22-and-23-year old rockers Jocelyn & Chris Arndt have a long standing holiday tradition celebrating the season with a secret family home-brew, Fat Santa Christmas Ale.

Brewed at the Arndt family home, this pair of Harvard-grads have created a seasonal, full-bodied brown ale. A smooth, spicy sweetness with notes of floral hops, cinnamon and clove for a hint of holiday bite is rounded out with faintly detectable vanilla, coupled perfectly with holiday treats and ugly sweaters.

Fat Santa Christmas Ale

An Arndt Family Recipe


6 lbs light malt extract powder
3 lbs amber malt extract powder
1 lb dark malt extract powder


5 oz Columbus (split into 1oz and 2 2oz portions)
3 oz Citra (split into 1 oz and 2 oz portions)


Lallemand BRY-97 American West Coast Ale yeast

Water and ice:

4.6 gallons high-quality filtered water (treated as necessary for brewing)
8 lbs food-grade ice

Spices (in mesh bag or stocking):

2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
1 tsp whole cloves
8-10 coriander seeds
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp real vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split


  • Do a day ahead: Boil 1lb light malt extract in 1qt of water until foam breaks, stirring and adjusting temperature as necessary. Keep in sterilized vessel. Allow to cool to 75-80?F and add yeast to make a starter. Cover with rubber glove and seal with rubber band
  • Boil 4.6 gallons. Add remaining malt extract and bring to a boil until foam breaks, stirring and adjusting temperature as necessary
  • Start a 60-minute timer. When starting the timer, add 1oz Columbus hops
  • At 15 min. left, add 2oz Columbus and 1oz Citra hops
  • At 10 min. left, add spice bag. *If using vanilla extract, add that separate of spice bag; if using vanilla bean, scrap each side of the split bean for seeds and put seeds and husk in spice bag
  • At 3 min. left, add remaining hops (2oz Columbus and 2oz Citra)
  • When timer runs out, pour wort into primary fermentation vessel with 8lbs of food-grade ice. Chill wort by placing vessel in ice bath or using wort chiller
  • Pitch starter when wort reaches 80?F. (Allow 6 days primary fermentation)
  • Rack through nylon or cloth filter screen to remove large solids into keg. Push through 1 micron filter to remove yeast into second keg.
  • Charge at 25lbs CO2 for 3 days. Turn CO2 down to 8-10lbs, wait 1-2 weeks, and serve at 45-50?F

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