One tradition to which we adhere in our household is having a seasonal fermented beverage ready for the long, dark, cold months of winter here in Vermont. This year’s beverage is a recipe Rick created with traditional English Christmas pudding as the inspiration. This sweet stout starts off with the smell of figs and a hint of French oak, and orange peel. The sweetness of the figs is prominent with the first taste, but not cloyingly so, even with the vanilla that lingers on the tongue before being replaced with a hint of tannin from the wood. A lovely winter warmer, to compliment cookies, cakes, and other holiday treats.
3 gallons (11.4 liters), all-grain
2.6lb (1.18kg) Maris Otter Pale malt
2.6lbs (1.18kg) Pale 2-row malt
0.50lb (227g) American Chocolate malt
0.25lb (227g) American Midnight Wheat malt
2oz (57g) Honey malt
2oz (57g) German Acidulated malt
0.5lbs (227g) Lactose (late addition)
0.5oz (14g) CTZ (15.5%AU) – 25 min
1oz (28g) Sweet orange peel
0.5oz (14g) French oak chips (medium)
30oz (850g) Organic dried figs
1 vanilla bean
Safale US-05: A dried American Ale strain with fermentation properties resembling that of Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale). With so many other flavors and adjuncts in this brew we wanted to limit the influence of the yeast on the flavor of the beer to let the fruit and spices shine.
Target OG: 1056
- Mash-in all grains using 9.32qts (2.3 gal / ~9 liters) of water at 152ºF (67ºC) and hold for 60 minutes.
- Sparge using 13.8qts (3.5 gal / ~13 liters) of water at 168ºF (76.7ºC).
- Collect 18qts (4.5 gal / ~17 liters) of wort.
- Bring collected wort to a boil and add hops at specified times listed above.
- Remove from heat and cool to approximately 68ºF (20ºC), pitch the yeast, and store in dark space at ale fermenting temperatures.
- One week after brew day, add the French oak chips, orange peels and vanilla bean to a brew-safe mesh bag, and steep in 2 cups of boiling water. Steep the ingredients for about 20 minutes allowing to cool with the bag left in, creating a tea. In a saucepan, add the well-diced figs and the tea and cook over a low heat until the a slurry is created. Approximately 30 mins. Set aside to cool.
- Once the fig slurry has cooled, add it to the bottom of a clean fermentation bucket, and rack the beer onto the slurry. Seal the fermenting vessel and let stand for two (2) weeks.
- After two weeks, rack the beer off the fig slurry into a bottling bucket, and then into the final vessel (keg or bottles). We also passed ours through a fine mesh screen in a funnel as we racked into a keg to reduce the amount of fig sediment.
This recipe has been published online at: https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1035693/figgy-pudding-solstice-stout
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