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Winter Seasonal Beer Christmas Ale (Great Lakes Clone)

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ralphie

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Thanks for your input Shinglejohn. I will definitely give it more time. The first tasting was more of a trial, but I thought that there would at least be a little fizz, although not strong. I was wrong so back to the waiting game. If after 2 more weeks it is still like it is now, what would you recommend?
 

Shinglejohn

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Yeast are mysterous and stubborn. sometimes they just need time. two weeks is really a short amount of time, if after two weeks, there is no change you could add a few little grains of dry yeast and recap.

but that is a last resort.

I recomend just waiting.
 
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two_hearted

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Maxam,
I wanted to follow up and thank you for this recipe. I brewed this beer over Thanksgiving and it turned out great, very close to Great Lakes. I used your basic grain bill although I used 40L crystal malt rather than 45L. I also upped the bitterness to about 30 IBU:
1 oz Hallertau (4%) 60 min
1 oz Cascade (5%) 30 min
0.5 oz Cascade (5%) 10 min
0.5 oz Cascade (5%) 5 min
I added the honey at flameout and did not add any ginger or cinnamon to the secondary.
Although I was pleased, I may increase the hops a bit more next time to balance the cinnamon a little better. Overall very happy, thanks again for sharing!
Awesome! Glad to hear the results. How is it aging? Is there any left?
 

LakeEffect

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Awesome! Glad to hear the results. How is it aging? Is there any left?
It's aging well. There's still a few left, stop over and we'll have a couple :) I'm impressed with the head, I used corn sugar to prime which doesn't always produce a nice creamy head but this batch is very smooth and creamy. Like I said, I'm going to up the bitterness next year and I think it's a winner. Thanks again for sharing!

~~
LE
 

rudu81

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I definitely need to try this. My first ever attempt was a holiday ale, and while it turned out to the liking of SWMBO and her friends, it just wasn't GLBC's.

My plan is to go with maxam's recipe and LakeEffect's hop schedule. I'm curious how this turned out!
 

FireBrew63

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Want to get this rolling soon so it will be ready for Christmas 2011. Do you just use fresh ginger root grated or sliced?
 

Shinglejohn

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Want to get this rolling soon so it will be ready for Christmas 2011. Do you just use fresh ginger root grated or sliced?
I use fresh ginger. I've tried it a few different ways. I think this year I'm just going to cut it up and chuck it in the boil. I don't recomed grated, I did that the first time I made this and it was messy.
 

FalkyBrew

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claphamsa said:
if you boil honey, it becomes sugar, so its a waste, if your gonna boil it just use table sugar. Add honey after primary fermentation is done (or winding down)
If you add it during boil will it result in a higher abv? If so could you add it during boil and in the secondary?
 

WazzuBrew

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FalkyBrew said:
If you add it during boil will it result in a higher abv? If so could you add it during boil and in the secondary?
You add honey about 10-15 towards the end of the boil. This pasteurizes it yet you maintain the aroma of the honey.
 

ap0345

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Does the Cinnamon Stick in Ginger Root produce enough flavor by only leaving it in the secondary for 5 minutes?
 
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two_hearted

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Does the Cinnamon Stick in Ginger Root produce enough flavor by only leaving it in the secondary for 5 minutes?
I put the cinnamon sticks and ginger in at flame out. You can add more after fermentation is complete if you taste a sample and it needs more.
 

Diesel48

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Brewed this on Saturday with my father in law. Hit all the numbers, fermentation smells great!
 

FireBrew63

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Brewed 10g. of this last Thursday. Used Irish Ale yeast with a big starter and it's smelling awesome! I lightened up the grain bill and spices just a bit and will adjust the spices as necessary at secondary.
 

bmock79

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Brewed 10g. of this last Thursday. Used Irish Ale yeast with a big starter and it's smelling awesome! I lightened up the grain bill and spices just a bit and will adjust the spices as necessary at secondary.
when did you add your honey?
 

bmock79

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I put the cinnamon sticks and ginger in at flame out. You can add more after fermentation is complete if you taste a sample and it needs more.
So do you dump those sticks and ginger in to your primary fermenter?
 

FireBrew63

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when did you add your honey?
I skipped the honey because I forgot to pick some up. Normally when I do use honey, I put it in at either flame out or secondary. Seems like the honey flavors remain more distinct when I put it in at secondary.
 

Q2XL

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This marked my 70th beer brewed. And it tastes great!!! A bit thin in the mouthfeel but very tasty indeed. And at almost 9% for my brew, I am sure this will warm up the holidays enough for everyone to get along. ;)
 

ronstar55

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I brewed this on 10/21. I put honey in the boil, but not cinnamon or ginger.

Moved to secondary 11/4, added cinnamon sticks and ginger and wanted to add some more honey. But the honey I had left had turned solid, So I mixed it with water and microwaved it a bit. Then I thought that I might have diluted the batch with the watered down honey so I added a little Amber dme (without boiling).

When I put it in the secondary, I started getting airlock activity that lasted several days. After airlock activity stopped, I put the carboy outside to cold crash on 11/15. I bottled on 11/18.

Put a bottle in the fridge this morning 12/2 and tasted. Tastes great but very little carbonation after 2 weeks. I normally keg, so the cold crashing does not affect carbonation. But I read here that cold crashing can hinder carbonation when bottling because the priming sugar needs yeast to carbonate, and the yeast has been killed by the cold crash. Oh well - hopefully this will carb up ok in another 3 weeks.
 

Q2XL

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Put a bottle in the fridge this morning 12/2 and tasted. Tastes great but very little carbonation after 2 weeks.
The same thing happened to mine recently. I had it bottled and tried it after about 2.5 weeks and very little carbonation...this never happened to me before. So, I brought it upstairs where it is a bit warmer 70-72F and gently swirled the bottles. I opened one today and was perfectly caronated. So, for me it took about 5 weeks to carb up. The warmer temps and swirling did the trick.
 

Diesel48

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Are people fermenting this beer with the ginger in it? I added the cinnamon sticks and ginger at the end of boil. I poured the entire thing in to my fermenter and let it sit for 4 weeks. We then bottled and let it carb up. It has been carbonating for a few weeks, a little colder than normal so it has a bit to go yet. The beer really taste like ginger. Just wonder if I should have put the ginger in at a different time. I am sure it will fade with age but curious to what others have done.
 
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Are people fermenting this beer with the ginger in it? I added the cinnamon sticks and ginger at the end of boil. I poured the entire thing in to my fermenter and let it sit for 4 weeks. We then bottled and let it carb up. It has been carbonating for a few weeks, a little colder than normal so it has a bit to go yet. The beer really taste like ginger. Just wonder if I should have put the ginger in at a different time. I am sure it will fade with age but curious to what others have done.
That's the way I do it. Did you grate your ginger or chop it up? It should smooth out with a little age. You can also add your spices in secondary if you want. I'm not sure the best way, but they all seem to work differently.

I like adding them at flameout, that way I can add more in secondary if it doesn't come through enough.
 
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This marked my 70th beer brewed. And it tastes great!!! A bit thin in the mouthfeel but very tasty indeed. And at almost 9% for my brew, I am sure this will warm up the holidays enough for everyone to get along. ;)
Wow, 70! Congrats, I'm glad you like it.
 

Diesel48

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Cut the fresh ginger into slices until we had 2oz of it. I typically do not secondary my beers. I did add it at flame out.
 
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two_hearted

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Cut the fresh ginger into slices until we had 2oz of it. I typically do not secondary my beers. I did add it at flame out.
Nice. This first time I used ginger I grated 2 oz... PITA if you ask me. I only use secondary if I'm adding things like spices, fruit, wood.
 

itsmillertime

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Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try this one. I get my supplies from Midwest Supplies online.
 

pannell77

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I bottled mine to let them sit for awhile and let some of the flavors blend together a little better, I also brewed this in July and wanted to save it until winter time and not take over one of my kegs.
 

Fuzzy_Ninja

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Brewed this last night. It was my first all grain brew. Pretty happy everything worked out well. OG came in a bit higher at 1.080.
 

pannell77

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update on how mine turned out...not so much a great lakes clone, but it tastes spot on like the new Southern Tier 2Xmas
 

jamieofthenorth

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Just got the ingredients for this and will be brewing it tomorrow. Thanks for posting the recipe, can't wait to try it.
 

itsme6582

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I was very impressed with this recipe last year. I don't know that my effort was a great clone but it definitely strongly resembled Christmas Ale. One thing to keep in mind is Great Lakes pumps this stuff out like crazy and the flavor is very different when it's fresh. As it ages the spices mellow out significantly. I always keep a six pack of Great Lakes for Christmas in July and it's nearly a different beer after aging for 6+ months. This will happen with your batch too. You might even notice a difference between a brand new batch and a batch that is only a few weeks older.
 

jamieofthenorth

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Cool. Looking forward to it being ready. Brewed it multi-rest and it went really well. OG of 1.062. Pretty stoked.
 
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