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Old 07-24-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
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Default How's this look for a scotch ale

I'm trying to get a really smoky scoth ale here, with more maltiness than hoppiness. this is for a 5 gallon batch. Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated!

Mash:
.5 oz. Burton water salts
8 lbs 8 oz Maris Otter malt
8 oz. Scottish caramalt, 40° Lovibond
4 oz. Belgian cara-Vienne malt, 20° Lovibond
4 oz. Belgian Kiln amber malt, 22° Lovibond
8 oz. Scottish peated malt, 2.8° Lovibond

Boil:
1 lb light DME
.75 oz. UK Northdown pellet hops (8% alpha acid) for 60 min.
0.5 oz. UK Bramling Cross pellet hops (6.2% alpha acid) for 60 min.
0.5 oz. UK Fuggle pellet hops (6.1% alpha acid) for 20 min.

Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale

Expected OG 1.065
IBU 37

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Old 07-24-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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Looks alright but I've got one observation: A little smoked/peated grain goes a loooonng way. I never use more than an ounce or two.

I'm sure many folks will chime in to vociferously mention peated malt is actually not at all to style. Personally, I like a little in my Scotch Ale.

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Old 07-24-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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That's a good point. I brewed a similar recipe last year (but lost the actual recipe so I'm going from memory). One thing of which I'm sure is that the peated malt was 4 oz and I wanted a bit more smokiness, so Maybe 6 would be a better option than 8. That recipe had 4 oz of chocolate malt in it also, which I'm leaving out this time with the intent of letting the smokiness take center stage (the last one was a little too close to a stout than what I was looking for).

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Old 07-24-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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Back the peat down or eliminate it. I've always gotten the "peated" character from the yeast although I do realize you are trying to ramp up the smokiness.

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Old 07-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #5
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One other thing... From what I've read, most Scottish beers use Golden Promise rather than Maris Otter for the malt. It's got a sweeter, less biscuit-like flavor.

I user Maris Otter for ESB and porter, but Golden Promise for my Scottish ale.

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Old 07-24-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Back the peat down or eliminate it. I've always gotten the "peated" character from the yeast although I do realize you are trying to ramp up the smokiness.
+1

Though I've never used Scottish Ale yeast, it is my impression that it imparts a distinct smoky character. I used some peat-smoked malt in the barleywine I have conditioning and the advice I got from several folks was not to use the Scottish Ale yeast in conjunction with it as it would be too much. If you are intent on 6-8 oz of peat-smoked malt I would suggest using a different yeast.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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I'm one of those "anti-smoke" people. If you want peat smoke in your Scottish alcohol, go get a bottle of Laphroig. Pour some neat and sip the two beverages side by side.

Say it with me: Scotch Ale should not have peat smoke in it. Smoke belongs in whiskey.

That some commercial examples do have peated malt in is because someone who never had a Scotch Ale before (or studied the style) thought too hard and screwed up. That BJCP permits it is because homebrewers who tasted the screwed-up commercial examples started dumping peated malt into their beers and perpetuated the problem.

See the vicious circle here? I'm sorry you've already fallen victim to it.

Let me also state that this is home brewing - you can bloody well do whatever you like, pedants like me be damned! If you like some peat in your Scotch Ale, by all means add it. Just know that every time you do so, God kills a kitten.

Now, other recipe advice.

+1 on the Golden Promise suggestion. You want a softer malt than Maris Otter. That said, Maris Otter will still brew a damn fine beer; if you've got it on hand, don't put it aside and run out after Golden Promise.

I don't understand why you'd treat the water to accentuate hops bitterness. That's 180 degrees out of phase with Scotch Ale, which should be, must be a malt-hammer.

Cut back on the Crystal Malt. Instead, mash higher and get some kettle caramelization going. Most of the benchmark commercial examples don't use Crystal malts at all. My best Scotch Ale was damn near 100% pale malt with just enough roasted barley to provide color. I scorched the hell out of the first runnings to get more color and caramel flavors. Worked a treat.

Amber malt will add a more subtle smokiness than the peated malt.

I also think your OG is too low. For Scotch Ale, I'd prefer the OG up near 1.075 at least.

Anyway. Have fun!

Bob

P.S. Don't forget about the kittens.

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Last edited by Bob; 07-25-2009 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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I also like smoke flavor in my scottish ale. My last one had 5 oz of Peated Malt in 5 gallons. I thought it was about right, but many others felt it was too smokey. I would definitely hesitate to use more than 4 oz in a 5 gallon batch in the future.

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Old 07-31-2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help! I was originially planning on golden promise malt, but my LHBS doesn't carry it. And I think I'll stick to 4 oz of the peated malt.

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