Time for Christmas – How to Brew the Best Christmas Ale

craft beer for christmas

 

The Christmas season is soon upon us. What, you might say, but Christmas Ale needs to mature before you can drink it. It may take you about three months at the minimum, before the ale has reached its maturity, depending on which brew you have bought.

So without further ado, it is time for Christmas – How to Brew the Best Christmas Ale.


Affiliate Disclaimer: The post contains links to merchants and services. These links are affiliate links. When you click on these links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission from the purchase. The purchase will be of no extra cost to you.

Third-party Disclaimer: coffeebeerandgadets.com are not legally responsible for what happens when you click on third-party links, because coffeebeerandgadets.com have no control over third-party websites, content, functionality, or security, and cannot be held responsible for any technical or other damage to your device such as a computer, mobile or tablet used when clicking a link to connect to other platforms, download material, install, modify or distribute any material, software or other.

Opinion Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this post, article or review, are coffeebeerandgadets.com own and not the merchant(s) or provider(s) views or opinions. Projections in this post, article or review are not endorsements.


Planning the Brewing of the Selected Type of Ale

The brewing project needs to be planned well ahead of the actual day for the brew. What needs to be sorted out, which equipment we need to buy or borrow, where we shall brew i.e. which location and where to store the batch of ale during the fermentation period.

The day of brewing itself is not a problem. All tasks will be completed during one day. The effective time for it all will be around three to four hours. Add some time for unexpected things to pop up and we will be close to five or six – hours at the most.

Grainfather Connect

The most suitable time during the week will, of course, be the weekend. Saturday is a shopping day in my home, but that will not take too much time so estimated start at noon will entail finishing off at around six o´clock in the afternoon.

We need to decide on the location of where to brew. The local brew shop, Strommen Hjemmebrygg AS, offers to let us brew in their shop for a low fee, 500,- NKr from Friday and delivery back on Monday. If this is still possible considering the pandemic, I don’t know. But if it is possible, it would be the best choice in order to have quick access to expertise if we get stuck.

Finally, we need to decide where the fermentation bucket should be located. Stable temperature and no disturbances are the requirements to be honored.


Shopping List for the Christmas Brew

To brew a batch of beer you need some equipment and commodities. Me and Ivars, my brewing mate, first brew were done with a minimum of equipment, and the batch was small. This time we need suitable equipment to cater for a larger sized batch than the first one we did.

Yesterday I had a discussion on the phone with Ivar. We discussed which brand of Christmas ale to choose, as well as what equipment we needed. Further, we had to decide the time slot for the endeavor. The decision was to do it at the beginning of September, which entails that the ale will mature just in time to be drinkable for Christmas.

The choice of ale fell on “Ringnes Julebokk“. It is a traditional ale, which has gotten several rewards for the best Christmas ale in Norway for several years. It will be interesting to see how close we will come to the original ale recipe of Ringnes. The ale kit will produce 20 liters of Christmas ale.

So the final shopping list, after the phone conference with my brew mate, is looking like this:

  • Allgrain Commodities set of “Ringnes Julebokk”
  • Bottles, 3 cases of 25 bottles (0,33l)
  • Beer Crates, 4
  • Brewer rental, 3 days
  • Bottle Caps, pack of 100 caps
  • Bottle Capsule Machine, 1
  • Bottle Drying Rack, 1
  • Botte detergent (Craftsan) for 75 bottles
  • Ekstra fermentation bucket

Considerations Regarding the Brewing

Before starting to brew, we need to read through the process thoroughly. We need also to learn how to make a “yeast starter”. This information is readily available online and can be downloaded. There are also some excellent apps you can use on your smartphone to help you.

Depending on how long it takes to make the yeast starter, we might need to start a little bit before the day of the project. How to do this, will be described in another blog post.

It is nevertheless essential to be well prepared before starting. It isn’t helpful to suddenly discover that something is lacking to complete the brewing process once you started it.


Description of the selected Christmas Ale

The homebrew “Ringnes Julebokk” has a round, filling, and winelike body with a deep red color. The ale has a great richness of flavor, with a creamy sweetness and roasted hints of coffee. The homebrew “Ringnes Julebokk” goes well together with the Christmas desserts, chocolates, and cheese. The ale can be stored for a long time.

Contents of the ale kit:

  • 7,7 kg crushed malt
  • pre-packed and pre-measured amount of hops
  • 4 packets of dry yeast

Some final thoughts and The Next Steps

This article is the first of several articles, to document our Christmas brewing project. Two ale kits were considered. “Ringens Julebokk” was chosen over “Santas Finest Self Medication”, because both Ivar and I know “Ringens Julebokk” very well. It will be interesting to compare the homebrewed to the commercial version of the ale.

The next step is to start shopping for the needed products. Where to shop? There are several excellent online stores that also have physical outlets as well. I advise you to do a search online yourself to locate your local brewing store. Some options can be CraftBeerClub (USA), Bryggselv (Norway), CraftyPint– An Australian directory of craft beer.

16 thoughts on “Time for Christmas – How to Brew the Best Christmas Ale”

  1. You are right: even from the title I said “What??????”. But I judged too quickly. I love beers and I honestly think this would be a great gift for Christmas! I’ve never seen such a comprehensive review related to Ale so thank you very much for your job – and, above all, for avoiding me the annoying feeling to not know what to donate for Christmas!:)

    Reply
    • Hi, Rosalia. Thank you for reading and commenting on my post. I highly appreciate it. It is a lot of fun making your own Ale for Christmas. I have not done it myself before, but several of my friends do it every year and recommend to try it. I will make two to three more posts about the “brewing project” to document it, and show how it is done. Hopefully, the brew will be successful.

      All the best,
      Roy

      Reply
  2. What a great idea, beer is my favorite drink, and to brew some at home would be perfect. You provided a lot of valuable information and got me really interested. During Christmas time when family comes to visit it would be really something to offer them a drink I made myself. 

    Reply
    • Hi Nenad, thank you for your interest in the article. If I may say to you, why don´t you take yourself up on your own challenge and just do it? I am sure you can find a local store that is selling some good beer and ale kits. Most of the brewing process is doing the work itself.

      Reply
  3. Thank you so much for sharing us an interesting and informative article. The main theme of this article is how to brew the best Christmas ale. It is really laudable that you have illustrated this topic so well in your article. I have learned a lot by reading your article and gained a lot of cognition about it. Of the points mentioned in your article, I like consideration regarding the brewing. The reason I always drink beer is that I love to drink it. In light of all the information I have found in your article, I will try to make this beer from home at Christmas. Next time I’ll give it to you all as a Christmas present.

    Reply
    • Hi, Asraful. Thank you for reading and commenting on my article. I am happy that you have found it interesting. I wish you good luck on your own brew project.

      -Roy-

      Reply
  4. I have brewed my own beer at random times of the year.  I never, until now, gave thought to brewing a Christmas Brew.  Furthermore, I would not have thought of [beginning] it in August but after reading your article, it makes sense.  Most years, at the holidays, my guests have gotten mulled wines served to them.  Setting myself up to serve a self-brewed Christmas Brew sounds like a great addition to the festivities. Cheers!

    Reply
    • Cheers, Knightstone! Mulled wines sound nice. My interest In brewing started just a few years ago, and I was gladly surprised when I discovered that I could brew my own favourite ales and beers. So when I found the recipe on the Ale in the article, it was an easy decision. I am going to fetch the Ale kit today as a matter of fact.

      I am wishing you good luck on brewing your own Christmas Brew😃.

      -Roy-

      Reply
  5. Hi there!

    When I saw the title of your post I was immediately engaged! I have never tought of anything like this before, let alone think of giving this as a present! But, after reading your post I find it a really not so crazy idea! Thanks for all of the information and to give us the list of additional stuff that we need in order to be able to use this machine!

    Thanks a lot, I might follow your advice!

    Reply
    • Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. It is not difficult and does not require an enormous amount of time available either. Don´t just consider starting your first brew, just do it! 😊

      -Roy-

      Reply
  6. Now this is something that I was definitely hesitant to read at first as we’re used to just buying bottled beer lol. But reading this surprised me a lot. It didn’t even occur to me that this is something we can do easily, I always thought it was more complicated than this. It’s a big plus that this is a very great gift idea for my partner! Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
    • Abigail, thank you for reading. I am very happy that I have provided you with some knowledge about an social and inspiring activity. It is not only for guys. You should try it yourself.

      As a gift idea, it is super. Instead of investing in a brew kit, you could also buy access to a beer brewing course or a beermakers dinner event.

      -Roy-

      Reply
  7. Hello there!

    That’s a very nice article you have there. Christmas is a very interesting festival with so much of fun and desrves to be planned for, if the celebrations should go well. You just helped in better ideas on executing that plan effectively with the brewing information you just provided.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi, thank you for commenting on the article. Brewing ale is one of the old Christmas traditions in my country. It gets you into the mood of Christmas and all of what it stands for, family, friends, celebrating kindness and love, and all that is good in the World.

      -Roy-

      Reply
  8. Hello there, thanks for sharing this awesome article I know t would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me. Brewing Ale was once a tradition in my family but it has since been long forgotten as no one in our current generation knows how to brew….but with this article I know it would be possible for me to start it out.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment. It is still a tradition in my family despite a period when no one was brewing beer for Christmas. Now we have taken the tradition up again and it is a very enjoyable and social event the brewing day.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!