Author Topic: strong belgian christmas ale  (Read 2454 times)

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7117
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
strong belgian christmas ale
« on: October 17, 2010, 11:36:43 AM »
Hey all,  I am new to the AHA forum and a request for suggestions.

Currently in primary is my second all grain brew, a saison with White labs Belgian saison II and I as thinking I would use the yeast cake for a strong Belgian Christmas ale so i am looking for suggestions for good spices, amounts for 5 gallons and grain bill suggestions. I have 1 oz of organic German opal hops and one oz of organic New Zealand cascade that i hope to use because they are in my freezer and If I can avoid spending more money on hops my checkbook would be very happy.

The grain bill I had started with was something like

19# two row or pils
1 # chocolate
2 # brown sugar or raw cane sugar, candi sugar sort of thing.

I would love to get some ginger in there as well as I tried the Albino Python from shmaltz the other day and it was amazing.

Thanks for any suggestions

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3489
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 01:24:30 PM »
I used a total of 9 g of (fresh) spices at flameout last year and felt like that was about right. You could probably go to maybe 15 g without being obnoxious. http://seanterrill.com/2009/10/22/unholy-trinity/

That grain bill looks sort of barleywine-y but wouldn't be typical of any Belgian beer. Was there a base style you had in mind?
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
seanterrill.com/category/brewing
twomilebrewing.com

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7117
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 02:19:23 PM »
Didn't really have a style in mind other than 'belgian' and that only because I am using a saison yeast. The chocolate is mostly for color so I could use something else, would special B give me the darker color and more toasty malty flavor? maybe some crystal. I havn't ordered any grain yet so At this point I can do anything.

so you used 9 grams of fresh ginger? or was that a combo of many spices?

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8195
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 02:29:05 PM »
If you're using fresh ginger, you'll want to use more than that.  The rule of thumb I use as a starting point for recipes is 3x as much fresh instead of dried ingredients.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline thcipriani

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 07:52:47 PM »
I've been rummaging around for some Christmas ale ideas myself; fortunately, there's a sub-chapter on Christmas beer in Radical Brewing. The only beer I see with Ginger is the "Fruitcake Old Ale" which uses .25tsp nutmeg, allspice; 2.0 tsp Ceylon cinnamon; 1 tsp powdered ginger and vanilla extract. I think the real key there would be finding a good source of ceylon cinnamon - if you've got a Penzey's in your backyard (like I do...) then you're very lucky.

One thing I've learned is that my making a strong spice tea post ferment you give yourself a lot of control and you're much more likely to get an untested recipe right on the first try. Food for thought.

Also, minor aside, one interesting idea from that book is a fortified Christmas ale - using creme de cacao and orange curacao - might be amazing(?).
Tyler Cipriani
Longmont, CO

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7117
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 01:08:38 PM »
I was actually thinking about using fresh, dried and maybe even some crystalized as I get really different flavors from each of those and it would be nice to get a full range of ginger flavor. I am thinking also some orange peel and maybe a few cloves and some allspice, sort of a mulled ale thing.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13311
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 01:23:21 PM »
Here's something that might work well in that beer....when the beer is about to go to secondary, take 1-2 lb. of figs.  Cut them in half.  In a super heated wok or saute pan (wok works best) caramelize them for a few minutes until you can smell the sugars in them.  Deglaze the pan with some of the beer.  Then put all that into the secondary and let it sit a couple weeks.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline ryang

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
  • Indian Hills CO
    • View Profile
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 01:40:54 PM »
Here's something that might work well in that beer....when the beer is about to go to secondary, take 1-2 lb. of figs.  Cut them in half.  In a super heated wok or saute pan (wok works best) caramelize them for a few minutes until you can smell the sugars in them.  Deglaze the pan with some of the beer.  Then put all that into the secondary and let it sit a couple weeks.

that works wonderfully well.  it takes a while for the seeds to drop out though (I had to cold condition it to get them all to drop out)

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3489
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 07:13:49 PM »
so you used 9 grams of fresh ginger? or was that a combo of many spices?

That was 6 g of cinnamon and 3 g of cloves. Personally, I don't like ginger in beer so I've never tried it.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
seanterrill.com/category/brewing
twomilebrewing.com

Offline phillamb168

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2338
  • Lardy, France
    • View Profile
    • My Job
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 12:47:19 AM »
Here's something that might work well in that beer....when the beer is about to go to secondary, take 1-2 lb. of figs.  Cut them in half.  In a super heated wok or saute pan (wok works best) caramelize them for a few minutes until you can smell the sugars in them.  Deglaze the pan with some of the beer.  Then put all that into the secondary and let it sit a couple weeks.

Hrm -- I think I might try this, except I'd deglaze with Calvados or maybe port. Toast some walnuts and throw 'em in for the full effect.
I'm on twitter: phillamb168
----
morticaixavier for governing committee!

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7117
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 07:54:44 AM »
Here's something that might work well in that beer....when the beer is about to go to secondary, take 1-2 lb. of figs.  Cut them in half.  In a super heated wok or saute pan (wok works best) caramelize them for a few minutes until you can smell the sugars in them.  Deglaze the pan with some of the beer.  Then put all that into the secondary and let it sit a couple weeks.

Ahh if only I had thought about that a couple of weeks ago. My wife and I harvested about 5 lbs of figs from a tree up the road and made jam out of them. Sadly they have all passed on now. Maybe I can talk her out of a couple of jars of the jam. wouldn't be quite the same but close. sound delicious though!

Offline ryang

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
  • Indian Hills CO
    • View Profile
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 07:59:23 AM »
yeah if all you did to make the jam was cook down and add some sugar, I'd say go for it.  You might not get as much aroma, but the flavor should be there (if you indeed did cook down)

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13311
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 08:27:59 AM »
Couldn't you caramelize the jam the same way?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7117
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 03:39:37 PM »
The jam is just the figs with some evaporated cane juice. It's probably already somewhat caramelized but I couild hit it with some high heat first and deglaze as Denny suggested. I will run the idea by the wife and see what she says. The jam is intended for xmas gifts so it may be a no go this year but we will see.