Addition(s) to Scottish Strong Ale?

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GoodTruble

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This past weekend, I brewed my annual wee heavy that I turn into a smoked pumpkin ale for Halloween. But using my new(ish) partigyle approach, I also brewed a second, lighter (but still 8%) Scottish Strong Ale.

I think the Strong Ale will be really good just as it is, but I keep thinking if I should/could add something during fermentation to further distinguish it from the Wee Heavy. I think the Wee Heavy (which is much darker and stronger and will have pumpkin, spices, and whiskey added to it) will already be different "enough", but I usually make much more different beers while doing the partigyle (to keep more diversity on tap later).

So in theory, what can be added to a Scottish Strong Ale? I've considered some reduced brown sugar or maybe caramel, and considered some kind if nut like pecans or chestnuts....

Any thoughts?
 
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DBhomebrew

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Easy does it on the oak. The right amount is in the background and delicious. Too much is like chewing on a block of wood.

I have some year old Traquair House approximation fermented on ~1/3oz per gallon med Hungarian cubes. Too much. I'm about to brew it again with 1/8oz /gal.
 

hottpeper13

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Dark cherries, along with some bourbon soaked oak. I have a 5 gal barrel that's on it's 6-7 batch so less oakyness each time ,or more time each time.
 
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GoodTruble

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Thanks for the suggestions. I waffled on whether to add anything or not, then decided I will supplant two holiday beers from last year (cranberry brandy wit and dark cherry porter) by adding a brandy soaked oak spiral and dark cherries to this Scottish Strong Ale. Will update with the results in a few weeks.
 

billmac

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Easy does it on the oak. The right amount is in the background and delicious. Too much is like chewing on a block of wood.

I have some year old Traquair House approximation fermented on ~1/3oz per gallon med Hungarian cubes. Too much. I'm about to brew it again with 1/8oz /gal.
I have a Wee Heavy fermenting that I want to oak in the secondary. You mention a 1 year Traquair House approximation. Did you age it on the oak for the full year? I am looking to get a quick turnaround ( I have and event I want to take the beer to). I have 40zs of Heavy toast oak cubes. Would that be much for a 3 week secondary? What else could you reccomend for a quick turnaround?
Thanks
 

billmac

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I have a Wee Heavy fermenting that I want to oak in the secondary. You mention a 1 year Traquair House approximation. Did you age it on the oak for the full year? I am looking to get a quick turnaround ( I have and event I want to take the beer to). I have 40zs of Heavy toast oak cubes. Would that be much for a 3 week secondary? What else could you reccomend for a quick turnaround?
Thanks
That is 4 ozs not 40.
 

DBhomebrew

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I put the oak in primary, a nod to Traquair's oak fermentation vessels. IIRC, 4wks with 1/3oz oak cubes per gallon. Next time, I'll cut the oak to 1/8oz per gallon.
 
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GoodTruble

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Quick update - the Scottish Strong Ale (with brandy soaked oak spiral (just about 2 inches) and dark sweet cherries) finished fermenting this week. I used a spunding valve at 5 psi for the last 5-6 days, so it was already partly carbed when I went to keg. I tasted my sample, and it was GREAT. Better than I expected. The cherries came through more than expected and the oak was subtle in the background. Looking forward to a full pint in the next 1-2 weeks.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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GoodTruble

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Another quick update: Another keg finally kicked tonight. So I finally got the Scottish Strong Ale on tap, and it is EXCELLENT!! Thanks again @Kickass and @hottpeper13 . I could not be happier with how this one turned out.

The oak really mellowed over three weeks of conditioning and is now subtle and in the back ground (which is what I wanted), and the cherry is surprisingly upfront. Not too much, but clearly there.


Here's photo....

F656D690-1D1D-4B21-ABCB-26046113B1B9.jpeg
 
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bobeer

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late to this thread, glad it turned out awesome though! I have brewed a christmas scotch ale before with dried cranberries and it turned out great. I took a quart of hot wort and steeped probably a pound of dried cranberries for the duration of the boil then added it back at flame-out. Give it a go next year!
 
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