Holday Ale

AHS Holiday Ale (21A) – Mini Mash
# 05682
If using pitchable liquid yeast, let the yeast warm up to 72 – 78 degrees F. The longer the yeast sets at this
temperature range, up to 24 hours, the *5682*
faster the beer will start fermenting.
Make sure everything is clean to the eye. Then clean and sanitize using sanitizers like One-Step, Iodophor, or
Cleanitizer. If required by the manufacturer, rinse off the sanitizing solution thoroughly. In a 20 quart or larger
stainless stockpot, bring 2 gallons of water to 160°F and turn off heat.
1 1⁄2 lb Pale Ale Malt
Put the crushed grains in the grain bag:
8 oz White Wheat
1 lb Crystal 40L Malt
4 oz Chocolate Malt
Soak the grains in the hot water and maintain approx. 155°F for 45 minutes. After soaking the grains, dunk the
grain bag in and out of the water and then completely lift the grain bag out. Place a strainer over the stockpot and
then put the grain bag into the strainer. Pour 170°F water evenly over the grain bag using approx. 1 quart of water
per 2 lb. of grain. Allow the bag to drip (without squeezing) until nearly all of the water has dripped out, then
discard the grains, add 1 gallon of water and return to heat until boiling.
Turn off the heat once again and move the stockpot to a cool burner.
Add the malt extract and any additional sugars listed below:
5 lb Extra Pale Extract
Stir constantly to dissolve the malt extract. Return heat to the mixture once dissolved, stirring occasionally. The
mixture now contains a lot of sugar and can burn if not stirred. Heat the mixture to boiling. When the mixture reaches
boiling, it can rise very rapidly and boil over. At this time, reduce heat to control the rising foam. Once the boil is under
control, adjust the heat to a good rolling boil without boiling over.
Add the
hops and set your timer for:
4 HBU Pack
*Add the
60 Minutes
3 HBU Pack
hops for the last: 15 Minutes
Our Special Holiday Spice Pack
Add the
hops for the last:
5 Minutes
1 oz Saaz
Once the boil time has elapsed since the bittering hops were added, remove the wort from the heat and cool down quickly
to 80oF. A sink full of water with ice in it works well. You may need to change the water a couple of times because it will
warm up quickly. Ideally the wort should be cooled to 80oF within 15-20 minutes. You may want to use a wort chiller to
speed up the process. Once the wort has cooled to 80oF, pour this mixture into the sanitized primary fermenter and add
cool water to make 5 1⁄4 gallons. Vigorously stir the wort to make sure the sugars are well mixed with the added water.
Check the specific gravity of the wort using a hydrometer. Follow the instructions included with the hydrometer. The
hydrometer readings will determine the alcohol content of the beer and allow you to troubleshoot if there is a problem.
The original specific gravity should be approximately: 1.052Recommended Yeast:
White Labs
California Ale 001
Dry Yeast
American Ale 1056
SafAle US-05
Pitchable Liquid Yeast:
Let the yeast warm up to 72 – 78 degrees
F. The longer the yeast sets at this temperature
up to 24 hours, the faster the beer will start fermenting. Shake the yeast container well and pour into the wort and
stir/aerate well.
Put the lid on the fermenter with the airlock installed (fill airlock 1/3 with water). After 12-36 hours this mixture will begin
to churn and produce CO2. This is the yeast vigorously eating the sugar in the wort, expelling unwanted proteins and
fermenting the mixture into alcohol. If you do not see any activity after 24 hours, then remove the lid and vigorously stir
the wort with a sanitized spoon. If after another 24 hours you do not see any fermentation, please call us. After 5-7 days
since the wort started fermenting, the mixture will calm down and the excess proteins will settle at the bottom of the
primary fermenter. At this time, check the specific gravity to make sure it is within 3-4 points of the FG and then carefully
move the fermenter full of beer to a counter top. Be careful not to disturb the sediment on the bottom.
If the recipe calls for dry hopping, add these hops to the sanitized secondary fermenter at this point:
You can move the primary fermenter several hours before you intend to transfer, so the sediment has a chance to resettle
to the bottom of the primary fermenter. Carefully siphon the beer into the sanitized secondary fermenter. Move the airlock
from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter. Make sure the airlock has enough water. Let the beer clarify in the
secondary for 5-7 days. If the beer has not cleared in 7 days, you can add Claro K.C. finings for beer.
Check the specific gravity of the beer using the hydrometer.
The final specific gravity should be approximately: 1.014
The original gravity minus the final gravity multiplied by 131 will give you the alcohol content of your beer.
Bottling the Beer:
Make sure everything is clean to the eye and sanitize. Carefully move the secondary fermenter full of beer to a counter top.
Be careful not to disturb the sediment on the bottom. You can move the carboy several hours before you intend to bottle,
so the sediment has a chance to resettle to the bottom of the fermenter. Next you need to put 2 cups of water into a
saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add the priming sugar and boil for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool to
Pour the cooled sugar water into the plastic bucket (primary fermenter), and then transfer the beer from the secondary
fermenter into the bucket. Siphon the beer into the bucket trying very hard not to disturb the sediment on the bottom of
the fermenter. This will mix the sugar water and beer thoroughly. The yeast in the beer will ferment the priming sugar
and carbonate the bottled beer.
Flavoring to add before bottling
No Flavoring
Once the beer is in the bucket, place the bucket on the counter top. Attach the bottle filler to the end of the tubing.
Siphon the beer and use the filler to put beer in the bottles. Fill the bottles to the top. When you remove the filler, the
level of beer will be appropriate for capping. Proceed to cap the bottles and store in a dark place at room temperature.
Chill the beer when you are ready to drink it.
This handcrafted beer will taste best after
3 weeks
or more of storage.


This recipe will be heavily  modified before I actually brew it. I will not use the vanilla powder, and will instead flavor it with orange peel, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves. Amounts are TBD and will publish when brewed.

This recipe is horseshit. Some of the ingredients listed here are not in the kit.

Technically, this recipe kit is called Winter Solstice ale. I’m sticking with Holiday Ale.


1.5 lbs 40L crystal malt

1 lb 4 oz two row malt

1 lb English crystal malt

1 oz Cascade leaf hops 7.3% AAU

1 Wyeast California Lager 2112 from a starter

orange peel; sour and sweet

whole cloves 6

cinnamon stick 2 in boil, 3 inches each

yeast fuel (can’t hurt)

8 lbs extra pale malt extract syrup

1 lb amber DME

1 lb alcohol boost (probably rice solids)

I heated two gallons water to 160 degrees, and added the grains in two bags, and steeped at 155° for 40 minutes.

I sparged that with 3/4  gallon of 170° water, then brought to 185°.

At this time, I added the malts and alcohol boost and stirred until dissolved. The liquid malts dissolve much easier than that DME, and I had no problem with foamy boilover…FYI.

I added one 3 inch cinnamon stick, 6 whole cloves, and a T of bitter orange peel at the beginning. I also took apart the yeast fuel capsule, and added it manually. I have seen those things lingering even after the brew was finished. One an also add some bread yeast. The boil will kill it, and the yeast are little cannibals; they will eat their own dead…it’s a little disturbing.

No other additions necessary until 45 minutes in when the Cascade hops are added.

Side note while I’m waiting…one of the jugs of malt syrup had mold on it. I probably could have left it, but I had so many things wrong already, I didn’t want to chance it, so I scraped it off with a spoon; along with a large glob of malt syrup.

At 45 minutes, I added the hops.

At the end of the boil, I placed the brewpot into my waiting washtub with ice water, and added two gallon zip bags of ice to the pot, and covered, stirring occasionally.

33 minutes after removing wort from stove, it was in the carboy, topped off to five gallons. Then the aeration for 10 minutes. I use a clothespin to hold the aerator tube off the bottom, and while placing said clothespin onto tube, I DROPPED THE CLOTHESPIN INTO THE WORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, heh heh, I managed to dig it out with another stiff tube like a scissor grab on it. Every once in a while, there is an unforeseen event that makes our brew unforgettable.

I shall dub this beer Holiday Clothespin Ale.

I can only hope that I can get the ferment started in record time so as to kill off any creepy crawlies that may have been on the clothespin.

The OG is a respectable 1.076. Not bad for a Holiday Ale. They should be strong, and not too hoppy or sweet, IMO. That would yield an ABV of 10%.

Our target gravity will be around 1.019.


The liquid extract took a lot less time to dissolve, than 8 lbs of DME. This is considerable. Also, I had absolutely no problem with a threatened boilover with this patch. I attribute it to the liquid extract. Note to beginning brewers: 8 lbs of DME versus 8 lbs of liquid malt extract will give you a higher alcohol content, as the liquid already contains water, hence slightly diluting your malt.

This batch cool faster than any other brew I have done in recent years. The leap hops allowed a much faster pouring cooled wort into the fermenter.

For the starter, this batch I used 2 1/4 C water, and 3/4 C malt. It was definitely foamy when I pitched it.

Note to Austin Homebrew if anyone cares:

We, as consumers shop where we want. Part of homebrewing is trusting our suppliers. It takes time to build a trusting relationship. You have ruined it for me. You sold me old yeast, and moldy extract. You have a problem with your quality control. I suggest you act on it.


I racked the beer today to a 5 gallon carboy. The gravity is 1.020

It’s a little high, but should finish fermenting the secondary, if I let it sit a couple weeks. I added a couple ounces of sweet orange peel and a stick of cinnamon, trying to attain more of a ‘holiday’ aroma. Remember, out target FG is 1.018; more or less. There was lots of CO2 bubbles, so it has a little ways to go yet before bottling.


I bottled today to another pack of same yeast, 2 C water, and 3/4 C corn sugar.

The gravity was 1.016.

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