Monday, 1 November 2010

Santa Claws is coming to town

Enough of the poor puns, already...

As suggested, Sunday saw the need to brew something different. Something a bit more on the fly. Something not in Wheeler's book!

Looking through a range of seasonal beer recipes on 'Hopville', I managed to find a few that seemed what I was aiming for. Strong, sweet, and with all those Christmas spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, clementines.... Without sounding too Heston like, it was about getting a Christmas experience in a glass - spice, oranges, and something strong enough to provoke a fight - proper Christmas, like. Decided holly and ivy were no goers, but, on reflection, I could have used an old sock as the hop bag!

The recipe is here. Have to say, it was a bit more involved, almost took three hours start to finish. Huge amounts (comparatively speaking) of hops just to balance the 2kg of sugars I got in there. But it smelt great, and the wort tasted good, even now. Definite spice tastes, good rich malt and dark caramel, with some hop balance.....oh, and it could weigh in at >7%. Yoiks.

First outing for the immersion chiller, and, after a bit of jiggery pokery outside, managed to get it all working. Might need to redesign all the hosing for kitchen use (need to work out how I get the pipe on the tap in the kitchen!!)....but it chilled the wort in about 20 minutes.

Looks like it's starting slowly. A lot of the boiling and chilling was done outdoors, and, although I made sure everything was clean and/or covered, I am a bit worried about contamination....

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