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I just came back from a festival that was serving mulled cider and mulled wine. I've heard of a few mulled beers, such as buttered beer, so I know people must make them. Has anyone out there tried making one or tasted someone else's?

What type of beer would be good for mulling? What characteristics would shine through or stand out at high temperatures? Also, is it even worth carbonating in the bottle if you're planning to mull it?

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I wonder how quickly mulled beer would start to seem oxidized due to the high temperature. –  brewchez Nov 23 '10 at 21:52
    
I was thinking along the lines of mulling it and immediately serving it (still warm), rather than trying to bottle it. –  Room3 Dec 7 '10 at 20:26

5 Answers 5

I don't have any experience with mulled beer (but I am certainly a fan of mulled cider). However, keep in mind that heating the beer will drive off the carbonation, so I would skip carbonating it at all, and it will also cause some of the alcohol to evaporate.

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The only mulled commercial beer I've tried is Unibroue's Quelque Chose. It should actually be on shelves now if you want to try it, but it's a sweet cherry beer, at 8% ABV. Pkaeding is right, you'll want very low to no carbonation.

Any off flavors will be magnified at elevated temperatures, so you'll want as clean a flavor as possible.

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For mulling ale, choose a strong and sweet ale, not to bitter (as the percieved bitterness increases much with heating). This way you do not have to add anything else (which is good for purists like me).

Heat it quickly. Traditionally a red hot poker was used. The mulled ale is ready when it is as hot as you can possibly drink comfortably in big sips. It takes some practice to get the heating just right.

Ale treated like this will heat ALL of you - not just your head! ;)

Do not skip carbonation. It is very valuable to the total experience of this drink.

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Last year before christmas, I made a spiced beer inspired by the Norwegian "gløgg" (similar to German Glühwein), a type of mulled wine. I only tried heating it up once, and it was simply awful — it was way to dry, too bitter, and the alcohol was too pronounced. If I were to make this again, I'd make it a lot sweeter, use less hops, and maybe use even more spices (like cloves, cinnamon, stare anise etc).

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Go with ale instead of the other option cider: http://historicalfoods.com/9876/lambs-wool-recipe/ ... its delicious hot or cold

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