Christmas Ale

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Leard, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Leard

    Leard New Member

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    Christmas is coming up, and I'd like to make a dark warmy spiced beer to celebrate it. I'm still getting to grips with producing my own recipes, so I've tried to make one using bits of other recipes I've seen. Any criticism and help would be much appreciated.

    Batch size: 11L (boil of about 13L)

    Fermentables
    2kg Maris Otter (69%)
    250g Biscuit malt (8.6%)
    200g Chocolate malt (6.9%)
    250g of Simpsons Double Roasted Crystal (8.6%)
    200g of Molasses (black syrup I'll buy from the supermarket) (6.9%)

    Hops
    7g Northern Brewer (9.3%) 60 mins
    7g Summit (16.6%) 60 mins
    10g Northern Brewer (9.3%) 10 mins
    10g Northern Brewer (9.3%) flameout

    I looking to add some spices as well; cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc. The usual Christmassy spices. What would you recommended?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Use the spices in very small amounts. In fact, make a tincture of them (soak them in vodka for a couple weeks), add the tincture to taste. I've had way too many over-spiced beers, they're fun for about the first two sips, then it becomes a chore to drink them. Advice: Plug this into the Recipe Builder and see what comes out in terms of ABV, bitterness, etc. It looks like it will make a decent beer, maybe too bitter if you're spicing it but plug it in and check.
     
  3. Leard

    Leard New Member

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    I'm looking at an ABV of about 4.5%. I may decide to go stronger, would doubling up on molasses have much of an impact?

    IBU of about 44.2. Reckon I should reduce the bitterness?

    As for spices what combination goes well?
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    from the little that i've used it, molasses has a strong flavor, so i'd shy away from doubling it. maybe use more base malt and/or boil a bit longer so you can get a higher gravity but the same volume of wort
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    For a 4.5% beer, 44 IBUs is a session IPA. You will have to be very careful spicing that much bitterness - it can taste either medicinal or just vaguely poisonous. So if I assume you bring the IBUs down to a more realistic 15-20, your beer will be a bit on the sweet side. Think of the effect you want. Do you want fruitcake? Then look up a fruitcake recipe and look at the spices that go into it. More of a mulled wine? Same thing. In other words, there are many combinations of spices that could work, narrow it down by deciding what you want, find a recipe for the food and start with that combination of spices.
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    That’s exactly how I wrote my gingerbread ale recipe. That spice mix smells like gingerbread.
     
  7. chub1

    chub1 Active Member

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    Think i would err on less molasses,as already stated it can overpoewer a brew if not carefull.How about making some Invert sugar N0 2 or 3.Or perhaps halve the molasses and add some dark brown/muscavado sugar .
    a guide here,it's easy to make with those and golden syrup on th stove.
    Making Brewers Invert | half a cat
    :cool:
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My wife makes some great molasses Christmas cookies - pfeffernuesse. Get the molasses and the spicing right and do it in a way that isn't cloying, talk about a great beer!
     

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