I brewed the first half of the Belgian Noel beer recipe that I got from Austin Homebrew last week. This recipe was an early Christmas gift from Susan, who thought (rightly) that it would be great to have some Christmas seasonal beer on hand over the holidays. I really love Belgian style beers, so the idea of a Winter seasonal Belgian is right down my alley. So, as soon as the last of the pumpkin ale was clear of the fermenter, I got the Belgian Noel in there.The Noel is a premium recipe, evidenced by the use of massive amounts of malt syrup (an extra 4 pounds compared to the pumpkin ale) and the addition of some interesting fermentables like the Belgian candi syrup (pictured in the small white bottle). This beer uses a lot more bittering hops (Spalt) than the previous beer that I brewed, which is interesting, since I don’t think of Belgian ales as being very highly hopped. This may be just to balance out the massive amount of malt used to get the original gravity up to nearly 1.090.The brewing process went very much like the last batch that I brewed, however I had much more of a problem when it came time to pour the wort into my fermenter. Last time I used some duct tape to create a spout on my brew kettle, but this time I got lazy and didn’t do such a good job with the spout and ended up pouring a lot of wort on the kitchen floor. This stuff is really sticky before it ferments, so it was a real pain to clean up. Good thing I asked Santa for a new fermenter this year!By the way, the Belgian candi syrup smells a lot like molasses and tastes a little bit like chocolate. When I start doing my own recipes it might be interesting to brew a beer with a mixture of Hershey’s syrup and molasses.