Month: January 2022

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Xmas Ale CloneGreat Lakes Xmas Ale Clone

I got my recipe from Brewer’s Friend, and it was a recipe posted by Cameron. He also has a YouTube video showing how he went about it.

Well it was that time of year again for the Christmas Ale to come rolling out, and I had my fill of it over the holidays. I’ve never tried brewing a clone of the beer, so this year I thought that I would. I got to it a bit later than I would have liked, but the five gallons I got will carry me through the snowy months as I brew Stout and then, in March, and Oktoberfest.

 Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
 12 lbs Pale Malt Grain 1 78.0 % 0.94 gal
 1 lbs 3.2 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (53.4 SRM) Grain  2  7.8 % 0.09 gal
 12.8 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 3 5.2 % 0.06 gal
 5.1 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.1 % 0.03 gal
 1.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 5 0.4% 0.00 gal
 1.0 oz Liberty [4.30 %] – Boil 60.0 min  Hop 6 11.6 IBUs  —
 1.0 oz Liberty [4.30 %] – Boil 15.0 min  Hop 7  5.7 IBUs  —
 1.0 oz Ginger Root (Boil 12.0 mins)  Herb 8  —  —
 1.0 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 11.0 min Hop 9  5. IBUs  —
 4.0 oz Cinnamon Stick (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 10  —  —
 1 lb Honey [Primary] Honey 11 6.5% 0.08 gal

I had to make some modifications based on the ingredients I had on hand, but this is the recipe I ended up with:

My mash volume was 6.52 gallons with a pH of 5.3 and my sparge volume was 3.73 gallons with a pH of 5.2. My pre-boil volume was 8 gallons (I overshot the 7.4 recommended), but boiled it 75 minutes instead of 60 minutes. I mashed at between 154 degrees and 156 degrees for 60 minutes, the sparge took around the same amount of time at 168 degrees. (I donated my spent grains to a neighbor who has chickens.) My measured pre-boil gravity was 1.056, and my measured original gravity was 1.070. I brew using a Grainfather, so the mash was continually re-circulating. I pitched a California Ale yeast (WLP001), for which I created a starter. The yeast was old (September 2021 expiration), so I hedged my bet and also pitched Safale US-05 into the fermenter. The wort went into the fermenter at 68 degrees, I oxygenated it via O2 and a stone prior to pitching the yeast. The beer finished fermenting three days ago, January 3, 2022, and started fermenting within 24 hours. It was a long fermentation as I brewed the beer on December 23, 2021. I’ll move it into a corny keg tomorrow and take final gravity readings at that time.