Christmas IPA

This year for Christmas I thought I’d take a swing at a Columbus hopped Christmas IPA, flavored with walnut infused bourbon, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With any luck, they’ll be ready just in time for the family Christmas party. Here’s the recipe.


Grain Bill

  • 4 pounds 2-row
  • 2 pounds, 8 ounces Crystal 20L
  • 8 ounces Red Wheat


  • White Labs WLP001 California Ale


  • 1 ounce Columbus

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups bourbon


Place walnuts into a clean jar, cover with the bourbon, and seal. Set aside for bottling.

Mash & Sparge

Bring 14 quarts of strike water to 163º F. Mash all grains for 60 minutes at 153º F. First runnings will be approximately 11 quarts. Sparge with 7 quarts for 20 minutes at 163º F. Total pre-boil volume will be 4 ½ gallons.


Boil for 60 minutes following this addition schedule:

  • 60 minutes remaining: ⅓ ounce Columbus hops
  • 20 minutes remaining: ⅓ ounce Columbus hops
  • 15 minutes remaining: 1 Whirlfloc tablet
  • 1 minute remaining: ⅓ ounce Columbus hops

Cool, Test & Pitch

Cool wort to 75º F, take OG measurement, and pitch yeast. Final volume should be 3 gallons.


Date Gravity Notes
11/09/2014 1.061 72% efficiency
11/16/2014 1.018 Racked to secondary
 12/7/2014 1.016 Secondary Complete. 5.6% ABV


Additional Ingredients

  • ¾ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup priming sugar
  • ⅓ cup water

Strain the bourbon through a fine mesh filter and into a medium sauce pan. Add ground cinnamon, priming sugar, and water. Boil and cool to 70º F. Mix in with beer and bottle.