Brewing Beer for Christmas

Deciding what to brew isn’t a stress, but I do like to give it some thought, especially when Christmas is a couple of months away (apologies for mentioning the C-word, but beer does sometimes require some forward planning).  I looked in a few books and was almost decided on a heavily spiced winter warmer, when it dawned on me that I might not actually want to drink much of it.  When you’re full of rich Christmas food and lovely booze, most likely grape and grain, and when the pressure from your stomach eases off just enough for the blood supply to reignite your synapses, then the big question is “what do I fancy?”.

I put this question to the good people of Twitter and unsurprisingly I received a broad response, from Berliner Weisse to Imperial Stout and from quaffable Pale to sippable Quadruple.  Each to their own, but it was a useful exercise as it did help me to decide what to brew (bearing in mind that I will buy at least one each of the other styles anyway!).  P.s. Thanks for all the suggestions.

In a couple of weeks time I’ll probably brew another pale ale, something around 5% with plenty of late hops.  For my other choice, and this one needs to be brewed just as soon as the yeast is ready, will be my take on a rosette winning beer brewed for the UK National Homebrew Competition 2012.   Ali Kocko-Williams brewed a Belgian Stout/Porter which won him 3rd place in its category.  I’ll need to sub some of the ingredients as I want to use up what I have in stock, but the beer is inspired mainly by his choice of yeast.  It’ll be a 8-9%, 40 IBU, dark beer, most likely hopped with something of the noble variety (depends what I have in the freezer), and fermented using WLP510 Belgian Bastogne and WLP585 Belgian Saison III pitched together.  Ali’s version was then aged with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, but I’m going to have to concede on that one.  Who knows how this will turn out…only one way to find out!


2 thoughts on “Brewing Beer for Christmas

  1. my first Christmas brew (to take up north to my parents’ house) is getting made tonight – a ~9% Belgian dubbel (a little too strong for style maybe, but who cares?) with WLP530 (cos i love the Westmalle beers).

    other than that i’ll probably make a nice fruitcakey session bitter that i can knock back in the afternoons in front of the TV with my two brothers without getting completely smashed.

    a Belgian Stout sounds very interesting – are you going to post the recipe?

    • Excellent, 9% sounds just fine to me! I’m thinking along the same lines with a nice strong one to savour and a lower abv to share around with my brothers….hoping to keg it, but I need to buy some shizzle first. Have a good brewnight!

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