BrewBlog: Spiced Red Ale
Specifics
General Information
Method: All Grain

Time to try a spiced beer for the upcoming holidays. Split batch in half, one following a citrusy hop schedule and the other getting a dose of blended spices. Recipe listed below is for base Amber. Spice instructions included in notes.

Scale Recipe
Enter desired final yield (volume):
 gallons  
Reference
Malts and Grains
Reference
Hops
Boil
Total Boil Time: 60 minutes
Procedure

Pre-boil batch is split into two boil kettles, each getting approximately 3.5 gallons of wort.

Base red ale recipe calls for the listed hop additions. Unfortunately, I used these amounts for the first half batch and now should expect 72 IBU instead of the targeted 36! And during the brew, I thought everything went smoothly!

The 2nd half of 3.5 gallons recieved a single 60 minute hop addition: Cascade pellets at 7.8% for 29 IBU. Unfortunately, it suffered the same fate as the first half in that I added spices calculated for the whole 5.5 gallon batch! At 1 minute left into the boil, I added 3/4th of the following spice blend: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground allspice. I had planned to add the remaining spices after fermentation to taste, but I probably won't now.

I should have added ~1/4-1/3 of the total blend for the half batch. Doh!

Base red ale was boiled and cooled down to ~2.7 gallons @ 1.054 and the spiced red ale resulted in 2.13 gallons @ 1.051. Lost more volume to trub because of splitting into smaller batches.

Remade spice blend and steeped it in 2oz rum until bottling, to add to taste.

8/30/09 - Primed each half batch (2 gallons each) with ~1.5oz of sugar for 2.5 volumes CO2. Bottled 20 12ozers of Red Ale and 26 12 ozers of Spiced Red Ale. Hop bitterness and flavor apparent in over-hopped Red Ale. Will wait until carbed for final verdict.

9/10/09 - Bottles have been carbonating for over 1 week so I decided to chill a bottle last night for tasting tonight. Slight carbonation and subtle spice aroma. Spice flavor evident but in my opinion not overwhelming. Not as red as I thought it would be but otherwise a malt-forward / balanced beer that will get some aging. Definitely lucked out here and this may get better!

9/20/09 - Called brewing partner Nick and asked how his beer is going (the bitter base recipe) and he said it was all gone! Either the beer was good or he was just thirsty and grabbed for anything. My case of beer is still sitting at room temperature carbonating! He did mention that the carbonation was weak and maybe a bit inconsistent bottle to bottle. I'm beginning to wonder if I should start targeting .5 volumes more than I have, but the two previous batches were carbed fine. The joys of kegging are lurking out there somewhere!

Special Procedures

8/30/09 - Day 14 - Tasted hydrometer sample and felt it lacking in spice aroma/flavor. Was very subtle if there at all. Decided to push the balance some and added all of filtered 2oz spiced rum at bottling.

Fermentation
Primary: 14 days @ 68° F
Tasting Reviews
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