Christmas Ale

I made 2 casks of Christmas Ale today. One is for The Orcadian Newspaper’s christmas party next month. They were kind enough to sell me some printing equipment for a good deal and were hoping tyo get some more beer money for their party. I am sure my 2007 Orcadian Christmas Ale will do the trick. DONT YOU JUST LOVE BARTERING!!! The other cask will be for our Christmas season.

Recipe: I used some darker malts – chocolate and crystal as well as pale malt. I threw in some northern hops at the start and fuggles towards the end. And to finish I used some crystalised ginger, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, extra sugar (had no honey) and a dab of cranberry sauce -which was probably a dumb move because it might have some bacteria that fights the yeast . . . but we will see. My buckets are in front of the heaters for a few days so I wont feel bad about leaving the heaters on.

Related: Shetland’s Island Bere

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • As someone interested in making ale, do you have any pointers on where to start?

  • Brian says:

    I sure wish I could try one of your Christmas Ales this year Andrew! Our Heather Ale last year was great, wish I could be making it with you again. Hope it turns out for you.

  • Andy Marshall says:

    sounds good – i’d always recommend a bit of smoked malt in a dark beer, but never mind – hope the cranberry sauce works out ok…
    actually, thinking about it, for a sweet spiced ale, maybe smoked malt would be a bit odd…

  • andrew says:

    andy – i think i have a yeast problem and that cranberry messed it up because i didnt sterilise it first.
    do you think i should bring the whole lot back to a boil to kill off germns and then try a second yeast?

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