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
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.
And then, finally after the brewing, we could fill the fermentation bottle. Beautiful color!
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.
And for this special occasion (christmas), I also made labels for the beer. Looks way more professional :-).
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.