How the Christmas beer is made

straining the Christmas beer mash

It isn’t always pretty. The green and brown mixture of speciality grains and hops is putrid-looking, and even more suggestive later when you look at the photos. But when you’re in the moment with friends and the bready aromas and steam are filling the kitchen, it’s simultaneously comforting and exciting.

You know, like Christmas morning.

And so it’s only fitting that my brother, my buddy and I decided to make our first Christmas beer this year. We brewed the classic Papazian Holiday Cheer recipe, with a kick of aromatic, chocolately grains and fresh grated ginger, orange peel and two whole cinnamon sticks. We’re on a tight four-week fermentation schedule in the countdown to the holidays, which I’m going to use as my reverse-countdown to get my shopping done. The nervous anticipation begins!

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