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Christmas Strong Ale

December 3, 2010

I have been getting the urge to brew again lately. Last year I brewed an awesome Christmas spiced ale I called “Counting Your Blessings White Christmas Ale”. It was really good, it had a very good spicy profile and finished slightly dry with a lot of hops. I wanted to brew another holiday beer this year but I was running really short on time and money. There is less than a month until Christmas so I needed to find something that didn’t have to age 6 months (like last years beer did).

I settled on something a little darker and more heavy. I found a recipe for a “Strong Christmas Ale“. My thinking is that even though I don’t have a ton of time for the beer to condition, the spices in this beer should be more subtle and in the background anyway, giving way to the dark roasty flavors. I also only brewed a half batch (~2.6 gallons) since it will be ready right before Christmas. So, I halved the recipe.  I opted for an extract recipe for simplicity and time.

I also used a different yeast than Wyeast Irish Ale 1084 because I wanted a more active yeast with more attenuation (to quickly ferment the high gravity).  I wanted to use White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale, but it isn;t available at my home brew store so I opted for a dry yeast (Fermentis DCL Yeast S-04) which I read was based on the same strain.

Brewing went smoothly and I am looking forward to tasting it. I will post the details one the beer is ready.

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