• Brewed: Dec. 12, 2020
  • Packaged: Dec. 24, 2020
  • On Tap: Dec. 25, 2020
  • Recipe: Holiday Beer 2020

This was my first attempt at a spiced beer. As I discuss in the recipe, there didn't seem to be any good rule or guideline for how much to use of the spices, so I mostly went towards the middle, with the exception of the orange peel since I used dried orange peel which I believe is pretty old and so will have lost a lot of its scent and flavor.

Preboil SG: N/A - Forgot to get it

Original gravity: 1.044

Final gravity: 1.011

Mash Water Volume: 4.75 Gallons

Volume in Fermenter: 3.00 Gallons

My volume and gravity is all off on this batch. I recently discovered my volume marks on my fermenter were probably off, so my previously calculated efficiency has been off. I also fiddled with calculations for the amount of water to use in an attempt to adjust for putting everything from the boil kettle into the fermenter but losing 1/4 to 1/2 gallon to trub and yeast when transferring from the fermenter to the keg. I made a mistake there, resulting in me using too much water and getting more wort than planned but quite a bit lower original gravity. Given how many 10%+ ABV beers I have sitting around right now due to the holiday imperial stout release boom, it'll be nice to have another low alcohol beer around anyway. I have corrected the written recipe to match what it really became as far as volume of water used and the effects that has. My real efficiency was still a bit low.

Mash process:

As usual I did a full volume, no sparge BIAB mash. For this batch that was a 4.75 gallons of water. I added the grains at 157F. Stirred initially and again after about 15 minutes. After getting everything mixed and sitting about 154F I left it for 60 minutes without touching the heat or stirring it this time. After 60 minutes I lifted the grain bag and squeezed everything I could out of it.


I pitched the yeast at 60F and then set my temperature controls to maintain 63F and let the temperature free raise itself to that temperature without applying heat over the next day. Fementation was well under way with krausen forming in a bit under 24 hours. After 4 days I bumped the temperature to 64F and 66F after 6 days just to help the last bit of fermentation which should be left.


I took my final gravity reading today and it is just about where it should be at 1.011 to 1.012 (hydrometer in the images reads .003 or so high). This means I should be able to finish off my Rye or the Kaiser which is in the keg tomorrow, clean that out, and get this in there and carbonated for Christmas day. I took a sample drink from the hydromter jar since I have more than my keg is going to fit anyway and it's not bad. I think once it is cold and carbonated this is going to be pretty good. I could go with a bit stronger spicing in the future, but it's definitely not too weak as it is. I wouldn't want to go too much further with the spice level, although with a beer with more body it could work well.

Style Details

1.044 - 1.056 1.010 - 1.014 10 - 18
14 - 23 srm

Batch Details

Brewed OnPackaged OnOn Tap DateOriginal GravityFinal GravityColor
Dec. 12, 2020 Dec. 24, 2020 Dec. 25, 2020 1.044 1.012
15 srm