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Winter Wraith

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Batch Size (gallons)5.5
Recipe typeAll Grain
Style21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
Original Gravity1.074
Final Gravity1.015
ABV7.74% (basic)   /   7.78% (advanced)       [what's this?]
Color25.7 SRM
Boil Time60 min

YeastWhite Labs WLP500 (Trappist Ale)

Pale Malt, Maris Otter9 lbs60%3
Munich Malt3 lbs20%9
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L1 lb6.7%80
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 150L1 lb6.7%150
Barley, Flaked 8 oz3.3%1.7
Chocolate Malt, Pale 8 oz3.3%225

Target (Boil)1.27 oz6011%31.7

DirectionsMash @ 152 degrees F. 

Take one gallon of the first runnings and reduce it to a syrup (this yields extra caramelization and increased flavor).

Once fermentation subsides, add the following spices to the carboy:
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
At bottling time, add pure vanilla extract to taste.  I used an entire 2 ounce bottle when it came time to bottle.  I had added ~4 tbsp., and the vanilla taste was noticeable (but not too strong); I ended up using the rest of the bottle for the heck of it.

Start fermentation @ 67 degrees F.  Slowly ramp up to 75 degrees F at the end of fermentation.  This should help achieve full attenuation, and should also accent the desired fruity/spicy notes of this yeast.

This is a brand new recipe, so I can't speak for sure.  The intention is a malty beer, perhaps a touch on the sweet side.  I'm hoping for noticeable caramel, dark fruit, and a nice blend of Christmas spices.  The idea is that this beer will be a tasty dessert "celebration" type brew.

CreditsI'm typically a traditional ingredient kind of guy; while I don't strictly stick to Reinheitsgebot (I use whirlfloc in the kettle, for instance), I do tend to stick to malt, hops, yeast, and water.

My wife asked if I was planning to do a Christmas beer.  I told her that I was not, but she suggested that some nice holiday beers would make for great gifts.  I've always wanted to wax some bottles... that would fit nicely.  She suggested the name, and my imagination got going.  So, here is the recipe that I came up with.

The spice blend is courtesy of BYO magazine, with the exception of the vanilla, which was suggested by various redditors.

This all grain Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer homebrew recipe was submitted by homebrewdad.