Yuletide provides the perfect opportunity to experiment and try your hand at brewing stronger ales. Cold winter evenings provide the perfect backdrop to sit by the fireside and drink stronger, richer ales.
This recipe is an adaptation of standard beer kits that was a favourite Christmas Ale in the 1970s and 80s. It is made from two standard beer kits but delivers a delicious old ale that packs a punch that could result in you missing the King’s speech on Christmas day.
Open both cans and stand them in a pan of hot water for 10 minutes to make the contents more runny. Empty into a 5-gallon sanitised fermenter and add 4 litres of boiling water (rinse the cans with some of this water to ensure all of the malt extract is retrieved).
Then add the Golden Syrup and Soft Brown Sugar and stir well with a paddle to dissolve the contents.
Top up to 40 pints with cold water. If you prefer a stronger ale then top up to 36 pints. When the liquid (known as wort) has cooled to 22-24C sprinkle both sachets of yeast (provided with the kits) onto the surface of the wort and add a measure of Pure Brew.
Stir well for 2 minutes to aerate the wort, then attach a lid fitted with an airlock (filled with water). Ferment in a warm place (20-24C) until the fermentation is completed and the hydrometer’s final gravity is around 1012. Then add the Starbrite finings and store the fermenter in a cool place for 3 days to clear.
Bottling or Kegging your beer
Finally bottle or keg the beer as described in the kit instructions. If you are bottling the ale we recommend using Brew Fizz carbonation drops at a rate of one drop per 500ml bottle. This Old Ale will improve with age and requires a maturation time of at least 2 months (3-6 months is recommended).