Saturday, November 15, 2008

Winter warbler

Update 11/28/08 - Bottled. It's...interesting. We'll see.

Update 11/18/08 - Decided this should be boozier. Threw in 2 pounds of turbinado (raw) sugar. That should give the yeast something to think about now that the kraüsen is settled. I figure it's good for another 2%abv or so.

Winter beer time! After careful consideration and some serious drinking (emphasis on serious and not on drinking), I decided to brew three beers for the coming holiday season: a nut brown, a wassail, and a raspberry brown. The inspiration for this came from three sources: a nutcracker tap handle in the works, a desire to brew a traditional holiday ale, and New Belgium Frambozen, respectively.

I started with the wassail (you know, for wassailing). Some people just spice, others claim it's a blend of brown ale and spiced cider. This is probably the longest ingredients list I've dealt with in my experience. Here's the recipe I used:

Batch #24
Winter Warbler Wassail
--7.25lb Scot. Golden Promise
--1.5lb Vienna
--0.5lb Caramunich
--0.5lb Amer. Special Roast
--2 oz British Chocolate
--8 oz Brown Sugar
--8 oz Honey (15min)
--1oz Kent Goldings 4.2%AA (60min)
--1oz Willamette 4.3%AA (30min)
--1/4tsp ginger
--1/4tsp nutmeg
--1/4oz sweet orange peel
--1 whole cinnamon stick
--1 whole clove
--2qts unfiltered apple juice
--1/4tsp Supermoss (10min)
--WLP005 British Ale, 1L starter
OG: 1.055
FG: 1.012
ABV: 7.7%ish?
IBU: 20-25

Mashed grains for ~70 minutes (forgot to start the mash-out water on time) at 154F in 3.5gal water (up to 4gal after temp adjustments). Extracted 6gal wort, mixed in brown sugar. Brought to a boil. After 15-20minutes (my timer stopped working...rargh!), added first bittering hops. I used whole hops today. Added second hops with 30 minutes to go, honey with 15, spices in a stainless steel tea ball for 5 minutes (crushed cinnamon into large pieces). After the ~75min boil, I had around 4.75gal of wort. Added the apple juice and pitched the yeast. Fermenting just under 70F. My efficiency came out to about 67%, but I'm not certain of the expected yields and need to calibrate my hydrometer (although it shouldn't be off by more than about 2 points).

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