Author Topic: Holiday Ale Critique  (Read 1971 times)

Offline duboman

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Holiday Ale Critique
« on: August 24, 2012, 05:38:55 AM »
Cheers to all,
Trying my second iteration of my Holiday ale for the upcoming season. I am looking for something similiar to Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale so this is what I came up with after my first attempt last year fell a little short. This may be more complex than necessary so I am looking for some input:


Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.95 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.95 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.25 gal   
Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.074 SG
Estimated Color: 29.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 34.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.4 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
10 lbs 8.0 oz         Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM)            Grain         1        66.9 %       
1 lbs 12.0 oz         Caramel Malt - 80L (Cargill) (80.0 SRM)  Grain         2        11.1 %       
12.5 oz               Vienna Malt (Briess) (3.5 SRM)           Grain         3        5.0 %         
12.5 oz               Wheat, Torrified (1.7 SRM)               Grain         4        5.0 %         
11.8 oz               Wheat - White Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM)    Grain         5        4.7 %         
7.0 oz                Chocolate (Briess) (350.0 SRM)           Grain         6        2.8 %         
7.0 oz                Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) (28.0 SR Grain         7        2.8 %         
4.6 oz                De-Bittered Black Malt (Dingemans) (550. Grain         8        1.8 %         
0.45 oz               Chinook [13.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min  Hop           9        17.1 IBUs     
0.45 oz               Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min        Hop           10       11.9 IBUs     
0.22 oz               Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop           11       2.5 IBUs     
0.25 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        12       -             
0.22 oz               Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop           13       1.8 IBUs     
2.00 tsp              Ginger Root (Boil 5.0 mins)              Herb          14       -             
0.22 oz               Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min  Hop           15       1.0 IBUs     
2.00 tsp              Cardamon (Boil 5.0 mins)                 Spice         16       -             
0.25 oz               Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min  Hop           17       0.0 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               California Lager (Wyeast Labs #2112) [12 Yeast         18       -             
2.00 Items            Fresh Orange Rind (Secondary 7.0 days)   Flavor        19       -             
2.00 Items            Cinnamon Stick (Secondary 7.0 days)      Spice         20       -             


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs 11.3 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 5.16 gal of water at 163.1 F        152.0 F       60 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.33gal, 4.60gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:

Thanks!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 03:58:08 PM »
Looks complicated!  I can't comment with any real authority or experience in the style, but I'd love to try a glass after it's brewed.

Offline duboman

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 05:03:28 AM »
Looks complicated!  I can't comment with any real authority or experience in the style, but I'd love to try a glass after it's brewed.

Thanks for looking. I am looking for some input on the grain bill. The first version I put together was lot more basic and the critiques I received were that it was a little thin, lacking body and mouth feel and the spice additions were a little muddy. I was a new brewer then and really did not know what I was doing and it was an extract batch as well. I removed some of the spice additions and instead of throwing them all in at 60 I spread things out towards the end and secondary this time around so they stand out individually, I hope:)

I also tried to incorporate the yeast and hops that I assume Anchor uses for their steam beer since that seems to be their trademark. I did email them for some input but not holding out hope they will reply. They are quite tight with their recipes...

Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline majorvices

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 05:45:51 AM »
It's definitely complicated but I can forgive that in a Holiday beer. I think you may want to cut back on the crystal malt a bit. I would personally cut it back to 1 - 1.25 lbs at the most. You may want to increase the ginger some, assuming you are using fresh ginger. 2 tsp of ginger will not show up in that beer. I have not brewed with Cardamon but I have heard that a little goes a long way, instinct tells me you should cut that in half.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline duboman

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 06:17:40 AM »
It's definitely complicated but I can forgive that in a Holiday beer. I think you may want to cut back on the crystal malt a bit. I would personally cut it back to 1 - 1.25 lbs at the most. You may want to increase the ginger some, assuming you are using fresh ginger. 2 tsp of ginger will not show up in that beer. I have not brewed with Cardamon but I have heard that a little goes a long way, instinct tells me you should cut that in half.

Thanks for the additional input! My other concern is some of the specialty grain, do you think there is a need for both torrified and regular wheat or just one of the two?

Also the Victory and Munich? One of the critiques I had received on my original batch was  a lack of complexity as well as mouthfeel, I'm wondering if I may have carried it a little overboard.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline majorvices

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Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 06:41:34 AM »
Torrified wheat is not malted, it may aid in head retention. Honestly I doubt you will even notice wether the wheat is in there or not. You could simplify it and leave them both out together. The Vienna (I don't see Munich) is kinda in the same boat. It won't be enough to make any difference. Victory malt adds a toasty complexity, but even then, most people use it to emulate Maris Otter, which you are using already. All of those malts together could definitely add some complexity, but basically what I see in you recipe as the malts that are making a statement is the MO, the Victory,the crystal and the roasted malts. The others you could very easily leave out.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline majorvices

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Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 06:42:48 AM »
Also, if you want to use the Vienna I would recommend using it for at least 40% of the basemalt bill. Otherwise you will just be adding it on a whim.
Keith Y.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 07:16:52 AM »
Torrified wheat is not malted, it may aid in head retention. Honestly I doubt you will even notice wether the wheat is in there or not. You could simplify it and leave them both out together. The Vienna (I don't see Munich) is kinda in the same boat. It won't be enough to make any difference. Victory malt adds a toasty complexity, but even then, most people use it to emulate Maris Otter, which you are using already. All of those malts together could definitely add some complexity, but basically what I see in you recipe as the malts that are making a statement is the MO, the Victory,the crystal and the roasted malts. The others you could very easily leave out.

Thanks, this has been a great help and gives me some tweaking to work on, much appreciated!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline hoser

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 08:09:30 AM »
Cheers to all,
Trying my second iteration of my Holiday ale for the upcoming season. I am looking for something similiar to Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale so this is what I came up with after my first attempt last year fell a little short. This may be more complex than necessary so I am looking for some input:
           
0.pkg               California Lager (Wyeast Labs #2112) [12 Yeast         18       -             

I also tried to incorporate the yeast and hops that I assume Anchor uses for their steam beer since that seems to be their trademark. I did email them for some input but not holding out hope they will reply. They are quite tight with their recipes...

A couple of things:
Not sure if you are aware that Anchor changes their Christmas ale recipe every year.  So unless you are trying to clone a specific year, it is next to impossible.  But, there is nothing wrong with  making a Christmas ale inspired by Anchor ;)

My second guess is that they use their house ale yeast in the Christmas ale.  Liberty ale is brewed with an ale strain.  The Wyeast equivalent is American Ale II or 1272, White Labs is American Ale V or WLP051.

Major is right about the Cardamon.  A little goes a very long way.  2tsp is way too much!!! I wouldn't use over 2 grams.  I would probably play it safe and shoot for 1 gram.  Also, take the seed out of the pod.

You probably only need one type of wheat in there at 5-10%

Crystal at 10%

Either bump of the Vienna or eliminate it completely as Major said.

If you are shooting for a spiced ale, I would probably eliminate a lot of the late hopping and use a 60 minute addition of northern brewer or chinook to get all of my IBUs.

Good Luck! :D

Offline duboman

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 12:57:26 PM »
Cheers to all,
Trying my second iteration of my Holiday ale for the upcoming season. I am looking for something similiar to Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale so this is what I came up with after my first attempt last year fell a little short. This may be more complex than necessary so I am looking for some input:
           
0.pkg               California Lager (Wyeast Labs #2112) [12 Yeast         18       -             

I also tried to incorporate the yeast and hops that I assume Anchor uses for their steam beer since that seems to be their trademark. I did email them for some input but not holding out hope they will reply. They are quite tight with their recipes...

A couple of things:
Not sure if you are aware that Anchor changes their Christmas ale recipe every year.  So unless you are trying to clone a specific year, it is next to impossible.  But, there is nothing wrong with  making a Christmas ale inspired by Anchor ;)

My second guess is that they use their house ale yeast in the Christmas ale.  Liberty ale is brewed with an ale strain.  The Wyeast equivalent is American Ale II or 1272, White Labs is American Ale V or WLP051.

Major is right about the Cardamon.  A little goes a very long way.  2tsp is way too much!!! I wouldn't use over 2 grams.  I would probably play it safe and shoot for 1 gram.  Also, take the seed out of the pod.

You probably only need one type of wheat in there at 5-10%

Crystal at 10%

Either bump of the Vienna or eliminate it completely as Major said.

If you are shooting for a spiced ale, I would probably eliminate a lot of the late hopping and use a 60 minute addition of northern brewer or chinook to get all of my IBUs.

Good Luck! :D

Hoser- Thanks, more great ideas!
Yes, I know Anchor changes up the recipe every year so I am shooting for something styled after it. In fact I got a reply from their Brewmaster letting me know that "Looks to be a great Christmas Ale, if not in the Ballpark possibly right next door" Somewhat cryptic :)

I appreciate the yeast input as well as consideration of the later hop additions possibly masking the spices. I've got a little work to do, I'll post back as I move along!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 01:17:26 PM »
+1 on getting rid of late hops additions if you want the spice to come through.  As Hoser suggested, I would just go w/ a 60 min addition.
Jeremy Baker

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Offline duboman

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Re: Holiday Ale Critique
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2012, 02:23:51 PM »
Thanks for all the input, I think I have a better handle on this now, what do you all think??
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.95 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.95 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.25 gal   
Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.073 SG
Estimated Color: 27.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 51.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.4 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
11 lbs 3.4 oz         Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM)            Grain         1        73.3 %       
1 lbs 8.1 oz          Vienna Malt (Briess) (3.5 SRM)           Grain         2        9.8 %         
1 lbs                 Caramel Malt - 80L (Cargill) (80.0 SRM)  Grain         3        6.5 %         
12.0 oz               Wheat - White Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM)    Grain         4        4.9 %         
8.4 oz                Chocolate (Briess) (350.0 SRM)           Grain         5        3.4 %         
4.8 oz                De-Bittered Black Malt (Dingemans) (550. Grain         6        2.0 %         
0.75 oz               Chinook [13.00 %] - First Wort 75.0 min  Hop           7        30.1 IBUs     
0.75 oz               Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop           8        17.1 IBUs     
0.25 oz               Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop           9        4.4 IBUs     
0.25 tsp              Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              Fining        10       -             
2.00 oz               Ginger Root (Boil 5.0 mins)              Herb          11       -             
1.00 g                Cardamon (Boil 5.0 mins)                 Spice         12       -             
1.0 pkg               American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124 Yeast         13       -             
2.00 Items            Fresh Orange Rind (Secondary 7.0 days)   Flavor        14       -             
2.00 Items            Cinnamon Stick (Secondary 7.0 days)      Spice         15       -             


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs 4.8 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 5.03 gal of water at 163.1 F        152.0 F       60 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.41gal, 4.60gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:

Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010