Friday, October 15, 2010

We're Skipping Christmas this Year Winter Ale

ABV is gonna be pretty high on this one. I'm a little unsure about how much spice I should be putting in, so the measurements I put down in the beginning may change


12 lbs 6-row
0.75 lbs Crystal 120L
0.5 lbs Caravienne
0.35 lbs Honey Malt
0.35 lbs Special B
0.12 lbs Roasted Barley

1 oz Todd's Spice @ 60
1 0z Todd's Spice @ 5

1.5 lbs Clover Honey @ flame out
3 table spoons Ginger @ 3
3 table spoons Cinnamon @ 3
3 table spoons All Spice @ 3
half cup crushed coriander @ 3

10-15-2010--Well...this was a disaster. Pretty much everything went wrong that could go wrong. First off, I forgot to put the manifold in my mash tun, which I didn't realize until I was about to take the first runnings. I tried to strain it with a strainer and it worked well enough; however, the sparge water was really clear. In fact, I was about 0.04 off on my pre-boil gravity. Next, I tried reheating the wort and remashing, which brought the gravity to 1.04 instead of 1.06. Boil went alright...until I went to add the hops my brother-in-law sent me. I guess they were wet hops because they were frozen solid. Then I went add the honey and it, the hops, and the spices like coagulated together and wouldn't strain out. It sucked. The post boil was 0.03 off but it smelled pretty good--so things were looking up, so I thought. I realized I put too much sparge water in and my post boil was at like 6+ gallons. I thought about just tossing it, but I pitched the yeast and racked it. Not looking forward to dumping this when it turns out to be terrible.
10-20-2010--Gravity's down to 1.010. I can certainly taste the spice and honey, but no malty taste. I'll carb it up and see.
10-22-2010--I think I might try adding some LME to this and refermenting before I toss it.
10-26-2010--I boiled 2 gallons of this and added 2+ lbs of DME, cooled it, and stirred up the yeast for re-fermentation. Gravity from the DME rose from 1.010 to 1.03+
11-1-2010--Racked to secondary. Huge yeasty and honey-y yeast cake. Gravity is back down to 1.01ish. The sample tasted a whole lot better this time. I normally skip secondary, but I use so many additives that I'm going to let this sit for a week or so in secondary. Then I'll let it condition for a while.
11-16-2010--I've had this in my extra keg which doesn't hold gas very well because I didn't have a good one open. A keg opened up and I transfered into it. Taste had not changed. I ran across an idea on how to "fix" kegs that won't hold gas here and I'm going to try that.

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