Wassail - Pilsner

Wassail is a traditional style of spiced ale that is brewed for the holiday season ( Thanksgiving through New Year’s ). It is also referred to as holiday beer, yule ale, winter warmer, and, if fruit is contained, mulled ale.

The word wassail ( rhymes with fossil ), comes from the Old English waes hael – be hale or be whole – both of which mean be of good health, a proper toast in those days. The drink of choice was usually mulled ale, a strong ale laden with spices and sweetened with sugar or pieces of fruit. The spices used are nutmeg and ginger, while the fruit was usually roasted crab apple. The concoction was warmed by the fire before being served in a bowl, which became known as the wassail bowl and was traditionally cut from the wood of the maple tree.

These pagan practices eventually became an accepted part of Christian ritual. Merry groups of revelers ( made all the merrier by the ale nog ) would visit the houses of friends and neighbors to sing carrols of the season. This became known as “wassailing.”

What started centuries ago as a simple toast to good health became the beverage we drink, the bowl we drink from, and the ritual celebration itself.

Recipe

  • 1.5kg NFP Superfine Malt
  • 60g Saaz Hop Pellets
  • 1kg Glucose
  • 1 x Pilsner Beer Yeast
  • 1 x Beer Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 x Brewing Salts
  • 1 x Finings

Start S.G Approximately 1036
Final S.G 1004

Boil hops in a stocking for 15 minutes in 3-4 liters of water, leaving the hop stocking in the pot add the malt, beer yeast nutrient & brewing salts. Stir constantly to prevent the malt from burning & simmer for 30 minutes. Place the glucose in the brewing bucket & pour the pot of wort into the brewing bucket. Mix thoroughly and fill up to 22 liters in total. Wait until the temperature of the brew drops below 20 degrees Celsius and take a S.G reading. Add the yeast and leave to ferment. . When final S.G reading is reached ( 1004 ) boil finings with 150ml water and pour gently over the brew. Leave 48 hours and bottle.


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