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Bonsai & Brew

Wee Heavy Oak

To Oak Or Not To Oak?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Should I add my mix of Bourbon and Port Wine infused oak chips to this after primary fermentation, or just leave it as is?

    • Go for it -- if you don't brew it, who will?
      7
    • Be safe, conservative and patient. See if you've made a decent Wee Heavy first before messing with it.
      1
    • Aren't you out of oak chips yet?
      2
  2. 2. Has anyone brewed an all-grain Wee Heavy using the first-runnings boil-down technique?

    • Yes
      2
    • No
      8
    • I might, but it seems like a lot of effort for a 2-gallon batch of beer.
      0


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Finally got this one off my "next up" list -- I did a 1.5 lb. mini-mash and boiled the wort down to near LME consistency, while using the batch sparge/mash-out runnings + Muntons DME for my primary boil.  I then added the Bewitched and caramelized wort back to the kettle for the last 5 min. of the 90 min. boil.  It took about an hour at medium heat to reduce the initial wort.

 

Wee Heavy Mini-Mash

 

Bewitched Amber Ale HME

Muntons Amber DME, 0.5 lbs.

Crisp Finest Maris Otter, 1 lb.

Caramel 40L, 0.25 lb.

Victory malt, 0.25 lb.

Simpsons Peated Malt, 1 heaping Tbsp.

Weyermann Roasted Malt, 1 heaping Tbsp.

Fuggles, 0.5 oz. for 20 min. boil

Nottingham pitched @ 60 F -- cool ferment for first 3 or 4 days before finishing at 65-68 F.

 

OG was 1.075

 

One last thing...

 

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

Sampled Devil's Backbone Scotch Ale in the store today.  It is strong, but I am not sure I would want to buy it.  I like the "Golden One" Belgian Strong Ale (Mr Beer and Anthem Brewery collaboration) that I bottled today better.

 

The DB Wood Aged Kilt Flasher was one of the beers that inspired this experimentation.  Never had one, but it just sounds so earthy, malty and Scottish.?

http://dbbrewingcompany.com/beers/wood-aged-kilt-flasher/?age-verified=82e24e735d

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1 hour ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

The DB Wood Aged Kilt Flasher was one of the beers that inspired this experimentation.  Never had one, but it just sounds so earthy, malty and Scottish.?

http://dbbrewingcompany.com/beers/wood-aged-kilt-flasher/?age-verified=82e24e735d

Yes that was what I tried - but the bottled kind without the wood aging.  It was OK but it didn't really scream out to me to make or buy. I still might try it but it is low on the list.

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20 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

Yes that was what I tried - but the bottled kind without the wood aging.  It was OK but it didn't really scream out to me to make or buy. I still might try it but it is low on the list.

 

Here's the other one that got me going in a barrel-aged direction.  Interestingly, Alesmith brewed both Bourbon and Port wine barrel versions of their world-class Wee Heavy.  

 

image.jpeg

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1 hour ago, AnthonyC said:

That looks GREAT, BB!  What's your estimated time from brew to burp?  My gut says it's gonna be a long one.  

 

Assuming that I add the oak as the vote would dictate, and since Wee Heavy is known as a late fall/winter seasonal, let's say 10 months or so!?

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1 hour ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

Assuming that I add the oak as the vote would dictate, and since Wee Heavy is known as a late fall/winter seasonal, let's say 10 months or so!?

Sounds right to me, BB.  I've noticed a trend towards "heavier" longer fermenting/conditioning beers lately: Wee Heavy, Bourbon Stouts, Barleywines, etc.  We'll be well prepared for winter 2017/2018.  ?

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 7:47 PM, Bonsai & Brew said:

Finally got this one off my "next up" list -- I did a 1.5 lb. mini-mash and boiled the wort down to near LME consistency, while using the batch sparge/mash-out runnings + Muntons DME for my primary boil.  I then added the Bewitched and caramelized wort back to the kettle for the last 5 min. of the 90 min. boil.  It took about an hour at medium heat to reduce the initial wort.

 

Wee Heavy Mini-Mash

 

Bewitched Amber Ale HME

Muntons Amber DME, 0.5 lbs.

Crisp Finest Maris Otter, 1 lb.

Caramel 40L, 0.25 lb.

Victory malt, 0.25 lb.

Simpsons Peated Malt, 1 heaping Tbsp.

Weyermann Roasted Malt, 1 heaping Tbsp.

Fuggles, 0.5 oz. for 20 min. boil

Nottingham pitched @ 60 F -- cool ferment for first 3 or 4 days before finishing at 65-68 F.

 

OG was 1.075

 

One last thing...

 

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Oh my gosh - that looks like gravy..............

 

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3 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

Oh my gosh - that looks like gravy..............

 

That's already been done:  http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/recipe-beer-gravy/

 

I was not happy with the pics either and considered not posting them, but the caramelized wort really did turn out nice.  About 10 minutes after the last picture, the wort foamed up just like cooked brown sugar.?

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15 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

That's already been done:  http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/recipe-beer-gravy/

 

I was not happy with the pics either and considered not posting them, but the caramelized wort really did turn out nice.  About 10 minutes after the last picture, the wort foamed up just like cooked brown sugar.?

No, No, the pics are good, but institutionalized cooking gravy looks so similar  -  lol.

 

Boiling the wort down though looks as much trouble as making Maple Syrup from sap. It works, but I only did that once.

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9 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

 

Boiling the wort down though looks as much trouble as making Maple Syrup from sap. It works, but I only did that once.

 

That's just it.  If I understand the process correctly, boiling down the wort helps develop the malt characteristics of the style.  But I'm adding 2.86 lbs. of HME, so the benefit of the reduction boil may be diminished.  All good though -- I have a better appreciation for paying $3.49 for a Mr. Beer BrewMax LME Softpack!;)

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This sounds great.  Way back in the 2011 Recipe Collaboration Exchange (do you all still do that?  it was a lot of fun), Rev_Evans and I did a partial mash Wee Heavy with a caramelization as you describe and Cutty Sark soaked oak cubes.  Still one of the favorite things I've brewed.  

 

FWIW, here's what we did...   

 

#39: Scottish Ale

 

Spoiler

Scottish Heavy 70/-

Type: Extract with steep
Date: 1/8/2011 
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Brewer: Swenocha 

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU 
4.00 lb Mountmellick Light LME (3.0 SRM) Extract 68.49 % 
1.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 17.12 % 
0.50 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 8.56 %
0.25 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 4.28 % 
0.09 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.54 % 
0.30 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 20.9 IBU 
0.30 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (20 min) Hops 3.3 IBU 
1.00 oz Heather Tips (Boil 30.0 min) Misc 
1.00 oz Heather Tips (Secondary 7.0 days) Misc 
0.50 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc 
2.00 oz Bourbon soaked Oak Cubes (Secondary 7.0 days) Misc 
1 Pkgs Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.082 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.021 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.90 % 
Bitterness: 24.2 IBU 
Est Color: 24.5 SRM

Process:

Caramelize 1/2lb light DME with 4 quarts water
Steep grains for 30 min
Boil, add remaining DME
drop hops, heather, and whilfloc on schedule above
Add carmelized wort at 5 minutes
Add LME at flameout
Cool, stir, pitch, stir
Ferment for 7 days
Transfer to secondary with other half of heather and scotch soaked oak cubes
Leave in secondary for two months (or to taste)

 

 

5645361556_64a307aeb6_b.jpg

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7 hours ago, swenocha said:

This sounds great.  Way back in the 2011 Recipe Collaboration Exchange (do you all still do that?  it was a lot of fun), Rev_Evans and I did a partial mash Wee Heavy with a caramelization as you describe and Cutty Sark soaked oak cubes.  Still one of the favorite things I've brewed.  

 

FWIW, here's what we did...   

 

#39: Scottish Ale

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Scottish Heavy 70/-

Type: Extract with steep
Date: 1/8/2011 
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Brewer: Swenocha 

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU 
4.00 lb Mountmellick Light LME (3.0 SRM) Extract 68.49 % 
1.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 17.12 % 
0.50 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 8.56 %
0.25 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 4.28 % 
0.09 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.54 % 
0.30 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 20.9 IBU 
0.30 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (20 min) Hops 3.3 IBU 
1.00 oz Heather Tips (Boil 30.0 min) Misc 
1.00 oz Heather Tips (Secondary 7.0 days) Misc 
0.50 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc 
2.00 oz Bourbon soaked Oak Cubes (Secondary 7.0 days) Misc 
1 Pkgs Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.082 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.021 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.90 % 
Bitterness: 24.2 IBU 
Est Color: 24.5 SRM

Process:

Caramelize 1/2lb light DME with 4 quarts water
Steep grains for 30 min
Boil, add remaining DME
drop hops, heather, and whilfloc on schedule above
Add carmelized wort at 5 minutes
Add LME at flameout
Cool, stir, pitch, stir
Ferment for 7 days
Transfer to secondary with other half of heather and scotch soaked oak cubes
Leave in secondary for two months (or to taste)

 

 

5645361556_64a307aeb6_b.jpg

 

Thanks for the link Swenocha -- funny that I didn't run across #39 Scottish Ale while searching the forum and crafting this recipe...?

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I'm about 8 months along on this Wee Heavy and it is not bad.  If I brew this again though, I'll double the Maris Otter, dry-hop a little heather, and use Melanoidin malt in place of the reduction boil.  Oh, and add carapils to the grain bill -- the initial pour was promising, but the head dissipated after 10 min. or so.  As it is, this brew will still make for a nice warmer come winter.:)

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