Batch 22: Holly Ale Redux

This past week, Dan and Drew were  complete heroes in caring for Zachary as we welcomed the arrival of Lillian. Thank you for your awesomeness. While Drew was here, he helped me brew another batch of the celebrated Holly Ale, explored in Batch 7 and Batch 10, and originating with jmo88 on

This time around, we’re going with the originally posted SafAle-05, going all-grain, and we are not spicing (at least half of) the beer. With batches 7 and 10, at bottling, right before adding the spice tea, we tasted the beer and realized how solid of a beer the base is. This year, with a little less time to let the beer, age, we’re going to let at least half of the batch ride as-is, to see where it goes. Here are the stats:

Recipe Type: All-Grain
Yeast: Safale-05
Yeast Starter: No (2 packets of Safale-05 used)
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.077
Final Gravity:
IBU: 36 (original spec)
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 17 (original spec)
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

Mashed at 11:24a with 5 Gal 165* water. Mash read ~152* at 15 minutes, ~151 at 30 minutes. First runnings were 1.071 at 140*, full boil was 1.035 at 145*. Hops first added at 1:05. We ran into hose trouble when preparing the immersion cooler, and may have let an additional 10 minutes go by before the last hop addition (so consider the second hop addition at 40 minutes, and the first at 70 minutes). I let the last hop addition go 10 minutes, flameout at 2:14p, added 2# honey after flameout, with copious stirring.

US 2-Row Malt 13lb 0oz (84.1 %) In Mash/Steeped
Crystal 60L 8.00 oz (3.2 %) In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Special B 8.00 oz (3.2 %) In Mash/Steeped
Wheat Malt 4.00 oz (1.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
Chocolate Malt (350L) 3.20 oz (1.3 %) In Mash/Steeped
Sugar – Honey 2lb 0oz (6.5 %) End Of Boil


Centennial (8.7 % alpha) 1.00 oz Pellet Hops 60 Min From End
Centennial (8.7 % alpha) 0.50 oz Pellet Hops 30 Min From End
Centennial (8.7 % alpha) 0.50 oz Pellet Hops 10 Min From End

We sourced local Maryland golden honey from Brey’s Honey Farm (15707 Letcher Rd E, Brandywine, MD) at the Baltimore farmer’s market under the highway. Delicious!

I added the first dry packet directly into the fermenter before 3pm. I added the second packet around 7pm. Fermentation was vigorous before I went to bed, and by the morning there was blowout. Woot!

10/12 – transferred to 2ndary

10/27 – bottled with 3 oz of bottling sugar – mmmm tasty! I picked up something that might have been diacetyl. primary was steady around 72*, which might be quite high for this yeast. Time will tell.

11/23/13 – this ale, as well as Batch 24, received high praise by colleagues at a pre-thanksgiving party! strong endorsements from a few people who don’t typically enjoy beer. I think the beer can still mature quite a bit, but it’s good to know that it was enjoyed 🙂