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Old 07-30-2012, 01:02 AM   #1
Arlen
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Default Chestnut Dark Scottish ale possibility.

So, I'm working on putting together a chestnut beer. I don't want to use any grains but rice in it for various reasons. My aim is to end up with either a good and creamy Scottish style dark ale or, the dream, a good chocolate stout.

Now, I've read A LOT of recipes on here and a few elsewhere and have mashed a few together to form this potential recipe.

5 pounds of dark and medium roast chestnuts mixed.
2 pounds of flaked rice
1.5 pounds of dark brown sugar
10oz maltodextrin pre boil
0.5 teaspoon of Irish moss around the 20 minute mark. (If I decide I want it clarified. I'm not fussy about that.)
0.5 ounces of hops (Northern Brewer, Cascade or Orion) at about the hour.

I'd prefer not to add any lactose since I don't think it'll be too bitter.
I'd imagine I'll have to force carbonate it though I'd prefer not to since I don't have a lot of experience with that. (Though I have talented friends who'd help.)

Does anyone have any suggestions or tweaks? It'll be a couple of months before I even start on it so I've got some time to play around. Do you think this'll be decently creamy and keep a good head?


(MAJOR credit to DirtbagHB for pretty much most of the recipe. I only vaguely altered his to suit the taste I'm going for and the yeast I'll be using.)

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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After tasting Harvester's red and dark ales, I finally have an idea of what chestnuts can (and can't) contribute, flavor-wise. My suggestion is to stick with the medium-roast--dark roast can contribute some undesirable flavors, medium roast are more chocolatey. Swap out the dark brown sugar for D-90 or D-180 candi syrup, and be prepared to add some rice extract if your post-mash gravity comes out low. You do have access to proper enzymes, right? Also, if you're really aiming for Scottish, why not use some Target, Challenger, or Goldings hops? Be sure to choose yeast accordingly, too--I'd recommend S-33 or S-04 if you're going dry, I just bottled a weird take I did on a British/Scottish style that I made with S-33, and it does have a nice fruity/buttery/bready thing going on.

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I can get the enzymes locally so that won't be an issue. I may have to stick with the brown sugar or honey, though. One of the people who'll be drinking it can't have Candi syrup so I just need to work around. Likewise I'm more limited the the yeast that'll be used in the final batch early next year. The plan is to have a kosher for passover beer to give to all of my many brewing and generally good beer loving friends since going without beer during passover is miserable. (I hate wine and I never want to repeat the experience :P)
At any rate, I'll be limited to the yeasts I can use for that final batch so I am going to start off with using them to try and perfect a recipe that works around the issue.

Great advice on the rice, hops and medium roast chestnuts, though! Thank you so much.

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Whoa, never heard of someone who can't have candi syrup! Does it have something to do with the beets and/or dates that it's derived from? You can make your own candi syrup out of cane sugar, if that helps...there's a thread in one of the forums here, just search "candi syrup FAN". I can't imagine that anyone who can partake of brown sugar would have a problem with home-made cane-sugar-based candi syrup, unless the FAN is a problem (in which case, do without and make a caramel syrup...it's really worth the effort, I promise!). Or, if that fails, try making some burnt honey--look up "sack mead" or "bochet", and adapt the recipes to the amount of honey you want to add. Without the candi syrup or burnt honey, the final beer WILL be too dry. Uncooked brown sugar will ferment out very dry, as will the chestnuts and flaked rice, but caramelizing sugars makes them less fermentable and will allow for the proper amount of residual sweetness. If you don't believe me, you can mail-order a Harvester Dark Ale from letspour.com and taste for yourself how unpleasant it can be...even with the sorghum they add, their beers are very very dry and unbalanced.

Also, why are you limited on yeast, and what strains are you limited to?

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Old 07-30-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igliashon View Post
Whoa, never heard of someone who can't have candi syrup! Does it have something to do with the beets and/or dates that it's derived from?
Also, why are you limited on yeast, and what strains are you limited to?
As far as the candi syrup it's the dates she has an issue with. I'm not averse to making my own, though, so I will go ahead and do that. I'll figure out quantities etc.

With the yeast I can use whatever I want right now but come passover I will be limited to yeast that is kosher for passover. I'll probably have to use a Nottingham or Windsor yeast from Lallemand. At the moment I think I'd prefer the results with the Windsor but I'll have to experiment.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:09 AM   #6
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Oh, yeah, Windsor should be fine. And honestly you're probably better off making your own candi syrup, the packaged stuff's expensive! You might also try messing with some coconut palm sugar, also known as jaggery...it's said to have a "buttery" flavor, which seems like a good fit for Scottish-style. Unless of course your person also has a coconut issue, they are related to dates so it's possible. Good luck, and be sure to post your results!

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Old 07-31-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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This is the description of the d90 from midwest supply, i think the d180 is the only one with date sugars...

The most versatile dark Belgian candi syrup with a mild palate of dark chocolate, dark stone fruit, slight hint of coffee, toffee, and medium-toasted bread notes. Excellent for all Belgian Ales. Contents: Beet sugar, water. Specifications: SRM - 90, PPG -1.032Note: Ships in 1 lb. foil pouch.

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Old 07-31-2012, 11:57 PM   #8
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I used some nottingham in my rootbeer ill let you know if the short ferment produced any flavors... The lhbs guys were very possitive on their reviews of both the nottingham & windsor strains, they use them all the time...

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Old 08-05-2012, 01:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbyhicks View Post
I used some nottingham in my rootbeer ill let you know if the short ferment produced any flavors... The lhbs guys were very possitive on their reviews of both the nottingham & windsor strains, they use them all the time...
Awesome, thanks. I'm looking forward to brewing with the windsor since it seems like it'll be a pretty good universal. (Since I have to buy it in bulk.)
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