Author Topic: Christmas ale  (Read 814 times)

Offline bierview

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
    • View Profile
Christmas ale
« on: January 14, 2016, 10:53:08 PM »
For the past five or six years I have been tweaking my Holiday Ale.  This year came close to what I would like it to be but I think I would like it just a tad sweeter.  I am planning on cutting the cinnamon sticks in secondary.  Here is the recipe.

Mash in 14 qts.
7lbs. two row
1.25 wheat
.5     special B
.5     rye
2 oz. carafa

Mash 155 degrees for 60 minutes
168 degrees for 10 minutes

Sparge 6 gl. at 180 degrees

At 60  .5 oz. cascade
At 15 .75 Northern Brewer
          2 tsp irish moss
At 5    spiced tea

Spiced tea: 1lb dried fig, 5 cinnamon stix, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp whole clove, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tbls cardomom ground, zest from 2 oranges.  Steep at 170 degrees.

Pitched 001 at 68 degrees

OG: 1.045  FG:1.008

7 days in primary
Rack to secondary and add 1 lb fresh figs caramelized and deglazed with beer from primary. Four cinnamon stix

Leave in secondary for 14 days.

Prime with 3 oz. cane sugar.

Any recommendations to get it a bit sweeter?

BV

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 01:02:41 PM »
The most obvious answer is to up your OG quite a bit with more malt. I don't know if the rye is doing much  at such a small amount, I would drop it or bump it up to 15% or so. I'm also not sure about the wheat but it sounds like you are not trying to change the overall recipe too much.
If you do up the gravity I would use a more assertive bittering addition.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 01:40:19 PM »
Right off the bat, for a Christmas ale, I would add some crystal malt.  Maybe 1/2-1# of Crystal 40-60.  This will increase your mouthfeel, body, add caramel sweetness, as well as slightly boost your final gravity which can all lend to a "sweeter" beer. 

I would also swap out the basic 2-row for a base malt with a bit more character.  Think Maris otter or Golden Promise to help add some rounder, fuller malt notes.  Besides that, i think it sounds delicious.

Offline bierview

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2016, 02:33:22 PM »
Pete,
My thoughts on the rye and wheat were to give the ale a smoother mouthfeel.  I think you are right however I could have added more.  In my Pumpkin ale I used 3 lbs of wheat and .5 rye and it was very silky.

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3448
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 03:05:40 PM »
Pete,
My thoughts on the rye and wheat were to give the ale a smoother mouthfeel.  I think you are right however I could have added more.  In my Pumpkin ale I used 3 lbs of wheat and .5 rye and it was very silky.

I get a very smooth mouthfeel from 10% flaked oats.

When I think of 'Christmas Ale', I think of something with moderately high ABV. I would up your grain amounts and possibly use a less attenuative yeast.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline bierview

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 10:29:08 PM »
Perhaps a couple pounds of honey during the last five minutes of the boil and Wyeast 1338

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3448
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2016, 10:35:46 PM »
Perhaps a couple pounds of honey during the last five minutes of the boil and Wyeast 1338

Honey is highly fermentable and will likely decrease body with none of the honey sweetness remaining. You are looking for a higher FG so crystal malt, yeast selection, higher mash temp are your friends.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline bierview

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 09:21:21 AM »
Got it. :)

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Christmas ale
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 01:22:16 PM »
Perhaps a couple pounds of honey during the last five minutes of the boil and Wyeast 1338

Honey is highly fermentable and will likely decrease body with none of the honey sweetness remaining. You are looking for a higher FG so crystal malt, yeast selection, higher mash temp are your friends.


Yeah, it might seem that honey would add sweetness to a beer, but it's pretty much completely fermentable. It actually makes a beer drier.
Jon H.