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X-Mas Ale 2021

Brewed: 12/05/2021   Kegged: 12/17/2021

XMas2021.jpgEvery year since I started homebrewing (way back in 2009), I've brewed an X-Mas Ale to have around the holidays.

In 2021, it was getting pretty close to Thanksgiving, and I still had not brewed one. 

I almost considered skipping a year.

But, the desire to keep up the tradition over rode my laziness.

I had recently listened to a pod cast where they were talking about "Graf", which is a cider / beer hybrid that seems to have originated from the Stephen King series The Dark Tower. 

Yes, homebrewers are geeks!

I decided to try this concept, but rather than going with apple juice / cider, opted to try  Cherry Pomegranate juice concentrate for part of the fermentable sugars.

I really liked the resulting beer. The cherry pomegranate flavor really complimented the malty caramel of the winter warmer. It was a nice festive beer for the holidays.

On untappd: X-Mas Ale 2021

For more about SheppyBrew X-Mas Ales, check out X-Mas Ales on my Blog

For a list of all the X-Mas Ales on this website, see X-Mas Ales 2009 - 2021

X-Mas Ale 2021 --- Batch 1

Style Winter Seasonal Beer Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.57 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.071 SG Estimated FG 1.017 SG
Recipe Bitterness 35.0 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 7.2 %
BU : GU   0.495        
Recipe Color 21.2 SRM
Measured OG:   1.067    Measured FG:   1.015 
ADF:   76.6   Measured ABV:   6.9


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.60 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
9.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
5.00 g Salt (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
3.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 68.9 % 0.86 gal
1 lbs 12.0 oz Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 6 11.0 % 0.14 gal
8.0 oz Crystal, Dark (Simpsons) (80.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.1 % 0.04 gal
8.0 oz Crystal, Medium (Simpsons) (55.0 SRM) Grain 8 3.1 % 0.04 gal
4.0 oz Crystal, Extra Dark (Simpsons) (160.0 SRM) Grain 9 1.6 % 0.02 gal
2.0 oz Midnight Wheat Malt (550.0 SRM) Grain 10 0.8 % 0.01 gal
0.500 oz Magnum [13.20 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 11 29.6 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 12 - -
0.500 oz Magnum [13.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 13 5.4 IBUs -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 14 - -
0.188 gal Cherry Pomegranate Concentrate [Primary] Juice 15 11.5 % 0.19 gal
1.0 pkg Irish Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP004) Yeast 16 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 30.43 qt of water at 160.1 F 152.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 160.0 F over 10 min 160.0 F 15 min
Mash Out Heat to 170.0 F over 7 min 170.0 F 10 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

Recipe Notes
Make starter a couple days in advance of brew day.
Water salts bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Mash as instructed.
60 minute boil making additions as instructed in recipe.
Add frozen concentrate straight into the primary fermentor.
Cool wort to as close to 60F as possible. Add to fermenter. Aerate wort and pitch yeast.
Ferment at 60F for 24 hours or so. Try to keep fermentation between 60 and 65 for a couple days, then let the temperature go where it want to.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.057 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.57 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
12/04/2021 esheppy
Made starter today. Brew day tomorrow.
12/05/2021 esheppy
Brew day went pretty well. Hybrid brewing ... I mashed in my old-school cooler mash tun and boiled in the Foundry. Ended up with 5.5 gallons at 1.067 (6 with the starter). Lower than the design, but ok I guess. Pitched at 61ish degrees.
12/06/2021 esheppy
Fermentation going strong this morning. Tilt says 1.037 at 66 degrees.
12/07/2021 esheppy
Still going strong, but might be slowing down some. Tilt says 1.019 at 69 degrees.
12/08/2021 esheppy
Tilt says 1.009 at 69. Kraussen gone. Might keg this early.
12/09/2021 esheppy
Tilt says 1.010 at 69. Fermentation seems pretty much done. There is lots of clarification needed, though. My brewing calendar says I'll keg it on the 18th. I have an empty keg, so it will probably be sooner.
12/12/2021 esheppy
Took the tilt out. 1.008 at 68. Starting to clear up. A little cherry pomegranate aroma.
12/17/2021 esheppy
Kegged today. 1.015 FG. Puts us at 6.8% ABV. Can taste the cherry pomegranate, but I'm not sure I would identify it had I not known it was in there. Chilling on the back patio at the moment.
12/24/2021 esheppy
Finally kicked a keg so I could put this in the beer fridge. Needs to chill and carb, but really nice flavor. Cherry pomegranate takes nice in the base.
01/13/2022 esheppy
Been drinking the beer. This might be my favorite X-Mas Ale. Has the maltiness of the base with a touch of fruity pomegranate cherry. A bit drier than the base beer. Nice and clear. Great color. Carbonation is a bit too high right now, but that's ok. Great beer.
01/20/2022 esheppy
Killed the keg tonight. I'm a little surprised it disappeared so fast. Great X-Mas Ale while it lasted. I think graf might be the way I go next year as well.
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