Westley's Winter Warmer

It's pretty cold here for the start of december. Our new dog is settling in well and we brought him for a few walks in the frost over the weekend. He's so wooly that he didn't seem to mind the cold as much as we did. We decided to call him Westley. For the nerds among you yes that is Westley from The Princess Bride. For those who don't know it, it's the best film and book ever. He's a good dog apart from a tendency to dig up and eat everything in the garden. There goes my growing hops idea.

I haven't brewed since I made my all grain stout. I bottled some of the stout and the rest is in a barrel where it's supposed to be waiting until it's nearer christmas before it gets drank. This hasn't happened, myself and Dave are supping away on the stout. It's lovely, it's roasty and it has a lovely chocolate taste to it as well. It's not quite fizzy enough so I may have to carbonate it a little with some CO2 if I ever get round to buying the attachment for the barrel. It might be gone before then.

I wanted to make a warming spicy winter beer. I pulled out my recently purchased Complete Joy of Homebrewing and found a likely recipe. Then I set to work modifying it. I don't think I've ever made a beer exactly as it was in the book. This isn't because I haven't wanted to but because the ingredients are hard to get so I usually modify the recipe to suit what I actually have.

Westley's Winter Warmer

15 Litre Batch.

180g Crystal Malt (Steeped in 6L of water at 67 Degress Celsius for 30 minutes)
1.052g Light DME
1 kg Medium DME
About 450g Honey

12g Centennial Hops @ 60 minutes from end of boil
10g Cascade Hops @ 5 minutes from end of boil

10 minutes from end of boil
Rind of two oranges
10g grated ginger root
cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/4 of a nutmeg grated
1 tsp liqurice root powder
4 whole cloves

Sachet of Danstar Nottingham Yeast

OG: 1.060

I wanted a high alcohol beer to give a bit of warmth to all those spices. As well the hops should add more citrus to the beer. I have no idea if it will be nice but that's the fun of homebrewing, making beer you'd never be able to buy. Hopefully it'll come out as a spicy warm beer.

As always I got some knitting done while waiting for the pot to boil. This is the Darkside Cowl I'm making for my Mum for christmas. I love the pattern and it's knitting up fairly quickly. The silk is so beautiful, photos don't do it justice.

I know this photo is blurred but the dog wouldn't stay still. They never do. This is Westley with his batch of beer, he tried eating the hops when I emptied the pot but he didn't seem so impressed with them. Maybe he'd prefer malt? That's one of my better bottles which I hope will make fermentation a bit easier. They have a tap on the bottom which you can adjust so it's just above the sediment so that should make racking to secondary and bottling the beer so much easier. The airlock is a dry trap which is pretty clever.

3 Responses to "Westley's Winter Warmer" (Leave A Comment)

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns says
December 10, 2008 at 12:58 AM

Love the idea of the spiced beer - have just been sampling something similar in Estonia. I seem to remember I had a recipe for black spruce beer...

Arent cowls and neckwarmers the ideal gifts? Making several myself.

Bionic Laura says
December 23, 2008 at 2:36 PM

If you find the recipe, let me know. Estonia sounds like a lovely place.

Yes I think cowls are the best. I may be becoming a little obsessed with them though...

Barm says
January 21, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Hops are poisonous to dogs. Do please keep him away from them.