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Which is the better holiday brew?

I would like to brew a good Christmas/holiday beer this weekend, and I’m debating between the Brickwarmer Holiday Red recipe, and the Spiced Winter Ale recipe (all-grain for both). For those of you that have tried either/both of these recipes, what are your thoughts, and which one was the better brew?

I’m also considering the Winter Warmer recipe, but I don’t know if that would have as many “holiday” flavors as the other two. Any thoughts are always appreciated!

Danke!

I am partial to a nice spiced beer for the holidays myself.

I hate spices in holiday beers. IMO, the perfect holiday beer is Sierra Nevada Celebration, followed closely by Jubelale.

I’ve only had a couple of spiced beers that I’ve really liked, which is why I guess I’m leaning more toward the Brickwarmer Holiday Red. Has anybody made this recipe, and if so, what are your thoughts?

I brewed up the Brickwarmer last year for Christmas. It was my first batch that I kegged. I had just set up my kegerator and I bought a keg of Fireside Chat from 21st Amendment brewery. That was a “Standard” spiced Christmas ale/winter warmer so the Brickwarmer made a very nice variety to have on tap. It was not overly spicy, had a slight citrus to it from the orange peel and was very drinkable. This year I will have Dry Dock Vanilla Urca Porter and Lakefront Bridge Burner on tap for Christmas. :stuck_out_tongue:

:cheers:
Rad

+1 for Dean Larson’s Celebration clone.

Just yummy.

Though the addition of sweet orange peel does sound intriguing.

[quote=“brewingdan”]+1 for Dean Larson’s Celebration clone.

Just yummy.

Though the addition of sweet orange peel does sound intriguing.[/quote]

I thought the sweet orange peel would add a nice “holiday” flavor element as well, without adding too much of an overpowering spice character. Is the Celebration clone a NB recipe/kit? Furthermore, do you know if SN Celebration is available in stores already? If possible, I’d like to get an idea for what kind of beer I’m brewing beforehand. If it’s not available until the holiday season, could you describe the flavor/characteristics of Celebration?

[quote=“S Wagner”][quote=“brewingdan”]+1 for Dean Larson’s Celebration clone.

Just yummy.

Though the addition of sweet orange peel does sound intriguing.[/quote]

I thought the sweet orange peel would add a nice “holiday” flavor element as well, without adding too much of an overpowering spice character. Is the Celebration clone a NB recipe/kit? Furthermore, do you know if SN Celebration is available in stores already? If possible, I’d like to get an idea for what kind of beer I’m brewing beforehand. If it’s not available until the holiday season, could you describe the flavor/characteristics of Celebration?[/quote]

To me, it’s rich, full bodied, balanced, slight hop dankness. Classic cascade/centennial combo.

Its not a kit,

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/26895/32 ... 1128555731

Jubelale… Great holiday choice. I’m gonna hafta look around for a recipe…

I’m glad that I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Celebration is truly a gem.
Anchor’s “Our Special Ale” was also once a thing of beauty, before they started adding the spices.

I’ve always found that the best holiday brew is the one that causes me crazy brother-in-law to pass out and stop talking… :lol:

Jubelale is particularly good this year. Really nice burnt sugar and dark fruit on the finish. Maybe its the Extra Special Malt?

Trying the Spiced this year since NB has the deal going. I’ve read reviews that the only downside is it comes off kinda strong with the clove. I’m considering mellowing it out with a vanilla/cinnamon tincture with bourbon. Talk about warming you up :lol:

[quote=“brewingdan”][quote=“S Wagner”][quote=“brewingdan”]+1 for Dean Larson’s Celebration clone.

Just yummy.

Though the addition of sweet orange peel does sound intriguing.[/quote]

I thought the sweet orange peel would add a nice “holiday” flavor element as well, without adding too much of an overpowering spice character. Is the Celebration clone a NB recipe/kit? Furthermore, do you know if SN Celebration is available in stores already? If possible, I’d like to get an idea for what kind of beer I’m brewing beforehand. If it’s not available until the holiday season, could you describe the flavor/characteristics of Celebration?[/quote]

To me, it’s rich, full bodied, balanced, slight hop dankness. Classic cascade/centennial combo.

Its not a kit,

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/26895/32 ... 1128555731[/quote]

Is this the recipe below @Brewingdan? Do you ferment it at 68? Is that intended to produce fruity esters? I’m looking for Celebration, haven’t had it but my son loves it so figured I’d give it a shot. Sounds like something I’d like. I’ll probably use 1272 since I always have it on hand. Pretty much the same as 1056 I think but flocs better.

Celebration Clone 5-5.5 gallons

Ingredients:

12# Domestic 2 Row Malt
1# English Crystal Malt 45-50L

Target OG is 1.066. Adjust 2 row malt according to your mash efficiency. FG should be about 1.014-1.016.

1 oz Chinook hop flowers, 13.5 % AA, 60 min
0.25 oz Chinook hop flowers, 13.5 % AA, 30 min
1 oz Cascade hop flowers, 5.5 % AA, flameout
0.5 oz Cascade hop pellets, dry hop in secondary
0.5 oz Centennial hop pellets, dry hop in secondary

0.5 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes

Wyeast #1056

Single infusion mash at 156F. Ferment at 68F.

[quote=“dannyboy58”][
Is this the recipe below @Brewingdan? Do you ferment it at 68? Is that intended to produce fruity esters? I’m looking for Celebration, haven’t had it but my son loves it so figured I’d give it a shot. Sounds like something I’d like. I’ll probably use 1272 since I always have it on hand. Pretty much the same as 1056 I think but flocs better.

Celebration Clone 5-5.5 gallons

Ingredients:

12# Domestic 2 Row Malt
1# English Crystal Malt 45-50L

Target OG is 1.066. Adjust 2 row malt according to your mash efficiency. FG should be about 1.014-1.016.

1 oz Chinook hop flowers, 13.5 % AA, 60 min
0.25 oz Chinook hop flowers, 13.5 % AA, 30 min
1 oz Cascade hop flowers, 5.5 % AA, flameout
0.5 oz Cascade hop pellets, dry hop in secondary
0.5 oz Centennial hop pellets, dry hop in secondary

0.5 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes

Wyeast #1056

Single infusion mash at 156F. Ferment at 68F.[/quote]

Yep, that’s it. I have a batch finishing fermentation now. Although I ferment it at 63F, not 68.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“dannyboy58”][
Is this the recipe below @Brewingdan? Do you ferment it at 68? Is that intended to produce fruity esters? I’m looking for Celebration, haven’t had it but my son loves it so figured I’d give it a shot. Sounds like something I’d like. I’ll probably use 1272 since I always have it on hand. Pretty much the same as 1056 I think but flocs better.

Celebration Clone 5-5.5 gallons

Ingredients:

12# Domestic 2 Row Malt
1# English Crystal Malt 45-50L

Target OG is 1.066. Adjust 2 row malt according to your mash efficiency. FG should be about 1.014-1.016.

1 oz Chinook hop flowers, 13.5 % AA, 60 min
0.25 oz Chinook hop flowers, 13.5 % AA, 30 min
1 oz Cascade hop flowers, 5.5 % AA, flameout
0.5 oz Cascade hop pellets, dry hop in secondary
0.5 oz Centennial hop pellets, dry hop in secondary

0.5 tsp Irish Moss, 15 minutes

Wyeast #1056

Single infusion mash at 156F. Ferment at 68F.[/quote]

Yep, that’s it. I have a batch finishing fermentation now. Although I ferment it at 63F, not 68.[/quote]
Thanks for confirming the recipe. That’s normally where I ferment my ales too Denny. Just wondered if there was a reason they listed the higher temp on this recipe.

Sierra Nevada ferments most of their stuff at 68. I just prefer it a little lower.

How much difference in the SNCA recipe does it make using hop pellets for boil additions as opposed to leaf/whole hops? I find leaf hops a pain to deal with.

+1

I’m going to use pellets and just adjust for the target IBUs.

Slightly off topic, but looking for some feedback from the guys that like Celebration ale.

I picked up a couple 6’ers last weekend but found it seriously mediocre. Not bad, but there really wasn’t anything special about it. I’m assuming that the shipping and handling across the country damaged it, and I should try to find some from a different distributor. What should I expect from this beer? I’m seriously considering making the posted recipe, but wanted to hear what you guys thought first.

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