Monday, December 05, 2022

2022 X-Mas Ale (Batch 325)

Every year since I started brewing in 2009, I've brewed a special X-Mas Ale.

Every year, the beer is a similar base with some "Christmasy" flavoring added.

2009 was an extract kit with Cherries, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, and Cloves.

Over the years, I 've done a Hazelnut X-Mas Ale, Peppermint X-Mas Ales, Cherry Pomegranate  ... all kinds of things.

I've even brewed just the base beer a couple of times.

I got started a bit late this year (much like last year). Generally, it is ideal to have this beer ready for Thanksgiving.

However, this year, I didn't even decide on what I would make until a few days ago. I brewed the beer this past Sunday.

This year's version is a little lower in alcohol than usual, designed to weigh in at around 6.2% ABV as opposed to the usual 7ish ABV.

The flavoring I decided to go with is Vanilla. I'll use both vanilla beans in a secondary and vanilla flavoring at kegging.

Brew day went pretty well, although I did have issues.

I misplaced the little clamp I use to control the recirculation flow, and as a result I ended up with an overflow in the mash which resulted in grains in the wort.

This, in turn caused issues with the pump. Eventually, I got the flow control jerry-rigged, and everything turned out fine. I did end up having to use gravity to transfer to the fermentor, but that's ok.

Everything else turned out great, and I ended up with an OG right on plan and a little more wort in the fermentor than I had planned for.

I was basically done with the brew day by 9:30 am.

I'll let the beer ferment for about a week, and then transfer to secondary with the vanilla beans. My plan is to leave the beer on the beans for about a week and then keg.

We should be drinking this early in the week leading up to Christmas.

And .. then I'll have a bunch into the New Year.

Should be yummy. I'm sure everyone who tries it will like it.

I'll be sure to report how it turns out.

As always keep watching the regular SheppyBrew Channels to see what is happening with my BBQBeerBikingSheppyBrew's Facebook PageSheppy's Twitter FeedSheppyBrew's Instagram Page; and SheppyBrew's Website.Of course, don't forget to visit this blog often as well!

Go Blackhawks!

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