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Old 09-28-2011, 10:52 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by bierhaus15 View Post
If someone wants to use Traquair House's ale as a template, the recipe is basically 99% Pale, 1% Roasted Barley, EKG or NB hops, and some kettle carmelization that occurs over the course of their two-hour boil. They ferment in oak barrels for 3-5 days and the oak they use is very old memel (prussia/lithuania). Therefore, any oak character you may perceive is not from wood itself. Aside, the jacobite ale has coriander in it.

Smoked malt is not something I like in my Scottish ales and I will be keeping it out. Same with 'oak' in the sense of aging. Mashing, boiling, and fermentation should give us all the intricate flavors we are looking for.
It's been a while since I had the Traquair House Ale but I definitely remember tasting character from the wood. It wasn't so much that tannic/oaky flavor you get from new wood, but more a kind of musty/cellar type of complexity. Without having access to any really old well-used oak, I'm not sure how to replicate that complexity, or if it's even possible. Maybe take some oak and let it soak in some sacrificial beer for several months before boiling it and adding it to the aging 12/12/12? It's crazy, but I'm kind of wondering too whether I could take some oak and put it in a bucket or bag or something with some peat, and leave it to sit outside in the elements for a few months. I'd of course boil it before adding it to the beer, but that might leach out the tannins while picking up some earthy/musty/peaty flavors. I've got a big chunk of seasoned american white oak I use for "another" hobby that I could cut a piece off of to experiment with.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #32
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It's been a while since I had the Traquair House Ale but I definitely remember tasting character from the wood. It wasn't so much that tannic/oaky flavor you get from new wood, but more a kind of musty/cellar type of complexity. Without having access to any really old well-used oak, I'm not sure how to replicate that complexity, or if it's even possible. Maybe take some oak and let it soak in some sacrificial beer for several months before boiling it and adding it to the aging 12/12/12? It's crazy, but I'm kind of wondering too whether I could take some oak and put it in a bucket or bag or something with some peat, and leave it to sit outside in the elements for a few months. I'd of course boil it before adding it to the beer, but that might leach out the tannins while picking up some earthy/musty/peaty flavors. I've got a big chunk of seasoned american white oak I use for "another" hobby that I could cut a piece off of to experiment with.
This makes me wonder if you could smoke the oak? Just like you would meat. I sometimes use cedar planks for my salmon on the grill. The cedar plank always ends up nice and charred.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #33
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When my oak barrel is not filled with beer it is filled with water to keep it from drying out. the water is treated with citric acid and sodium metabisulphite to keep it critter free. this has greatly mellowed the barrel, and there is very little whiskey flavor left at this point. I hope to make use of it for this beer.

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Old 09-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #34
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Yeah, I didn't mean to say the beer was devoid of wood flavor, just not the oak type one gets from adding chips or cubes. I always associated the oak character with, as you said, old wood. Like a really old canoe paddle or pair of snowshoes, if that makes any sense. I also have access to a ton (literally) of all sorts of white oak from all over the place. We have a wooden-boat builder in the family and I'm sure I could get some for experimentation. I was originally thinking of adding some aged oak over the course of a few days of fermentation... though how feasible is it to replicate the flavors derived from 200 year old brewing vats?

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:39 AM   #35
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Where would someone get traquair house ale yeast?

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:57 AM   #36
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Where would someone get traquair house ale yeast?
My recipe I found calls for Wyeast 1728 Scottish ale yeast
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:02 AM   #37
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Quote:
My recipe I found calls for Wyeast 1728 Scottish ale yeast
Ok. I thought that someone was implying that traquair yeast was sold by wyeast or white labs under a different name.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:12 AM   #38
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I think this one is going to be a sort of "your mileage may vary" type of brew for most of us. As long as we can agree on the base type, the hop type, the gravity and the process, I think we're pretty much there.

Base, let's mostly agree, Maris Otter.

Hops, British. Target, NB, EKG.

Yeast: English or Scotch (whichever the brewer wants, from US-04 to White Labs British to Wyeast 1724)

OG: 1.090 - 1.110

Process: Caramelize 2 gallons first runnings. Boil 2-ish hours. Hop addition times are brewers choice.

Can we agree on that?
I can dig it.

It should keep us all on the same track, but allows enough freedom that they'll all turn out different. I'll be doing a really small recipe, probably 2.5 gallons, unless I happen to get different equipment by the time this starts.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:40 AM   #39
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I'm thinking about going the opposite direction and seeing how much grain I can cram into my keggle mash tun. The other 'issue' is I'll probably need to get either a 15 or 20 gallon kettle to boil this batch. It really depends on how large I make the batch, or what I want my post boil volume to be. Factoring in loss to yeast trub and such, I figure I'd lose a gallon, from a ~10 gallon batch. Which means I need 11 gallons post boil in order to hit the volume to bottle/keg I want. Besides the bottle swap amount needed, I have a friend that loved my first batch, and wants some when I brew it again.

Trying to figure this out is starting to make my head hurt... I think I'll see if one of the brews on tap will help with that.

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Old 09-29-2011, 02:56 AM   #40
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I'd like to join in on this, but I'm a nub and don't really know how it works. A year from now those of us who are still around, and still have some of this left can exchange? What if mine sucks because I'm pretty new? What if I say I want to do it, but a year from now I'm moved into a small apartment and can't store the beer?
Also, is it ok to wait a couple of months to do this, when the ambient temperatures will be lower so I can ferment down around 60, since I don't have a beer fridge?
And our recipes can be slightly different? Like, I'd prefer Golden Promise to Maris Otter?

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