I have noticed a trend here in California/Oregon (I go back to Portland several times a year) that winter seasonals are no longer barleywines and spiced dark ales, but hoppy red-brown beers with a good bit of caramel sweetness and dark-fruit malt flavor. In a sense, I think that Sierra Nevada Celebration and Deschutes Jubelale are the originators, but some of these "winter ales" are maltier than jubelale and hoppier than celebration. One beer that fits this bill, but is not sold as a winter seasonal is Ninkasi's Believer Double Red Ale, but even their Sleigh'r Double Alt (winter seasonal) essentially meets the same criteria.
I have brewed double red ales before, where I essentially brewed an IPA with 10% medium-dark crystal malt and a pinch of carafa. But in keeping with my desire to make this a "Winter Ale," I am brewing my next one with a more idiosyncratic malt profile. What I am wondering about is the hop rate I should use (I am settled on the hop varieties), as well as whether or not I should dry hop. As for whether or not I dry hop - I know that I can make this determination after fermentation is complete, based upon whether I feel like it needs MOAR HOPS or has the right balance already. But I am wondering how I ought to hop this in the kettle. My usual method for an IPA is either FWH-60-10-0-Dry or 60-30-10-0-Dry (occasionally 60-15-5-0 Dry). But I also do my IPA's super dry and typically in the 1.062-1.065 OG-range and give them 70-75 IBUs. In keeping with this winter ale as a more balanced beer, I have wondered if the 10 min addition is the right place to pull back to let the rich malt flavor shine, or if I should reduce the 30 min addition to make room for a 2-oz dump of Amarillo or Summit at 10 min?
This is what I have so far:
13 lbs US 2-row
1 lb Carafoam
1 lb Special B
8 oz Golden Naked Oats (Light Crystal Oat Malt)
20 g CTZ at 60 min (21.5 IBUs)
40 g Summit at 30 min (41.3 IBUs)
90 g Amarillo at flameout/whirlpool (0 IBUs)
30 g Amarillo Dry
10 g CTZ Dry
10 g Summit Dry