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Old 04-15-2012, 01:56 AM   #1
frazier
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Default All-Grain - Wee Heather

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Scottish Ale
Yeast Starter: Yes
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.072
Final Gravity: 1.020
IBU: ~20
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: Deep Amber
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 28 Days @58*
Tasting Notes: Rich malty but not heavy; floral notes from the heather

This recipe is based on a popular and highly regarded recipe for a simple, traditional Scottish Ale with kettle caramelization. My added element was tossing in the heather tips. This adds a subtle floral element that is very different from hops, and adds a layer of flavor above the maltiness.

At the LHBS, I was chatting about Scottish Ales with a guy who had won awards with his, so his opinion was worthwhile. But when I revealed my plans to use kettle caramelization (KC), he scowled and tried very hard to dissuade me. "Takes a long time....too much trouble....not worth the effort." With all due respect, the effort is not that great: I took the first gallon and set it on the stovetop for a satellite boil. If you are already committed to a 90 minute boil, it's no big deal because they finished at about the same time.

As for the results: I've made several Scottish Ales with Jamil's cocktail of specialty grains to mimic the effect of KC, and they were indeed very good. This also came out very good, so if you want to try the traditional method, all it really costs you is the extra 30 minutes boiling time.

13.5 lbs. Simpson's Golden Promise
3.0 lbs. Weyerman Vienna
4 oz. Briess Roasted Barley
1 oz. Fuggles @90 min.
1 oz. Fuggles @ 60 min.
1 oz. Styrian Goldings @ 30 min.
2 oz. Heather Tips @ 20 min.

Mash at 156 to 158. I must have been lower than this, since the yeast finished out at 1.020. Still very good though.

Boil down 1 gallon of first runnings to a temp of about 230*. This was something of a guess, but the only way to know that caramelization is happening is to observe the temp rising above 212, which doesn't happen until virtually all the water is gone.

Cheers!

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Old 04-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Some further recipe notes:

There will be extra boil-off due to the longer boil plus the KC boil, so plan accordingly. I ran off a total of 8 gallons, when normally in my system it would be 6.5 to 6.75 gallons.

The main boil, where the hopping happens, will be at a lower gravity due to the 80 or so gravity points that are in the KC boil. So you get a bit more bitterness as a result. I aimed low for my hopping, and it worked out fine.

Use a candy thermometer to monitor the KC boil. It's the only way to fly. When I was (finally!) ready to add it back in to the main boil, I used a soup ladle to add some wort in to mix with the caramelized wort, making it easier to pour it all out. But I'm sure you would have thought of that too.

Cheers!

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