Below you’ll find several versions of extract and all-grain Samichlaus homebrew recipes. First, a quick history behind the professionally brewed beer. The famed Beer Hunter Michael Jackson had a great love affair with Samichlaus and its ever-evolving story. Here are some of his articles related to the beer:
- Mine’s a pint of Santa Claus (December 7, 1991 / The Independent)
- Apparent death of Samichlaus (1998 / Beer Hunter Online)
- Samichlaus is back (October 2000 / Beer Hunter Online)
- A devilish Christmas in Austria (December 2000 / Beer Hunter Online)
- Nuclear bomb shelters and the world’s strongest beers (1986 / All About Beer)
Now for some recipes! Unfortunately, the laptop computer that has my original 2014 Sammy Claws recipe in BeerSmith crashed recently. I have a ticket in to Chop & Brew IT Support to help me recover it (and a lot of other photos, music, etc.). If I am able to retrieve it, I will edit this post to include it here. For now, I’ll just list the 2015 edition here, plus Don Osborn’s extract versions and Maltose Falcons’ Falconclaws recipes below. Cheers!
Chop & Brew Sammy Claws 2015
For 3-ish gallons of wort
- Weyermann Bohemian Pils – 92%
- Weyermann CaraMunich III – 0.17%
- Weyermann Munich – .35%
- Weyermann Vienna – .21%
- Melanoidin – .21%
- Simplicity Blonde Belgian Candi Syrup (1 lb) – 7.06%
- (plus 1 lb of cane sugar after flame-out) – ??% (I’m not great at keeping notes or doing math.)
PS: I can tell from chicken scratch from the 2014 version that the malt bill was different and looked more like this:
82.5% Pilsner / 4.3% Crystal 60L / 4.3% Vienna / 2.4% Munich / 1.5% Melanoidin
The difference in grist certainly explains why 2014 was a bit darker beer, modeled more off of the “Classic” version of Samichlaus versus the 2015 homebrew that was modeled more after the “Helles” version.
PPS: YouTube fan ‘Da E’ asked me to break the 2015 version into pounds versus percentages. While I can’t guarantee the complete accuracy of these amounts (you know how I roll, see cane sugar note above), this is a loose approximation: 13 lbs Weyermann Bohemian Pils / 0.25 lb Weyermann CaraMunich III / 0.5 lb Munich Malt / 0.3 lb Vienna Malt / 0.3 lb Melanoidin. I realize these don’t match perfectly with the percentages listed above. But, again, this recipe comes in a lot of shapes and sizes on forums and recipe-sharing sites, so take it as a suggestion and build your own.
- 1 oz Styrian Goldings – FWH
- 1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh – 10 min
- Mash grains at 124°F, rest for 30 minutes
- Raise temperature to 154°F and rest for 60 minutes
- I collected 5+ gallons for a 90 minute boil, added Styrian Goldings for First Wort Hops
- Boil 60 minutes, add 30 minutes as noted
- Chill to low-to-mid 50°F range
- Pitch mega starter of Zurich Lager Yeast. Aerate with O2.
- Hit it with more O2 24 hours into fermentation
Notes: For the 2015 version, I mashed into a large MegaPot with false bottom. I was able to perform step mash without adding amounts of hot water to raise temperature, which I found very easy and helpful for my first time doing a step mash. Personally, I am not interested in doing a step mash where in temperatures are raised by adding new increment of x-degree water. Too much math.
Don Osborn’s Extract Recipes from 2004 and 2005
The Maltose Falcons homebrew club has been brewing Samichlaus for many years and in many different incarnations. Check out this article via American Homebrewers Association for their main recipe and advice on brewing your own version.
We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Starter
If you do go all-in for brewing your own Samichlaus, you’re going to need a big yeast starter. Check out this Brew Your Own article on Making a Yeast Starter including steps for a two-step propagation, which is likely needed for this super lager.