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Old 10-03-2011, 03:41 PM   #111
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KingBrianI: I am more than willing to organize the swap for this one if you're sick of it.

Is it bad that I really, really want to get this batch going? Do we have to wait until December???
Sure, you can organize the swap. I hope you feel that way in about a year! No need to wait until December to brew. Just need to wait until the recipe or formula is pretty much agreed upon.

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I was thinking that I could brew a lighter Scottish ale to build up the yeast once we decide on a strain.... Maybe that will hold me over till Dec?
I'm planning on doing the same. A 70/- that'll probably be 100% golden promise with a good sized kettle caramelization. It will build up the yeast and be a nice easy drinker.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #112
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I feel that we should do a 97-99% base malt of Golden Promise or Maris Otter the balance being roasted barley or dark crystal.

Hop to BJCP style range using an earthy hop, since the bulk of the hopping is bittering almost any will do.

Ferment with either Scottish ale or Irish ale yeast.

The recipe should be more focused on the brewing process and steps involved and let the actual grainbill be a little more flexible to work with what is on hand or what our LHBS has in stock.

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Old 10-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #113
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Now I know it's not a new book but I picked up the BA Scottish Ales book and historically they are talking about the IBUs being much higher, like double. The reason I see the hops being closer to 30ibu now instead of 60 is because of the increased attenuation we can achieve.

One of the thought provoking chapters was the chapter on malt. I think we should add a small amount of dark crystal after looking through this book. The reason I say is because historically the malt was much darker than it is today. Even our pale malts like GP or MO are likely light in comparison. Now I know we're not going for a purely historic brew but I do think a little dark crystal will add some depth of flavor likely lost due to malting technology. I have a feeling Maillard reaction had more of a impact on the malt of the past which gave this beer its reputation. So some dark crystal or a blend of dark crystal should give us what our modern malts lack.

What say ye?

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Old 10-03-2011, 06:34 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by KingBrianI View Post
Sure, you can organize the swap. I hope you feel that way in about a year! No need to wait until December to brew. Just need to wait until the recipe or formula is pretty much agreed upon.



I'm planning on doing the same. A 70/- that'll probably be 100% golden promise with a good sized kettle caramelization. It will build up the yeast and be a nice easy drinker.
Cool, count me in as organizer then. I've done a bunch of group-buys for cigars, so I imagine this would be similar.

I like the idea of making a smaller Scottish Ale to get the yeast started. It'll give me a chance to practice & see what flavors I like. Unless I'm mistaken, the Wee Heavy is basically a higher gravity version right?

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I feel that we should do a 97-99% base malt of Golden Promise or Maris Otter the balance being roasted barley or dark crystal.

Hop to BJCP style range using an earthy hop, since the bulk of the hopping is bittering almost any will do.

Ferment with either Scottish ale or Irish ale yeast.

The recipe should be more focused on the brewing process and steps involved and let the actual grainbill be a little more flexible to work with what is on hand or what our LHBS has in stock.
I agree with 99% of that. The one thing I'm still stuck on is smoked malt. We seem to be divided on this one issue. I guess I don't see what the big deal is with leaving it up to the brewer?

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Now I know it's not a new book but I picked up the BA Scottish Ales book and historically they are talking about the IBUs being much higher, like double. The reason I see the hops being closer to 30ibu now instead of 60 is because of the increased attenuation we can achieve.

One of the thought provoking chapters was the chapter on malt. I think we should add a small amount of dark crystal after looking through this book. The reason I say is because historically the malt was much darker than it is today. Even our pale malts like GP or MO are likely light in comparison. Now I know we're not going for a purely historic brew but I do think a little dark crystal will add some depth of flavor likely lost due to malting technology. I have a feeling Maillard reaction had more of a impact on the malt of the past which gave this beer its reputation. So some dark crystal or a blend of dark crystal should give us what our modern malts lack.

What say ye?
Why not leave that up to the brewer too? A little crystal won't hurt anything, neither will higher bittering additions, especially since it'll be aging so long.

If anything, Skullsplitter is just a little too sweet for me. I would think a few more IBU's might help to balance that out.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:41 PM   #115
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I like the idea of a primarily MO or Golden Promise malt bill. I agree with the inclusion of some dark crystal, though I think a proper carmelization will help with the flavor spectrum.

I am still struggling with how I feel about the smoked malt - I like the light smoke flavor I find in some Scottish ales and am nervous that I won't get it from just the yeast, but I also don't want to make this beer to complicated, especially since I am planning to play with Oak in this one.

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Old 10-03-2011, 06:47 PM   #116
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The way I see it is this way:

The point is this is for us all to use the same recipe brewed as similar as possible. That way when it comes time to swap we're comparing apples to apples. If someone wants to brew this and doesn't want to plan on swapping then you can brew whatever you want. If someone is in on the swap we should be able to reach a general consensus on the recipe and other specifics. I'm the the point where everyone wants an option for everything that is involved with the brew. I'm not saying my way is the right way but I don't think the point of this is to have 30 variations that are close. If it is decided that we will use golden promise I'll go buy a sack of golden promise since this one brew will likely use up half the bag in one shot. If the hops agreed upon are EKG I'll buy more EKG. Everyone is saying "I like this and I like that and I would like to have the option of this or the option of that". As it stands now we're looking at GP or MO as options. Hops as an option because of little hop character. There are requested options for smoked malt, there are requested options for oaking and not oaking. There are requested options for crystal and roasted barley, or just roasted barley. If you add all the options that gives us about 10 options with means a potential 100 variations of this recipe. Ideally I'd like to limit the options to the base malt, and hops (again because of lack of hops presence). If someone doesn't like the lack of options then brew what you want and drink it all yourself.

I apologize in advance if that rubs anyone the wrong way but I'm tired of appeasing everyone everywhere. I'm not just talking here on homebrewtalk but in life, you can't hurt anyone's feelings, you have to appease people to keep them off your back....

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #117
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smokinghole, in the past we've come up with a particular recipe, but allowed the brewer to take it where they wanted to. Even if everyone brewed the exact same recipe, the beers we get would be totally different. I think by telling people to either brew the recipe your way, or not participate, it is starting to take the fun out of the process. In the end, we'll get some tasty beers done to each person's preference, and it will be fun. Besides, there's likely to be only a few people swapping anyway. Let's not start excluding people already, or there won't be anyone swapping next year.

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:29 PM   #118
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smokinghole: I do see your point about the number of variations available, but I guess I just don't see it as being that big of a deal. We all agreed on a style, I think we should all make it to style. This style allows for smokiness, whether from smoked malt or from yeast choice. I dunno, on one hand I think you have a great point, but on the other hand I agree with KingBrianI. Why exclude people from the swap because they want to use some smoked malt, in a style that can have smokiness?

I don't mind rubbing people the wrong way either, which is why I will have to say I respectfully disagree. I would agree to a basic recipe, then allow people (within style guidelines) to fudge it around as they wish. Golden Promise or Marris Otter sounds just fine, EKG is perfect, Scottish Ale yeast makes sense, the additions of Roasted Barley is a must, & some Crystal malts would help as well.

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:50 PM   #119
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Even if everyone brewed the exact same recipe, the beers we get would be totally different.
That is exactly my point. Considering every beer will be different due to brewer influences I don't see the need for endless recipe variation.

I guess I am totally misunderstanding how this thing works. I will admit that I have only brewed one XX-XX-XX beer. From participating in the later portions of last years thread, there was a recipe that everyone brewed. Some didn't oak and some changed hops from what I gathered. If everyone is going their own way then I don't see the need for a recipe discussion thread. All we would otherwise be doing here is setting an approximate abv and IBU.

I'm not trying to purposefully exclude people, that is not my intent with the post. It was to nudge the discussion into agreement and decide on certain aspects of the brew. I know it's only October but it's not like this is brain surgery, it's one batch. On the other hand, if we are not looking for an agreed upon recipe then I rescind my previous comments.

Plus, don't want this recipe to brewed MY way I want it to brewed the way WE all agree upon. My point of the previous post is to point out that the only agreements are in relation to "this or that" option. If this is going to be a mishmash of customized recipes I'm completely okay with that. I will just brew up my version of the beer to hit about 10% abv, 30ish IBUs, with 2gal of boiled down runnings, and a 3hr boil.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:58 PM   #120
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I will just brew up my version of the beer to hit about 10% abv, 30ish IBUs, with 2gal of boiled down runnings, and a 3hr boil.
I think setting something up along these lines could be most appropriate for this recipe. Giving rough guidelines and allowing the brewer to follow them as he sees fit. Something like:

OG ~1.100
IBU ~30

98% base malt (golden promise or maris otter)
~2% roasted barley
(optional) 2-5% crystal malt
(optional) 1-3% smoked malt

boil 2 gallons of first runnings (per 5 gallon batch) down to a thick syrup and add back to boil kettle

2-3 hr boil

british hops at 45 and 35 minutes

scottish ale yeast

(optional) oak aging

You know, just something like that.
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