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Old 09-09-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
doggage
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Default Scottish Wee Heavy Dry Hop?

I kegged a "Scottish Wee Heavy" from a Northern Brewer kit. It's supposed to be a very malty beer, with only 1 oz. Brewer's Gold added at the beginning of the boil. That said, after a few tastes I feel like it has no hop character at all.

I'd like to try adding some hops to the keg in a tea strainer. Does anyone have any advice on what kind?

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Old 09-09-2009, 03:41 PM   #2
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Your problem is you made a beer that by definition has no hop character and little bittering. Why not give it some time to develop?

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Old 09-09-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
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EKG or Fuggles would be an appropriate choice, if you simply must dry-hop.

Hop character is not something the Scottish ales are known for, however.

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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I say screw the "to style" talk and do what you want with your beer. That's part of the joy of making beer. Make it what YOU want. If you want more hops, add more hops.

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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I brew mostly to "style," though I realize how absurd these style guidelines usually are. Historically, Scottish ales did have comparable hopping rates to their English counterparts, with the exception of Scotch Ale.

Shut up about Barclay Perkins: Scottish hopping, 1851

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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Regardless of the 'screw the "to style" talk', it is just about impossible to get significant hop aroma by dry hopping a beer that has no flavor or aroma hops in the boil.

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Regardless of the 'screw the "to style" talk', it is just about impossible to get significant hop aroma by dry hopping a beer that has no flavor or aroma hops in the boil.
Boy, I've made many batches where I've left out the aroma hops in the boil in favor of dry hopping. It's always worked great for me.
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:21 PM   #8
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Yea, no hurt doing it if its what you want. Even if you didn't know about the style, the recipe should have been a flag though. A small bittering addition of a low AA hop is not going to transfer much flavor into the final beer. Despite the recent trend, all beer doesn't have to be ultra hoppy.

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Old 09-09-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
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Default Dry hop...

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Originally Posted by doggage View Post
...It's supposed to be a very malty beer, with only 1 oz. Brewer's Gold added at the beginning of the boil...
I understood the style and recipe, and I do like malty beers. I understand style parameters/guidelines, but I'm not brewing it for a competition.

I like how it turned out, but I would like a little more balance. Considering the advice, I'll bottle some from the keg and give the rest a while before I decide whether to dry hop.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
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Dry hopping will provide nothing to balance. Balance is purely hops bitterness vs. malt sweetness. A Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy should have the teeter-totter firmly on the "malt sweetness" side of balanced, though as others have noted it's your beer; go nuts if you want.

Dry-hopping will, contrary to David's statements, provide a surfeit of flavor and aroma regardless of whether or not late boil additions are made. I don't know where that came from, David; is that your personal experience derived from comparison or from some other source?

Bierhaus: While that's true for 19th-century Scottish Ales - and ask anyone, I'm a complete sucker for historical brewing data - it's not true of today's Scottish ales, and those are the beers upon which the stylesheets are based. If we were brewing beers to an 1851 - or even 1900 - standard, you'd have a point. Unfortunately, within the confines of modern style discussion, you don't. Thanks for reminding me about his blog, though; I shall probably spend ...er, waste... the rest of the morning reading back posts.

To the style nay-sayers: If you're going to bitch about "'to style' talk", kindly realize that when someone asks a question in relation to a beer which is specifically referred to by style, some of us might, oh, I dunno, think the questioner was asking within the confines of that style. Please refrain from taking us to task for advising someone not to dry-hop a Wee Heavy when someone asks if such a practice is appropriate - or even if they don't. It's my right to opine that hops character has no place in Wee Heavy, ever (just like smoke/peat, but that's a whole 'nuther flame war).

I'm really getting sick of being made fun of or bitched at/about for helping people adhere to styles. For the umpteenth time, styles do not exist to restrict the brewer. They exist to assist the drinker. If you hand me a bottle and say it's Wee Heavy, I don't expect hops character. If you do hand me a bottle of dry-hopped Wee Heavy and don't give me any information other than the style, don't expect me to thank you; you're not doing me any favors by calling it by the style name. You're just confusing me and my enjoyment of your beer.

I'm not telling anyone they have to brew to style. I'm telling people that should they choose to diverge from style to refrain from calling the beer that style, to avoid confusion.

To the OP: If you must dry-hop, choose Goldings. The soft herbal character of that variety are best in this idiom. Fuggles will work, but IMO not as well.

Cheers,

Bob

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