Quantcast

Holiday Gingerbread Beer - need recipe help

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
My Scotch Ale is in my secondary right now, so this weekend i am planning to brew another batch to fill my primary. my plan is to finally accumulate a small stockpile of homebrew so i always have a variety of beer to choose from. i have had to restrain myself from finishing off my Porter Ale :cross: which tells me i need to brew at a faster pace.

i was planning to do a pumpkin ale, but in an effort to do something slightly different i thought i'd ask all of you very knowledgable folks if you have any suggestions for a Gingerbread Beer. i suppose the spices and whatnot would be very similar to a pumpkin ale, but i imagine i would be adding molasses to hit the gingerbread notes. i've never made my own recipe before, so i could use any and all suggestions, advice, and help. thank you thank you thank you
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
I mentioned this in another thread...you are planning too late in the season.:(

If you really want to brew a holiday brew now then I would recommend going light on any ginger or cloves as they tend to take longer to mellow out. They can lend a pretty harsh bite to the brew.

I usually try to brew several months ahead of the holiday I want to drink for.:D ;)
 

pbowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
284
Reaction score
1
Location
Motown
bummer.

anyway to fake it with a Wheat based?

they seem to absorb flavours enough.

what about a straight Wheat finished with Clove and Nutmeg?

I understand what HB99 is saying though, could be like drinking enamel if it's too harsh, and we've heard of Pumpkin spices disappearing from Pumpkin ale.

What about a nice tight Wheat SERVED (or bottled??) with nutmeg and Clove?

maybe you could make up a handful of Sachets to steep in the Wheat?

maybe bottle it in Growlers or 22oz's?

sounds good actually, too bad my pipeline/Brain is full
 

Orpheus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
2,318
Reaction score
25
Location
Maryland 'burbs of Washington, D.C.
Wheat King,

I poked around the net for you and found a few places that discussed Gingerbread Ale recipes. Most of them used a brown ale base and worked off of that. There was one that said it used agave nectar and some spices and it turned out tasting just like gingerbread.
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
I thought about you pbowler's comments a bit...how about brewing a wheat and sprinkling some spices on top of the head?

Give me a few minutes, I was going to pour another weizen anyway...I'll get back to you with an update...;)

EDIT: OK, I poured one of my beautiful weizens in a Tucher glass...sprinkled some ground pumpkin spices and cloves on top. Looked marvelous, like a mearangue pie with dark specks...smelled great...head started to subside a bit (down to 1/2 inch) so I swirled it a bit and the head came back up to about 2 inches...sampled again...spice nose comes through, but no spice in the beer only the head...then I noticed the spices dropping through the head...like salt they created billions of little bubbles rising to the top creating another 2 inches of head (mind you beer is half gone now)...update, glass now has 1/3 beer, 1/3 head, and 1/3 empty space...spices falling, bubbles rising...still smelling pumpkin spices...the only change to flavor are the spices on my tongue, not the beer...beer gone...still has a 2 inch head in the glass...some spices still intermingled in the foam...end of experiment...time elapsed 5 minutes...results...call me old fashoined, but I like my Hefe Weizens brewed IAW the Reinheitsgebot, pure and simple...some residual spice flavoring on my tongue...now how do I get this NASTY taste outta my mouth? Oh, yeah, another Weizen...neat!

This round's on me!!
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
pbowler said:
Perhaps a cinnimin stick...?
I have some genuine Mexican cinnamon that is killer...let me give that try...more to follow, but I gotta tell you I only have 3 cases and 6 kegs of Hefe Weizen left (OK, I also have one in the primarry), so let's keep the experiment real, OK? I gotta work (or call in sick) in the AM)...;)

Whooohooo, I went over 4600 posts!

EDIT: OK, OK, cinnamon is a bust...all it does is float on top...3 inches are in the head and 3 in the brew...swirling...swirling...changes the flavor a bit, but nothing to write home about...I will consider this experiment a failure also...now, let's get down to some real drinking...
 
OP
Wheat King

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
thanks for your responses. homebrewer i appreciate your enthusiasm lol.

i didnt do much poking around myself. i suppose ive come to rely solely on this forum for help with homebrewing...which could be taken as a compliment to everyone or just an annoyance.
 

Orpheus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
2,318
Reaction score
25
Location
Maryland 'burbs of Washington, D.C.
Yeah, I didn't find a recipe per se, just some blogs/sites where people wrote about trying it. As I said, at least two of the places guys mentioned using a brown ale as a base beer to warm up for the holidays.

I'm thinking I might make try something like this now, too. Maybe around the 20th of October. That'll give me two months to prep it. I won't open it 'til X-Mas.

I've been looking at making a holiday beer as well, and to be honest I'm not too excited by anything else I've seen. Maybe gingerbread is just what the Dr. ordered!
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
Wheat King said:
thanks for your responses. homebrewer i appreciate your enthusiasm lol.

i didnt do much poking around myself. i suppose ive come to rely solely on this forum for help with homebrewing...which could be taken as a compliment to everyone or just an annoyance.
You're welcome...I was planning on drinking some anyway...:D

FWIW, I brewed my Pumpkin Ale on 18 Jun. I bottled on 22 Jul. My 18 Aug tasting notes say: "Clearing nicely. Good color. Still a bit harch from the spices. Good head, but not enough carbonation yet."

I just opened one...still room temp...27 Sep 06 (that's 2 months in the bottle):

GOOD COMMENTS: Very nice light amber color, very clear, slight carbonation, needs more IMO. Spice flavors evident. Medium body. Should be some easy drinking in a couple more months of mellowing. Dry finish, but nice.:D

BAD COMMENTS: It has a slight strange flavor.:confused: "Seems" like a sweet/sour, woody bite to me. I think it's from using the fresh cinnamon. After half a glass the flavor is lessened somewhat. Probably from the change in my taste buds. I would reduce the spices by half. (NOTE: I've made this comment before after using other spices and changed my mind after re-tasting 6 months later).

FWIW, I am my worst critic.;)
 

pbowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
284
Reaction score
1
Location
Motown
sundown in the Paris of the praries, and the Wheat Kings have all their Treasures buried.
and all we hear are the rusty breezes, pushin' around a weather vane Jesus.
 
OP
Wheat King

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
so i guess what i'll do is go for a brown ale, adding appropriate spices during the boil. i'll try to keep the spices light, and then add more as tea before bottling if i think it needs some extra kick. i was hoping to use molasses in my beer somewhere, unless there is a good reason not to. when might be a good time to add molasses? or what might molasses replace in the recipe?

i go up to a cabin in Big Bear, CA with some buddies every year around january for drinking, sledding (if theres snow...there never is), snowboarding, and drinking. i'd like to take some with me.
 

pbowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
284
Reaction score
1
Location
Motown
in a Zippo lighter we see the killers face,
or maybe it's someone standin' in a killers place
twenty years for nothin' well that's nothin' new
no ones intrested in somthing you didn't do
 
OP
Wheat King

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Chairman Cheyco said:
He wants to know if you listen to the band The Tragically Hip. They have a song called Wheat Kings.
haha yea, i understood that...that was my poor attempt at being clever. i asked him to explain since he said if he had to explain, then i must not be a fan ;)

so...no, im not a Hip fan. i know of them, but am not familiar with their music.

Wheat King comes from a german board game called Settlers of Catan. in the game you collect resources and build cities etc. anyway my favorite resource HANDS DOWN is Wheat. My usual MO is to corner the market on wheat and gain access to wheat trading ports, so i would often call myself the Wheat King. Coincidentally, wheat has connotations in beer, so i thought it was fitting for a brewery name, and thusly, my HomeBrewTalk screen name.
 

Chairman Cheyco

***DRAMATIZATION***
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
3,238
Reaction score
17
Location
Calgary
Wheat King said:
Wheat King comes from a german board game called Settlers of Catan. in the game you collect resources and build cities etc. anyway my favorite resource HANDS DOWN is Wheat. My usual MO is to corner the market on wheat and gain access to wheat trading ports, so i would often call myself the Wheat King. Coincidentally, wheat has connotations in beer, so i thought it was fitting for a brewery name, and thusly, my HomeBrewTalk screen name.

Easier to explain 'Wheat King' than 'Sheep King,' I suppose... :p
 

Cap'n Jewbeard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
925
Reaction score
8
Location
Baltimore
Ah, and it's ALSO easier to explan than (but not nearly as impressive as):

WOOD KING!

And, of course, when you're a Wood King you've only really got any power for a few minutes- you've got no stamina.
 
OP
Wheat King

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
P funky said:
WOOD KING!

And, of course, when you're a Wood King you've only really got any power for a few minutes- you've got no stamina.
hahaha...either Settlers is a lot more popular than i thought, or beer geeks are, by nature, also game geeks :rockin:
 

apparatus

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2006
Messages
251
Reaction score
9
Location
Salem
You might give this a try. I found it in a newsletter from last year.


This beer - like any good Holiday ale - is full of malty rich goodness. The
Carastan adds a noticeable toffee flavor, and the spices and other grains give it a
“gingerbread”quality.
The apples are optional but give the beer a refreshing “tartness”and nice hint of
aroma. It is, probably,the most traditional,historically-accurate holiday ale that I've yet put into a newsletter. Enjoy it!

Marleys Ghost
10 pounds Light Malt Extract
1 packed cup dark brown sugar (added with extract)
1 pound Carastan malt
8 ounces English crystal malt (50L)
6 ounces Honey malt
6 ounces Aromatic malt
6 ounces Biscuit malt
3 ounces chocolate malt
2 ounces Willamette hops.........................60 minutes
8 inches cinammon sticks, fractured.........40 minutes
2 teaspoons grated ginger root..................30 minutes
0.5 ounce Hallertauer hops........................20 minutes
3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg.......................15 minutes
0.5 ounce Hallertauer hops........................10 minutes
1 whole clove, uncrushed............................2 minutes
After boil, take the pot off the heat and add four to six cored
and sliced cooking apples. Put the lid on the pot and steep
the apples in the hot wort for twenty minutes. Strain every-
thing out on the way into the primary fermenter.
Pitch with Irish Ale liquid yeast, or yeast of choice.
At bottling time, bottle with 3/4 cup corn sugar, and add 1
Tblsp. vanilla extract. Age 4 - 6 weeks. Serve at 45 - 50
degrees F.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
I have recently bottled what I would probably call a Christmas ale. In with the initial fermentation I added, two sticks of cinnamon (4 inches long), about 20 cloves, zest of about 3 oranges, and a few sprinkles from a bottle of christmasish ground spices.

Afraid to say that after a week in the bottle, it tastes overly spicey. A lot of clove especially.

If you do put cloves in, I suggest that you only put say 10 in per 40 pints.
 
OP
Wheat King

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
THREAD REVIVAL!!!
so i brewed my gingerbread last weekend. my question is, do i need to keep it in the primary or secondary longer than a typical ale because of all the "junk" thats in it?

-2 cinnamon sticks crushed
-approx 20 whole cloves
-tbspoon ground nutmeg
-tbspoon ginger root
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Wheat King said:
THREAD REVIVAL!!!
so i brewed my gingerbread last weekend. my question is, do i need to keep it in the primary or secondary longer than a typical ale because of all the "junk" thats in it?

-2 cinnamon sticks crushed
-approx 20 whole cloves
-tbspoon ground nutmeg
-tbspoon ginger root
Holy cheeerist, man! 20 whole cloves? You might have to start calling this Clove Ale, because those things are gonna rock your face with a quantity like that. I added a freaking teaspoon of ground cloves to my Honey Ginger WW, and even then, I was afraid it was too much.

Anyway, you can rack off of primary whenever fermentation is done. But I'd leave it in secondary as long as possible. Spiced beers take a VERY long time to mellow out...my punkin pie ale sat in secondary for 45 days, because the spices were creating this odd chemical smell. It's fine now, but it needed that much time to chill out, for the spices to integrate into the beer. So, to answer your question...I wouldn't plan on drinking this beer until around chrimmustime.
 
OP
Wheat King

Wheat King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
327
Reaction score
5
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Evan! said:
Holy cheeerist, man! 20 whole cloves? You might have to start calling this Clove Ale, because those things are gonna rock your face with a quantity like that. I added a freaking teaspoon of ground cloves to my Honey Ginger WW, and even then, I was afraid it was too much.

Anyway, you can rack off of primary whenever fermentation is done. But I'd leave it in secondary as long as possible. Spiced beers take a VERY long time to mellow out...my punkin pie ale sat in secondary for 45 days, because the spices were creating this odd chemical smell. It's fine now, but it needed that much time to chill out, for the spices to integrate into the beer. So, to answer your question...I wouldn't plan on drinking this beer until around chrimmustime.
word up and thanks. so adding solids into the wort doesnt slow fermentation or anything?

yea, i was doing a lot of drinking while brewing, and basically adding the spices arbitrarily. probably shoulda showed some restraint with the cloves, especially after getting some warnings from HBT.com. when i smell whats coming out of the airlock, it seems like all clove aroma :drunk:

and btw, christmastime would be PERFECT!!! so ill let it relax in the 2ndary for awhile.
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
104
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Wheat King said:
so adding solids into the wort doesnt slow fermentation or anything?
I've got my winter warmer finishing up primary fermentation as we speak...it's got a ton of ginger root in it, and it's had one of the most vigorous fermentations I've seen, so...no, I wouldn't worry about spices slowing fermentation. My punkin beer also had a good ferment. The yeasties will eat the sugars, regardless of how much cinnamon particles are floating around them, rest assured. Good luck! Hope the cloves don't throw it out of balance...:mug:
 

iloman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
70
Reaction score
0
Location
Dearborn Heights, Mi
apparatus said:
You might give this a try. I found it in a newsletter from last year.


This beer - like any good Holiday ale - is full of malty rich goodness. The
Carastan adds a noticeable toffee flavor, and the spices and other grains give it a
“gingerbread”quality.
The apples are optional but give the beer a refreshing “tartness”and nice hint of
aroma. It is, probably,the most traditional,historically-accurate holiday ale that I've yet put into a newsletter. Enjoy it!

Marleys Ghost
10 pounds Light Malt Extract
1 packed cup dark brown sugar (added with extract)
1 pound Carastan malt
8 ounces English crystal malt (50L)
6 ounces Honey malt
6 ounces Aromatic malt
6 ounces Biscuit malt
3 ounces chocolate malt
2 ounces Willamette hops.........................60 minutes
8 inches cinammon sticks, fractured.........40 minutes
2 teaspoons grated ginger root..................30 minutes
0.5 ounce Hallertauer hops........................20 minutes
3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg.......................15 minutes
0.5 ounce Hallertauer hops........................10 minutes
1 whole clove, uncrushed............................2 minutes
After boil, take the pot off the heat and add four to six cored
and sliced cooking apples. Put the lid on the pot and steep
the apples in the hot wort for twenty minutes. Strain every-
thing out on the way into the primary fermenter.
Pitch with Irish Ale liquid yeast, or yeast of choice.
At bottling time, bottle with 3/4 cup corn sugar, and add 1
Tblsp. vanilla extract. Age 4 - 6 weeks. Serve at 45 - 50
degrees F.
Interesting! I've been debating my next brew and I just might try this. The few brews I've done I haven't come across Honey Malt. Is that a standard that the LHBS should have like any other grain?
 

briandnj

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
I was wondering on the Marleys Ghost recipe if it is a 10 gallon? I assume it is..
 
Top