A few years back, I bought a couple of Christmas Puddings and after cooking and eating one, I decided I didnt like it. It had lots of nuts in there and I not a huge lover of nuts, so I decided to use the other pudding to make a Christmas beer.
I did forget that there are a couple of ingredients in a Christmas Pudding that would have some unexpected results. 1 - sugar. It had a lot of sugar in it, so it brewed up to about 8%. 2 - Fat (suet), well when the boiling water was added, the fat melted and floated to the top, so when the wort cooled, the fat solidified, which meant it was just a matter of lifting it off.
It tasted great. A really tasty beer, lots of plummy stone fruit flavours all enhanced with lots of extra flavours from the spices, but there are a couple of changes I would make from the original experiment where we used a Brewbuddy Bitter beer kit.
So let's get brewing...
1 Tin Youngs Harvest Bitter Beer Kit
1/2 Tin Treacle
1 Christmas Pudding
500g Brewing sugar (Dextrose)
500g Granulated sugar
8 pints boiling water
Put the unopened tin of beer into a bowl of hot water from the tap. This will heat up the liquid malt extract and cause it to flow more easily and therefore easier to get out of the tin.
While the beer tin is soaking, sterilise all your equipment.
Take the beer tin out of the hot water, dry it off and open with a tin opener.
Pour the Liquid Malt Extract from the tin into your brewing bucket.
Add the sugars and the 1/2 tin of treacle.
Pour on 8 pints of boiling water and stir to incorporate everything and dissolve the sugar.
Open the Christmas pudding and crumble into your brewing bucket. Stir and leave for 10 minutes for any fat to melt and rise to the surface.
Top up your fermenter to 20 litres with cold tap water.
The fat should have now solidified so you can remove it by simply skimming it off the top. Don't worry too much if you don't get it all at this stage.
Check the temperature and it should be around 20°C. If it is above 24°C, then leave to cool to 20°C.
Take a hydrometer reading and save this till the end of brewing so you can work out the ABV of the beer.
Sprinkle on the yeast that came with the brew kit.
Put on a lid loosely (or use an airlock if you prefer) and put in a warm place at 20°C for the beer to ferment.
This beer will take approx 7 - 10 days to ferment due to the high level of sugar.
After 10 days, check with a hydrometer and the SG should be around 1.010. If it is higher than this, put the lid back on and return it to your warm place to finish fermenting.
Once fermentation is complete, leave for a few more days so that it begins to clear.
Siphon the beer of the sediment into a clean sterilised bucket.
Take a hydrometer reading and work out the ABV.
Add 100g brewing sugar and stir gently to dissolve.
Now bottle in bottles that are safe to hold a carbonated beverage.
Seal the bottles and put in your warm place at 20°C for 4 more days.
Transfer the bottles to somewhere cool and allow to fully clear which may take another 2 weeks.
Once clear, pop a bottle in the fridge and once nicely chilled, pop it open. Pour in 1 continuous pour so as not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
Now kick back, and enjoy your glass of Christmas Pudding Beer.
If you want to make it taste even better, then add a little shot of brandy to your pint.
Remember to drink responsibly as this recipe makes a strong beer.