Mental Brewing

Mental Brew - Juledrikke II

Every year, I brew a Christmas beer to give away to friends and family. This year, I came up with the idea of creating a “chocolate orange” beer, reminiscent of the holiday sweet that my grandma always had on hand. I soon decided that a dark ale with prominent citrus flavor and aroma would be my best bet. I considered brewing a stout or porter, but ultimately settled on a Cascadian Dark Ale (aka Black IPA).

In keeping with the beer style, I incorporated a small amount of dark malts into the recipe for some roastiness and I added a bit of lactose to make the beer smoother and sweeter. (I anticipated that some people would find the typically dry and bitter character of a CDA off-putting.) I also decided to forego the chocolate flavor and primarily focus on the hops.

I purchased a number of hops in bulk from Puterbaugh Farms in Washington, including some recently harvested Amarillo and Idaho #7 hops. I experimented with adding smaller amounts of hops in stages toward the end of the boil, and since I had a large quantity of hops, I opted to dry-hop, as well.

I was really pleased with how the beer turned out. More than a few people told me that they enjoyed it even though they don’t typically like IPAs.


Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Time: 90 min


Amount / AA (%) Weight Name Type
62.6 11.50 lb 2-Row Pale Malt Grain
10.9 2.00 lb Munich II Grain
4.1 12.00 oz Carafa Special III Grain
4.1 12.00 oz Dark Wheat Malt Grain
2.7 8.00 oz Caramunich II Grain
2.0 6.00 oz Carafa Special II Grain
1.4 4.00 oz Caramunich III Grain
1.4 4.00 oz Roasted Barley Grain
5.5 1.00 lb Rice Hulls Adjunct
5.5 1.00 lb Lactose Adjunct
7.8 1.00 oz Centennial Hop (60 min)
8.2 0.50 oz Amarillo Hop (15 min)
11.5 0.50 oz Idaho #7 Hop (15 min)
8.2 0.50 oz Amarillo Hop (10 min)
11.5 0.50 oz Idaho #7 Hop (10 min)
8.2 0.50 oz Amarillo Hop (5 min)
11.5 0.50 oz Idaho #7 Hop (5 min)
7.8 1.00 oz Centennial Hop (0 min)
8.2 1.00 oz Amarillo Hop (0 min)
11.5 1.00 oz Idaho #7 Hop (0 min)
N/A 0.25 tsp Coriander Spice (0 min)
N/A 2.00 ct Orange Peel Fruit (0 min)
8.2 2.00 oz Amarillo Hop (Dry-hop for 1 week)
11.5 2.00 oz Idaho #7 Hop (Dry-hop for 1 week)
N/A 4.00 oz Orange Peel Tincture Fruit Extract (Add before packaging)

Yeast: American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272)


  • Ferment at 65.0 °F for 3 days
  • Raise temp to 69.0 °F and maintain for 2-3 weeks.
  • Dry-hop for last week of fermentation
  • Crash the beer


Expected 8.46% 1.085 1.021
Actual 7.10% 1.076 1.022

“I made my family disappear.” - Kevin McCallister

Gunnar Johnson

Written by Gunnar Johnson, a professional brewer turned programmer who enjoys brainy banter, groovy guitars, and clean code.

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