12 December 2009

posted by benjy edwards

We cleared two corny kegs this week, the Allium IPA and the first half of the Harvey’s Best Bitter, so now there was capacity to keg the other half of the Christmas Ale batch, which we are calling Boathouse Winter Ale.  We dry hopped the primary in place of the spices that went into the Christmas Ale, and it got a further dry hop in the keg of more than an ounce each of Willamette and some home-grown Galena from our friend Brian in Portland.  Final gravity was the same as the Christmas, at 1.010.

We tapped the Christmas Ale this weekend and both the cinnamon and ginger are coming through nicely, with honey in the background.  The cinnamon is dominant right now, but will likely become incorporated with the rest of the flavours over time.

5 December 2009

posted by benjy edwards

Three days into the fermentation of the Christmas Ale and after the active fermentation had subsided, I thought it was time to add the spices.  So on Tuesday the 1st of December I added an ounce of grated ginger and a teaspoon of cinnamon to the primary.  I also dry-hopped the other half of the batch, with Galena and Target pellets.

Saturday it was time to rack the Christmas Ale.  The gravity sample read 1.010, so it has attenuated well, already reaching 1.010 from an OG of 1.062, (6.8% ABV).  I transferred it to a corny keg containing half a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1.5 ml of vanilla extract.  Steve and I sampled it on Sunday night and the cinnamon is dominant in the aroma and flavour, but this will likely mellow over time.  It is also possible that most of the  cinnamon stayed in the bottom of the keg after racking and was drawn in the first pint when tapped.   There is also a nice honey flavour to the beer, either from the honey itself or, more likely, from the honey malt.

I would have racked the other half of the batch on Saturday too, but I have no empty corny kegs at the moment, so it will have to wait until a keg gets emptied.