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Old 11-01-2005, 06:45 PM   #1
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Default Too Bitter Bitter

Just tasted my Highland Heavy Ale (a Munton's kit that my wife bought me), and by gads is it bitter! Leaves a very strong aftertaste on the roof of the mouth.

Is this an off flavour, or just the style of ale?

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Old 11-01-2005, 06:50 PM   #2
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I am assuming that the Highland Heavy is a scottish ale?

if so, they are supposed to be very malty with little to no hop profile... certainly not bitter in any way.

Did the kit come with steeping grains?

You describe the flavor as being on the roof of your mouth, which makes me think (wild guess) that you had grains that were steeped at too high of a temperature and you extracted tannin from the grain husks... this will leave a bitter/astringent flavor (puckering bitterness.)

-walker

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Old 11-01-2005, 06:57 PM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing as Walker (malty), but as I don't know a lot about the style I found this on Munton's website:

Highland Heavy Ale - In the Highlands of Scotland, centuries ago, small breweries began producing rich, dark, hoppy ales know locally as "Heavy". In addition "Light" beers were also brewed, known south of the border as Milds, but it was a pint of "Heavy" which typified the highlanders' preference.

You can now recapture this distinctive rich bitter flavour, with its dark, malty brew, balanced by a generous helping of hops. To enjoy Highland Heavy Ale at its best it should be served at cellar temperature.

Typical analyses when canned
Colour (EBC Units) 50 - 60
Bitterness (EBU's) 45 - 55
Solids (by refractometer) 80% - 82%
Acidity (as lactic) 1% max
pH 5 - 6
Free Amino Nitrogen 0.15%

http://www.muntons.com/homebeer/coun...d_highland.htm

Should get a reasonable hoppy bitterness I would guess, especially if it's a kit from a can with no flavouring (uk spelling favoured for the purposes of this thread) or aroma hops.

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Old 11-01-2005, 06:58 PM   #4
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There were no grains, it was a simple hopped LME and yeast kit (Muntons). I didn't do any boiling, steeping, hop additions etc.

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Old 11-01-2005, 06:59 PM   #5
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interesting, BeeGee. I believe that contradicts what I read in my "Designing Great Beers" but I'll have to double check when I get home.

Still... the fact that he noticed this on the roof of his mouth leads me to think this is not coming from hops.

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Old 11-01-2005, 07:00 PM   #6
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just ready Blighty's latest post. Ignore me. It can't be from grain if you didn't use any.

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Old 11-01-2005, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee
......
You can now recapture this distinctive rich bitter flavour, with its dark, malty brew, balanced by a generous helping of hops. To enjoy Highland Heavy Ale at its best it should be served at cellar temperature.
Ahh, I think the "Rich Bitter flavour" probably says it all. I must say, I am not keen.

Should have read the box! D'oh!

Thanks BeeGee.
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:06 PM   #8
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heh-heh.. it turns out I have "Designing Great Beers" in my laptop case here with me.

Anyway, it classifies a Scottish Heavy as having 10 to 19 IBUs of bitterness with little to no hop flavor/aroma. (For reference, it states that a typical Mild or Brown ale has an IBU rating of 15 to 30, so this should be less bitter than the average Mild).

*shrug*

Beats me. I'm sorry you don't enjoy the beer though. That's a damn shame.

-walkre

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Old 11-01-2005, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlightyBrewer
Ahh, I think the "Rich Bitter flavour" probably says it all. I must say, I am not keen.
Maybe you just need a cellar!
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee
Maybe you just need a cellar!
You're right, now, where the hell did I put that shovel...
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