12 Beers of Christmas 2018 Edition

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I've shamelessly lifted the below from the excellent @Auger who did a fantastic job organizing the 2017 TBoC exchange:


Ok I'll volunteer to run it this year. Guidelines copied from last year:

Here's the general concept:
12 different brewers will brew one of the 12 beers of Christmas found in Randy's Mosher's Radical Brewing.
If you don't have the book, can't borrow it, etc., I can PM the recipe to you.
Each brewer sends out three 12oz bottles of their beer to the 11 other brewers (33 bottles sent out in total) and receives 3 bottles of each recipe in return. Maybe you drink one, share one, and age the third!?
Some of these are fairly big beers, and need some time and aging to be optimal, so planning and brewing early can be critical. If you're bottle conditioning, be ready to bottle in time, etc. Also, one of the beers (Juniper Rye Bock) is a lager, so a brewer with a lagering fridge will be needed for that one.

Shipping:
It will cost you some money to send out 11 packages! Getting involved in this project means you'll eventually need to wrap up 11 packages with 3 beers each, and mail them potentially all the way across the country from where you live. You may be looking at about $140 in shipping give or take (but you're getting 33 fancy Christmas beers!). (I think for 2017, with me being on the east coast, the total was approximately 130 bucks for the 9 packages we ended up having to ship. So, keep that in mind.)
With this in mind, it has been historically a necessity to require that all brewers will need to be located inside the continental U.S.
If you can accept packages at a business address, that will save your fellow brewers some money. (For some reason, the big shippers charge less to deliver to a business address...)
Speaking of the big shippers, generally if you show up at UPS or FedEx with a well packed, sealed box, they don't ask questions. Legally you aren't allowed to ship alcohol via USPS, but in prior years some participants have shipped using Flat Rate boxes from the post office, and haven't had any issues, but this is by no means an endorsement of such an action.
Shipping will need to occur approximately the week after Thanksgiving.
For reference: In 2012, @biochemedic posted some (admittedly perhaps overkill) instructions for packaging a 12 oz longneck for shipping, and also a post with some common box sizes that work well for shipping 3 wrapped/bagged longnecks.

Choosing What You Want to Brew:
We'll use the same system as previous years: first come first served (with the noted restrictions below...)
Reply to this thread if you're interested and let us know which beer you want to brew.
As beers are claimed, I will update the thread with the brewer's name next to their selection.

How to not be a d*[email protected]:
As much as it pains me to post this part, the simple fact is that, every single year this project has been run, there has been at least one brewer who has simply up and vanished, and at times has been shipped homebrew in good faith before their disappearance has become apparent.

Based on this, I wish to request that all participants be either relatively established HBT members (more than a year since joining) *or* be a paid (Supporting or Lifetime) member, *or*, have successfully participated in the previous year.
Communicate! If for some reason you have to back out, own up to it ASAP, and hopefully allow a replacement brewer to step in.

Here is the list of Beers:
(please note I've now added a second column for a second group of TBoC)


1) Caramel Quadrupel (@Scturo ) (@BigCrazyAl )
2) Spiced Cherry Dubbel (@HawleyFarms ) (@btbnl)
3) Spiced Dunkel Weizenbock (@MapleGroveAleworks ) (@Blackdirt_cowboy )
4) Juniper Rye Bock (@HopHeavy's brother) (@cmac62)
5) Fruitcake Old Ale (@JDXX1971 ) (@Auger)
6) Saffron Tripel (@TBC ) (@Yeroc )
7) Christmas Gruit (@BradleyBrew ) (@November)
8) Honey Ginger IPA (@biochemedic )(@Brewfessor)
9) Crabapple Lambicky Ale (@dryboroughbrewing )
10) Gingerbread Ale (@jerbrew ) (@badgerfan79)
11) Spiced Bourbon Stout (@gromitdj ) (@anotherbeerplease )
12) Abbey Weizen (@HopHeavy ) (@Zimm9)

So....release the hounds!
 
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BigCrazyAl

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I'm strongly considering this but I don't think I'm to the point where I'm consistent enough. I also want a fermentation chamber before I make others drink my brews. This may all happen in the next few months but who knows. I'll keep an eye on this and may brew one of these just on my own to see if it turns out. If you have trouble getting 12 then I may give in and commit.
 

JDXX1971

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Dang I wanted a chance to try them all before I signed on again. Well wonderful human being,:mad: what am I gonna do?
 

JDXX1971

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I think I will do the Fruitcake Old Ale again, so sign me up!

I was just looking at my recipe and I have just about all the grains for it. So happens I found two 8 month old packs of 1098 in the back of the fridge and made a starter and revitalized them, so I have the yeast too. Probably brew it after the first of the year sometime. I want to hear feedback on this years version and consider what I may change. I thought about doing something else but I want to nail the lid on my FOA recipe first.

I told my wife I was not going to do it again but............................I LIED :D
 
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I think I will do the Fruitcake Old Ale again, so sign me up!

I was just looking at my recipe and I have just about all the grains for it. So happens I found two 8 month old packs of 1098 in the back of the fridge and made a starter and revitalized them, so I have the yeast too. Probably brew it after the first of the year sometime. I want to hear feedback on this years version and consider what I may change. I thought about doing something else but I want to nail the lid on my FOA recipe first.

I told my wife I was not going to do it again but............................I LIED :D
Well crap this means I need to not drink all 3 this year, welcome back!
 

gromitdj

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To give the West Coaster's some relief, I'll sign up for the Spiced Bourbon Stout. I think @Scturo is also interested, hopefully he'll chime in.
 

JDXX1971

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Well crap this means I need to not drink all 3 this year
That would be killer if some of you 2017 12BoC'ers that join this year save one to compare. No worries if you don't, I am going to save a couple, I only have a few left though.
 

jerbrew

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We were throwing around the idea of doing a west coast/western/mid america version to ease some of the shipping costs and give 24, instead of 12, brewers a chance to join Interested? I would be willing to Run it.

Also @Scturo and @JDXX1971 Interested?

To give the West Coaster's some relief, I'll sign up for the Spiced Bourbon Stout. I think @Scturo is also interested, hopefully he'll chime in.
@dryboroughbrewing
If this seems like too much then screw it. I'll take the Gingerbread Ale either way.
 
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JDXX1971

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Really it only cost me a few dollars more to ship to the east coast so I am not too concerned about the East\West split.
 

Scturo

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Almost missed this. I’ll take the Caramel Quad if still available.
 

jerbrew

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Choosing What You Want to Brew:
We'll use the same system as previous years: first come first served (with the noted restrictions below...)
Reply to this thread if you're interested and let us know which beer you want to brew.
As beers are claimed, I will update the thread with the brewer's name next to their selection.

How to not be a d*[email protected]:
As much as it pains me to post this part, the simple fact is that, every single year this project has been run, there has been at least one brewer who has simply up and vanished, and at times has been shipped homebrew in good faith before their disappearance has become apparent.
Not In 2017. We did good.
 

jerbrew

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Really it only cost me a few dollars more to ship to the east coast so I am not too concerned about the East\West split.
I guess it doesn't really have to be a true split. We could do it as a split from the beginning and anyone who wants a beer taken in the original is more than welcome to join the second. It does make about a $4 difference on shipping from SoCal which adds up and could be the push for some to sign up. Just some thoughts. We don't have to decide tonight or tomorrow. We have a whole year. I know we're all just really excited.
 

Scturo

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We were throwing around the idea of doing a west coast/western/mid america version to ease some of the shipping costs and give 24, instead of 12, brewers a chance to join Interested? I would be willing to Run it.

Also @Scturo and @JDXX1971 Interested?



If this seems like too much then screw it. I'll take the Gingerbread Ale either way.
I’m ok with whatever you guys want to do this round. Does someone provide the recipes, or do we find our own?
 
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12 BEERS OF CHRISTMAS RECIPES
BY RANDY MOSHER FROM HIS BOOK RADICAL BREWING

1. CARAMEL QUADRUPEL - Start with the tripel recipe on p. 125 (see below), but add 4 pounds of
amber malt, and use the following toffee sugar recipe instead of the sugar in the original
recipe. Sugar and malt caramalized together will impart a lingering toffee-like quality.
Mix a pound of each of light malt extract and white sugar in a heavy saucepan. Heat until it
melts; stir only enough to mix together, and continue until it starts to darken. Use your
judgement about when to stop. Once it starts to brown, things happen quickly, but it can
get fairly dark before it will make the beer taste burnt. When done, remove from the stove
and scrape it directly into your brew kettle or cool it by lowering the pan into a larger pan
of water. Once cooled, add brewing water and reheat to dissolve the caramel, then add to your
brew in progress. Gravity: 1.100 (24*P). Color: deep reddish-brown.

THREE NIGHT TRIPEL
Yield: 5 gallons
Gravity: 1.080 (19*P)
ABV: 7.6 - 8.6%
Color: Pale Gold
IBUs: 43
Yeast: Belgian abbey
Maturation: 3 to 4 months

Recipe:
10 lb Pilsner Malt (72%)
2 lb Munich Malt (14%)
2 lb Jaggery or Demerara Sugar

Hops:
2 oz Styrian Goldings (7%AA) 60 Min
1.5 oz Saaz (3%AA) 15 Min


2. SPICED CHERRY DUBBEL - Start with a good rich dubbel (p. 124 - see below), toss in an addi-
tional pound of piloncillo or turbinado sugar, and use a combination of sweet (black) and sour
(Montmorency) cherries, which should ferment in the beer for a month or so. A pound per gallon
is a minimum. Two is better. One teaspoon of ceylon (true) cinnamon added at the end of the
boil will enhance the natural spiciness of the sour cherries. Add one drop (no more!) of
almond extract for added depth. Gravity: 1.070 to 1.078 (17 to 18.5*P). Color: deep ruby-amber

TWO BITS ABBEY DUBBEL
Yield: 5 gallons
Gravity: 1.063 (15*P)
ABV: 5.5 - 6.4%
Color: Deep amber
IBUs: 29
Yeast: Belgian abbey
Maturation: 8 to 10 weeks

Recipe:
6 lb Pale Ale Malt (63.5%)
3 lb Munich Malt (23%)
1 lb Special B (9%)
0.5 lb Aromatic Malt (4.5%)
1 lb Piloncillo or other partially-refined sugar (9%)

Hops:
1.25 oz Northern Brewer (7%AA) 90 Min


3. SPICED DUNKEL WEIZENBOCK
Yield: 5 gallons
Gravity: 1.083 (19.5*P)
ABV: 6.7 - 7.7%
Color: Deep amber
IBUs: 28
Yeast: Altbier or Belgian abbey
Maturation: 3 to 5 months

Recipe:
5 lb Wheat Malt (38%)
4 lb Munich Malt (31%)
2 lb Pilsner Malt (15%)
1 lb Wheat Malt, toasted 30 min @ 350*F (8%)
1 lb Medium Crystal Malt (40 to 60L) (8%)

Hops:
1.75 oz Tettnang (4.5%AA) 90 Min
0.5 oz Tettnang (4.5%AA) 30 Min

Spices:
1 tsp allspice (added at end of the boil)
1 tsp star anise (added at end of the boil)
1 tsp caraway (added at end of the boil)
0.5oz orange peel (added at end of the boil)
2oz candied ginger (may be chopped coarsely and tossed into secondary)


4. JUNIPER RYE BOCK
Yield: 5 gallons
Gravity: 1.080 (19*P)
ABV: 6.4 - 7.2%
Color: Deep amber
IBUs: 24
Yeast: Danish Lager
Maturation: 4 to 6 months

Recipe:
9.5 lb Munich Malt (62%)
3 lb Pilsner Malt (19%)
2 lb Malted Rye (13%)
1 lb Rice Hulls
4 oz Juniper Berries, crushed (added in the mash)

Hops & Spices:
2 oz Hallertau (3.5%AA) 90 Min
2 oz Juniper Berries, crushed 90 Min
2 oz Juniper Berries, crushed 0 Min


5. FRUIT CAKE OLD ALE
Yield: 5 gallons
Gravity: 1.075 (18*P)
ABV: 6.5 - 7.5%
Color: Deep reddish amber
IBUs: 31
Yeast: Scottish Ale
Maturation: 6 to 9 months

Recipe:
8.75 lb Munich Malt (62%)
3 lb Amber Malt (22%)
1 lb Special B (13%)
4 oz Carafa II Malt (6%)

Hops:
1.5 oz Liberty (4.5%AA) 90 Min
0.5 oz Saaz (3%AA) 15 Min
0.5 oz Liberty (4.5%AA) 15 Min

Spices:
0.25 tsp nutmeg (added at end of the boil)
0.25 tsp allspice (added at end of the boil)
2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon (added at end of the boil)
1 tsp powdered ginger (added at end of the boil)
1 tsp vanilla extract (added at end of the boil)

After primary fermentation, assemble 3 lb of dried fruit: raisins, apricots, cherries, blueberries,
whatever, plus the zest of two oranges and two whole cloves. Pour boiling water over it to rehydrate;
allow to stand for an hour or two to cool and plump, then mix with the beer which has been racked
into a vessel with some headspace. Allow this to ferment for two weeks, then rack off the fruit into
another carboy, allow to settle, then bottle as usual. This beer will benefit from several months aging.


6. SAFFRON TRIPEL - Pick you favorite Belgian tripel recipe as a start. If there's no sugar in it,
substitute 20 percent of the base malt for some unrefined sugar - turbinado or piloncillo, for example.
Jaggery (Indian palm sugar) is also lovely. Add the zest of one orange at the end of the boil, along
with a pinch of crushed grains of paradise or black pepper. Ferment with Belgian ale yeast, and add a
half-teaspoon of saffron threads after transferring to the secondary. Gravity: 1.090 (21.5*P). Color:
orange-gold.


7. CHRISTMAS GRUIT - This is a throwback to the days before hopped beers were the norm. I have included
some hops here, largely for their persevative value. Note that the "gruit" component of this is only
partially authentic (bog myrtle), as yarrow and wild rosemary can't in good conscience be recommended for
internal consumption. The rosemary and California bay laurel provide a safe approximation. Start with
the dunkel weizenbock recipe (Number 4) but substitute he following spices, which may be added at the
end of the boil: 4 oz juniper, crushed; 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon; 0.5 tsp bog myrtle/sweet gale; 0.25 tsp
rosemary; 0.12 tsp mace; two California bay laurel leaves. Add one pound of heather or dark wildflower
honey to the secondary and allow it to ferment out before bottling. Saison of other characterful Belgian
yeast is recommended. As an option, a package of mixed lambic culture, added after the primary, will add
wild aromas and a bit of sourness after a few months. Substituting a bit of smoked malt will impart a
suitably medieval funkiness. Gravity: 1.091 (22*P). Color: hazy amber.


8. HONEY GINGER IPA - Ginger was a popular ingredient in British beers prior to 1850, and here we're
pairing it with a dab of honey. Start with an IPA, and brew and ferment as normal. Once transferred
to the secondary, add 2 pounds of honey, plus 2 ounces of candied ginger, coarsely chopped. This is a
higher-quality ginger than the stuff in the produce section, less pungent and less earthy. I would use
British East Kent Goldings hops exclusively. Gravity: 1.065 (15.5*P). Color: pale amber.


9. CRANAPPLE LAMBICKY ALE - Crabapples add not only a festive touch, but tannins and acidity as well,
which makes it easier to get that tart, champagny character without extended aging. Brew a simple pale
wheat ale like the Amazing Daze (see below). If mashing, go low (145*F) and long (two hours). Ferment
with ale yeast, Belgian or otherwise. Obtain 3 to 4 pounds of crabapples (cranberries work also), wash
well, then freeze. Thaw and add to the beer when it is transferred to the secondary, along with a package
of mized lambic culture. Allow to age on the fruit for two months, then rack, allow to clear (which may
take a month or two), and bottle. Lambic character will continue to increase with time. Gravity: 1.050
(12*P). Color: pale pink.

AMAZING DAZE AMERICAN WHEAT ALE
Yield: 5 gallons
Gravity: 1.049 (12*P)
ABV: 4.1 - 4.7%
Color: Pale Gold
IBUs: 23
Yeast: American Ale
Maturation: 4 to 6 weeks

Recipe:
4 lb Pilsner Ale (44.5%)
4 lb Wheat Malt (44.5%)
1 lb Munich Malt (11%)
1 lb Rice Hulls

Hops:
0.75 oz Cascade (6%AA) 60 Min
1 oz US Tettnang (4.5%AA) 15 Min


10. GINGERBREAD ALE - Liquid cake! One of our Chicago Beer Society homebrewers hit me with this one a few
years ago, and the flavor was quite striking. The base brew should be a soft brown ale, lightly hopped,
with no pronounced hop aroma. The gingerbread flavor depends on a specific balance of spices used in the
common dessert: 1 tsp cinnamon; 0.5 tsp ground giner; 0.25 tsp allspice; 0.25 tsp cloves. Just add them at
the end of the boil. Gravity: 1.055 (13*P). color: pale brown.


11. SPICED BOURBON STOUT - Take your favorite stout recipe and dose it with spices. Into 6 oz of Vodka and
2 oz of bourbon (more if you wish), add: 0.5 tsp vanilla extract; 0.25 tsp allspice; 0.5 tsp cinnamon;
0.25 oz crushed corianger; 1 whole star anise (or 0.25 tsp ground); 0.5 oz crushed juniper; pinch of black
pepper. Gravity: 1.050 (12*P). Color: India ink.


12. ABBEY WEIZEN - This one's easy. Take a classic Bavarian Weizen recipe and ferment it with a Belgian abbey
yeast. For a little more zip, add a little citris peel-try a tangelo or a handful of kumquats for a fairly
close approximation of the Seville/curacao orange. Coriander and chamomile (0.25 oz of each) added at the
end of the voil provide even more depth. You could brew this same recipe at much higher gravities if desired.
Gravity: 1.045 (11*P). Color: hazy deep gold.
 

jerbrew

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I’m ok with whatever you guys want to do this round. Does someone provide the recipes, or do we find our own?
Basic direction given in Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. If you Don't have it someone can hook up what's in there. Searching the web or asking a previous participant is also a good way to go. The book is a great read and if you're interested I'll send you my copy.
 
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We were throwing around the idea of doing a west coast/western/mid america version to ease some of the shipping costs and give 24, instead of 12, brewers a chance to join Interested? I would be willing to Run it.

Also @Scturo and @JDXX1971 Interested?



If this seems like too much then screw it. I'll take the Gingerbread Ale either way.
Got you!
 

gromitdj

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We were throwing around the idea of doing a west coast/western/mid america version to ease some of the shipping costs and give 24, instead of 12, brewers a chance to join Interested? I would be willing to Run it.

Also @Scturo and @JDXX1971 Interested?



@dryboroughbrewing
If this seems like too much then screw it. I'll take the Gingerbread Ale either way.
If we do fill up I'm happy to start taking a second list, which if we can also fill we can try and do a little traveling salesmen style matching to minimize shipping costs.
I'm in either way!
 

Easycreeper

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Man, I want to participate again! ....But I'll let someone else have a go this time 'round. Maybe next year.

To anyone considering, it's a great experience and tons of fun, especially when beers start shipping out! The anticipation of coming home from work wondering if UPS Santa is dropping something off is almost too much to bear.

So if you're on the fence, go ahead and do it! Looking forward to following this thread through the coming year.
 

biochemedic

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Not In 2017. We did good.
Yes, I was thinking exactly that when I read the intro! I wrote that a couple years ago, and it had been true, but this past year's bunch did an awesome job keeping themselves on track. I hope this year will work out as well....perhaps we can go 12 for 12 for the first time!!!

This also marks the first time this thread has opened even *before* the New Year starts!

I'm back in this year, and will take the Honey Ginger IPA...
 
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Yes, I was thinking exactly that when I read the intro! I wrote that a couple years ago, and it had been true, but this past year's bunch did an awesome job keeping themselves on track. I hope this year will work out as well....perhaps we can go 12 for 12 for the first time!!!

This also marks the first time this thread has opened even *before* the New Year starts!

I'm back in this year, and will take the Honey Ginger IPA...
Welcome back!
 

MapleGroveAleworks

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Looks like I'll brew mine around May or so. For anyone who's brewed/tried the spiced dunkel weizenbock, is the recipe as stated overly spiced at all or is it OK as is?
 

Scturo

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I'll probably brew mine before the end of this year. It'll give the beer plenty of time to age, plus I'll can still rebrew if I don't like the first one.
 

biochemedic

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My plan will probably involve some test batches to see how ginger plays with various hop varieties... Actually, as I think about it, I may have to get a variety of single hop IPAs, some candied ginger and break out my Randall Jr!

I'm envisioning the final version to be a dry DIPA, probably some honey malt in the grain bill, and maybe even a tiny bit of honey backsweetening going into the keg...
 

f00b4r

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Unfortunately I am not in the USA and can only wish you good fortune with the awesome swap but have a suggestion that may make things easier. Have everyone ship their beers to one person who then mixes them up and ships them out to the individuals in one go, this dramatically cuts down on shipping costs and if anyone doesn't come through then stops any beer going to them. It does require a good amount of effort from one person but I have seen this used in bottle swaps before and it works really well (any extras beers destined for those that drop out could also go to the organiser and it also makes it easier to change the amount of beers required without making the postage per beer silly).
 
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