Monday, October 20, 2014

Christmas Ale Spice Test 2

Status: Singing loud for all to hear

(changes in bold)
1/16 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 corn whole allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp white sugar

Not sure how I forgot the cinnamon last time, but holy smokes. That made a world of difference. Merry Christmas to me. Maybe a little less sugar. Maybe. =) This isn't going to go for the top of the mountain in the ABV department-- I'm looking to make this a steady, cheer-filled Christmas family-catchup fuel. No high-flying yeast acrobatics or brown sugar fermentable-padding this time.

I've been informed that somewhere between here and the in-laws' is a jar of dried orange peel. That would be amazing. And speaking of fruit, Carrie has a really good suggestion: "This would be good with some cranberry. I'm not saying you need to do it, I just think that would take it over the edge." Well, it's hard to argue with that. I'm such a lucky guy. The question is... do I throw it in with the boil, boil it separately, or mash it and toss in the fermenter? Either way, I'm going to do at least one more tea before taking the plunge on this.

I'm also going to try a yeast starter for this batch, based on this helpful video. *crosses fingers*

Finally, my original intentions for this recipe involved some molasses. After the first couple of taste tests with the spices, I'm starting to see that's not going to be an option. The taste is just... well, wrong. If you can think of something that reminds you of Christmas drinky-drinks, drop it in the comments.


  1. Mash it and do second fermentation over cranberry.

    Getting ready to do my first brew in years - Belgian imperial stout with a staff of bourbon-soaked Hungarian oak in the second ferment. Still debating the vanilla bean.

    14 lbs of malt extract
    1 lb oats and a half of wheat for mouthfeel and head
    2 3/4 lb specialty malts
    Willamette and Summit for bitter, EKG for aroma
    some extra dark Kandi sugar for extra ABV

    still debating a vanilla bean in the secondary as well. Your thoughts?

    1. Is this a five-gallon batch?

    2. It is. Fermenting happily. Smells delicious.

  2. I'm sorry, I'll reply once I've cleaned up all this drool.