Great Lakes Christmas Ale Clone

238 calories
Method: BIAB
Style: Winter Seasonal Beer
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 8.11 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.053 (recipe based estimate)
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)
Source: Great Lakes Brewing Company

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Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
12.36 lbAmerican - Pale 2-Row12.36 lb Pale 2-Row371.876.2%
1.24 lbAmerican - Caramel / Crystal 40L1.24 lb Caramel / Crystal 40L34407.6%
1.24 lbAmerican - Wheat1.24 lb Wheat381.87.6%
0.3125 lbAmerican - Special Roast0.3125 lb Special Roast33501.9%
0.0625 lbAmerican - Roasted Barley0.0625 lb Roasted Barley333000.4%
1 lbHoney1 lb Honey4226.2%
16.22 lb Total      
Amount Variety Type AA Use Time IBU
1 ozMount Hood1 oz Mount Hood HopsPellet4.8Boil60 min14.74
1 ozMount Hood1 oz Mount Hood HopsPellet4.8Boil15 min7.32
1 ozCascade1 oz Cascade HopsPellet7Boil11 min8.42
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
9.47 galInfusion154 F90 min
Other Ingredients
Amount Name Type Use Time
3.31 gCalcium Chloride3.31 g Calcium ChlorideWater AgtMash--
3.31 gGypsum3.31 g GypsumWater AgtMash--
1 lbHoney 1 lb Honey OtherBoil15 min.
3 eachCinnamon Sticks (small)3 each Cinnamon Sticks (small)SpiceBoil5 min.
1 ozGinger1 oz GingerSpiceBoil5 min.
Attenuation (avg):
Optimum Temp:
60 - 72 °F
Fermentation Temp:
70 °F
Pitch Rate:
0.35 (M cells / ml / ° P)
139 B cells required
Yeast Pitch Rate and Starter Calculator
Target Water Profile: Recipe: Great Lakes Christmas Ale Clone
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2 HCO3-
0 0 0 0 0 0
3.31 g Gypsum
3.31 g Calcium Chloride
9.47 Gallons of 100% Reverse Osmosis Water
Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator
I call this one Weihnachtsbier which is Christmas Beer in German. You will be delighted with the results of this recipe. resist temptations to throw in more honey in than the recipe says. Too much honey will make the beer too dry and more alcohol forward than it needs to be. I made the one last year with 1028 but had to switch to Nottingham because 1028 wasn't available anywhere. Make sure you use a blow off with this yeast. It's takes a while to get ramped up but when it does look out. The finished product seemed a little alcohol forward but after conditioning in the keg for a couple of days it already started mellowing out and you could get more of the maltiness coming through. Great Holiday beer. Cheers !
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View Count: 11613
Brew Count: 29
Last Updated: 2018-01-14 16:24 UTC
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Jdgarner340 11/26/2016 at 09:56pm
This might sound really dumb but I have all the ingredients for this recipe and this is first all grain batch, what is the step by step process for this? I don't want to ruin this batch so looking for some guidance please and thank you!

Cameron 12/01/2016 at 12:38am

Cameron 12/01/2016 at 12:44am

Cameron 12/01/2016 at 01:00am
Hi Jdgarner340. I don't think it's a dumb question at all. I was at the same point that you are now at 2 short years. Unfortunately it's now something I can just write on a forum. If you are utilizing Brew in a Bag method you can copy my recipe to your account and then click "Brew It" and follow the instructions. You can also but a recipe kit and they have instructions. My 1st brew was a all grain recipe. I did a brown ale like this recipe to start with:
Water quality, temp at mash and pitching temp are the most important things to consider. Good Luck !

CornDog 07/30/2017 at 11:47pm

CornDog 07/30/2017 at 11:49pm
Cameron, on a scale of 1-10. In the spirit of which it is intended, how close do you think you got on this clone? :-)

Cameron 08/01/2017 at 01:37pm
Hi CornDog. I would say it would be around an 8 or 9. I do this one every Christmas Holiday Season and people really love it. Cheers !

picklemon 09/11/2017 at 03:29am
how do you put the ginger in? is it cut up or whole?

Cameron 09/11/2017 at 01:25pm
Hi picklemon, I go to the grocery and get fresh ginger. I use a peeler and peel of the outside and then cut into small pieces. I use a muslin bag for all of the stuff I put into the boil. Check out my video on it on my very amateurish YouTube Channel: Cheers !!!

picklemon 09/12/2017 at 03:22am
looks good i just brewed and it tastes great for a gravity sample! my effeciency was low though i only came out with a 1.060 ( im still fairly new to ag biab) definetly excited though! thanks for the recipe! cheers!

picklemon 09/12/2017 at 03:27am
looks good i just brewed and it tastes great for a gravity sample! my effeciency was low though i only came out with a 1.060 ( im still fairly new to ag biab) definetly excited though! thanks for the recipe! cheers!

Benman IPA 09/30/2017 at 08:49pm

Benman IPA 09/30/2017 at 08:51pm
hi Cameron, looks like a great recipe, one question i have - you add the honey to the mash or to the boil? thanks

Cameron 10/01/2017 at 01:16am
That's correct you put the honey right in at the boil

Benman IPA 10/01/2017 at 11:54am
Thank you Cameron, i'll make a 2 gallons batch next week

Derpadoo 11/29/2017 at 07:23pm
What sparge method did you use for this recipe? The suggested mash volume of 9.47gal seems huge and is larger than anything I've done before, and I don't think I have the equipment volume to handle that plus a gallon or two for sparging.

Cameron 11/30/2017 at 01:34pm
Hi Derpadoo, I utilize the BIAB (Brew in a bag) method. That requires no sparge at all. Now if your kettle is large enough for the boil volume but not the full volume mash then I would reduce the mash volume by 2-3 gallons and put that to the side and rinse the grains while hoisting the bag over the kettle (assuming you are using BIAB also). Just make sure you sparge with RO water. High PH water will extract tannins. Here is a link to one of my videos when I had a smaller brew kettle and I had to do the same thing: and now I hooked up a gas line in my garage and got a hoist instead of just one pulley. When I used to sparge I took a bucket and drilled a bunch of holes in it to make a giant strainer. I put my grain bag in it, folded the bag over the opening and hoisted it the bucket. I then would get 2-3 gallons of RO water heated up to around 170 f and used a galvanized watering can to sprinkle the water over the bucket thus rinsing out the grains and accumulating enough water for the boil. A 15 gallon kettle is perfect for 5 gallon No sparge BIAB batches. Cheers !

Derpadoo 12/01/2017 at 05:38pm
5 of 5

Thanks for the advice Cameron. I also do BIAB and my kettle is 10gal so i'll be cutting it really close to try and get that 9.47gal mash volume. I had always though sparging was non-optional, but I guess you compensated the grain bill for the efficiency. My sparging method thus far has been to simply rinse the grain-bag with an additional gallon or two of water (depending on how much volume I have to boil) inside my smaller 5gal kettle or a fermentation bucket, then add that rinse to the kettle. I'm relatively new and haven't gotten into water chemistry yet, but it's on my list of things to improve.

I'll be trying out this recipe in a day or two. It looks great and I'm looking forward to the results!

Cameron 12/01/2017 at 06:05pm
I just got done kegging this recipe and it tastes great. Good luck. You can check out some of the other videos on my YouTube channel and it may give you some pointers on sparging with Brew in a bag. I used to use an 8 gallon Kettle and cut it close as well. If you have a 10 gallon kettle then you should only have to keep a couple gallons of water on the side. My efficiency was up to 75% with sparging and it is somewhere around 70% with no sparge. By not doing the sparge it says me about a half hour or so. So a 15 gallon Kettle or even a 20 gallon kettle would be perfect. Good luck and let me know how the recipe comes out. Merry Christmas

dave althouse 08/21/2018 at 12:44pm
Greetings, getting ready to brew this for my next batch. Never used gypsum/calcium chloride, is this additive to adjust the water. I good well water and have never had an issue with off flavors. thanks

Cameron 08/21/2018 at 03:58pm
Hi dave althouse. Yes the gypsum and calcium chloride are added because I use Reverse Osmosis Water for my brewing water. I am a Culligan Water guy in Ohio and I am cursed with knowing too much about water :) I have learned a lot about how the mash pH is so important to the mash process and consistency in my recipes. If you don't see any problem with your well water that's great. Most waters have a high amount of alkalinity which makes the pH too high during mash. Reverse Osmosis water is absent of almost all minerals so I add them back using a free spreadsheet tool called Brun Water. This tool lets you dial in your target water profile. Using Reverse Osmosis water for your brewing water is the #1 way to get make a superior beer in my humble opinion. Cheers !

dave althouse 09/03/2018 at 11:17pm
Hey Culligan man, so I got a water test and this is the results. I wasn't sure how to read them. If you don't mind can you indicate if I have good water? Ca 0, Mg 0, Na 204, CL 2, So 84, Alk. 356(CaCO3) Ph 7.6 This is water out of the tap going through the softener. BTW, I to live in Ohio
I am getting to pick up my grain at Buckeye Brew this week

Cameron 09/04/2018 at 03:01am
Hi dave althouse That's great you know the "HEY CULLIGAN MAN!" What a classic ! If you get a chance give me a call at Culligan Quality Water of North Central Ohio (google us) and ask for Cameron. I can help you with understanding your water profile and understand why soft water is not good brewing water for Ale's.

CornDog 10/15/2018 at 11:59pm
I see you are in Mansfield. I’m a tad south of Toledo. Been thinking about a Christmas ale for this year and I remembered I bookmarked this recipe. Need to scale back a bit as I feel comfortable with about 12 lbs of grain in my 7 gal Megapot with water (BIAB) for 5 gal batch. Different topic...just picked up this year’s Nosferatu GLB and is very good this year. One of my annual favorites.

Cameron 10/16/2018 at 01:10am
Hey Corndog. You gotta try the recipe and tell me how you like it. Next pot you get, get a 15 gal for BIAB It's perfect for 5 gallon batches. That's cool you are in Ohio too. I'll try to pick up some of the Nosferatu GLB. Thanks for the tip. I have the grain coming my way for a couple batches of this recipe. Prost !

CornDog 10/17/2018 at 11:39pm
Yes I will. Probably just half it first time out. Tonight I kegged 2.5 gal of an Autumn Hard Cider ... I racked cider 6.3% onto some berries I harvest from my Korean Dogwood tree (taste like pumpkin and mango) and the some whole berry cranberry sauce, fresh ginger and some cinnamon. Tastes real nice with spice and snap of ginger but still apple enough. Taking some to my neighbors 50th B-day on Friday. Proud to serve it๐Ÿ˜€!

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