Christmas Ale Recipe Advice

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Mar 24, 2011
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New York
I found the bellow recipe online but I'd like to tweak it a little bit. First I'm a little hesitant about the vanilla and the orange peel (haven't worked with either yet). I think the orange peel is pretty straight forward but i want to stay away from the vanilla - looking for some pretty spicy. What are your thoughts on removing the vanilla and orange peel, using fresh ginger instead of powdered and upping the cinnamon?

I've also got some centennial and cascade hops left over from my last brew and wondering if I could use that instead of the perle? the centennial has some spicy notes to it that would work but not sure if it would make a christmas ale too flowery? the cascade might help add some citrus notes and be a good sub for the removal of the orange peel if i end up doing that?

also, any advice on how best to increase the alcohol content - you know what they say, a boozy christmas is the best christmas!

Thanks a lot!


I am Wally
HBT Supporter
Jul 4, 2007
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San Diego, CA

Absolutely you can use fresh ginger. Just remember to adjust for that because it takes more fresh ginger than powder. And be careful with the cinnamon, it can get over powering pretty easily.

The best way to increase the alcohol is up the extract. But you'll have to adjust your hops.

Also, since your basically changing the beer anyways, change the hops. If I was to brew this beer, I'd make a beglian tripple style and just take the spices and move them. It'd take some time to age, but that's just what I would do. It's your beer, so do what you want to it!