Santa’s Big Red Sack of Hops – 5 gal recipe

Briess_Ale_OrigAdd some holiday “hoppiness” this Christmas and brew a Santa’s Big Red Sack of Hops. Inspired by our Briess Employee Holiday Beer, this brew is true to its name with an amber red color and a hoppy kick. By using a cold steep method with the Aromatic, Caramel 60L, Caramel 80L, and Caramel 120L malts you are able to extract the desired flavors without the cloying effects of a high gravity brew.  The cold steep also allows you to retain a crisp amber red color from the caramel malts in an IPA style beer. Paired with a multitude of Centennial, Citra, Simcoe, and Columbus hops this beer will pack a punch this holiday.

Briess_Holiday_BeerLabel_2015Type: Concept Ale

Style: Red IPA

Batch Size: 5 gallons

Recipe Type: Untraditional All Grain

Recipe Contributed By: Briess Technical Services Team


Quantity Ingredient Comment Malt Style
1.5 lbs Aromatic Malt Cold Extract  as described in Procedures Steps 1 – 4 Flavor and Color
1.5 lbs Caramel 60L Malt Flavor and Color
1.0 lbs Caramel 80L Malt Flavor and Color
0.5 lbs Caramel 120L Malt Flavor and Color
8.0 lbs Pale Ale Malt Base
1 oz Millenium Hops (14%AA) 60 min Boil
.25 oz Centennial Hops (9%AA) 20 min Boil
.25 oz Centennial Hops (9%AA) 10 min Boil
.25 oz Centennial Hops (9%AA) 5 min Boil
.50 oz Centennial Hops End of Boil
.50 oz Citra Hops End of Boil
.50 oz Simcoe Hops End of Boil
1.0 lbs Cane Sugar End of Boil
1 vial American (California) Ale Yeast, 1056 or WLP001
.50 oz Citra Hops Dry Hop
.25 oz Columbus Hops Dry Hop
.25 oz Simcoe Hops Dry Hop


  1. Steep ground Aromatic and Caramel malts in 4 gallons of pre-chilled water
  2. Keep steep cold for 4-12 hours, mix occasionally
  3. Remove Grains from steep water, discard grains
  4. Heat steeped wort to 153-157°F
  5. Mash Pale Ale malt in steep water for 30 minutes at 153-157°F
  6. Sparge at 170°F
  7. Boil for 60 minutes, add hops and sugar as instructed above
  8. Knock out, cool to 70ºF
  9. Oxygenate highly
  10. Transfer to primary fermenter
  11. Fill to desired level with cold water
  12. Pitch yeast
  13. After primary fermentation transfer to secondary and add dry hops


OG                     1.065

FG                     1.014

ABV                   6.5

SRM                  28

IBU                    50

About Dan Bies

Dan BiesPrior to joining Briess, Dan gained experience as a chemist and lab leader in several industries. At Briess, Dan is responsible for performing malt analysis, microbiological testing, brewing and R&D projects, including new product development and process improvement. Dan manages the pilot brewing and pilot plant operations and commercialization of new products in the extract plant. Recent projects include gluten free beer, malta, fermented malt beverage base and downstream beer color and flavor adjustment products. He regularly helps formulate recipes for home and craft brewers and has published articles, posters and given presentations in support of the craft brewing industry. Prior to joining the technical service staff, Dan was an analyst in the malting lab.

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