Opus 9: Gene Autry Christmas Ale

Posted: September 8, 2012 in Recipes

Growing up, I had an old Gene Autry album, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, that I would play constantly as Christmas. It seemed fitting, then, to name my first Christmas Ale after this great country singer.

Tonight, I brewed up what I hope will be a holiday tradition and gift for friends. I based the recipe off a couple commercial clones, combining some ingredients from Schlafly and Bell’s to make a new combination I think it going to be great. This is also a bit bigger batch, 2.25 G, filling the LBK up to underneath the QUART mark.

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.060 OG Estimated FG 1.018 FG
Recipe Bitterness 40 IBU Alcohol by Volume 7.1%
Recipe Color 19° SRM Alcohol by Weight 5.5%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.25 lb CaraMunich – [Caramel] Grain Steeped
0.50 lb CaraPils – [Body, Head] Grain Steeped
1.00 lb Crystal 60L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Steeped
3.00 lb Muntons DME – Amber Extract Extract
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Northern Brewer (Germany) Pellet 30 minutes
0.25 oz Northern Brewer (Germany) Pellet 15 minutes
0.50 oz Chinook Pellet 5 minutes
0.25 oz Cascade Pellet 5 minutes
0.50 oz Chinook Pellet Dry hopped
0.25 oz Cascade Pellet Dry hopped
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Generic Other 2 Cinnamon stick, 1 nutmeg dryhopped
0.50 unit Orange Peel, Sweet Spice Dry hopped
1.00 unit Safale S-04 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast English: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F medium attenuation with medium to high flocculation


I did my steeping a bit differently than last time. I steeped the grains in 1 gallon of water for 30 minutes as before, but then sparged the grain in 1.5 gallons of 170 degree water. I then combined these to 2.5 gallons of water before adding the extract and starting the boil. (After the boil, I ended up with about 1.5 G of wort). I also only added 1.5 lbs of the Amber extract at the start, and added the other 1.5 lbs at 5 minutes. According to some folks over at mrbeerfans.com, this will diminish the “extract twang” and lighten some of the color.

I plan to dry hop with both Chinook and Cascade, as well as with Orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg. It’s a lot of aroma to bring to the party, but that’s what Christmas is about…the sights and the smells! Otherwise, this will be a slightly hoppy amber ale.

I will give it 2-3 weeks to ferment, depending on the readings from the hydrometer, and as long as possible to condition. I think with all the flavors going on, it will need the time to come together. If it works, great! If not, I’ll enjoy it myself!

  1. […] we hit December, so I finally cracked open the Gene Autry Ale last evening. I actually first tasted the true bottle back on Thanksgiving, but since that was […]

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