This year, Christmas falls on December 2nd. That’s because no beer in this house has ever had higher expectations, created more excitement and anticipation than our 2012 Christmas Ale.
It’s a strong ale aged with bourbon-soaked oak chips and vanilla beans. And if it’s half as good as the homebrew that inspired it, it’s going to be downright fabulous. We’re officially calling it – after a major compromise on my part this week – Cousin Eddie’s Christmas Ale. Yes, that Cousin Eddie.
(You get imaginary, useless bonus points that aren’t redeemable for anything if you know what I originally named it.)
We started with this recipe and then my beer guy made adjustments to target a 9.5% ABV.
While the brew was in primary last week, we soaked 3 split vanilla beans and 2 oz of oak chips in a Texas-made bourbon. And that heavenly (HEAVENLY) mixture went into secondary this weekend. In 3 weeks, we’ll transfer the brew to a keg to age another 3 weeks. And then we’re officially calling it Christmas 🙂
Cousin Eddie's Christmas Ale
Report from ProMash for 5.00 gal Anticipated OG 1.089 Anticipated IBU 37.5 Color 24.2
- 5 lbs Briess LME-Gold
- 5 lbs Briess LME-Weizen
- 2 lbs 2-Row
- .5 lb Biscuit Malt
- .5 lb Cara-Pils
- .25 lb Carafa
- .25 lb Chocolate Malt
- .25 lb Melanoidin Malt
- .75 oz Northern Brewer
- .5 oz Kent Golding
- Wyeast 1056
- 3 Vanilla beans
- 2 oz French oak chips
- 1 cup bourbon
- Add Northern Brewer hops at 60.
- Add Golding hops at 45.
- After fermentation starts, transfer primary to chiller for 7 days at 68F.
- Meanwhile, add vanilla beans, oak chips, and bourbon to sanitized bowl with lid and let steep in the fridge for the duration of primary fermentation.
- On day 8, transfer to secondary and add the contents of the bourbon bowl (liquid and all) to secondary fermenter for 21 days at 68F.
- Bottle or keg, condition for 21 days.
Yields: 5 gallon batch