Tuesday, December 05, 2023

X-Mas Ale 2023 (Batch 347)

Every year since I started homebrewing (way back in 2009), I've brewed an X-Mas Ale to have around the holidays.

They have all been similar base beers ... a malty winter warmer ... with various flavorings.

I've done everything from Almond Vanilla Cinnamon Cloves (2009) to just the base beer (2015).

I've used Smoked maltPeppermintPeanut ButterCherry Pomegranate, and other flavorings.

If you're interested, there are links to every single recipe on X-Mas Ales 2009 - 2023.

Towards the beginning of 2023, I realized that I had not brewed beers in every category of the 2021 BJCP Guidelines (see Sheppy's Blog: I lied), and I thought that Category 33 - Wood Beer would make a good X-Mas Ale.

As I mentioned in Roll-a-Style 18 ... Wood Aged Beer, I decided my best bet for wood-aged character was wood spirals, which is something I was able to pick up at my favorite homebrew shop.

I brewed the X-Mas Ale base on Sunday.

The Beer Model and I were out fairly late (for us) the night before, and I didn't feel like setting up the Foundry when we got home.

So ... I started getting the Foundry filled and ready to go early Sunday morning.

I did a fairly long mash with a brewing pause when we went to church.

This time, I left the grain basket draining over the Foundry while we were at church. I set the kettle to heat up just below boiling during that time so that the boil would start soon after we got home.

This seemed to work out pretty well. My pre-boil gravity was high, so I diluted with water.

The boil went well.

I got the beer racked and the yeast pitched before noon. The OG was right on plan. I'm on track for a 6.5% ABV beer.

I was able to watch the Broncos lose and even got in a cold windy bike ride later in the day.

By the next morning, the fermenting was rolling. I expect I'll keg this up on the 16th, and I'll probably be drinking it just before Christmas.

I'm sure I'll have a few on New Year's Eve.

Stay tuned on this blog, and you'll be able to read how it turns out.

As always, stay tuned on the regular SheppyBrew Channels to see what is happening with beer and other things: SheppyBrew's Facebook PageSheppy's Twitter FeedSheppyBrew's Instagram Page; and SheppyBrew's Website.

Go Nuggets!

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