Winter Ale 2015

Style: Spiced winter warmer

Brewed: September 16, 2015

Transferred: October 20, 2015

Bottled: December 1, 2015


Fermentables: Maris Otter, Rye, Pale Chocolate, Dark Crystal, flaked oats, brown sugar

Hops: East Kent Goldings (bittering only)

Yeast: White Labs 002 (2 packs)

Additions:  Cinnamon (boil 10m), Vanilla beans + Hawaiian dark rum oak cubes (secondary)

Tasting Notes:

October 20, 2015:   During transfer. Cinnamon is present but not too strong. Pretty nice chocolate flavour. Not much alcohol presence.  SG is 1.023, about right.

November 11, 2015:  Sample taken while brewing another beer. Has dried way out!  1.011. Definitely an indication that maybe using an ex-brett carboy was a bad idea. However, it doesn’t taste terribly dry.

December 1, 2015:  Bottled. Tasting decent, surprisingly low alcohol burn considering it’s now at 10% ABV. Added only 1/2 oz of sugar for 2.5 gallons as it was bottled at 42F from a week-long cold crash. Cinnamon, vanilla, rum and oak are all quite subtle.

February 3, 2016:  I had already surmised that this batch got infected and have dumped most, but kept a few bottles just to see what happens. It certainly is infected, with a bit of a tannic acidity coming through now, but surprisingly it’s kind of turning into a palatable dark sour. The lack of roast malts definitely helps. It will be interesting to see where this one goes with my couple remaining bottles. Hope I don’t end up regretting the drain pours!