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Old 03-11-2010, 12:14 AM   #1
ghpeel
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Default Vienna as the base of a Strong Scotch Ale?

Hi all, I was wondering if anyone had any experience or thoughts on using Vienna as the base of a Strong Scottish Ale.

For me, I like my Scottish Ales to be sweet, malty and clean, with NO SMOKE and only a very little bit of "biscuit" or "roast" flavor.

Something like this? (4gal): [edited, said '5' in error before]

9.50lb Vienna
0.50lb British Crystal (55L)
0.25lb Aromatic Malt
0.25lb Special B
1.00oz Roasted Barley

1.25oz EKG @ 60 for about 20 IBU

1.072 OG fermented down to about 1.020
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast

Would this work? Vienna does seem to give a nice clean & sweet grain flavor, but I've never seen a Scottish recipe with it, or Munich either for that matter. Is there a reason, or is it just that we assume we need British malt for a "British" style beer? After all, the Scots imported their hops (or so I've read, I think).

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Last edited by ghpeel; 03-11-2010 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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What's your boil going to be like? I don't know if I'd do the 2-3 hour boil with that much Vienna.

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:06 AM   #3
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Oops. I meant to record this as a 4 gal batch.

Standard 60-75 minute boil.

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Old 03-11-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghpeel View Post
Would this work? Vienna does seem to give a nice clean & sweet grain flavor, but I've never seen a Scottish recipe with it, or Munich either for that matter. Is there a reason, or is it just that we assume we need British malt for a "British" style beer? After all, the Scots imported their hops (or so I've read, I think).
Would it work? Yeah, sort of. It will make a good beer but the flavor won't really match the style. The reason you see Scottish ales made with UK malt whether British or Scottish is that those malts are what gives the beer the flavor it's know for. It's the same reason that Oktoberfest beers aren't brewed with British pale malt. Yes the Scots "import" their hops, from England. So here's my take: Use a good UK pale, a little medium crystal as you have and then replace the last three grains with a 1/4 lb or so of dark UK crystal malt. The 1728 yeast will do a very nice job with this beer.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:24 PM   #5
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Alright so I never heard from anyone who had actually tried this. I decided to proceed with half vienna & half marris otter for the base. Also, I dropped the Aromatic in favor of .25lb flaked oats. We'll see how it turns out.

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Old 03-15-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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There were a few recipes in Sept '08 Brew Your Own magazine in their Scottish/Scotch Ale article that used Vienna and Munich, so you wouldn't be that crazy in using it.

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Old 04-19-2010, 01:50 AM   #7
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Reporting back.

Yup, this is a tasty brew and I'd call it definitely on-style. There's a competition coming up in mid-March that I'm entering it in, so we'll see how the judges rate it. I might use all-Vienna for the base next time, or all-Munich, just to see how it changes it.

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
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How much of the vienna sweetness came through with your 50/50 split?

I recently brewed a rye beer with vienna as the base malt (7 lbs). I was shooting for something between Surly's Surlyfest and Mikeflynn's Light Rye. It came out very vienna sweet, despite a lowish FG (1.011).

Cheers!
Kevin

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerandcoding View Post
How much of the vienna sweetness came through with your 50/50 split?
Hard to say unfortunately, as this is my first time making a Scotch Ale. It ended with a final gravity about 1.020 so its definitely sweet, but not out of style. I would say that I do detect the sweetness I normally associate with Vienna.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:38 PM   #10
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Ok reporting back. This beer just scored a 38 and a 39 in the Hogtown Brewoff (Gainesville FL).

Comments from the judges were that the beer was good, but had a little too much roastiness for the style.

So the definitive answer, for me anyway, is that Vienna is perfectly fine in a Scotch Ale. To tell you the truth, I might use all Vienna for the next time I do this beer.

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