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Christmas Crippler

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GSRman

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Over a few beverages the other night the topic was discussed in relation to brewing a beverage for this christmas... that will go into a keg and wait till then..

Basicly we came up with a few points, now im trying to figure out the best way to go about it.

must be.

-Potent!
-friend friendly (no IPA's or RIS's)
-easy drinking
-christmassy...

basicly im thinking

LLME, steep in some munich, and a bit of light crystal, bitter with some fuggles, and flavour with some saaz, ferment with whatever yeast ive got going... (irish ale, or maybe another yeast (im going to get another smacker before then)) and maybe make up some belgian candy sugar just to bring up the OG a bit...

now the difficult bit...

how do you make a beer taste christmassy?

after several thoughts, the only things we could come up with were

cherries and orange zest sort of a mince-pie type deal..

but im looking for other suggestions...
 

PostModern

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I've put on a Christmas Dinner Lager. It was basically a Bavarian Lager kit, LME, Saaz aroma hops and some grated orange rind. It is a fairly pale lager with orangy zest flavour and floral hop aroma. It fermented out pretty well so it should be easy drinking with food in Summer.

I'd recommend an abbey style ale for the big hitter... Caramel malts would go well for a nice colour and thick taste. Add bodyless alcohol with candy sugar as you suggested.

Remember thsat European style Christmas beers are meant to be enjoyed in the cold of winter. Why shouldn't we start a new Southern hemisphere friendly style?
 

Doc

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Last year I brewed a brew that I named Xmas Bender.

It was around 9% and actually placed at Bathurst this year in the Belgian Strong Ale category.

I'll dig out the recipe tonight and post it.

Beers,
Doc
 

jayse

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last year for my friend friendly beer i just wacked together a grumpies boston cream kit.everyone loves that and it has a good fruity and sweeter taste to complement reasonably fatty ham and pork etc.plus it is very easy drinking.deffintly a bit christmassy.it also looks very good in a glass etc.
so a nice pale ale with u.s cascade would be a treat.
your idea looks good though but personally i would go for wyeast 2112 for a lager ferment or 1272 for a pale ale.rather than the irish yeast.

basically i like getting all the fruit flavours etc from malt, hops and yeast.
 

GSRman

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doc: actually it was written on the keg in your picture of your fridge controller... the subconcious is a wonderful thing... :)

hmmm i think i'll splash out on a new smacker.. something ale and cleanish.. cal ale or something...

not geared up to do lagers yet...

it will also be one of my first kegged brews...
 

Trev

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The Nag's Head pub at Glebe had a Christmas Pudding Stout at one of their recent tastings.

Wasabi was there and reckoned that it actually tasted of Christmas Pudding!

Now how the heck did they do it?
 

GSRman

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latest thoughts ive had from friends and family..


bit of coconut in there..

bung some brandy in it at the kegging stage...

not sure about the brandy..
 

Doc

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Here is my Xmas Bender recipe from last year.
Had to rack it a couple of times as it was crawling out of the fermenter.
Tasted great and placed at Bathurst this year in the Belgian Strong category.

Doc's Xmas Bender Belgian Strong Ale

Muntons Nut Brown Ale kit
Morgans Wheat Malt 500g
Morgans Lager Malt 500gr
LDME 1kg
Morgans Extra Pale Malt Extract 1.5kg
Billingtons Natural Dark Muscovado Sugar 500gr
7gr Hallertau pellets 9%
7gr Stickelbrackt pellets 11.8%
7gr Tettnanger pellets 5.5%
19.7 Litres water.

Wyeast 3787 Belg. High Gravity Yeast

SG 1072
FG 1011

Just a big dump and stir job.

Enjoy,
Doc
 

GSRman

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I'll be brewing this in the next few days, probably going to aim for about 20-25 ibu, so far the ingredients are

3kg LLME
1kg Belgian Candi sugar
1.2kg of dark sour cherries
600gm of dark plums
a little bit of orange peely stuff.. (the orange bit)



any thoughts?


it will be fermented with a white labs cal ale V yeast (the fruitier one) and im going to aim for about a 1.75L starter..
 

GSRman

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After doing some calcs in promash, i decided i should make a bit bigger starter... i call it the [REVERB]'megastarter'[/REVERB]...

 

Doc

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Now that is a starter.

Where did you get the Candi sugar from, or did you make it yourself ?

Beers,
Doc
 

GSRman

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made it... the old boil it up with some lemon juice trick..it might have gone a little toffee-y...


I'm spewing.. i *REALLY* undershot with the SG, i actually dropped the amount of malt i was using by .5kg to aim for around 1075, but it ended coming in at around 1064... :( not happy jan, i think i didn't do the calcs for the amount of sugar that was in the cans of fruit correctly...


I'm tempted to brew up a quick half-kilo of malt tomorrow with a litre of water or something and bung it in the fermenter when its krausening... any thoughts?
 

PostModern

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GSRman said:
made it... the old boil it up with some lemon juice trick..it might have gone a little toffee-y...


I'm spewing.. i *REALLY* undershot with the SG, i actually dropped the amount of malt i was using by .5kg to aim for around 1075, but it ended coming in at around 1064... :( not happy jan, i think i didn't do the calcs for the amount of sugar that was in the cans of fruit correctly...


I'm tempted to brew up a quick half-kilo of malt tomorrow with a litre of water or something and bung it in the fermenter when its krausening... any thoughts?
How are your IBU's? If bittering was on track, but OG was low, I'd chuck in more malt otherwise you might find it too bitter.
 

GSRman

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I was aiming low with the IBU anyway (not knowing what effect the fruit would have once the sugar has been fermented out)..

I quickly boiled up some raw sugar with some orange juice and water... chilled it and bunged it in...

its been blurping away merrilly now for a while,... the mega-starter kicked it in the guts pretty well.. had a continuous stream of bubbles out of it for about 12 hours :)
 

GSRman

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I'm about to rack it now... there seems to be some FUNKY stuff floating on it.. like the krausen had hardened... took a samply.. was worried by the smell.. but i think its just because the yeast is still chugging away.. its down to 1020 (from about 1072) in 8 days... it tastes okay.. a little 'sour' not like bad sour.. but like the sour cherries that went into it.. and there is a little of the fruit taste..
 

GMK

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GSRMan

Whilst racking you could experiment with a little cinamon and nutmeg spices and dare i say it - a little cloves.

If there is not enough fruit flavour - happened when i made my Merry Beery - i added 3 200gm jars of 95% spreadable fruit from the supermarket.

When back into fermenting for another week and was then racked again.

Hope this helps you with some ideas.
 

GSRman

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If i didn't have a time that i wanted it ready for, i probably would have added some more fruit, but i want to get it finished fermenting and into a keg and cold conditioned for a couple of weeks before chrissy..
 

GSRman

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This was around 1018 when i racked it, (which makes it around 6.8% or simular i think) and its due to be dropped into a keg in the next couple of days, but as of the last 4-5 days the airlock activity has picked up again, looks like its got some fairly serious secondary fermentation going, so it will probably stay in the fermenter for a little while longer now...
 

GSRman

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I racked this sucker into the keg yesterday, after doing a gravity reading...

the keg is now in cold conditioning...

Its quite an odd flavour.. not particularly beery.. the sourness of the cherries seems to have come through quite strongly... not unpleasant.. im thinking it will be better cold and fizzy...

the Calif ale V yeast though seems to have done a mighty job as its now down to 1013ish... which makes it about 8%... so at least i wont have to worry about the taste after the first pint :)
 

GSRman

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I fridged it last night (it was in cold conditioning for a few days until the other fridge died... ) and started gassing this morning... im anticipating :)
 

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