Saturday, December 1, 2007

Surly Santa's Stash

Today I'm brewing a winter seasonal beer, often called a "winter warmer". These brews are usually more generous in all facets. More alcohol, more hops, more malts, and often with the addition of holiday spices.

My recipes is loosely based on a porter crossed with an old ale. I'm attempting to create a beer with a solid malty-sweetness accented by toffee, caramel, and a touch of dark chocolate. I am not using any roasted barley, as I want to avoid getting into coffee/expresso flavors. I'm using the Munich and Vienna malts to provide maltiness, caramel malt for sweetness, and flaked barley for head retention and body.

Hops are only used for bittering in this recipe. I want the emphasis to be on the malt and the subtle spicing rather than any hop aromas or flavors. I have read that the magnum strain is a very "clean" bittering hop, I'll be using it only to balance the sweetness of the malt.

I am a huge fan of White Lab's Edinburgh Ale yeast, I used it in my Scotch Ale (Kilted Koch) which is one of my favorite beers. The strain is very adept at emphasizing the maltiness of the beers it ferments. For the other half of the batch I will be using a yeast strain I cultured from a bottle of Alesmith's Old Numbskull barley wine. I was drinking this when I brewed my last beer, saw a huge yeast cake at the bottom and decided I would try and grow it. It seems to have worked, but I have never tried this before so I'm a bit nervous.

  • Domestic pale 2-row malted barley
  • Domestic Vienna malt (4L)
  • Domestic Munich malt (20L)
  • Caramel 20L malt
  • Molasses
  • Domestic Chocolate malt (400L)
  • Bittering: Yakima Magnum (14% AA)
  • Flavor: None
  • Aroma: None
  • Dry: None
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 ounces crushed juniper berries
  • 1 lb molasses

Target Original Gravity: 1.075
Target Final Gravity: 1.015-1.020
IBU: 52
Color: 20.0 SRM

Target ABV: 7-8%


Josh said...

Juniper is used in Gin right? What kind of flavor will this give the beer? Slight christmas tree taste?

PremiumBitter said...

Yes it is. It's hard for me to articulate it's exact taste. It's kind of sprucey and smoky. I only used 1 oz in 10 gallons and it's a pretty dark beer so it shouldn't dominate the other flavors.