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swenocha

#39: Scottish Ale

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This is the first round collaboration brew with Rev_Evans that I'm finally getting to brew. Rev was great to work with... I suggested a Scottish Ale (among a few other ideas), and Rev really ran with it. He suggested the use of heather and the extended secondary with oak cubes, which were both new to me. I suggested the wort carmelization technique that I found here. Also, I've been soaking the oak cubes for two weeks in Cutty Sark scotch, so they should add a nice flavor to this beer.

The collaboration really brought out some great new ideas and techniques. A lot of fun...

Here's the recipe... Rev's is slightly different, as I had to improvise a touch at the LHBS due to available ingredients, but in spirit they are very, very similar...


Wee Heavy (my version)
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)

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Thats awesome...one of the best smells is when in the morning the fog rolls off the moors and the sun comes out (briefly) and the smell of sweet, damp heather rolls over you.

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1.082! Nailed it! 72 degrees and now to pitch and to bed...

As a wrap-up... The caramelization went great. The original link showed boiling a pound of DME for 2 hours to get to the caramel state, but since the water and DME volume was cut in half, it took less time. I decided to start as I was starting the steep water, so effectively did 1 1/2 hours. Probably could have done 1 hour instead. I spent the last half hour trying to balance the temp... too high and more would boil off... too low and it would stiffen too much. It hit the right consistency with about 30 minutes left in the boil, so in the future I'll start it side-by-side with the boil. Regardless, it smelled and tasted great. I'm sure I could have taken the easy route and used some pre-made caramel in some fashion, but this was very easy...

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swenocha wrote:

1.082! Nailed it! 72 degrees and now to pitch and to bed...

As a wrap-up... The caramelization went great. The original link showed boiling a pound of DME for 2 hours to get to the caramel state, but since the water and DME volume was cut in half, it took less time. I decided to start as I was starting the steep water, so effectively did 1 1/2 hours. Probably could have done 1 hour instead. I spent the last half hour trying to balance the temp... too high and more would boil off... too low and it would stiffen too much. It hit the right consistency with about 30 minutes left in the boil, so in the future I'll start it side-by-side with the boil. Regardless, it smelled and tasted great. I'm sure I could have taken the easy route and used some pre-made caramel in some fashion, but this was very easy...


I've been looking at recent discussions and as a new brewer, I should probably just close my eyes when I see anything thing in the "Advanced Recipes" section. But I have to ask what is the purpose of caramelizing DME?

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You caramelize the wort to achieve the caramel/butterscotch flavor that is present in a scottish ale (or similar). Caramelization occurs when sugars are scorched during a boil (but you have to be careful not to burn), so I pull a portion of the wort to achieve the desired results. If you are doing all grain, you can use a quart or two of the first runnings instead of DME. I used a quart of water and 1/2 pound of DME and boiled it down to maybe 1/2 pint.

If done correctly, you should end up with something you wouldn't mind putting on ice cream. If it has a burnt taste, I'd dump it and carry on with the rest of the brew...

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Fair warning, Rev... This thing is krausening like crazy. Not going to be surprised if I bubble over. You may want to put something under yours...

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swenocha wrote:

5406741628_b6d2cc77d5_z.jpg

Seems about right...

Been looking around the web and alot of Old Ale recipes use the caramelization process..thinking about trying it soon.

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It super easy, but you just have to pay attention to it so it doesn't burn. Just mix water and DME, boil aggressively and stir frequently. Mine started to thicken after 30 minutes or so, and then got to a caramel consistency at about 60 min.

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swenocha wrote:

It super easy, but you just have to pay attention to it so it doesn't burn. Just mix water and DME, boil aggressively and stir frequently. Mine started to thicken after 30 minutes or so, and then got to a caramel consistency at about 90 min.

So about hour and half of stirring frequently...sounds like a lil work, but worth it.How much DME and water for a 2.13 size.

Thanx

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I did 1/2lb DME in a quart of water. I just fixed my post above... I did 90 minutes, but it was really ready at 60 minutes. I didn't have to stir aggressively or anything... just a little stir here or there with a spatula to make sure I wasn't burning on the bottom...

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swenocha wrote:

I did 1/2lb DME in a quart of water. I just fixed my post above... I did 90 minutes, but it was really ready at 60 minutes. I didn't have to stir aggressively or anything... just a little stir here or there with a spatula to make sure I wasn't burning on the bottom...


Cool thanx....Trying to talk my girlfriend in to taking a road trip this summer to 3Floyds Brewpub. Nice little vac. and pick up some growlers.

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swenocha wrote:

April 30th... Dark Lord Day... Just sayin'...

DL1_RUSH.jpg
DL1_FRONT.jpg
dl2_dl.jpg

Red about that on the website. But thats during mushroom season. Morels my other obsession. My girlfriend would rather loose an arm then miss a day of mushroom hunting.

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Transferred onto oak cubes and heather tips...
5427271588_3ccb827cba_z.jpg

and Scottish Ale yeast (hopefully) successfully ranched...
5427821037_8e94da15b1_z.jpg

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So... fast forward a few days... Though it seemed my primary fermentation was complete when I transferred, I now have a pretty active fermentation with about an inch of krausen on the top, and a layer of trub forming on the bottom.

So... question on the table... I'm figuring I should not leave the beer on the trub for two months, so should I transfer to another seconda... err... tertiary? Clean the trub off of the oak cubes and move them as well? Or just leave things for three-ish weeks and bottle a month in instead of two months in?

Looking for opinions... I asked Papazian, and he gave an answer (which I'll disclose after hearing from others)...

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I'll bite (and be your victim :pinch:) I say that he told you to leave it as is and bottle after a month, but within two. The risk of autolysis is minimal and you will have got most all you can out of the oak and heather tips. Okay, fire away. :charlie: :50cal:

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I would advise bottling at the end of your secondary. I think you will get what you need out of 3-4 weeks in the secondary.

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I'm leaning that way (though the wood cubes state that you need a minimum of two months to get the flavor), but Charlie recommended racking to a seconda... err... tertiary vessel after this fermentation seems complete. He didn't offer comment on what to do about the cubes. I asked Palmer as well... I'll see if results differ with him (if he responds)...

5353963184_a3b0e608e1_m.jpg

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Well it seems to me that you could simply rinse off the cubes and add them to your secondarier (seconderriere?, oh all right, tertiary). They'll be saturated already, rinsing them won't wash away anything important. Of course, you'll need to boil your rinse water.

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Planning to bottle tomorrow night. I only have a mini-siphon, which is great for Mr. B kegs, but not so much for the better bottle, so I need to make a run to the LHBS tomorrow. Otherwise I would have likely bottled today. I pulled a small sample today, and I think the scotch/oak has imparted nicely, so it's time to pull it off the secondary trub and bottle this sucka. I'm only going to cold-crash for the evening and bottle tomorrow evening.

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One question to the masses... Can I reuse these cubes? I was thinking of rinsing them off and starting a soak in bourbon. Or maybe I'll resoak these in scotch for future use, and get another set for the bourbon. Thoughts?

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swenocha wrote:

One question to the masses... Can I reuse these cubes? I was thinking of rinsing them off and starting a soak in bourbon. Or maybe I'll resoak these in scotch for future use, and get another set for the bourbon. Thoughts?

I'd use'em to smoke a porkloin, buy new for the brew.

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Hydrometer reading at 1.014 (well exceeding est FG). Hit 8.9% instead of the estimate 7.9% ABV. Bottled with no issue. Tried out some new processes... got a much longer tube and utilized that with the wand, bringing the wand to the bottle instead of the bottle to the wand. Tube is a bit too long, but worked pretty darn well. Got 15 12oz, 4 22oz, and one 6oz taster for 2.14 gallon in the bottle. Taste has scotch and oak present, just as we intended, so that is good.

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Told myself I'd let this one sit for a couple months before pulling a taster, but my curiosity got the best of me. Pour is dark brown with red highlights and a small tan head. Aroma is oak and scotch. Flavor is pretty balanced. Malty and maybe a bit thinner than I expected, with oak a bit up front. Very smooth and drinkable now, but still pretty green. The oak should settle into the flavor profile a bit more with time, but it's not overpowering now. This gives me a lot of hope for how good this will be in the fall.

5541792686_5080c6e7ff_b.jpg

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Rev reminded me that I had put the first non-tester into the fridge. Here goes...

5645361556_64a307aeb6_b.jpg
(note Zane Lamprey's 'Drinking Made Easy' on in the background... Pleeplus! Drink!)

Very pretty pour... clear, reddish, with a tan head that settled into a finger width head that is sticking around and leaving a lot of lacing. Still a bit up front with the scotch/oak, but has mellowed quite a bit. The caramel is really coming through now. Very smooth drinker. Came out quite good, but will be better as it ages...

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Looks like a beaut. This one is still in the pipeline for me. We'll take notes as well.

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Threw another one in the fridge last weekend. Just popped it. It's mellowing quite nicely. I think I'm happy enough with it now to send out the bottles I owe to a couple of you (sorry for the delay... just didn't want to send until I was happy with it), though I still think it'll be better in the fall...

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I'm brewing this one tomorrow! I can post the ingredients and everything.. but I'm excited! Glad it turned out well.

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I know I've said this at least two times before, but I will drop one in the mail to you (and SmokeDiver) shortly... I'm pretty lame, I know...

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Not lame at all, my friend. No problem, really. I will try to get my hefe to you as well. I would love more feedback on it.

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Inspired by Rev_Evans' thread, I popped another in. 1.5 months since last taste, 4 months after bottling. Flavor of the scotch has integrated nicely now. Taste of oak, a bit of scotch, and caramel. Yum. Still planning for most to integrate into the bottling line in the fall, but still very promising.

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I am still really excited to try this brew. My Scottish will be ready in a bout a week. Young... but ready!

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From the first collaboration... Enjoying the last bottle of this right now. At 1.5 years in the bottle, I can say with certainty that this bottle is the best of the bunch. The aging has done wonders. All of the flavors are melded together... you get a bit of the oak, scotch, caramel, heather, etc. Very smooth and quite tasty without being boozy. I'm going to have to do this one again. It was quite a fun experiment. I wonder how Rev's version turned out.

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Guest System Admin

Nice to hear.

Beer-Soaked and I are doing a We Heavy, Looking like it will be atleast 6 months condition time at 9.2%

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It turned out great! We liked it so much we made an attempt at all grain.

We took out the extracts and used 12 lbs golden promise, 2lbs Maris otter, and 2 lbs crystal 60. Everything else remained except we bumped the other malts to 1/2 lb each.

Nothing wee about it but it is very tasty! We call it our Angry Presbyter.

I really had fun working with you Swen, it's a great brew.

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Good to see you back, Rev! I had some beers sent to you that came back many moons ago... I must have gotten the addr wrong. D'oh... Hope all is well...

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That's too bad, I'm sure they would have been tasty. We are settled and back into a more steady routine. It is good to be back. Enjoying final four? I don't see an MB bracket this year.

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