Author Topic: Gingerbread Ale Attempt  (Read 1996 times)

Offline erik_m

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Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« on: March 05, 2012, 06:55:47 PM »
Hi all, I'm looking for some suggestions regarding my attempt at a Gingerbread Ale which, by the way, is also my first attempt at creating my own recipe.  The idea is based on Randy Mosher's Gingerbread Ale in his book Radical Brewing.  He says "the base brew should be a soft brown ale, lightly hopped, with no pronounced hop aroma."  So that is my goal.  Here is my recipe:

6 lbs Amber DME
1 lb Crystal 20L
1 lb Crystal 40L
.25 lb Chocolate Malt
.25 Special B Malt

1 oz Fuggles w/ 60 min boil
1 oz East Kent Goldings w/ 15 minute boil

At the end of the boil, I'll add gingerbread spices per Mosher's suggestions (1 tsp cinnamon; 0.5 tsp ground ginger, .25 tsp allspice, .25 tsp cloves)

English Ale Yeast

OG:  1.055
FG:  1.018
24.7 IBU
21.4 SRM

I ran this recipe through Brewsmith and it looks ok.  It may be a little light in color which is why I added the Special B and the chocolate malt.  I was trying to darken the beer without adding too much bittersweet flavor.  Like I said above, this is my first try at my own recipe.  I'm trying for a brown ale that will add contribute toward the gingerbread flavors without getting in the way.  By the way, I am not really set up to mash anything yet so I can only steep grain and use extract for now.

Thanks for your help! 

--Erik


 

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 10:28:23 AM »
Looks pretty good! One thing Im a big proponent of is using the lightest extract you can find and using the specialty grains for color/flavor.  When using Amber DME you're getting some crystal malt in there, so it may be a bit much with the 2 lbs you are using.

I would sub the Amber extract and get the Golden Light stuff.  The crystal and special B and chocolate will provide you plenty of color and flavor!  Special B is also a pretty strongly flavored malt, so it may clash a bit with your spices...granted it may clash in a good way!  An alternative would be to up the chocolate malt, or if you want less bittersweet flavor, try a touch of Carafa III since its debittered.

Another suggestion to make sure you get the spiciness right. Make a tincture of the spices with Vodka, put the same spices you are adding to the boil in the same quantities in a small container with some vodka and leave it steep for a week or 2 and then add that now spiced and strained vodka into your bottling bucket or keg a little bit at a time tasting along the way if you think it needs more spice.

Happy brewing!
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline erik_m

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Re: Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 06:58:53 PM »
Great suggestions Jason -- thanks!  I'm going to substitute the light malt for the amber.  I'll keep an eye on the Special B and if it is too much, I'll put in the Carafa III.

Thanks!!

--Erik

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 01:42:33 PM »
No problem!
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 06:00:40 PM »
Even if you find an extract with no crystal malt in it (which is hard to do), 2.25 lb in a 5 gal batch is a ton. I'd cut that in half, give or take.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 09:00:12 PM »
I agree with Sean--it looks like too much crystal.  You're well over 20% crystals in your recipe (most would say that is too high) and you will likely end up with an excessively sweet beer, i.e., "cloying."  I'd use no more than 0.5 lbs each of C20 and C40 and 0.25 lbs of Special B.

Offline microbehunter

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Re: Gingerbread Ale Attempt
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 10:01:39 AM »
erik--how did your ale turn out?