I have always been a fan of Strong Scotch Ales and honey, but I have never seen the two combined. I am a big fan of putting honey in whiskey, and my goal is to emulate that in a beer. I realize that the yeast will eat the sugar out of it, but I add the honey to 1) impart the other complex, subtle flavors of honey 2) lighten the body of what will be a somewhat heavy beer. The honey malt should add that sweetness.
5 Gal Batch (2 gal boil)
8 lbs Canadian Pale Extract
2lbs Don Popp's Pure Honey
1lb Cara 30L
4 oz Roasted Barley
4 oz Peated Malt
4 oz Honey Malt
For hops I am thinking of 2 oz of something British, like Fuggles or Willamette.
For yeast I was thinking Wyeast 1728 (Scottish Ale).
I have heard a lot of controversy as to when to add the honey. My main concern is to preserve as much honey flavor as possible, but I also don't want to get bogged down in a complex pasteurization method. The compromise seems to be adding it at either flameout, or at the height of fermentation. I am not worried about the yeast crapping out, so I guess flameout is as good a time as any. Does someone have a better way to preserve the honey flavor?
I have also heard that doing a smaller boil lends to a greater carmalizing effect. Because I am not overly concerned with hop utilization or color, I figured this might actually work to getting back some sweetness that the honey will lose to the yeast. Has anyone actually found this to be true?
I know peated malt isn't found in traditional scotch ales, but I have heard it is found in delicious ones. Is 4oz too much? I am also unfamiliar with the honey malt, which I want to add that honey sweetness. How does 4oz sound?
Also, I don't want to mess with oak chips or actually whiskey this go around. There is enough going on in this beer as it is. Next time, though...