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BradsBeer

Looking for a Christmas beer recipe

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That uses HME and some sort of additions that I supply such as almond extract or allspice or some sort of fruit.  I couldn't find any Christmas Ale recipes for sale on the MrBeer site so thought I'd ask here.  Don't mind doing a partial mash either.

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I would say to try the InBev sites, but we're not on speaking terms right now.   Briess has some pretty good Christmas Ales on their site.  Just ballpark...  whatta ya lookin' for?  Spiced Ale, Coffee Stouts, Juniper IPA?  

 

Are you dead set on an HME?

 

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Spiced Ale would best describe what I'm looking for.  With some hops but not at an IPA level of hops.  Cinnamon sounds like Christmas..I would like to stick with a HME it is just easier and less work.  I do want to add a few ingredients I source such as vanilla extract or some fruit.  Don't mind doing a partial mash, but not required.

 

I found the ingredients list for an old MrBeer Christmas beer, but not the instructions.  People really seemed to like it but it used an HME that's no longer available.  I wouldn't mind doing that one if I had the instructions and knew when to add the cherries, honey, vanilla.  And could come up with an alternative to the Winter Dark HME.

 

But, doing that one isn't a requirement.  I'm really looking for what other people have brewed specifically for Christmas and would pick one that appeals to me.

 

 

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Ah yes.  Winter Dark Ale.  That stuff is a legend!  There were a lot of long faces when that one was discontinued.  I don't think that there is a Mr. Beer Christmas Beer kit or recipe available, but with the rate that they're pumping out new recipes I wouldn't be surprised if you see one relatively soon.  As for a spiced Christmas ale, I made exactly that last year.  99% sure that it was a Northern Brewer recipe: Spiced Winter Ale.  Give it a look.  If it happens to not be there search for it on the Midwest Supply site.  One of them definitely has it.  It was a very good recipe--still have a lot left over.  I used the Wyeast option and added dried sweet orange peels.  Good luck. :)

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Many of the holiday recipes that I've seen for Christmas beers are Ales and not Lagers.  I've seen things added such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange Peel, (VERY LITTLE) Clove and nutmeg.  I was thinking about doing a wassale, which would be part apple cider and part ale, with various holiday flavors.

 

Also, don't shy away from fruit wheat beers.  I'm going to do a cranberry wheat, and might do either a cherry wheat or a blueberry wheat as well.

 

And, yes, I do agree too.  Mr. Beer should have some holiday flavor recipes.  Hint Hint.

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if I find some time today at work (possible as of right now), I'll do some web searching for Christmas recipes and if I do, I'll post them

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51 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

Many of the holiday recipes that I've seen for Christmas beers are Ales and not Lagers.  I've seen things added such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange Peel, (VERY LITTLE) Clove and nutmeg.  I was thinking about doing a wassale, which would be part apple cider and part ale, with various holiday flavors.

 

Also, don't shy away from fruit wheat beers.  I'm going to do a cranberry wheat, and might do either a cherry wheat or a blueberry wheat as well.

 

And, yes, I do agree too.  Mr. Beer should have some holiday flavor recipes.  Hint Hint.

Mini,

  I made something very similar to what you're describing last year, and it was a big (and potent) hit.  It was a 2.5g mix of the Mr. Beer kit for Hard Pear Cider & CAL and 1/4 cup of a spiced apple cider mix (the kind that has sugar as well).  Honestly, it was great & I've been longing to make more.  Good luck!  ????

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37 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

if they only still made the Pear Cider mix

Substitute it with the Hard Apple.  There is minimal, if any, difference in the taste.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I lactose bombed the heck out of it as well.

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Still doing research, but here are some thoughts.  Note that I'm not going to post any exact recipes here in case they are considered "propietery", but if you want more info, send me a message.

 

From what I've seen in my alternet stock pile of recipes, most are going with 1 cup of honey, zest of two medium oranges, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and one teaspoon of ginger.  If you want to add cloves, recommend not more than 1/8 teaspoon.  Also, if you like almond, no more than 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. 

 

An easier option?  Search the web for "mulling spices".  Mr. Beer has a couple of good recipes with mulling spices that would fit nicely for the holidays, such as KT's Carmel Apple Graff and Mulled Cider (not a beer, but I wonder about adding an HME like a CAL, and that would make the Wassale I keep claiming I will make).  Do some reasearch on them, as different brands have different ingredients.  I'm wondering if some mulling spices work better for Halloween while others better for Christmas.

 

You could do the spices with just about any of the HME's such as Bavarian Weissbier (for a wheat flavor), Czech Pilsner, Canadian Blonde, Ameican Ale/Lager/CAL, Nut Brown Ale (Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don')........all depends on what flavor you want as the base.  If you want more malt, replace the booster with one of the LME or DMEs recommeded for your base HME under the Deluxe Refills section of the store.

 

You could also replace the orange zest with the Oregon fruit sold here, if you have a different fruit flavor preference.  Tart or sweet cherries work well for holiday beers.  I'm going to try a wheat beer but instead of Oregon fruit here, I'm going to add a can of cranberries (not the Ocean Spray gel, but more the one with whole berries)

 

If that doesn't make your head start spinning, I'll keep throwing more ideas at you. 

 

 

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I was totally going to write something like what @MiniYoda wrote, now that I'm all caught up from Monday, and he beats me by 2 hrs. Figures.

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@MRB Tim, instead of writing something up, brew something up.  If it works out, publish the recipe in the store so that we can all buy it.

 

And PS, I'm Eastern Daylight Time, so I had a 3 hour advantage over you :D

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What do you think of this Cherry Christmas Porter?

 

- American Porter HME

- LME Robust

- Dark Sweet Cherries in Heavy Syrup

-Tettnanger Pellet Hops

- 1 cup of honey

- 1 tablespoon Allspice

- 1 cinnamon stick

- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

- Safbrew S-33 Dry Ale Yeast

 

  1. Using a measuring cup, pour 6 cups of water into your clean 3-quart or larger pot.
  2. Add 4 oz.  of Chocolate Malt  to the Muslin Grain Sack and bring your water up to above 155 degrees F.
  3. Add the grain sack to the hot water and steep for 30 minutes between 155-165 degrees. 
  4. Carefully lift the grain sack out of the pot and place into a strainer/colander. Rinse the sack over the pot with 1 cup of hot water. Let drain. Do NOT squeeze the grain bag. Discard grain bag.
  5. Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can in hot tap water.
  6. Bring the grain water to a boil, add tettnanger hops to muslin sack, toss into the grain water.  Then remove from heat.
  7. Open the can of American Porter HME and the LME Softpack and pour the contents into the hot mixture. Add cinnamon stick, allspice and vanilla extract.  Stir until thoroughly mixed
  8. Fill keg with refrigerated water to the #1 mark on the back.
  9. Pour the wort into the keg, then bring the volume of the keg to the #2 mark by adding more cold water. Stir vigorously with the spoon or whisk.
  10. Sprinkle the S-33 yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.
  11. After one week of fermentation, put whole can of cherries in blender.  Strain thru strainer, pour cherry juice into LBK.  Spoon cherry pulp into muslin sack, tie off and add to LBK.  Add 1 cup of honey to LBK.
  12. Brew for two more weeks then bottle.
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I would remove the cherries and the honey...

Presto...  Spiced Winter Porter!  ???

1 tablespoon of allspice is a lot...  and that's from a guy who goes big on flavor.

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1 hour ago, BradsBeer said:

What do you think of this Cherry Christmas Porter?

 

- American Porter HME

- LME Robust

- Dark Sweet Cherries in Heavy Syrup

-Tettnanger Pellet Hops

- 1 cup of honey

- 1 tablespoon Allspice

- 1 cinnamon stick

- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

- Safbrew S-33 Dry Ale Yeast

 

  1. Using a measuring cup, pour 6 cups of water into your clean 3-quart or larger pot.
  2. Add 4 oz.  of Chocolate Malt  to the Muslin Grain Sack and bring your water up to above 155 degrees F.
  3. Add the grain sack to the hot water and steep for 30 minutes between 155-165 degrees. 
  4. Carefully lift the grain sack out of the pot and place into a strainer/colander. Rinse the sack over the pot with 1 cup of hot water. Let drain. Do NOT squeeze the grain bag. Discard grain bag.
  5. Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can in hot tap water.
  6. Bring the grain water to a boil, add tettnanger hops to muslin sack, toss into the grain water.  Then remove from heat.
  7. Open the can of American Porter HME and the LME Softpack and pour the contents into the hot mixture. Add cinnamon stick, allspice and vanilla extract.  Stir until thoroughly mixed
  8. Fill keg with refrigerated water to the #1 mark on the back.
  9. Pour the wort into the keg, then bring the volume of the keg to the #2 mark by adding more cold water. Stir vigorously with the spoon or whisk.
  10. Sprinkle the S-33 yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.
  11. After one week of fermentation, put whole can of cherries in blender.  Strain thru strainer, pour cherry juice into LBK.  Spoon cherry pulp into muslin sack, tie off and add to LBK.  Add 1 cup of honey to LBK.
  12. Brew for two more weeks then bottle.

 

I'm not the best at designing recipes, but I know I'd drink it!

 

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Ordered all the ingredients above.  I'll use less allspice say 1/2 teaspoon?   but I still want to try the cherries.  As for honey, why not?  Considering adding a few drops to each bottle instead of adding to the keg, to keep some honey taste.

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the "not" would be because it gives the beer a dry taste to it.  We should probably have recommended honey malt.  As for drops of honey in each bottle.....interesting idea

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...just don't add the honey to each bottle + the recommended amount of sugar per bottle unless you like extremely-bubbly-seltzerish beer.  

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33 minutes ago, AnthonyC said:

...just don't add the honey to each bottle + the recommended amount of sugar per bottle unless you like extremely-bubbly-seltzerish beer.  

Agreed! I was thinking of using only 1 carb drop instead of the normal 2, and add some drops of honey.

 

Honey malt, that sounds like a good idea.  Another beer, another new malt to try :)

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Very intriguing, and I just ordered one, but it isn't a Christmas beer.  If I had it shipped overnight, brewed it Saturday, it still wouldn't be ready for Christmas.  Consider threer weeks fermenting, three carbonating and three weeks conditioning, it wouldn't be ready until late January.   I'm in it for the winter warmer, and if good, I'll order it again next September. 

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Whatever happened to the good 'ol days when @MRB Josh R would get us all whipped up with excitement when releasing a new recipe?!!  Thinking Lock, Stock & Barrel Imperial Stout, Chewbeerca, or Witch's Flight -- kidding, Josh, but I'd love to know the backstory of this winter warmer!🍻

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5 minutes ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

Whatever happened to the good 'ol days when @MRB Josh R would get us all whipped up with excitement when releasing a new recipe?!!  Thinking Lock, Stock & Barrel Imperial Stout, Chewbeerca, or Witch's Flight -- kidding, Josh, but I'd love to know the backstory of this winter warmer!🍻

 

I will try to throw one up tomorrow. I've been a bit busy lately with the store, I haven't had a lot of time to come on here as much as I used to, but I'm always still watching. ;)

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It's probably not going to make it for Christmas, but tonight after 2 weeks in the fermenter I add the mulling spices to the Mr Beer -Yule Like This Ale-  then another week in the fermenter.

 

Obviously I do not think far enough ahead.

 

 

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My Yule Like This Ale gets the spices next week, and bottled on the 22nd.  I'm going to give it extra conditioning time, and hope that it's ready by mid February (nice birthday gift).

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On ‎11‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 7:17 PM, MRB Josh R said:

 

I will try to throw one up tomorrow. I've been a bit busy lately with the store, I haven't had a lot of time to come on here as much as I used to, but I'm always still watching. ;)

 

still waiting for you to throw one up............so to speak

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So I brewed my christmas beer recipe on August 20 (without the honey), tried the first bottle on Thanksgiving.  I could taste the chocolate, and porter but not the cherries.  Beer was fizzy, but tasted good and not hoppy nor bitter.

 

Tasted a 2nd bottle last week, and it was very very bitter.  The bitterness overwhelmed the flavor and was dominant.  Not sure if it was the last one bottled or not, which would have some trub in it.

 

Tasted a 3rd bottle tonight, not as bitter as last one but still bitter.  Which is odd, since the first bottle was great.  What should I do?  Why are they bitter, and why was the first bottle the best so far?   Not sure if I should share these bottles with family...

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Check the cherries you used.  Also, did you sanitize the blender, and the strainer if you used one?   If that's all ok, too much allspice?

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On 11/16/2017 at 2:03 PM, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

 

Yes add this - this one is well worth it and very spicy - I entered this in the Home Brewers contest and recieved 34 on both scores !! Both judges said need more body so already working on that for the second go around.

 

53533 (2).jpg

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27 minutes ago, Ironman brew said:

 

 

Yes add this - this one is well worth it and very spicy - I entered this in the Home Brewers contest and recieved 34 on both scores !! Both judges said need more body so already working on that for the second go around.

 

53533 (2).jpg

 

Nice job!  I've been hoarding my Bewitched Amber Ale HMEs for other projects and (unfortunately) did not get around to brewing "Yule Like This."  Thanks for the reminder! 

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Is it just me that thinks people taking someone else's recipe and submitting it to contests is wrong?  Someone else put a review on Mr. Beer saying the same thing.  I don't even see why someone is proud to win a contest when it isn't their creation.  Maybe I'm just not with the "cool kids" on this one.

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12 hours ago, SilverBrewerWI said:

Is it just me that thinks people taking someone else's recipe and submitting it to contests is wrong?  Someone else put a review on Mr. Beer saying the same thing.  I don't even see why someone is proud to win a contest when it isn't their creation.  Maybe I'm just not with the "cool kids" on this one.

 

If I ever entered a straight-up Mr. Beer recipe in a competition,  I'd probably credit @MRB Josh R as collaborator.  From a marketing/social buzz aspect, my feeling is that Mr. Beer would be thrilled to see one of their recipes do well (or even win) in competition.  As for personal satisfaction, one still has to execute well to make any beer, so @Ironman brew should be proud of his entry.

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13 hours ago, SilverBrewerWI said:

Is it just me that thinks people taking someone else's recipe and submitting it to contests is wrong?  Someone else put a review on Mr. Beer saying the same thing.  I don't even see why someone is proud to win a contest when it isn't their creation.  Maybe I'm just not with the "cool kids" on this one.

 

I concur.  To me, entering a Mr. Beer-based brew into a contest is like entering Progresso soup into a homemade soup contest.  Even if you steep grains and add hops, the base came from a can that someone else put together.   Sure, take pride in your end product, but I wouldn't enter it in a contest.

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

 

I concur.  To me, entering a Mr. Beer-based brew into a contest is like entering Progresso soup into a homemade soup contest.  Even if you steep grains and add hops, the base came from a can that someone else put together.   Sure, take pride in your end product, but I wouldn't enter it in a contest.

 

But a can of HME is not beer -- it is only an ingredient in the process of brewing.  Otherwise one could argue that using any LME or DME in a competition beer is somehow unethical.  Like Josh has said, judges don't care how the beer was produced -- it will be judged on its own merits and scored appropriately. 

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I disagree with the idea of not entering MR Beer based brews into competitions if you want to (It will use ingredients anyone can get) - if it was that easy to make best of class brews using Mr. Beer, there might be more of them in the competitions. Mr. Beer makes it  easy to make drinkable beer, sometimes good beer but probably not often competition rating beer. (I am not intending this as a put down of the MR B brews and I intend to continue using them.)

 

That said, having a beer judge comment on the beer is very useful in assessing the merit of the recipe and process. Also in combating/confirming the assertion that one (or someone  :-D) cannot make really good brews using Mr. Beer ingredients and method.

 

If one can get the review outside of a competition fine,  but maybe it is not that easy unless you have a beer judge buddy.

 

Just because someone else has made the HME, does not always mean you will get a good beer out of it. (As mentioned in this forum - lol).  Even Mr Beer recognizes the limitations of beer made from extract, and sells augmenting grains and other ingredients. So to score well in a competition is an achievement to strive for.

 

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17 hours ago, SilverBrewerWI said:

Is it just me that thinks people taking someone else's recipe and submitting it to contests is wrong?  Someone else put a review on Mr. Beer saying the same thing.  I don't even see why someone is proud to win a contest when it isn't their creation.  Maybe I'm just not with the "cool kids" on this one.

 

It's not just about the recipe, but about technique, sanitation, etc. I'm all for someone entering a recipe they didn't create into competition. They will still get valuable feedback which will help them create their own recipes. @Ironman brew even pointed out how he's going to tweak the recipe for a fuller body, which will pretty much make it his recipe. Many of my AG recipes are inspired by base recipes that other people wrote. There really is no such thing as an original recipe.

 

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Thanks for all your responses to my response.  Obviously there is more than one way to look at this and we all don't have to agree.  Was interesting to see what everyone had to say.  

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On 5/15/2018 at 7:21 PM, SilverBrewerWI said:

Is it just me that thinks people taking someone else's recipe and submitting it to contests is wrong?  Someone else put a review on Mr. Beer saying the same thing.  I don't even see why someone is proud to win a contest when it isn't their creation.  Maybe I'm just not with the "cool kids" on this one.

The last Club Competition for my homebrew club was everyone brewing the same recipe.  It was in fact my Blonde Ale recipe that I have won several medals in other competitions.  I did not win either, and every beer that was brewed was different from each other.

 

So a recipe is only a guideline, you as a brewer have to do everything else to complete that beer.  Even Anheuser Busch brewers have to blend several batches of Budweiser to get the taste just right.

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On ‎5‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 4:21 PM, SilverBrewerWI said:

Is it just me that thinks people taking someone else's recipe and submitting it to contests is wrong? 

My thoughts on comps are well documented, however, I do agree with you as I would state, "I wouldn't do it."  If I knowing knew it was a recipe from someone else, no, I wouldn't try to pass it as my own.  Back in the day I have brewed others recipes and I even called them "XXXXX's Porter" and so on. That sparked a huge debate here, so I wont go further than that.

With that said...

 

On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 9:39 AM, MRB Josh R said:

There really is no such thing as an original recipe.

I agree with this as well. To be 100% original is darn near impossible, if not completely.

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