Author Topic: wassail - what do you think?  (Read 1021 times)

Offline astrivian

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wassail - what do you think?
« on: November 02, 2010, 07:46:01 AM »
I like trying to brew weird stuff. This one is called Waes Haeil!! Which is Middle English for "Be Well." It became the modern English word wassail, which means a celebratory drink made with spices and usually wine or beer. So, i was going to try brewing one. This is what i was thinking for a 5 gallon batch.

OG: 1.095
FG: 1.021
ABV: 10%
IBU: 7.8

Grain Bill

Munich II -- 3 lbs
Crisp English Crystal 65 -- 1 lb
Special B -- 1/2 lb
Roast Barley -- 1/2 lb
Light LME - 8 lbs
Light DME -- 1 lb (for the starter)

Hops
UK Golding  1 oz  (30 min from end)

And here is the weird part:
Carmalized Granny Smith apples (2)
Cinnamon Stick 1/2
Nutmeg (not sure how much)
Cloves (not sure again)

Yeast: WLP060 American Ale Blend (not sure on this).

What do you all think? Have you tried something like this before and if so what tips do you have?

thanks

Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline ipaguy

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 10:11:29 AM »
I might go a little lighter on the roasted barley, maybe 4 oz.  I just put a fruit stout in primary that had 4 oz each of roasted barley, de-bittered black malt, & extra dark (160L) crystal.  Tastes fantastic so far.  I also like an Irish ale yeast (Wyeast 1084) for this kind of recipe.
Primary: gotlandsdricke/alt/dunkel hybrid
Secondary: pale barleywine,
Bottled:  Gotlandsdricke
               Oatmeal/blackberry stout
               Honey Kolsch

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010, 07:04:45 PM »
Looks really tasty!  Special B is also a bit much -- take 'er down to more like 0.25 lb.  Also I personally would use more apples, or I might use cider as part of the brewing liquid instead of water.  I do this with my harvest apple ale -- about half the "water" is actually fresh pressed apple cider.  Yum.  You wouldn't need to use that much, but consider the idea of it.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline brew_in_stl

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 08:53:54 AM »
Interesting idea!!

I would have to echo a couple of the comments here...as a tinkerer of recipes myself, I like the thought of this:

Munich II -- 3 lbs
Crisp English Crystal 65 -- 1 lb
Special B -- 1/4 lb
Roast Barley -- 1/2 to 3/4 lb
Light LME - 8 lbs
Light DME -- 1 lb (for the starter)

Hops
UK Golding  1 oz  (30 min from end)

At 5 minutes left in boil (or secondary), add:
Cinnamon TWO sticks
Nutmeg (1 oz. fresh ground)
Cloves (1 oz. cracked)

Chill, add to fermentor with 1 gallon (or 2) Apple Cider (fresh pressed or store bought - NO POTASSIUM SORBATE).  Water to fill to five gallons

Yeast: Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale OR Wyeast 4766 Cider

Again, these are just my thoughts and suggestions (take them as you will)!

Good luck and keep us posted!  ;D
Joshua Eberhardt
Hombrewer since 2006
Member - Saint Louis Brews

Offline alikocho

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 01:29:57 PM »
I like trying to brew weird stuff. This one is called Waes Haeil!! Which is Middle English for "Be Well." It became the modern English word wassail, which means a celebratory drink made with spices and usually wine or beer.


Where I come from in the UK, wassail is associated with cider. This might be because I live in the West Country and cider is the 'national drink', but we have festivals that revolve around it that happen in the spring. Traditionally, some cider is poured at the base of trees in order to ensure a good harvest that year.

I guess the apple in your recipe reflects the cider aspect.
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Offline astrivian

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 03:32:12 PM »
Thanks for the tips everyone!

I will take into heart your suggestions and give this one a shot this week probably.

Quote
Where I come from in the UK, wassail is associated with cider. This might be because I live in the West Country and cider is the 'national drink', but we have festivals that revolve around it that happen in the spring. Traditionally, some cider is poured at the base of trees in order to ensure a good harvest that year.

This is very interesting, thanks. My friend's family is Scottish and he said his uncle made it with whiskey and apples.
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline punatic

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 04:28:21 PM »
No, no, no, wassail is an old nautical term from back in the day when ocean-going ships first converted from wind power to steam,
"Hey mate, that's a fine looking steamship you crew on!"

"Thanks, wassail!"
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Offline astrivian

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 08:34:32 PM »
I gave this a shot yesterday and decided to add a touch of allspice to it (3 seeds, crushed). It smelled wonderful while boiling. The fermenting is going strong and i will update this post with details from the fermentation and tasting.

Thanks all for your suggestions!

Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline astrivian

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Re: wassail - what do you think?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 07:03:03 PM »
Okay, so out of the secondary this is pretty interesting. Sour apple in the nose with the spices coming out first in the taste (warm). It is good but odd. It will take some getting used to.

Thanks for all of your suggestions!
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline astrivian

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Wæs Hæil - tasting notes
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2010, 10:07:33 PM »
Okay, here is what i went with for my 5 gallon batch:

OG: 1.093
FG: 1.023
ABV: 9.5%

Mash
Weyermann Munich 1 - 3 lbs
Crisp Crystal 55-70L - 1 lb
Belgian Castle Special B - .25 lb
British Crisp Roast Barley - .25 lb
Light LME - 8 lbs
Light DME - 1 lb (for the starter)

Yeast: WLP - 005 British Ale

Hops:
UK Golding - 1 oz - 30 min from end

Other stuff:
6 Granny Smith apples, sliced up and carmalized over medium high heat.
1 thing of nutmeg (is it a seed?) which was about 1/4 oz crushed.
1 Cinnamon stick, about 1/8 oz, crushed
3 seeds of Allspice, crushed

Mashed in the general neighborhood of 150. Fermented about 70 degrees.

Tasting Notes at bottling
The cinnamon is the first thing you taste followed by a hint of nutmeg then an aftertaste of sour apple. The dark color (33 SRM) is enough to balance out the spices with maltiness. I get no hops from this, which is good since it is not what i was going for. In the aroma the cinnamon comes out first as well, with a hit of apple in the background. At first i didn't like this beer but now it is growing on me. What's interesting is that i had a Sam Adams' Winter Lager (while watching Harry Potter) and i could detect the spices in there as well, albeit less so. Wæs Hæil! is a Xmas ale so the spice and apple make sense.

I am curious how this will age. I intend to leave most of the bottles until Xmas. Luckily i had about 64 oz from the secondary left over, so i poured it in a mug and am drinking it now :)
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.