English Ales - What's your favorite recipe?

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cire

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It can't be said that I've never boiled two gallons of wort down to a pint, but when I did, it was because I'd forgotten about it, with a thermal cutout saving the equipment from total destruction. On that occasion it was with low gravity late runnings for a yeast starter, Had those been first runnings (>1070) I hesitate to imagine the outcome.

Otherwise your modus operandi seems totally logical, except I would suggest you might consider reducing more like 4 litres to 1.5 to avoid having to scrape the pot to extract the result.

Good luck, Traquair House is only just across the border and English brewers copied many advancements from the Scots. As long as you don't burn the wort I'm sure you'll produce something close to the actual article.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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Sounds like a plan, I guess I'll try to collect 4 liters of first runnings and boil it down to 1.
I guess even with adding 3 extra liter of sparge water, my starting boil volume will be about 1 liter less than BS estimates, wich seems about what I should aim for, since I will add the extra liter once the smaller wort is boiled down. Am I thinking right? With stuff like this it can be nice to just present my thoughts to someone to see if I get my thinking right.
 

DBhomebrew

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FWIW, Skotrat's recipe might make a very fine beer, but the kettle caramelization is not a method used by Traquair. Otherwise, Skotrat's is rather close to the one the current Lady of Traquair shared for Alworth's book. Having brewed Alworth's recipe and compared it to a true Traquair House, I'd say a lack of oak was apparent but even with just a straight 2hr boil it was plenty malty enough. 98%MO/2%roasted.

On another point, I just did a kettle caramelization in order to account for a mistakenly large sparge. After reducing ~4L down to ~1L in a side kettle, I mixed in wort from the big kettle to be sure I collected all the sticky goodness from the small reduction pot.
 

patto1ro

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FWIW, Skotrat's recipe might make a very fine beer, but the kettle caramelization is not a method used by Traquair. Otherwise, Skotrat's is rather close to the one the current Lady of Traquair shared for Alworth's book. Having brewed Alworth's recipe and compared it to a true Traquair House, I'd say a lack of oak was apparent but even with just a straight 2hr boil it was plenty malty enough. 98%MO/2%roasted.

On another point, I just did a kettle caramelization in order to account for a mistakenly large sparge. After reducing ~4L down to ~1L in a side kettle, I mixed in wort from the big kettle to be sure I collected all the sticky goodness from the small reduction pot.
I've never come across any Scottish brewery that used kettle caramelisation. If they wanted to darken a beer, they usually just threw in caramel.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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I've never come across any Scottish brewery that used kettle caramelisation. If they wanted to darken a beer, they usually just threw in caramel.
I'm hearing this more and more often of late, after hearing for decades that reduction was required whereby to capture the profile of the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale style. I've also learned of late that no self respecting Scotsman likely ever heard of the style being referred to as 'Wee Heavy'.
 

patto1ro

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I'm hearing this more and more often of late, after hearing for decades that reduction was required whereby to capture the profile of the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale style. I've also learned of late that no self respecting Scotsman likely ever heard of the style being referred to as 'Wee Heavy'.
Wee Heavy was the nickname of a specific beer, Fowler's 12 Guinea Ale. The wee referring to the nip bottle it came in.
 

kevin58

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@patto1ro AKA Ron Pattinson (read his books on Scottish brewing if you want to learn the truth) is right. Wort reduction or caramelization is not wrong as a technique in and of itself but it is not Scottish. The Scots, on average, boiled no longer than their London counterparts and at times utilized shorter boils. Again, see Ron's books for actual data to back that up. By all means use the technique if you like the results but I wish we could get brewers to stop perpetuating the myth that caramelization is how you make a Scottish beer.
 

Erik the Anglophile

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As I understand it(correct me if wrong), the wort concentration thing is originally a way for homebrewers to mimic the scottish use of copper boiling kettles and brewers caramel. Wich for me is a more viable way to go than importing expensive sugar products.
I have another variant in the works with homemade invert #3 and crystal, 8% each and plan to in the future brew both and compare.
 

DBhomebrew

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As I understand it(correct me if wrong), the wort concentration thing is originally a way for homebrewers to mimic the scottish use of copper boiling kettles and brewers caramel. Wich for me is a more viable way to go than importing expensive sugar products.
I have another variant in the works with homemade invert #3 and crystal, 8% each and plan to in the future brew both and compare.
In the case of the beer you are approximating, Traquair uses 2% roasted barley for color adjustment...

20210814_204606.jpg
 

Northern_Brewer

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Good thread on Chevallier from the two commercial brewers who've probably used it most :


Steve Dunkley of Beer Nouveau suggests step mashes to increase efficiency, whereas Shane Swindells of the Cheshire Brewhouse suggests that the efficiency problem was more Crisp just (re)learning how to get the best from it, and that step mashing it is a waste as you lose much of the mouthfeel and flavour, he prefers a single mash, and cut it with Otter if you want more efficiency.
 

Miraculix

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Good thread on Chevallier from the two commercial brewers who've probably used it most :


Steve Dunkley of Beer Nouveau suggests step mashes to increase efficiency, whereas Shane Swindells of the Cheshire Brewhouse suggests that the efficiency problem was more Crisp just (re)learning how to get the best from it, and that step mashing it is a waste as you lose much of the mouthfeel and flavour, he prefers a single mash, and cut it with Otter if you want more efficiency.
I'd like to know which temperatue he would target for single infusion mashes with Chevallier...
 

Hanglow

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That's the first I've heard of a step mash reducing flavour mouthfeel and aroma. It can certainly change flavour and mouthfeel, but if anything it improves them imo. Certainly when I've step mashed chevalier it is still very obviously different from other malts.
 

Northern_Brewer

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And Steve's chipped in with his mash schedule for Chevallier :
So you can try that. OTOH, Shane is worth listening to for this stuff, he's been involved with the Crisp revival of Chevallier from the start and has won international awards for heritage brews.
 

dwhite60

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Brewing since 1990.,This is the first beer I've ever made a second time to almost the exact same recipe. It gets a lot better with age. Finishing up a batch I bottled last March. Hops aren't British but they work. Made more today. If you question my process, I don't care, it works. Made my own invert syrup.

My mild. BIAB.
2.0 lb. Pale malt
12 oz. Light Munich malt
12 oz. white wheat malt
12 oz. invert sugar syrup made with turbinado
4.0 oz. chocolate malt (350L)
3.0 oz. crystal 240

Centennial 10.2% 0.30 oz. at 60 minutes

½ tsp gypsum and ½ tsp. salt added to the boil.

Lallemand Windsor yeast, rehydrated.

Mash-in at 153. Mash settled at 149F. Left in oven for 1-1/4 hours. Pulled bag, sparged bag, collecteda bout 4 gallons of wort. Boiled one hour. Added one quart of water during boil. Ended up with 3.75 gallons in the fermenter.

Added invert at end of boil. Chilled to 67F and pitched rehydrated yeast. OG 1.042
 
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marc1

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Brewing since 1990.,This is the first beer I've ever made a second time to almost the exact same recipe. It gets a lot better with age. Finishing up a batch I bottled last March. Hops aren't British but they work. Made more today. If you question my process, I don't care, it works. Made my own invert syrup.

My mild. BIAB.
2.0 lb. Pale malt
12 oz. Light Munich malt
12 oz. white wheat malt
12 oz. invert sugar syrup made with turbinado
4.0 oz. chocolate malt (350L)
3.0 oz. crystal 240

Centennial 10.2% 0.30 oz. at 60 minutes

½ tsp gypsum and ½ tsp. salt added to the boil.

Lallemand Windsor yeast, rehydrated.

Mash-in at 153. Mash settled at 149F. Left in oven for 1-1/4 hours. Pulled bag, sparged bag, collecteda bout 4 gallons of wort. Boiled one hour. Added one quart of water during boil. Ended up with 3.75
gallons in the fermenter.

Added invert at end of boil. Chilled to 67F and pitched rehydrated yeast. OG 1.042
What size batch is this?

What's your water like?
 

dwhite60

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What size batch is this?

What's your water like?
This recipe gets me 3.75 gallons in the fermenter.

My water is SOFT. It's municipal and pulled from a lake. I put about half a campden tablet in six gallons of water before starting.
 

D.B.Moody

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Very much a look back in time. But I loved it.
Me too. Especially the part about real ale vs. the "stable but lifeless liquid" known as keg beer. Real ale, the ordinary house bitters that I first discovered on a trip to the UK in 1988, is the reason I home brew.

Afterthought: Is it blocked because the term "secondary fermentation" is used? :p
 
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Northern_Brewer

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Someone suggested it might be better on keg?

I guess it's Channel 4 trying to push people in the UK from Youtube onto their own streaming platform. Do you have a title I might be able to Google?
 

Northern_Brewer

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Ah, of course. It's notorious for not being available in the UK - it's not on All4 and blocked on Youtube - other than from sources that are dodgier than I would care to use.
 

D.B.Moody

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Someone suggested it might be better on keg?

I guess it's Channel 4 trying to push people in the UK from Youtube onto their own streaming platform. Do you have a title I might be able to Google?
In the video Jackson visits a brewer of real ale. There is a cut to showing how big breweries kill further fermentation when they keg their beer making a "stable but lifeless liquid known in the UK as keg beer." This is contrasted to the better, proper and loving way real ale is kegged for further (secondary) fermentation, cask conditioning.

This was Discovery Channel's "The Beer Hunter" series. S01E06 "The Best of the British" Dec. 27, 1989. When I googled "The Beer Hunter 1989" I got ways to buy it and to view it not on You Tube.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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"kill further fermentation when they keg their beer making a "stable but lifeless liquid known in the UK as keg beer." This is contrasted to the better, proper and loving way real ale is kegged for further (secondary) fermentation, cask conditioning.
Pretty typical attitude/language of CAMRA-ites of that period, it is changing as they die off though.

This was Discovery Channel's "The Beer Hunter" series. S01E06 "The Best of the British" Dec. 27, 1989. When I googled "The Beer Hunter 1989" I got ways to buy it and to view it not on You Tube.
It's a Channel 4 show, which is why the UK rights are so tightly controlled compared to elsewhere. I'm not that bothered, but from here there's no way to watch it here based on the first page of Google results. As I say, I imagine Channel 4 expect you to watch it via their streaming service, which has quite a lot of really old stuff. So I'm mildly surprised it's not on there, I wonder if it might be on the naughty step - I'd imagine some of the comments from beer people at that time might not have aged well.
 

DuncB

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@Northern_Brewer
If you have a phone or tablet you should be able to download a free vpn something like melon works well.
Then you can pick your country and watch it. Works for us in NZ watching UK tv , BBC, ITV and channel 4, can't stand watching the NZ commentary on sport it's more than a little biased.
I might be able to download it I suppose and then put it on something like dropbox if the melon route doesn't work.
 

UdonPete

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Pretty typical attitude/language of CAMRA-ites of that period, it is changing as they die off though.



It's a Channel 4 show, which is why the UK rights are so tightly controlled compared to elsewhere. I'm not that bothered, but from here there's no way to watch it here based on the first page of Google results. As I say, I imagine Channel 4 expect you to watch it via their streaming service, which has quite a lot of really old stuff. So I'm mildly surprised it's not on there, I wonder if it might be on the naughty step - I'd imagine some of the comments from beer people at that time might not have aged well.
Use a VPN - the YouTube link is :
 

z-bob

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I brewed an English-ish strong bitter a couple of months ago, using American pale ale malt (because I had it, and I didn't have British malt), 45L caramel wheat malt, homemade dark invert sugar, and Golding hops. Fermented with kveik yeast. I think I used way too much carawheat and invert, (about 10% each) because it's sort of a cartoon version of an English beer and the caramel and molasses flavors are too strong. But if I dilute it 50% will a tasteless watery lager like Natty Ice, it is very enjoyable, and still has decent body and head retention. And my HB lasts twice as long that way ;)

When this bag of pale ale malt runs out, (it's about gone now) I may get some British malt and try again, using only half as much invert and caramel malt. Because I really like the beer when I tone it way down.
 

shoreman

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What are your thoughts on using modern hops in bitters? Like subbing Citra for EKGs in a nice 3.5% golden bitter.
 

schmurf

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I've done it a couple of times, but in small amounts, just to get a hint of something more citrusy/tropical. Recently did a bitter with harlequin, a newer variety british hop, which turned out very well. If camra would approve of it though I don't know.
 

Northern_Brewer

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There's plenty of cask beer in the UK these days that features New World hops - although there's rather more from the antipodes than you would typically see in the US. Jeff Alworth has a nice series of articles about a trip to the UK in 2019 that starts with a celebration of these cask hazies :

But for the sake of communication, I don't think anyone would really refer to them as "bitter", a term which does kinda imply traditional European hops. And they tend to be more like 4% give or take. But most of all you need to respect the balance that is key to British beer - the US attitude of moooorrrrrreeeee hops just completely misses the point. Jeff's talked about this in his latest article and a Twitter thread on why US breweries are so bad at British beers :

 

tracer bullet

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What are your thoughts on using modern hops in bitters? Like subbing Citra for EKGs in a nice 3.5% golden bitter.
I keep thinking I'll add a touch of Mandarina Bavaria to my next ESB-like recipe. Haven't tried it yet. Last brew I ran the 1968 yeast (Wyeast ESB) at 71 deg. F, hoping for fruity esters, but it didn't deliver. Looking at 1318 (London III) next. If that doesn't do it I'll probably start playing with a little bit of who-knows-what in a whirlpool addition. Mandarina Bavaria has my interest. Was hoping for something "berry" like but maybe tangerine would go well.
 

ba-brewer

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I keep thinking I'll add a touch of Mandarina Bavaria to my next ESB-like recipe. Haven't tried it yet. Last brew I ran the 1968 yeast (Wyeast ESB) at 71 deg. F, hoping for fruity esters, but it didn't deliver. Looking at 1318 (London III) next. If that doesn't do it I'll probably start playing with a little bit of who-knows-what in a whirlpool addition. Mandarina Bavaria has my interest. Was hoping for something "berry" like but maybe tangerine would go well.
what did your grain bill and hop usage look like?

Once I started brewing using @Northern_Brewer recommendation of 90% base malt and 10% sugar and/or crystal malts I started getting much more yeast character. Not too much late hops and allow the beer to age a month or so also helps. I get more character from 1318 and 1469 then I do from 1968. WLP041 seems to be easy to get fruitiness, a bit too close to banana for my taste though.
 
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