Christmas beer

According to BJCP this style refers to a stronger, darker, spiced beer that often has a rich body and warming finish, suggesting a good accompaniment for the cold winter season. Many breweries produce unique seasonal offerings that may be more characterful than their normal beers. Spiced versions are an American or Belgian tradition, since English or German breweries traditionally do not use spices in their beer. The below recipe is a basic one, fermented with Belgian yeast to ensure sweet flavors, fruity taste and slight spiciness. 

OG, FG, IBU, SRM and ABV varies depending on the base beer, but ABV is generally above 6%, and most examples are darker in color.


Batch size: 23l / 6 gallon
Efficiency: 75%
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.011
ABV: 6.4 %
Bitterness: 22 IBU
Colour: 26 SRM

Grain bill:
Use several type of crystal malts, especially those that add dark fruit or caramel flavors and add some roasted for the desired color.

Swaen©Ale

4,70 kg / 2,1 lbs

77%

GoldSwaen©Belge

0,20 kg / 0,09 lb

3%

GoldSwaen©Brown

0,20 kg / 0,09 lb

3%

GoldSwaen©Aroma

0,20 kg / 0,09 lb

3%

BlackSwaen©Chocolate B

0,15 kg / 0,07 lb

2%

BlackSwaen©Barley

0,15 kg / 0,07 lb

2%

Sugar*

0,50 kg / 0,23 lb

8%

*Such adjuncts are often used, so you can pick any of them according to your preference: candy sugar, molasses, treacle, invert sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup.

Hops:
The importanceof hop profile is secondary. You can add any kind of noble hops.

Magnum

14 g / 0.5
oz

60 min

12% AA

17
IBU  

Styrian
Goldings

28 g / 1 oz

10 min

5% AA

5
IBU  

Spices**

14 g / 0.5
oz

5 min

 

 

 **As for spices you can use any which reminds you of the Christmas season (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, allspice, whole cloves, ginger or orange peels), but note they should not overwhelm the base beer, but complement it. So for first try the above quantity should be sufficient.

Yeast:
For this recipe we used Belgian yeast, but any fruity, ester producing strains are recommended.

Dry

Liquid

Fermentis Safbrew BE-256

White Labs WLP550 Belgian Ale

Mangrove Jack M41 Belgian Ale

Wyeast 1214 Belgian Ale

Lallemand Abbaye


Brewing process:
Mashing at 70°C (158 F) 60 min
Mash out at 78°C (172 F) 10 min
Boil for 60 minutes.
Ferment at room temperature for 2 weeks
Secondary fermentation is optional, only recommended for higher ABV beers. 
Carbonation level should be around 2.2-2.4.

Cheers!