Suzi’s Sugared and Spice Cookie Ale

I have always been a fan of holiday spiced ales.  After brewing a few beers from kits, I wanted to try my hand at my own original brew.  Since it was October, I wanted autumnal flavors which always brings to mind my mother’s sugar & spice cookies.

The cookies aren’t really sweet, although there is plenty of sugar in them.  They are flavored with ginger, cloves, cinnamon and molasses.  They make my belly feel all warm and I can never eat just one.

The beer itself is mainly an extract brew using 9.25 pounds of liquid malt extract.  There are 2 hop additions (at the start of the 60 minute boil and with 15 minutes left).  With 10 minutes left in the boil I added all the spices.  Suddenly my kitchen went from smelling like a very bitter and hoppy wort to cookies baking in the oven.

I took a sample and was giddy to see the hydrometer read at 1.08.  Potential ABV would be close to 9%.

As soon as the fermentation lock started to bubble, the primary bucket was moved into the wine fridge to keep the temp constant.  48 hours later the krausen had worked its way up through the air lock and a layer of foam covered the lid of the bucket.  That’s some active yeast!

The ale stayed in primary for 20 days and then went into secondary to clarify an additional 10 days.  Final gravity was 1.01.

We bottle conditioned for two weeks and had our first taste with a chicken and chorizo paella.  And…WOW!  The spices danced on the tongue!  The beer warmed the belly!  We could now drink our cookies!

It’s unlike any other beer we had tasted before.  I think part of what makes it different is that there are no citrus notes like many of the seasonal spiced ales out there.

It’s been a real hit.  We served it up at our holiday party this year and even had a few friends dunk their cookies in it.

The second time I brewed it the krausen didn’t bubble up through the lock.  I’m not sure why it behaved so differently.  This time I used cheese cloth as a hop bag.  I can’t imagine that would change how the yeast would behave, but as I’m still learning, nothing would surprise me.

What I do know is that my husband doesn’t want me to share the recipe for this brew.  He wants me to save it for our brewery’s seasonal ale.  That’s a few years off still, so I’ll just have to keep brewing it for friends myself until then.

Here’s to the next original brew!

Published on January 18, 2010 at 1:33 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Just kill me now!!!! This is too evil!! Sounds like the perfect brew!!! Can homebrew be shipped from LA to Iowa??? I so want to taste this. Good luck with the competition! I can’t wait till the results are in. 🙂

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