Author Topic: Christmas Vacation Ale  (Read 850 times)

Offline fmader

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Christmas Vacation Ale
« on: October 30, 2013, 12:10:29 PM »
Welp... here is my first stab at my own winter warmer/holiday ale...

OG = 1.062

Maris Otter = 10.5 lb (85%)
English 60L Caramel = 2 lb (15%)
Chocolate malt = 4 oz

60 minute – .5 oz Nugget
20 minute - .5 oz Cascade and .5 oz Willamette
0 minute – 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla extract
0 minute – Spice blend (Cloves, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and ginger – less than ¾ tsp total - clove heavy)

White Labs 001 (Starter)

Taste for spices and vanilla before racking – Possibly add accordingly

Rack onto 1 lb of tart cherries
Frank

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 12:19:09 PM »
That will be fun on a snowy day. You can play a flavor version of Where's Waldo trying to pick out each of those.

Offline fmader

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 12:21:37 PM »
Yeah... the point was to have a lot going on, but with just a trace of everything. I want you to have to really search for the flavors in the beer.
Frank

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 12:34:28 PM »
I've never had such luck. My complex recipes end up tasting brown. But that's using multiple grains for me, I don't use or care for spices much.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 12:46:09 PM »
I think I'd add the tablespoon of vanilla to the fermenter after the bulk of fermentation is complete. I think at 0 minutes in the kettle most if not all of the vanilla will blow away between the heat from the kettle and the co2 scrubbing from the fermentation.

"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline fmader

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 01:55:33 PM »
I think I'd add the tablespoon of vanilla to the fermenter after the bulk of fermentation is complete. I think at 0 minutes in the kettle most if not all of the vanilla will blow away between the heat from the kettle and the co2 scrubbing from the fermentation.

I'll certainly keep this in mind. Brew day is Saturday.
Frank

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 02:27:25 PM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that the ginger can dominate the other flavors at first, but will fade with a little time.
Dan Chisholm

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 03:00:42 PM »
I think I'd add the tablespoon of vanilla to the fermenter after the bulk of fermentation is complete. I think at 0 minutes in the kettle most if not all of the vanilla will blow away between the heat from the kettle and the co2 scrubbing from the fermentation.

I'll certainly keep this in mind. Brew day is Saturday.

course, you can always add more.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline bigchicken

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2013, 04:49:39 PM »
I personally think 2lb of caramel 60 will be too much. I'd cut it in half for a warmer. Let us know how it turns out.
TJ Cook
Proud paying member of the AHA since 2013.

Fermenting: NOTHING!
In bottles: One Fruit Fly Saison, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale, Snow Eater Winter Warmer

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 07:43:36 AM »
I agree 15% may be too much for crystal malts in general may be too much. Vanilla and some other spices can lend the impression of sweetness. Could be overkill but I guess it depends on how sweet you like your winter warmers. Cherries may be tart enough to create balance. Something to think about...
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline The Professor

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 08:04:38 AM »
I personally think 2lb of caramel 60 will be too much. I'd cut it in half for a warmer. Let us know how it turns out.

Not necessarily...it just depends on how you define 'winter warmer'.  2lbs of caramel/crystal malts will make it very porter-like and it's not too much by any means.  I've done strong porters will well over 15% crystal/caramel malt and the brews don't even turn out overly sweet...but they do turn out rich as hell!
Winter warmer is (or should be) simply a strong, chewy beer...it can be light or dark, it can be malty or hoppy.  It can be spiced or not spiced.

I think the recipe looks fine.  The only thing it lacks (for me, anyway) is adequate aging time...I would have started the brew sometime in April or May to allow for the good things that happen over time  after the fermentation is complete.  But that's just my own bias (albeit one definitely based in tradition).

But other than that, your proposed brew looks pretty tasty to me. I'll look forward to your reports as to how it turns out.
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline fmader

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 09:42:03 AM »
Thanks for everybody's advice. I did some adjustments. I must have had too many Southern Tier Warlock in me when creating the recipe (If you haven't had it - Best pumpkin beer out there IMO). I cut the medium caramels down to 1.5 lbs (split the difference). I'm still going to add the vanilla at the end of the boil. This way I can add accordingly if needed and not overkill it at the end. Yes, I would have liked some time for this one to age a bit. I wanted to brew it in August or September, but grad school got in the way of that. I got that non-sense behind me now.... It's time to do what's important again.... Brewing beer.
Frank

Offline fmader

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Re: Christmas Vacation Ale
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2013, 07:37:17 PM »
Brew day went very well and in record time too... About 4 1/2 hours start to finish... I miss chilling wort in 45 degree weather as opposed to 95 degree weather lol. Will have some tasting notes in about a month.
Frank