12 Beers of Christmas 2022 Edition

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TBC

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Alright here we go!

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.
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 $120 in shipping give or take (but you're getting 33 fancy Christmas beers!).
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, @biochemedicposted 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.

Please have your beers ready to ship by Thanksgiving 2022! So plan accordingly depending on the beer you end up brewing. Some take much longer than others. This is the 12 beers of Xmas so try to make sure your recipient receives them before the holiday.

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, participants will be excepted in order: past participants who fulfilled their commitments from previous years get preferential treatment until 1/31/2022. Then relatively established HBT members (more than a year since joining) *or* be a paid (Supporting or Lifetime) member starting 2/1/2022 and then it will be open to all other members starting 3/1/2022.

Communicate! If for some reason you have to back out, own up to it ASAP, and hopefully allow a replacement brewer to step in. Please do not disappear for a few months and then come back saying 2022 was busy and you can't participate and now it's too late for anyone to take your place. Think AHEAD of time whether you can put in the work to execute this amazing exchange. I will follow up with participants via pm the end of June/ beginning of July and if you don’t respond you will be dropped and I will open your spot up. If you decide to get back to me a month or two after I send you a pm you will be welcomed back as long as your spot hasn’t been chosen. If it was chosen your sheet out of luck.


2011
2012
2013
2014 (didn't happen)
2015 (didn't happen)
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021

Here is the list of Beers and the recipes are below in case you don’t have a cop

1) Caramel Quadruple
2) Spiced Cherry Dubbel
3) Spiced Dunkel Weizenbock
4) Juniper Rye Bock
5) Fruitcake Old Ale
6) Saffron Tripel
7) Christmas Gruit
8) Honey Ginger IPA
9) Crabapple Lambicky Ale
10) Gingerbread Ale
11) Spiced Bourbon Stout
12) Abbey Weizen



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 additional 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.
 
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Hoppy2bmerry

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Well, my health issue that kept me out last year is over. If you’ll have me back I’d like to brew the (edit) Abby Wiezen!

Brewed spiced dunkels Wiezenbock my first year, as I discovered a bottle while I was organizing.
 
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I'm quite the lurker, but I was just wishing I knew enough local brewers to get a Christmas homebrew exchange going, and then I remembered the 12 Beers of Christmas!

If my lack of posting history doesn't disqualify me, then I'm considering joining in and brewing the Spiced Dunkel Weizenbock. Not a beer I'd normally brew or drink, but I've got room in my brew schedule this summer and could use some extra Christmas spirit this year!
 
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Is that Weizenbock recipe correct? When I punch it in to my software, I'm seeing an OG in the 1.065 range, which is WAY off from the listed 1.083. Do I just need to scale it up or something? My efficiency isn't that bad...

For those who have brewed it before, is it super spicy? Looking at old threads, I've seen talk about using less spice in some of the other recipes.
 
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Other than recommending the adage "less is more," I can't help much. My first spiced Christmas beer tasted like @$$ and I have become veerrrryyy circumspect about what I add to the beer and when. I hope some of the brewers from this last year pipe in because their use of spices was very well handled in all of the beers.
 

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That's my concern as well. I haven't done much with spices in my brewing and I don't want to blindly follow a recipe that already has errors and end up overdoing it.
 

grampamark

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Is that Weizenbock recipe correct? When I punch it in to my software, I'm seeing an OG in the 1.065 range, which is WAY off from the listed 1.083. Do I just need to scale it up or something? My efficiency isn't that bad...

For those who have brewed it before, is it super spicy? Looking at old threads, I've seen talk about using less spice in some of the other recipes.
I brewed the Weizenbock a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t worry too much about hitting the numbers in that recipe exactly. You’re brewing a holiday beer and the spices which make it so are what is important to manage. I’m about 250 miles away from my brewing notes but IIRC mine had an OG around .070.

The only spice in the recipe that can go over the top pretty quickly, IMO, is the star anise. The amount in the recipe is more than enough, I think. It’s not overpowering but it’s definitely the flavor that stands out the most. I brewed the Spiced Bourbon Stout last year, which also calls for one clove of star anise, and I broke a small piece off the star to reduce it slightly. I liked that better and nobody commented that it was too much.

I participated in the 12 BOC 3 years in a row and enjoyed the challenge of brewing something out of my comfort zone. I also enjoyed the beers I received in the exchange. I think you’ll enjoy the experience as well.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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That's my concern as well. I haven't done much with spices in my brewing and I don't want to blindly follow a recipe that already has errors and end up overdoing it.
I think I basically followed the recipe, when I brewed it, but used one whole star anise instead of ground seeds I broke it up a little and it was fine.
 
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Is that Weizenbock recipe correct? When I punch it in to my software, I'm seeing an OG in the 1.065 range, which is WAY off from the listed 1.083. Do I just need to scale it up or something? My efficiency isn't that bad...

For those who have brewed it before, is it super spicy? Looking at old threads, I've seen talk about using less spice in some of the other recipes.

i think I brewed that last year. It’s a Xmas beer so big isn’t bad! i‘m gun shy about using star anise because I think it’s overpowering and I didn’t use it last year but it was missing something and I probably should have put some in.
 
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Let the games begin! Thanks for running another year @TBC. November sneaks up on us fast so start planning those beers! Can’t wait to share !
 

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i think I brewed that last year. It’s a Xmas beer so big isn’t bad! i‘m gun shy about using star anise because I think it’s overpowering and I didn’t use it last year but it was missing something and I probably should have put some in.

My confusion was more around the gravity looking way lower than it should. Seems like something is missing from the grain bill there.
 
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Missed a few posts recently but glad to see we are full.

I will probably brew the fruit cake old sometime in the summer. As I believe experimentation is encouraged, I’ll like hydrate the dried fruit with rum or bourbon similar to my actual fruit cake. Thinking of adding some fenugreek too for a “maple” component. Would anyone object to these changes?
 
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