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Oct 2, 2014
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Rochester, MN
It's about time to start a strong holiday beer. I tried to make a Belgian dubbel last year (my first brew after a 15 year break, and my first ever all grain) and when it *finally* finished it was not good. Hopefully I learned a few things. I've been brewing simpler lower-gravity beers and they are turning out pretty good.

So I want to brew a Christmas beer without spices. I don't want a barley wine. I think the BJCP style closest to that is Old Ale. I don't have any commercial beers in mind to try to mimic; that would make things easier.

A back of the envelope recipe looks something like this for 4 gallons (maybe 4.5 gallons, depends on the efficiency I get)
10 lbs American pale ale
2 lbs UK brown malt
8 oz Crystal 60L
1 lb clover honey (late addition)
1 oz Magnum hops 15AA @ 60 minutes
60 minute boil.
Would this be a good use for the packets of S-33 yeast that I bought for some reason? It can handle high alcohol but it doesn't attenuate well. Or should I save that for a low gravity beer and use something else, like S-04 or Nottingham? Or does a holiday beer deserve liquid yeast, and if so which one?

Edit: changed the recipe to use brown malt