Please provide comments / suggestions for this X-Mas Ale

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JJPicardo

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Here's my idea for a Christmas Season Ale.

I'm thinking of having warm flavors, inspired by Christmas Cookies, Pine Trees, and Cranberry. Never done all grain before, so here's my attempt at a recipe.

OG - 1.068
FG = 1.017

GRAIN BILL
4.5 lb Vienna Malt (33%)
4.5 lb 2-Row Malt (33%)
1 lb Cara-Pils (7%)
1/2 lb Amber Malt (4%)
1/2 lb Caramel 10L (4%)
1/2 lb Caramel 40L (4%)
1/2 lb Victory Malt (4%)
1/2 lb Biscuit Malt (4%)
1 lb Honey (7%) added at flame out of boil.

HOPS
1 oz Chinook (15 min)
1 oz Sincoe (7 min)

YEAST
Wyest 1056

PRIMARY FOR 2 WEEKS

OTHER (ADDED TO SECONDARY)

1 lb Dried Cranberry
1 split and scrapped Vanilla Bean
1 oz Oak Cube
1 cup Bourbon
 
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JJPicardo

JJPicardo

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I hate to bump my own thread, but I want to brew this tomorrow. I'm hoping for any input the board can offer....
 

two_hearted

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What is your thought process for not adding a bittering hop addition?

Also, I like a london ale yeast for my christmas ale and late addition spices as well as in secondary.
 
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JJPicardo

JJPicardo

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What is your thought process for not adding a bittering hop addition?

Also, I like a london ale yeast for my christmas ale and late addition spices as well as in secondary.
Quite honestly, I wasn't sure which bittering hop would fit the flavor profile that I'm trying to create. The IBU of the hops that I chose would be too high to boil for any longer then 15 minutes. Any suggestions?

In terms of the spices, I considered cinnamon and/or ginger for secondary. I'm nervous that I might bring too many flavors too the party if I'm already adding oak, bourbon, cranberry and vanilla. Again, thoughts on this??
 

Finnagann

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You are out in experiemental territory, that's a good thing!! If the spice ratio is off you may have to let it age and mellow. But nothing looks too crazy to me.

How many IBU are you getting with those late hops? You do want to make sure you're at least balancing out your malt.

Also I like to take good notes so I can have some reference points for next time.


Have fun!
 

aomagman78

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The hops you have are very fruity. For something like this wouldn't you want something a little more earthy and spicy? Like a willamette or EKG? That's my only thought. Other than that, you've got a lot going on there. That's going to be a sweet, chewy beer. Hope it turns out well.
 

librewer

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I'm somewhat new to AG brewing but have a few batches under my belt and have just recently brewed a Christmas Ale. One suggestion is that amber malt is somewhat similar to Victory and Biscuit malt (actually Victory is just the commercial name for a biscuit malt) so you could simplify and go with just one. Also, Cara-pils, caramel 10, and 40 kind of cover a spectrum of crystal and you could possibly just use all caramel 20 or a little less cara-pils and some 20 or 40 instead for a similar result. 1 lbs. of Cara-pils seems like a lot. I agree to change up the hops to EKG and Willamett. With the hop additions maybe consider spreading them out into early and late as well. Just some ideas but no matter what it will be beer in the end!
 
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JJPicardo

JJPicardo

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The hops you have are very fruity. For something like this wouldn't you want something a little more earthy and spicy? Like a willamette or EKG? That's my only thought. Other than that, you've got a lot going on there. That's going to be a sweet, chewy beer. Hope it turns out well.
Thanks for the comments. Everything that I've read, particularly in regards to Chinook , is that it's a very "piney" hop. That's why I choose Chinook . Perhaps I'll omit the Simcoe and go with Willamette.
 
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JJPicardo

JJPicardo

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I'm somewhat new to AG brewing but have a few batches under my belt and have just recently brewed a Christmas Ale. One suggestion is that amber malt is somewhat similar to Victory and Biscuit malt (actually Victory is just the commercial name for a biscuit malt) so you could simplify and go with just one. Also, Cara-pils, caramel 10, and 40 kind of cover a spectrum of crystal and you could possibly just use all caramel 20 or a little less cara-pils and some 20 or 40 instead for a similar result. 1 lbs. of Cara-pils seems like a lot. I agree to change up the hops to EKG and Willamett. With the hop additions maybe consider spreading them out into early and late as well. Just some ideas but no matter what it will be beer in the end!
I'm looking for layers and complexity in the caramel grains. My thinking is that using 10 & 40 will bring more complexity then using only 20. Given all of the difference spices and complexity of the beer, I want to be sure that i have good "head" on the beer. That's why I'm using 1# Cara-Pils.
 

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