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Old 10-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #1
chemnitz
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Default Critique my Scottish 80/ recipe

I am set to brew tomorrow, and I want to make a Scottish 80/ ale. I'm going for a very malty flavor profile with a traditional Scottish yeast to add a hint of smokiness. This will be my very first partial mash, using the brew-in-a-bag technique.

Chemnitz' 1580 Ale (5 gallons)

Mini-mash at 154 degrees
1 lb. Vienna
.67 lb. Crystal 120 [reduced from .75 lb.]
.12 lb. roasted barley

60 minute boil
5 lb. extra light DME
1.33 oz. Willamette (4.8%) @ 60 min [eliminated flavor addition]
Whirlfloc tablet @ 15 min

Wyeast #1728 Scottish Ale yeast

I'm assuming that I won't get great efficiency on my first attempt. If I get 50%, then I'll have an OG of 1.050 (and 1.053 at 75%). IBUs are around 20. Color around 16.7 SRM.

Is this true to the style? Would it taste good, especially for my family members who like very malty beers? Would you change anything in the recipe? On hand, I have some more DME, some Crystal 40, Tettnanger and Amarillo hops.

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Last edited by chemnitz; 11-25-2009 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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If you want to be traditional I would drop the 15 minute hop addition. For personal taste I would swap out half the crystal 120 for 40, I wouldn’t want too much dark fruit/caramel. Other than that it looks good to me, happy brewing.

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Old 10-15-2009, 02:44 AM   #3
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I'll take your advice and use only a 60 minute hop addition. I'm not trying to showcase any hop aroma or flavor in this one. I'm torn about the Crystal 120. Has anyone else had success with 3/4 lb. in an amber or brown ale?

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On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
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Last edited by chemnitz; 10-15-2009 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
If you want to be traditional I would drop the 15 minute hop addition. For personal taste I would swap out half the crystal 120 for 40, I wouldn’t want too much dark fruit/caramel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemnitz View Post
I'm torn about the Crystal 120. Has anyone else had success with 3/4 lb. in an amber or brown ale?
I agree with Oldsock about the 15 minute hop addition. I've used 1/2lb of C135L in 80/- ales and a Scotch ale and like the caramel/toffee/fruit notes, but that's my personal taste. I also like to throw in 1/4lb-1/2lb of Belgian biscuit malt to enhance the malt profile, but the 1lb of Vienna in your recipe should accomplish something similar.

Happy brewing!
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Concur on eliminating the late hops addition. If I can taste or smell hops, it's no longer a Scottish ale, it's one of the English cousins (Bitter, ESB, etc).

Vienna will give you a nice malty note. I really think 12 oz of that dark a Crystal malt is excessive in five gallons. I think you'll get a broader spectrum of caramel flavors by using 8 ounces of 40L and 4 ounces of 120L. The Roasted Barley will add a nice red touch without impacting flavor.

I think you're pretty much right on the money on this one, so far as grist and hops go.

Your yeast selection might be a bit touchy, though. I hope you plan to build a starter. I always opt for dry yeast in my homebrew Scottish ales. In order to achieve the clean, low-ester flavor profile essential to the style(s), yeast management is crucial. In fact, you need to pitch slightly more yeast than is required by the rule of thumb; it's almost a lager pitch of ale yeast. I don't like the Scottish and Irish ale yeasts, generally speaking. It's really difficult to get them to actually perform the way you want, they almost always underattenuate, and it's really difficult to get them fresh (they're not as popular, so they spend more time on the shelf at the store). I prefer a clean, low-ester ale yeast, the freshest I can find. I think you're better off begging some neutral ale yeast from your local micro or brewpub and pitching that than building a starter of Scottish ale yeast.

Good luck!

Bob

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Old 11-25-2009, 02:22 AM   #6
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I just tasted the first bottle of this recipe: delicious! Out of the four batches that I made so far this one is the best. It pours a dark ruby color with incredible head that lasts to the bottom of the pint. A full, well-rounded malt character is showcased, and the finish is dry and a bit smoky. A touch of caramel is present throughout, but not excessively sweet. I love the balance and the luxurious mouthfeel. I'm making this one again.

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On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
Fermenting: None
In Bottles: Prime Abbey Singel, Vespers Abbey Dubbel, Terce Abbey Tripel, Compline Abbey Quad, Dragon's Tail Barleywine, Boyne Mead

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