Holiday Spiced Ale, need help!

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ricshayne

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Planning on brewing a winter warmer this week, i know it might be a little late start but I'm alright with that, anyway, this is the grain bill Ive put together so far and I have two questions,
#1 is the obvious question of how does this look and any comments?
#2 is would it be smart to add flaked barley or flaked oats, and if yes, how much?

13.5lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)
6.4 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)
6.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)
4.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain
1.6 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain
8.0 oz Treacle [Boil for 10 min](100.0 SRM)

any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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Looks good. I would probably mash on the high side (154-156) for a fuller brew. If you want the flaked grains for mouthfeel I would go with the oats. If your looking for head retention, I wouldn't bother. You've got enough crystal to handle that already. What are you planning on spicing with? I've done a very similar brew with ginger in the boil and cinnamon and orange peel in secondary that came out very Harpoon Winter Warmer-ish. Did the exact same recipe again but swapped out the spices for cacao nibs and vanilla beans in secondary. Also really good but you would never guess it was the same grain bill.
 
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ricshayne

ricshayne

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Looks good. I would probably mash on the high side (154-156) for a fuller brew. If you want the flaked grains for mouthfeel I would go with the oats. If your looking for head retention, I wouldn't bother. You've got enough crystal to handle that already. What are you planning on spicing with? I've done a very similar brew with ginger in the boil and cinnamon and orange peel in secondary that came out very Harpoon Winter Warmer-ish. Did the exact same recipe again but swapped out the spices for cacao nibs and vanilla beans in secondary. Also really good but you would never guess it was the same grain bill.
Thanks for the input! was planning on mashing at 153 but will probably jump up to 154-155ish, for spices was thinking fresh ginger, Cinnamon Sticks, Sweet Orange Peel, and Star Anise, all in the boil not a lot but just a bit of each, maybe like one star, one or two sticks, and a little bit of the peel and ginger for a hint of spice, not too overpowering
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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My experience has been that cinnamon in the boil tends to just add bitterness and then the aroma ferments away. I do 2 sticks of cinnamon broken up and soaked in vodka (just enough to cover the cinnamon) for 3 days. Then dump the whole mix into secondary. Flavor and aroma are just a hint but doesn't knock you over. Ginger seems to be just the opposite - better in the boil than in secondary. Orange peel seems to do well both ways.

Be VERY careful with the anise. When you say one star, I hope you mean one pod from a star. I put 2 or 3 pods (can't quite remember) in a batch last year and I almost tossed it. It took over a year to mellow out to the point of tasting the way I intended. That's the only time I used it so I don't know if it would work better in secondary.

The good news with all these spices is that they will mellow over time if you overdo it. Good luck. Let us know how it comes out. Tonight I'm popping the cap off the first bottle of this year's holiday ale. Nothing like starting the holidays early!
 
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ricshayne

ricshayne

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good to know about the Anise because i was planning one full star, i will cut it back to one pod. i could just dump the cinnamon in primary right? i don't ever use secondaries.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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Yes, you can put it in primary. Just be sure the fermentation has stopped. I bottle and usually put any spice additions or dry hops in about a week before bottling.
 

william_shakes_beer

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Treacle, also known as molassas (I didn't know that before today) I did 1.5 LBS, but only because the grocer only had 12 oz bottles ( one bottle or 2, sir?) As with brown sugar, the flavor comes from the impurities. For flavor use the darkest you can find. For ABV, it doesn't relly matter. If you're looking for a light colored product use light treacle.
 

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