Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

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Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby StevieDS » Wed Sep 03, 2014 15:05

I would love some feedback on this recipe, will be my first attempt at a Scotch ale. This is based on an award winning recipe, the only difference is I've left out the peated malt (3%).

Strong Scotch Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 15.0
Total Grain (kg): 5.320
Total Hops (g): 25.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.076
Final Gravity (FG): 1.020
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 7.4 %
Colour (SRM): 22.6
Bitterness (IBU): 32.3 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 68
Boil Time (Minutes): 90

Grain Bill
----------------
4.700 kg Maris Otter Malt (88.35%)
0.500 kg Caramalt (9.4%)
0.120 kg Roasted Barley (2.26%)

Hop Bill
----------------
25.0 g Challenger Leaf (8.6% Alpha) @ 90 Minutes (Boil)

Misc Bill
----------------
4 g Irish Moss @ 15 Minutes (Boil)

Single step Infusion at 67°C for 90 Minutes.
Fermented at 18°C with Wyeast 1098 - British Ale (Equivalent to WLP007 English Dry)
I don't have access to Edinburgh Yeast unfortunately :(

Any feedback would be much appreciated :hat:

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby robwalker » Wed Sep 03, 2014 15:16

Looks good but there's a few things I would change...

1) you probably need the yeast for it to taste bang on.
2) in a Scotch ale the caramel and colour come from caramelizing 1/5th of the wort right down with a little roasted barley added, not from crystal malt.

You're really making a passable Scotch ale, not a legitimate one, so if you're happy with that then go for it, I'm sure you'll really enjoy it either way!
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby graysalchemy » Wed Sep 03, 2014 15:24

I would have said the most important part of a scottish ale is the caramelized wort. I would say take the first gallon on a 5 gallon batch and reduce this on the stove until you have about a pint of thick stick black liquour which you add back at the end.

The hopping seems spot on though the traquair house heavy which I cloned has half of the total hops at 45 mins I think, but certainly no aroma hops and quite low IBU for the gravity.

I would be tempted to mash at 66c it may be too cloying with the amount of caramalt at the temp and gravity.

I used wlp0028 the edinburgh yeast which did add its own flavour to it but so did the caramelizing.

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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby StevieDS » Wed Sep 03, 2014 15:40

I was a little concerned myself about the high crystal content, but a number of the recipes I looked at had a high % of crystal. Jamil's wee heavy recipe has over 7% crystal malts.
Understood, without the correct yeast it won't be authentic but my local brew shop doesn't have a huge selection of liquid yeasts.
Ok so I'll lower the mash temp a degree or 2 to increase fermentability.
Caramelizing the first runnings won't be a problem either. What sort of consistency are you looking for, like honey thickness or is that too much?

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby robwalker » Wed Sep 03, 2014 15:43

I would say as far as you can go with no burning or sticking! ;)
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby graysalchemy » Wed Sep 03, 2014 19:23

Out of a gallon I would try and reduce it down to a pint or so.

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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby Good Ed » Wed Sep 03, 2014 22:00

With a big beer like this you need to pitch big, ie the equivalent of 3 White Lab vials or 300bn cells for 23L, which you would get with 1 vial in a 5L starter. Also 18C is at the low end for WLP007 and I would consider 19 or 20C.

Also recipes for the Scotch Ale style often bear very little resemblance to what was actually brewed in the past by Scottish breweries.

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby StevieDS » Thu Sep 04, 2014 15:14

Good Ed wrote:Also 18C is at the low end for WLP007 and I would consider 19 or 20C.


You're right but I was purposefully aiming a bit low after reading one of Jamil's articles on this style where he said:

On bigger beers like this, I start fermentation at the lower end of their range and then let the temperature rise at least a few degrees over the course of a couple of days. This helps moderate the production of hot tasting alcohols, helps the yeast attenuate fully, and keeps the amount of diacetyl in the finished beer to a minimum.


Good Ed wrote:Also recipes for the Scotch Ale style often bear very little resemblance to what was actually brewed in the past by Scottish breweries.


This is probably true of many styles, Ipa for example, but as long as it tastes good I'm ok with that :thumb:

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby rlemkin » Thu Sep 04, 2014 17:16

robwalker wrote:I would say as far as you can go with no burning or sticking! ;)



Rob is right. I did this with my 60 shilling last week, make sure to taste it every now and then.. it'll convince you that you're doing the right thing!
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby Good Ed » Thu Sep 04, 2014 18:21

StevieDS wrote:
Good Ed wrote:Also recipes for the Scotch Ale style often bear very little resemblance to what was actually brewed in the past by Scottish breweries.


This is probably true of many styles, Ipa for example, but as long as it tastes good I'm ok with that :thumb:


Not really true as the style guidelines for IPA do have some historical basis. The BJCP style guidelines for Strong Scotch Ale and all Scottish beers are a complete work of fiction dreamed up by whoever writes such tosh.

For example "Hops, which are not native to Scotland and formerly expensive to import, were kept to a minimum". I don't know if the idiots who write this stuff have heard of boats and shipping, but the Scots used the same way all the other British breweries were getting hops and malt from overseas after the mid 1800's, by boat, as home production was insufficient to meet demand. Scottish hopping rates were similar to London and both were at a slightly less insane level than that used in Burton. Some of the Scottish export pale ale was hopped at 8 pounds per barrel (yes that's about 22g/L). And don't get me started on the caramelisation thing.....You will have to excuse the rant and wish you all the best with your beer.

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby graysalchemy » Thu Sep 04, 2014 20:44

Please i am intrigued now about the caramalisation thing, please do tell.

I agree with you on the interpretation by BJCP of 'historic' styles, but in their deffence they are American. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby Good Ed » Thu Sep 04, 2014 21:53

graysalchemy wrote:Please i am intrigued now about the caramalisation thing, please do tell.

I agree with you on the interpretation by BJCP of 'historic' styles, but in their deffence they are American. :lol: :lol:


No I've got nothing against caramelisation, but to quote Ron Pattinson "Three practices are usually described as being typical of Scottish Brewing: a long boil, a low hopping rate, and a cool fermentation. I've looked through hundreds of Scottish brewing records and have discovered that the reality was very different. In the first half of the nineteenth century, far from having a long boil to caramelise the wort, Scottish brewers preferred very short boils. This was for two reasons: to preserve hop aroma and to keep the colour as pale as possible. Boil times could be less than 1 hour at a time, when in London X ales were usually boiled for 2 hours." etc, etc

So the same with hopping rates and with fermentation temperatures. The one point that was distinctive of Scottish beers was a very low attenuation, but that is an art in itself imo.

An early example of what we are talking about is a 1848 Younger 100/-, all pale malt, Cluster and Goldings hops, OG1099, FG 1040, ABV 7.81%, attenuation 59.60%, IBU 84, SRM 9, mash 67C, boil 60mins, this would have then been bottled.

Also just to note the modern shilling ales 60/-, 70/- and 80/- have no resemblance to the historic beers, these were then all pale beers and were roughly the equivalent of the English mild ales, X, XX, XXX, however later in the nineteenth century pale ales were also given /- designations. Brewing records can be confusing things and great credit should go to Ron Pattinson for making things clearer to those interested.

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby StevieDS » Thu Sep 04, 2014 22:00

Good Ed wrote:You will have to excuse the rant and wish you all the best with your beer.


I do enjoy a good rant :lol:

To be honest, adherence to bjcp guidelines and historical accuracy are not really on my list of priorities when brewing. I think some people get hung up on labels sometimes. I can understand if brewing for a competition or if trying to recreate an old style for the purpose of accuracy but otherwise I'm happy as long as it makes a good beer.

I suppose a better op would have read something like "will this recipe make a decent beer, 'roughly' in the style of a wee heavy?" :D

Ps thanks for the info Ed it does make interesting reading though. We shouldn't forget our roots :cheers1:

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby Good Ed » Thu Sep 04, 2014 22:22

No I have nothing against what you are doing, or for the recipe you got from Jamil, he's great and I've done other recipes from him, and you'll be sure they turn out great.

It's just the style guidelines and their makers that are the bollo**s, especially for this "style". And also I didn't mean to hijack your thread so much.

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby robwalker » Fri Sep 05, 2014 05:35

This is getting interesting!
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Re: Strong Scotch Ale Recipe Feedback

Postby StevieDS » Fri Sep 05, 2014 09:23

Good Ed wrote:No I have nothing against what you are doing, or for the recipe you got from Jamil, he's great and I've done other recipes from him, and you'll be sure they turn out great.

It's just the style guidelines and their makers that are the bollo**s, especially for this "style". And also I didn't mean to hijack your thread so much.


No problem at all, it was relevant and interesting thanks for your feedback :thumb:
As I say I'm prone to a rant myself occasionally :D

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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