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Winter Ale Recipe

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doublert

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I'm thinking ahead and planning a Winter/Christmas Ale. I want it to be slightly sweet with noticeable amounts of spice and hop character.

Here's my plan:

Steep: 30mins @ 67C
200g Crystal malt
200g Carapils

Boil: 60mins
60mins- Coopers Dark Kit
60mins- 20g Norther Brewer hops
30mins- 4tsp Vanilla Extract
15mins- 20g Motueka hops
10mins- 1tsp irish moss
5mins- 3x Cinnamon sticks
5mins- 1/2tsp Nutmeg
5mins- 4 cloves
5mins- Grated rind of 4 oranges
5mins- 20g Willamette Hops
0mins- 500g Honey
0mins- 500g Brown Sugar
0mins- Maple syrup



Pretty massive list of boil ingredients. eh?

Here are my queries:
  • Would this be too much?
  • Would the characteristics of the Maple be lost in all that lot?
  • Is there any point using the Brown Sugar?
  • Are there any other specialty grains I could use to impart sweet or biscuity character?

Your thoughts are appreciated.
Cheers
 

Judanero

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Victory or biscuit malt would give you some 'biscuity' character, my preference is biscuit (but needs to be mashed if you're looking to extract sugars).

IMO the maple would be lost and not sure how much you'd get from the brown either.

I've never been able to get much of a honey flavour when using it so I can't advise how that'd work, though I do remember reading somewhere that if added to boiling or hot water it loses its flavour.. from memory it recommended adding it about 4 days into ferment, which I'll be giving a go on the next Porter I put down.
 

doublert

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Cheers for the advice. Swung by Brewers Coop on the way home from work and got me a mix of equal parts Victory (as you suggested), Chocolate, Amber and Crystal. I might split the batch before I add all the spices etc, and ferment some of it as a porter in order to compare. Don't normally use kits but I was trying to save time. Looks like I've pretty much ended up BIABing after all. :lol:

Oh, and in regards to the honey, I've found its effective in a light beer but I hear you. Instead of using brown sugar. honey and maple I might substitute dextrose OR do as you say, adding the adjuncts later during fermentation. I'd be interested to hear from people who have done this actually.
 

bcp

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I brewed something similar - an all-grain version of BCConnnery's chrismoose ale, although not as dark as yours - and suggest you brew it early, and give the flavours time to settle in. WY3463 Forbidden Fruit yeast works really well with the complex flavours.
 

doublert

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I would love to use Wyeasts but they're dashed expensive here. I've got some trusty Safale US-05. As I mentioned in a post above I think I'll split the batch. This could be good opportunity to compare the Safale yeast against the stock standard kit yeast. I've heard a lot of talk about yeast and I've gone along with it so far, splashing out here and there for an alternative one, but I've actually never had any problems with the kit yeasts. Perhaps its times to put my uncertainties to rest and put them head to head.
 

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