Julelund/kerstbosbier – my first christmas beer

A month before christmas, I started a new brew, my first christmas beer! I have never tried this before, a dark spicy beer, but for everything there is a first time :-).

The recipe was quite simple:
– Pale ale malt with some dark crystal and chocolate malt
– Magnum hops, which gives only bitterness, no aroma
– and some spices: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
– the yeast: WLP013 London Ale, which is a quite neutral yeast, as I don’t want overpowering yeast flavors in this beer

Christmas brew mash

The mash looked quite dark, and was thicker than all my former brews.

I also had a helper that day, my father-in-law, who was responsible for measuring the pH, not easy with the simple pH-meter I have 😉 and for adding the spices. With a teaspoon, yes indeed.

Adding the spices

And then, finally after the brewing, we could fill the fermentation bottle. Beautiful color!

Filling the fermentation bottle

The fermentation took place during 2 weeks (in my homemade fermentation closet, see  picture below) and after that, I refermented the beers in bottles with two different yeast strains: WLP013 London Ale, the same as the main fermentation, and WLP500 Belgian Trappist Ale, to get more fruity esters in the beer.

Beer in the fermentation closet

And for this special occasion (christmas), I also made labels for the beer. Looks way more professional :-).

Kerstbosbier

Several people have tasted this beer, and these were the comments:
London Ale refermentation: more spicy, sweet and good drinkable christmas beer
Belgian Ale refermentation: more esters/fruity nose and flavor, also more alcoholic taste.
There was definitely a big difference between both beers and the London Ale was preferred above the Belgian Ale, because of better balance in flavor.

 

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