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> Celebration/Winter Ale Ingredients
post Sep 27 2011, 03:30 PM
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Iím not one to follow receipts and like jumping out there and doing stuff outside the norm (maybe it's my lack of experience, but hey it's fun), however I'd like to get this one right the first time. I have a question about some ingredients I haven't used before. I'd like to incorporate cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into a holiday/Winter Ale. I've seen many different suggestions of amounts and wort addition times, including for the lack of better words, 'dry hopping' the ingredient in the secondary. I want a very subtle and not over powering flavor profile. I'd still like the malts and hops to be out front. I was thinking 1 cinnamon stick, one nutmeg whole, and 0.25 oz of ginger root. All added to the boil at 15 min for a 5 gallon batch. What are your thoughts? Thanks.
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post Sep 27 2011, 05:08 PM
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The amount really depends on the malt bill.

Ginger can be pretty potent. A quarter ounce should be fine. I'd wait for the aroma to tell you whether you have enough. You'll smell it, no problem. And it's not going to fade very fast, in fact, as the gravity drops it will be more pronounced.

You want to grate the nutmeg. Grating the whole thing is probably too much. It's pretty potent, too. But it seems to back off a little bit.

Cinnamon is pretty standard. I think a single stick in the boil works just fine. If you want more later on, it's easy to sanitize and add to secondary or at bottling.

I'd go with a 1 or 0 minute addition of the spices. There will be enough heat to sanitize them in the kettle and the cool down time should be sufficient to get them infused. A boil will drive off aromatics that you want in the beer. You're going to take some nutmeg and ginger unless you're filtering pretty fine in the kettle, so it'll keep working for you.
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post Dec 7 2016, 10:11 PM
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I've always preferred more traditional winter/holiday ale...ie, NO spices.
If oyu are compelled to go the spice route, the only ting I can say is don't over do it.
Too much spice can turn a good winter warmer insipid. Same thing with "oak" character (and the two in combination can be downright disgusting of overdone)

The best commercial holiday beer in the past was Anchor's "Our Special Ale"...unfortunately it became a LOT less special when they decided to foul it with spices in the mid 1980s :-(
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