So, what would be more perfect for my first re-brew than my first personally-written recipe? I originally brewed Kekse Christmas Cookie Mild in November of last year. And, though it was a fine beer, it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. In effect, it was a pale mild, and had nothing cookie-ish about it.
So I decided to fix that.
A little extra patience here, a little extra specialty malt there, a couple better ideas everywhere, and I think we have something that (from all appearances) seems to land me closer to what I originally intended.
One of the most important things I did was give the flaked oats/wheat a longer, more substantial toast, and tossed the cinnamon in there to go along with it all. You can see by the picture on the right, just how big of a difference (visually) this made. You’ll also have to trust me on just how much more cookie-like it smelled.
The other difference I made was switching out the REAL cinnamon for cassia. Yes, cassia. The stuff that blows your sense from atop your cinnamon roll. It’s cheaper, it’s easier to grow, and it’s stronger. And it’s that last
quality that I wanted to impart to the beer, as the last one’s cinnamon content was barely noticeable after all was said and done.
- 0.5lb Belgian Special B
- 1.0lb Rahr Pale 2-Row (for “mashing” enzymes)
- 0.5lb toasted, flaked wheat
- 0.5lb toasted, flaked oats
- 0.5lb Simpson’s Chocolate
- 6.0lb Maris Otter LME
- 1.5oz Fuggles (@ 50 min)
- 1/2 whirlfloc tablet (@ 15 min)
- 1tsp yeast nutrient (@ 15 min)
- 2 toasted cassia sticks
Vitals (according to the EXTRA handy Brewer’s Friend):
Started off the flaked grains and cassia in the oven at 300˚. I’d originally wrote the recipe for 1lb of each, but decided that was a little much. So I’m saving the rest for a future recipe.
After about 30 minutes of toasting, I was getting a great cookie/toasty/cinnamon smell. And about 10 minutes later, I pulled them out of the oven. Everything had a great, golden, toasty color throughout, and it didn’t seem like I could coax much more flavor or aroma out of the process. So I set everything out to cool a bit before bagging with the rest of the speciality malts.
Started the grain steeping process at 170˚. Over the course of the 60 minute steep, the temp dropped to 167˚. Perfectly acceptable. This whole process gave the steeped wort a great, cookie-like, toasty aroma. Already starting off strong!
Threw in the Maris Otter LME, and the aroma didn’t change too much. I wanted a little more malt at the fore, but that should develop over the course of the boil.
The only hop add (@ 50) added a usual Fuggle earth/flower combo. The malt was also starting to come forward, and everything was balancing nicely on the nose.
At the 30 minute time-to-clean-everything mark, the hop aroma had mostly faded off, and was being replaced by this nice, deep, chocolatey, dark-fruit aroma. Coming along nicely!
At cinnamon time (@ 10), I was really starting to lock down that cookie aroma. Cinnamon, dark fruit, chocolate, and me starting to get hungry. Heh.
At flameout, the cinnamon aroma had ramped up perfectly. The wort smells like full-on oatmeal-raisin cookies.
Collected 4 gallons of fully-boiled wort, topped off to 5 gallons.
Looking forward to this one finishing off!