Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Scottish Ale alternate bittering method

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
D-Hutt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 119
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Scottish Ale alternate bittering method

I have a good friend that is getting married later this year, and I'd love to brew a wedding beer for him. He's a huge scotch whisky fan, and is partial to scottish ales as well. There's one catch - the bride has a hop allergy (lolwut?). I know Scotland has an interesting brewing past and that they were late adopters of hops. What are some ways I could bitter and flavor a scottish ale without using hops? Where would I procure the ingredients.

__________________
D-Hutt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
LexusChris
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LexusChris's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Orange County, CA, CA
Posts: 480
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default Gruits

Generically, old world pre-hops beers were bittered/flavored with 'gruit spices'. They typically include Wormwood/Mugwort, Bog Myrtle/Sweet Gale, Yarrow, Marsh Rosemary, etc.

Since scottish ales are typically just a single bittering addition, and let the malt take a forward position, I would consider just a single addition of Mugwort (1 oz / 5-gal) for 60-minutes of the boil.

Most brewshops carry mugwort & bog myrtle. Mugwort is a bitter herb with a woodsy/herbal character. Bog myrtle is more like sage/rosemary with a nice aromatic note. Yarrow gives an astringent/dry finish with some nice aromatics too.

Check out recipes at gruitale.com for some ideas.

Check out spices available at NortherBrewer.com.

Good luck,
--LexusChris

p.s. Yes, you could use Heather and go for a traditional 'Froach' style brew.. I just find healther to be more on the aromatic side, so if you just want bittering without hops, I would use Mugwort in the boil.

__________________
LexusChris is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2012, 06:51 AM   #3
LexusChris
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LexusChris's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Orange County, CA, CA
Posts: 480
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Oh, and for something important like a wedding, I would strongly consider a small 1-gallon test batch to check out the end-result first. Gruit ale can be a bit heavy handed with spices, and put-off many beer drinkers. My notes say no more than 2 oz. mugwort to 5-gallon wort for 60 minutes of boil.. so I scaled my recommend back to 1 oz. for 60 mins.... to keep the bittering mellow and let the malt shine through. ( I usually use about 1/10 of that in Wormwood, instead of Mugwort... )

__________________
LexusChris is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
D-Hutt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 119
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Awesome! This is exactly what I was looking for. I'll definitely be brewing a test batch - more like 3g. If I were to go with a strong malty flavor w/ a bit of smokiness, and the bogwort for bittering, what would be a good aroma addition? And what's the best way to do aroma additions with gruit spices? Dry-"hop" or end of boil?

__________________
D-Hutt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
Redcat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 75
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I just brewed yesterday with Heather, so I don't know the final results. When taste testing my sample, it turned out pretty good I think.

I used a Heather & Honey recipe I got from here.

Tips:
1) Use a hop bag for the Heather. Otherwise it clog just about anything. I may have to rebrew this batch because of it.
2) I only used Heather as a boil addition at 30/15/5/Flame out.
3) It smells friggin awesome.

__________________
Redcat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
edmanster
Whats Under Your Kilt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
edmanster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Taylorsville, Utah
Posts: 1,687
Liked 72 Times on 58 Posts
Likes Given: 48

Default

I was thinking about a scottish thistle ale at one point that I wanted to bitter with the green and throw the flower in at 5 min but it got put on hold for a while untill I learn which thistles are good to use and which are dangerous.. I did a dandelion bitter last month that turned out good..

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadarnell
'how will i explain this to my kids' ... if i have to ask that, then i think my kids are in trouble ... just my 2 cents ... HAVE A BEER !!!
Father of 4 girls

Suffers from Zymocenosilicaphobia
edmanster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-02-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
D-Hutt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 119
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Just picked up a bottle of froach to try. I couldn't find any gruit beers without hops at my local place though. I found a couple with hops though, so I might pick one up next time to see what it's like.

__________________
D-Hutt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-02-2012, 02:17 AM   #8
FloridaCracker
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 53
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I brewed a scottish ale back in March for a local compititon. I used heather tips as the bittering agent (bought from LHBS). I did HOURS of research to build the recipie, and this was before I switched to all grain. It was supposed to be in the secondary for 14-31 days, but due to time constraints it was only 10. Also it only bottle conditioned for ~8 days. Nevertheless I still scored in the mid- to lower 30s with a very green beer using heather. Admittedly I did still use .5 oz hops (East Kent Goldings) for the 6 gallon batch, along with the 2 oz of heather tips.

__________________
FloridaCracker is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bittering + dry hop only?! stevedasleeve Recipes/Ingredients 31 11-27-2013 11:56 PM
Alternate yeast for WLP-510? carnevoodoo Recipes/Ingredients 1 04-27-2012 10:12 PM
Sorachi Ace Bittering dedhedjed Recipes/Ingredients 2 07-06-2011 01:40 PM
Need an APA Bittering Hop? jtupper Recipes/Ingredients 7 01-13-2011 03:45 PM
Stout/Porter with alternate base malt Synovia Recipes/Ingredients 7 04-19-2010 08:19 PM