5 gallons, partial mash; approximate OG = 1.099
- 1 lb. crushed pale malt
- 0.5 lb. dark crystal malt, 90° Lovibond or more
- 0.5 lb. crushed malted wheat
- 1 lb. crushed victory malt (or toasted amber or mild ale malt)
- 3 cans (3.3 lbs. each) Edme Maris Otter plain light malt extract
- 2 lbs. plain light dry malt extract
- 2 oz. Northern Brewer hop pellets (7.5% alpha acid), for 60 min.
- 1 oz. Target hop pellets (8% alpha acid), for 30 min.
- 1 oz. Challenger hop pellets (8% alpha acid), for 30 min.
- 0.5 oz. whole East Kent Goldings hops, for dry hopping
- English ale yeast
- 10 g. dry champagne yeast
- 1 cup homemade spice tea (see note)
- 1/2 cup corn sugar for priming
Step by Step:
In 2 gals. of water at 167° F (will settle to 154° F or so when you mix in the crushed malt), mash malts and malted wheat. Hold for 90 minutes. Sparge with 2.5 gals. water at 168° F. Add extracts. Bring to a boil. After 30 minutes add Northern Brewer pellets. Boil 30 more minutes and add Target and Challenger pellets. Boil an additional 30 minutes. Remove from heat, throw in 0.5 oz. East Kent Goldings hops, and chill. Top off in fermenter with chilled, pre-boiled water to make 5.25 gals. When wort cools to 75° F, pitch at least 2 qts. of English ale yeast slurry (build up ahead of time in a hopped wort!). I prefer to use Wyeast 1098, but the new Pitch5 system English Ale yeast from YeasTech Laboratories would do nicely as well.
Ferment at 70° F or so for 10 days. Rack to secondary and add dry champagne yeast. Condition cool (50° F) and in the dark for four weeks or until gravity is under 1.026. Prime with corn sugar and add spice tea. Bottle and age (patiently!) for at least 12 weeks, more if you can wait. Save a few bottles for a long time to trace the patterns of the spices. The potential alcohol content is as high as 9.6 percent, depending on yeast performance.
Spices: Make a spice tea by soaking a pinch each of the following spices in a cup or so of boiled water: woodruff, black pepper, vanilla bean, yarrow, and rosemary. (Try it, you'll like it!)
All-grain recipe: What, are you kidding? Can you comfortably mash 16.5 lbs. of malt? Can you afford to, both economically and time-wise? So be it: 14 lbs. Crisp Maris Otter pale malt; 1 lb. crystal malt, 90° Lovibond; 1 lb. victory malt; and 0.5 lb. malted wheat. Mash 75 minutes in 5 gals. water at 154° F and sparge with 6 gals. at 168° F. Boil to reduce to 5.25 gals., following the hop schedule as above. And good luck. Be sure to do an iodine starch-conversion test. Obviously, there are ways to compromise. Each can of extract in the first version of the recipe can be replaced with about 3.5 lbs. pale malt. I'll let you do the calculations for your adaptation.
All-extract version: Steep the crystal, wheat, and 0.5 lb. of the victory malt in the brew kettle containing 3 gals. of water. Raise temperature to 170° F and remove the grains. Add extracts as above plus an additional 1 lb. light DME (or swap all the DME for 1/4 can of Maris Otter extract, if you want to make this a $55-plus brew).