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Winter Warmer Screw-Up?

3 months ago I brewed a partial mash clone recipe of Summit’s Winter Ale. It was a BYO clone recipe that I converted into a PM and is as follows:

3.5 lbs Rahr 2-Row
.5lbs CaraPils
1.25lbs 75L Crystal Malt
1.0oz Black Patent Malt
Mash @ 152° for 60min

3.0 lbs Gold LME (60min)
3.0 lbs Gold LME (15min)

1.0oz Willamette (60min)
.5oz Fuggles (15min)
.5oz Tettnanger (15min)

Wyeast 1968 ESB @ 68°

It started out with an OG of 1.066 and finished at 1.016

Racked to secondary after 3 weeks, and then let it sit for another 2.5months in the secondary.

Rehydrated some US05 and added during bottling to insure proper carb. Now after bottle conditioning it does not taste as I think it should. Smell is boozy, and the taste is lacking the roasty chocolate/coffee flavors that I was hoping for. Somewhat sweet, maybe fig/raisin. Not butterscotch.

What happened? The recipe didnt call for chocolate mat, but should I have used some? Was the black patent not enough to get the roast flavors? Help. I have a lot of time invested in this one, and am disappointed.


That doesn’t seem like much roastiness, and the color’s a bit light from what I can tell. Also, the bitterness seems sort of low. Even if it’s not what you expected, if it tastes good, then just enjoy it and make some changes for next time.

If it were me, I’d take out the black malt, put in 4oz of chocolate malt, and double the bittering charge.

I would agree that the color is a bit light. It looked like they used the black patent primarily for color.

This was my first venture outside of the pre-made kits from NB. I need to try drinking this without my preconceived notion of what I thought it would taste like.

Oh well, as long as I can learn from it, then it’s not a loss. Still learning what flavors all the malts add, how much, and why.

1oz of black patent isn’t going to get you any noticeable flavor impact. Most of the time 1-2oz of black patent or roasted barley is added to a beer simply for color. If you want a flavor impact, you’re gonna need to go higher than that.

Looking at Summits website, they use Carafa II, 2-row, and a caramel malt. As it’s based off a british beer, I would use caramel 60, as it’s close to UK medium caramel malt. It’ll add a caramel and toffee flavor without much fig/raisin.

I would go with 1lb of caramel 60, and maybe 6oz of carafa II (regular, not the special). I don’t think you need any carapils with all the extract you’re using, as extract usually has carapils in it already.

Sounds like a winter warmer along the lines of New Belgium’s 2 below but not as bitter.
If you are trying for a more roasty flavor without too much color try some special roast or victory malt.’

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