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Xmas beer

So I’m still new to the brew scene and I’m thinking it’s time to brew a Christmas beer. Now I already have a Honey Porter kit I was just going to doctor up. What would be a good route to go with? I wanted a gingerbread Porter, what can I add in the boil to achieve that? Pardon the dumb questions

Replace the honey with molasses then add some spice. Ginger nutmeg cinnamon touch of clove

I still do 1 gal batches so it’s hard to measure it out. I’ve seen 12oz of molasses in 5 gal. So divide by 5? Also would you throw this in end of boil?

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Yes, divide by 5. And be easy with the spices- a little goes along way.

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I’m doing a gingerbread porter on Saturday. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

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I second that.

Quick question on molasses. The head brewer at my local brewery suggested being sparse with it, as if you use too much it’ll dominate the beer’s taste. For a 5 gallon batch, I’m thinking of going with about .25 pounds. Is that enough?

I’ve seen 12oz In a few 5 gal recipes but yeah I heard it can bring some odd flavors. I’m going to try brown sugar

Nope. 12 oz is fine if you’re worried use light molasses. I use dark in my porters and I think it comes out good. Brown sugar is fine but you have to add alot to get any flavor and you’ll dry the beer out which is not how I like Porter. If I was going to use brown sugar I’d also add raisons

Great, I’ll use the 12 oz bottle I got then. I think I’ll pass on the brown sugar though, I’m with you on not liking a dry porter.

My spices are going to be mostly ginger, and then some cinnamon, clove and a spot of nutmeg

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Brown sugar works very well for a new castle style brown ale… Sneezles61

I brewed my 1 gallon. Went with 2.5oz of blackstrap molasses, a cinnamon stick and a couple of slices of fresh ginger in the last ten mins of the boil. It smelled pretty good during racking. I hope it comes out well I can’t wait

I would recommend not putting the good aromatics into a boil… it will evaporate essential oils out and… well, not be quite as good as it could be added AFTER the primary fermentation is done… See how the other peeps weigh in… Sneezles61

Ah I’ve seen it done both ways. Hmmm I guess I could put more in after primary is done. Do I need to sterilize the ginger and cinnamon stick? A la vodka etc?

You could but I’d taste it first

So I brewed the Gingerbread Porter on Saturday morning. All and all I am happy with it. I overshot my OG on this, I think it’s because I am still trying to figure out my efficiency on the new kettle I bought.

I wound up using about a tablespoon of clove and nutmeg, two sticks of cinnamon, and about 2 knobs of freshly grated ginger. Used slightly less molasses in the boil as well, despite the advice here. It smelled wonderful, and the wort was really tasty too. I hope that after fermentation the flavors still hold. I’ll let you all know how the first taste is on bottling day in a couple weeks.

Is yours five gal? When did you add the cinnamon etc? Mine smelled great so I’m eager to try it. I still need to get a refractometer so I’m always flying blind on these things

Well it was supposed to be 5 gallons haha, but it wound up being about 3.5-4 gallons. I was aiming for a 1.065 OG and wound up with like 1.071. Not horrible, and I’ll have to deal with the higher ABV, but I’m chalking it up to my learning curve and me still figuring out my kettle’s efficiency.

I put the cinnamon in at about 10 mins of the boil. The head brewer at my local brewery suggested putting a stick in a muslin bag, tying the bag to a string and throwing it in. It worked out well. I put the molasses and ginger in at 15 mins, and the rest of the spices in at 10. I also put a small addition of Willamette hops in at 5 mins.

I think you may be on to something with the refractometer. Might be worth investing in for me too, since I’m still having trouble with my gravity.

I wouldn’t worry about the ABV flavor wise I think it actually works well with spices. I make mine strong on purpose. It’s not a beer I’ll sit and guzzle. More of a Baltic Porter

I agree. Tasting the wort lead me to see the wisdom in your advice about a higher ABV. I think the alcohol will compliment the flavor of the many spices

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