Shack on A Hilltop Strong Ale

Shack on A Hilltop Strong Ale is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 6.
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If the winter weather is getting you down, then you need something to pick you up. This is the beer for you. A nice strong winter warmer. With smooth, rich malt flavors and the perfect hint of vanilla to wash it all down, this will be your go-to for the cold winter months ahead. 

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Shack on A Hilltop Strong Ale
Shack on A Hilltop Strong Ale

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    What You Get

    1 Bewitched Amber Ale Brewing Extract (HME)

    1 Packet of Smooth LME

    2 Packets of Golden LME

    1 Packet of Crystal 40

    2 Packets of Saaz Hops

    2 Muslin Hop Sack

    1 Packet of S-05 Ale Yeast

    1 Packet of No-Rinse Cleanser

    You Provide

    2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract 48 hours before bottling

    For Fans Of

    Shed Brewing Mountain Ale

    Deschutes Jubelale

    Brew Specs

    Flavor: Strong

    Original Gravity: 1.073

    Final Gravity: 1.015

    ABV: 7.6%

    SRM: (Color): 14

    IBU: (Bitterness): 21


    Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:

    1. Fill clean keg with warm water to line mark 1 on the back, then add ½ pack (about 1 tablespoon) of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, the solution is ready to use. Save the remaining ½ of No-Rinse Cleanser because you will need it for bottling.

    2. Screw on lid and swirl the keg so that the cleaning solution makes contact with the entire interior of the keg, including the underside of the lid. Note that the ventilation notches under the lid may leak solution. Allow to sit for at least 2 minutes and swirl again.

    3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow liquid to flow for 5 seconds and then close

    4. Pour the rest of the solution from the keg into a large bowl. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in cleaning solution prior to using.

    5. After all surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to top of keg, proceed immediately to brewing.


    Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.

    1. Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can & LMEs in hot tap water.

    2. Place the packet of grain into the muslin sack and tie it closed so that the grain has room to flow freely within the sack.

    3. Add 8 cups of water to your 1 gallon or larger boil pot. Bring the water to a temperature of 155-165 F and hold the temperature at that range. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, add in the grain sack and allow it to steep for 30 minutes, while keeping the correct range for the entire 30 minutes.

    4. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the grain sack from the pot and place it in a colander to drain so that the run-off flows back into the pot, and rinse the sack with one cup of hot water (approx. 160 degrees F) and allow that to also flow back into the pot. Do not squeeze the grain sack. Once drained, discard the spent grains.

    5. Add both packets of hops to a hop sack tie it to closed and trim away the excess material. 

    6. Bing your grain water to a low boil. Add in the hop sack and let it boil for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes have passed remove the pot from the heat. The hopsack will stay in throughout fermentation. 

    7. Open the can of Brewing Extract and BrewMax LME's and pour the contents into the hot mixture in your pot. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture of unfermented beer is called wort.

    8. Fill your fermenter with cold tap water to the mark 1 on the back. If using any other fermenter this would be approximately 1 gallon of water.

    9. Pour the wort into your fermenter and then bring the volume of the fermenter to mark 2 by adding more cold water. (If you have a different fermenter top it off to 8.5 liters)

    10. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.

    11. Sprinkle the S-05 Dry Ale yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.

    Put your fermenter in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 78° F, and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 21 days.

    STEP 3: Adding Extras

    Adding extras is the process of adding additional ingredients to a beer that will impart more flavor and aroma to your finished brew.

    1. 48 hours before bottling add in the 2 Tablespoons of Vaniall Extract to your fermenter. Just open the lid, pour in the extract, and put the lid back on. 


    After 21 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (24 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.

    1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill a 1-gallon container with warm water, then add the remaining ½ pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use

    2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solutions into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be using for bottling. Do not rinse.

    3. Add 2 Carbonation Drops to each 740-mL bottle. For 1-liter bottles, add 2 ½ drops; for ½-liter bottles add 1 drop. Alternatively, you can add table sugar using this table as a guide. 

    4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.

    5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.

    6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation. 


    After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it. 

    This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer

    Rated 4 out of 5 by Groundswat from Good ale Very distict flavor, can taste the vanilla and smoth finish. I got an 8.5 % alcohol with this recipe. Doesn't have the hop finish like a Jubelale but still a good brew.
    Date published: 2021-03-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by FredAFT from Great Taste with a Great Finish I was looking for a good winter ale similar to Jubelale from Deschutes. When I saw this recipe, it looked great except it sounded like it may be even better with a bit more of a hoppy finish. I followed the recipe but added in a packet of Cascade hops in with the Saaz hops and then added an additional packet of Fuggle hops at the end of the boil. It came out fantastic. I love the full bodied taste, the vanilla overtones, and the hoppy finish.
    Date published: 2022-02-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by KatyB from Great beer with high ABV Still waiting on this one to be done but tasted it when I bottled it and it’s already so tasty!!!
    Date published: 2021-03-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by BrewerBen from Strong Ale Looks good so far, excited to give it a try! Quick shipping and quality ingredients, easy to brew up.
    Date published: 2022-01-06
    Rated 4 out of 5 by Anonymous from I cant wait to try my brew in another two weeks I haven't tried my brew yet, but cant wait to try this recipe
    Date published: 2021-04-02
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