Christmas Present Olde Ale

Christmas Present Olde Ale

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1.065  FG = 1.020
IBU = 40  SRM = 20  ABV = 5.8%

4 lbs. (1.8 kg) pale malt
1 lb. (0.45 kg) medium crystal malt (40° to 50° Lovibond)
0.25 lb. (113 g) chocolate malt
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) wheat malt
10 oz. (0.28 kg) black treacle
4 lbs. (1.8 kg) unhopped amber dried malt extract
1 tsp. gypsum
1 tsp. calcium carbonate
6 AAU Kent Goldings hops (60 min.) (1.5 oz./43 g at 4% alpha acids)
4 AAU Fuggle hops (60 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 4% alpha acid)
English Ale yeast (Wyeast 1968 or White Labs WLP002)
2/3 cup brown sugar for priming

Step by Step
Crack the grains. Treat 2 gal. (7.6 L) water with one teaspoon each of gypsum and calcium carbonate. Heat to 164 °F (73 °C). Add grains, gently mix in. Mash should settle at 152 °F (67 °C) or so. Hold for 60 min. Wash the grains with 2 gallons (7.6 L) hot water (~ 168 °F/76 °C) and top off the kettle to 6.5 gallons (24.6 L).

Turn off heat and add the treacle and dried malt extract, and stir until all everything is dissolved. Bring to a boil, total boil time is 90 min. Boil 30 min., then add both the Goldings and the Fuggle hops. Boil 60 min. more.

Remove from heat, chill, and add to primary fermenter with enough chilled pre-boiled water to make 5.25 gal (20 L). When cooled to 70 °F (21 °C), pitch yeast.

Ferment warm, ~68 °F (20 °C) for three or four days, then move to a cooler place, 60 °F (16 °C) for a week to 10 days. Rack to secondary if you so desire and age cool for three to four weeks more. Prime with brown sugar, bottle, and allow time for proper carbonation or keg and force carbonate.

This beer will be drinkable in one month but will be better in three. You may find (if it lasts) that a two-year-old bottle will be wonderful.

All extract with grains version
Omit the pale malt and wheat malt. Start by steeping the crystal and chocolate malts in 2 gal. (7.6 L) of water, gradually raising the temperature to 170 °F (77 °C). Remove the grains and add the treacle and 6.5 lbs. (3 kg) dried malt extract. Hop and boil as above. It will be good, but not quite as rich as the partial-mash.

All-grain option:
Increase the pale malt to 11.5 lbs. (5.2 kg), mash with crystal, chocolate, and wheat in 4.25 gal. (16 L) of water; sparge with 5 gal (19 L). Collect 6.5 or 7 gal. (24.6 or 26.5 L) of wort, then boil long enough to reduce to 5.25 gallons (20 L) with hop schedule as above.

Treacle: Treacle is, of course, a variant of molasses. Many homebrew shops now carry it regularly. If yours doesn’t, ask them to. Otherwise, in a pinch you might get away with dark (unsulphured) molasses, but use a couple ounces more as it is not as rich as the treacle.

Issue: January 1999

This ale is (loosely) based on a recipe for a barleywine.