Sunday, November 11, 2007
I brewed a Christmas Ale on October 27th which is a clone of Affligem Noel. I hadn't actually tried that particular Belgian brew before but it sounded good and I had a hankerin' to brew! Last night at the Holiday party for the Pontiac Brewing Tribe (one of the brew clubs I belong to), I actually tried that beer, along with some N'ice Chouffe and some Delirium Noel! They were all pretty special. Add to that some fantastic homebrewed meads, wines and beers and it was a pretty tasty night!
This beer taxed my keggle system as it filled the mash tun pretty much to its capacity, as seen by the picture on the page. I did oversparge, though (based on my Beertools pro recommendation) and ended up with a beer a little less strong than expected (but a lot more of it!). Anyway, here is the recipe for a ten gallon batch (or thirteen):
34 lbs. Pilsner malt
1 lb. Belgian Caramunich
1 lb. Belgian Aromatic
.5 lb. Belgian Biscuit
.5 lb. Chocolate Malt
.25 lb. Honey Malt
1 lb. Light Brown Sugar
2 lbs. White Table Sugar (Beet based)
.4 teaspoon cinnamon (15 min.)
2 teaspoons Irish Moss (15 min.)
1.5 oz. Styrian Goldings (60 min.)
1 oz. Styrian Goldings (15 minutes)
.5 oz Styrian Goldings (5 minutes)
1 teaspoon crushed coriander (5 minutes)
White Labs 530 Abbey Ale Yeast (two half gallon starters)
Mashed at 152 for one hour batch sparged and primary fermented in glass for one week, transferred to secondary (glass) for three weeks and pitched an additional half gallon of same yeast five days before bottling.
I added some 100% cocoa Chocolate (one ounce) in the secondary of the three gallon carboy. I bottled that day before yesterday. It smelled very vinous (winey) but when I tried a bottle today (partially carbonated) it tasted pretty good, just a bit harsh (alcohol). I didn't notice the chocolate but the cinnamon came through subtly. It was sweet and spicy with a caramel malt note and had some characteristic Belgian spiciness in the aftertaste. Hop presence was subued. I can't wait to try it in a month or so (and then again a year or two or so...). At about eight percent alcohol it should age well!
I won't be bottling the other ten gallons for about a week or so, as it is still fermenting!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!