Cats Meow 3
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Emma Wedgewood's Winter Welcome

Classification: spiced ale, christmas ale, extract

Source: Gary Bell (, HBD Issue #1584, 11/21/94

Last week I bottled 5 gallons of Winter Ale that I created myself in the recipe formulator of SudsW 3.1. My target brew was "Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome". The result is *so* good that I wanted to share it with y'all. This is my first recipe from scratch. I wanted a spicy beer without using spices so I used Bullion and Hallertauer hops to add their spicey overtones to the beer.

Comments: This is a lovely winter ale (IMNSHO). It is heavy-bodied but assertively bitter and has a lovely, rich red color almost bang-on for Sam Smith's Winter Welcome. And it has the spiciness I was looking for. But it certainly isn't SSWW and, in fact, I think I like it more because of the hoppiness. It's only been in the bottle a week and I'd planned to condition it for 4 before serving: hope it lasts that long [;-)]. I can't tell yet about the head retention and it will probably take the full 4 weeks for the carbonation to fully develop, but I think it will be fine. This is definitely the best beer I've ever brewed and it's such a delight that it's from my own recipe [:-D]. If I wasn't already sold on SudsW, this would have done it for sure [no affiliation, etc.].

By the way the name, Emma Wedgewood's Winter Welcome, needs some explanation. I'm an evolutionary ecologist and all my recipes have evolution-oriented names. Emma was Charles Darwin's wife. Emma was actually from the Wedgewood family of fine china fame, so old Chuck married into money, but I'm sure he still enjoyed a good pint at Christmas [;-)]!

If you try EMWW let me know what you think [if you're not a dedicated hophead you might want to tone it down 10-20%]! Happy, and in this case *very* hoppy, brewing.



Boil was about 3 gallons with extract, grain broth, honey and maltose. Pitched @ 76 F (used an immersion chiller). Initial fermentation was very fast - within only 3 days the krausen had fallen and within 5 days there was almost no bubbling from the airlock. Racked to secondary and dry hopped. Secondary was very slow, and took 3 weeks to stabilize SG. I had heard that Mendocino yeast is not a great attenuator, and also the English DME finishes higher than American, but this is only 69% apparent attenuation. This gives an actual attenuation of 57%. Wow!

I was originally going to prime with gyle but there were too many variables on this one so I chickened out and primed with corn sugar -- at this point I didn't want to risk screwing up my Christmas beer, and such a great one at that. [Next time Spencer, I promise!] Primed for a total of 2.2 volumes CO2 using 3.5 oz corn sugar.

*Note: The hopping above gives the following IBU's based on different calculation methods: (1) SudsW 43.2,(2) Rager 75.7, (3) Tinseth 66.9, (4) Garetz 56.7, (5) Papazian 58.9 O.G. 1.072, F.G. 1.022 (Approx. 6% alcohol)