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Old 10-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ACESFULL View Post
So I guessing that contradiction is ok with you? You may want to go back and read your post. Peat malt & or smoked malt is not from smoked malt but from specialty malts, water & brewing process. Its not just Jamil, he maybe more vocal than others but to me smoked malt doesn't belong in Scottish ales of any kind.
Jamil's a bit of a hypocrite himself. He rants against using any smoked malt in Scottish/Scotch ales because it's not authentic to the style, then uses Cal ale yeast to ferment his beers. I mean, come on, what the hell is authentic about that? I do agree with him, though, that the 80 shilling style beers over there are very clean, and I don't remember any peat or smoke in the ones I've had. Cal ale yeast may be clean and give the right profile for the style, but I really doubt any Scottish breweries use it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:16 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by FarmerTed

Jamil's a bit of a hypocrite himself. He rants against using any smoked malt in Scottish/Scotch ales because it's not authentic to the style, then uses Cal ale yeast to ferment his beers. I mean, come on, what the hell is authentic about that? I do agree with him, though, that the 80 shilling style beers over there are very clean, and I don't remember any peat or smoke in the ones I've had. Cal ale yeast may be clean and give the right profile for the style, but I really doubt any Scottish breweries use it.
I bet brewdog uses it...

I will repeat something I said in another thread on Scottish ales. I think US homebrewers get hung up on white labs/wyeast strains labeled "Scottish ale" and don't stop to consider that not every single brewery in Scotland uses that strain for every beer they make. So not every Scottish ale is going to have a subtle smoky character. I blame the bjcp style guidelines for calling it out. Even though the intent was to say "it's not out of style if there is a bit of smokiness" people read that and somehow think "if it's not smoky it isn't to style".
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:58 PM   #43
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I don't see the contradiction you refer to in what I wrote, ACESFULL, but I'm willing to listen to what you have to say if you want to elaborate. I'm not trying to be difficult or confrontational, I promise!

The part of BJCP I was talking about is under 9E where it says:
Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with up to 3% roasted barley. May use some crystal malt for color adjustment; sweetness usually comes not from crystal malts rather from low hopping, high mash temperatures, and kettle caramelization. A small proportion of smoked malt may add depth, though a peaty character (sometimes perceived as earthy or smoky) may also originate from the yeast and native water. Hop presence is minimal, although English varieties are most authentic. Fairly soft water is typical.

When I talk about this smoked character, I am NOT talking about Rauchbier type flavors or even anything close to that. I AM talking about a subtle hint of smoke which I see no problem with a brewer deriving from a bit of smoked malt.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #44
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Has anyone tried Caol Ila scotch? Some scotches are very smokey and since scotch and beer start off pretty much the same way, it seems like smoke in Scotch beers would make sense to me but I'm no expert. I don't know I'f the smokeyness comes from the malt or the barrel.
I also thought the idea of smokey malt comes from finding a way to stop the germination process and dry out the malt quickly in climates where you can't rely on other methods of drying out the malt.
I'm sure Jamil has done research on it or else he wouldn't make statements like that, but nothing wrong with questioning or making you beer however you think it should be. At the end of the day you're the one who's going to be drinking it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Saxomophone
Has anyone tried Caol Ila scotch? Some scotches are very smokey and since scotch and beer start off pretty much the same way, it seems like smoke in Scotch beers would make sense to me but I'm no expert. I don't know I'f the smokeyness comes from the malt or the barrel.
I also thought the idea of smokey malt comes from finding a way to stop the germination process and dry out the malt quickly in climates where you can't rely on other methods of drying out the malt.
I'm sure Jamil has done research on it or else he wouldn't make statements like that, but nothing wrong with questioning or making you beer however you think it should be. At the end of the day you're the one who's going to be drinking it.
This is always what I thought. To answer your ambiguity, the smoke in scotch whisky comes from peated malt. That is, when baking the malt to kill the germinating seed, the fires underneath the malt used peat as fuel. This perfumed the malt, and the smokiness carried into the finish product. Makes complete sense to me that when beer makers in Scotland were making beer instead of whisky, they'd use the same technique for preparing the malt (why would they do something different?). So, seems pretty ridiculous that BJCP doesn't state it as a principal component (perhaps when they established the style that had fallen out of practice).
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:53 AM   #46
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I bet brewdog uses it...
Brewdog doesn't have a beer listed in the bjcp style guide as an example of a 60-80 shilling style beer. But, they probably use it and a bunch of other non-traditional stuff in their beers.

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I will repeat something I said in another thread on Scottish ales. I think US homebrewers get hung up on white labs/wyeast strains labeled "Scottish ale" and don't stop to consider that not every single brewery in Scotland uses that strain for every beer they make. So not every Scottish ale is going to have a subtle smoky character. I blame the bjcp style guidelines for calling it out. Even though the intent was to say "it's not out of style if there is a bit of smokiness" people read that and somehow think "if it's not smoky it isn't to style".
I totally agree on the edinburgh ale yeast strain. I'm sure some breweries over there use it, but I really, really doubt that ones like Caledonian or Belhaven are using it, at least in their shilling beers. Those beers just don't have the phenolic/smoky profile given off by the scottish yeast, and I really doubt that they ferment out their session beers at a low enough temperature to get a clean profile, because they aren't waiting 3 weeks for a 4.4% beer to be ready to put in a cask.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Zabuza View Post
This is always what I thought. To answer your ambiguity, the smoke in scotch whisky comes from peated malt. That is, when baking the malt to kill the germinating seed, the fires underneath the malt used peat as fuel. This perfumed the malt, and the smokiness carried into the finish product. Makes complete sense to me that when beer makers in Scotland were making beer instead of whisky, they'd use the same technique for preparing the malt (why would they do something different?). So, seems pretty ridiculous that BJCP doesn't state it as a principal component (perhaps when they established the style that had fallen out of practice).
Except that isn't the way brewers in Scotland malted. Scottish breweries were almost all in the central Lowland belt that runs from Edinburgh to Glasgow. A region where there's no peat, but loads of coal. The distilleries that use peated malt are all in the Highlands and Islands, miles away from where the breweries were.

Here are maps that demonstrate my point:

http://barclayperkins.blogspot.nl/20...h-brewing.html

There's no evidence that any Scottish brewer used peat-dried malt. Then again, low fermentation temperatures, long caramelising boils and low hop rates aren't suupported by historical evidence, either.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #48
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Good link, patto1ro.

If only our brewing forefathers had realized how important these subtleties would be to 21st Century civilization and written some of this stuff down for us!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #49
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Now that the discussion and defense of the style is over, anyone have a good Scotch ale recipe? I got the itch to try my hand at the style.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:12 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by patto1ro View Post
Except that isn't the way brewers in Scotland malted. Scottish breweries were almost all in the central Lowland belt that runs from Edinburgh to Glasgow. A region where there's no peat, but loads of coal. The distilleries that use peated malt are all in the Highlands and Islands, miles away from where the breweries were.

Here are maps that demonstrate my point:

http://barclayperkins.blogspot.nl/20...h-brewing.html

There's no evidence that any Scottish brewer used peat-dried malt. Then again, low fermentation temperatures, long caramelising boils and low hop rates aren't suupported by historical evidence, either.
The whole book on Scotland brewing is really eye opening, especially when it comes to the whole 60\-, 70\-, 80\- system. A lot of what we, as home brewers, think is true about Scottish beers is just fantasy.

Huge ass beers full of corn grits. Check.
Pale ales chock full of hops. Check.
Short boils, often shorter than the ones used by English brewers. Check.
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