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Winter Warmer additions

Going to be doing the Winter Warmer extract soon, I’m planning on adding some spices.

Here is what I’m planning:

Boil additions over original kit, timing is like NB instructions.

1LB light honey (10-15min)
1oz cinnamon (10 min)
about 1oz or less crystallized ginger (10 min)
1oz sweet orange peel (5 min)
1tsp ground nutmeg (5 min)
2tsp vanilla extract (5 min)

What are your thoughts?

The ginger I’m going to count the cubes in the 2oz jar and count one less than half so just under 1oz by a cube. Only because I’ve heard some say that the ginger can be overpowering. For the nutmeg and vanilla I’m guessing at the amounts.

Thanks for your input!!

I am doing a yeast starter and I plan on doing a secondary for a min of 2 weeks. Right now my basement is at around 63-65 my floor is at 64. I’m really looking forward to this beer, which will be the biggest beer I’ve done so far.


Have you thought about how all those flavors will play together and what each one will bring? To me, it looks like you’re going overboard, but only you know what you want. Think about the result, not the additions. And if you want to keep any honey character, don’t add it to the boil. Add it after the bulk of fermentation has completed.

This is good advice. I would nix all but the nutmeg and cinnamon. I dont like Ginger though so as Denny said. Only you know what you’ll want.

Noted. I guess I didn’t think to hard on the flavors.

However I got the idea for most of the additions from a beer I bought from my local liquor store. Brand is Howe Sound Brewing and the beer is Father John’s Winter Ale. On their description they say they put a blend of ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, molasses, honey and yellow sugar into this beer. I liked the beer so I wanted to try and make it.

I forget where I got the idea on the orange, maybe I saw someone else putting it into their winter warmer.

So on the note of maybe overkill, I’m thinking changing the amounts and removing the orange completely.

I figure cut way back on ginger because I don’t recall the beer I tasted having a ginger snap to it, so maybe only 1-2 cubes of ginger at same time addition. I’m thinking keep the cinnamon and nutmeg the same, and only 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Don’t know what to do with the honey.

So that puts me at…

1LB honey :?: secondary addition(how do I prepare the honey for addition to secondary?)?
1oz cinnamon (10min)
1-2 cubes ginger (10min) :?: Would it be worth it?
1tsp nutmeg (5min) :?: Should I change amount?
1tsp vanilla (5min)

What are your thoughts?

I’d be very careful with nutmeg. I over-nutmeg-ed a brown ale and there was no rescuing it. If it was my recipe, I would cut the nutmeg down to 1/4tsp. Less is definitely more, IMHO.


You don’t need ro do anything to prepare the honey for secondary addition.

The best advice I can give you is to try to tase the beer in your mind…then decide what you want to add.

Alright I think I have it narrowed down to what I think I wish it to taste like, I want the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla flavors to shine to make this a holiday beer.

I’m having a hard time picturing the flavor of the ginger although I’ve found many holiday winter warmer beers with it in the recipe so I’m thinking the less is more would fit, once I count the quantity in the 2oz jar I’ll shoot for 1/4oz and round down to the nearest cube.

I’m thinking of getting rid of the honey because I don’t know how it will fit in.

So with that here is what I have:

1oz cinnamon (10min)
1/4oz or less of ginger (10min)
1/3tsp nutmeg (5min)
1tsp vanilla extract (5min)

Unless someone scream’s at me to make a change or adjustment I’m feeling pretty good about this addition to the winter warmer.

I’ll have to get going on this if I want this beer to be ready for the holidays, I have my yeast starter going already.

Thanks for your input and I will post in the future how it turns out.


I think you’re zeroing in on the recipe creation process! Hope you get the delicious beer you’re looking for!

Hey I just tried my first beer from this recipe.

I will do my best to describe my thoughts, my taste buds are not as refined as some and may not be able to paint a flavor picture very well.

Good color, head is good and creamy.

Aroma is complex, I can smell a bit of spice along with sweet and it does have a alcohol note to it as well.

Taste, I think it needs a bit of time but my thoughts are that this is a great tasting beer. It has a little bite to it, think I may be tasting the ginger which may be hiding some of the other flavors a bit. It has a bit of alcohol tickle on the tongue and finishes with a little hopness.

Aftertaste, is pleasant with a bit of hop. Aroma-like notes come back and is making me crave another glass!

I think my best part of the beer is the aroma, it smells amazing which makes this beer very enjoyable to drink.

Cant wait to bring this to the holidays and share with the family!! :smiley:

Thanks again for the valuable input I think I have a great beer in my hand!! :cheers:

Oh yea and I will be putting away a twelve pack to see how it age’s.

It has been a while, I still have a few bottles left. With time the beer becomes very smooth, still smells great, not quite as spicy but still very good taste.

I will be making another batch and this time I will back the ginger off, I think it covers too much of the other spices at first tasting, although it mellows out a lot with time. Maybe I’ll up the vanilla a bit.

Or I may make a vodka tincture as a flavor boost by the glass and a eye dropper.

For whatever it’s worth, I just opened the first few bottles of this kit and am very happy with the results. I did not add any spices as I have a pumpkin ale and spiced ale in bottles. The winter warmer is definitely one of my favorites. Gave it plenty of time in primary and secondary along with two weeks bottled.

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