in primary for 9 days, so I expect they will fade and mellow over time. It had a deep, rich aroma from the spices and all the crystal malt. The alcohol was noticable, but not hot. I can certainly see where the term 'barley wine' comes from now. I think this will turn out to be a complex, interesting beer.

The beer hadn't cleared much, it was still pretty cloudy, but it had a nice dark red, mahogany hue. (Sorry, didn't think to take a pic.)

I'll leave it in the primary for a total of 3 - 4 weeks, then rack to secondary and leave it there for another 3 - 4 weeks. I'll then bottle it and set it aside until Christmas. Of course, I'll have to taste them along the way...maybe 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, just to see how its coming along.

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

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