Awesome, now to find heather tips.[FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Froach Heather Ale recipe from the brewer himself via Zymurgy Vol. 17, No. 4 Special 1994
Ingredients for 5 gallons
6 2/3 pounds Scotch Ale Malt or 6 pounds U.S. 2-row malted barley and 10 1/2 oz. Amber malt (crystal or Cara-type)
12 2/3 cups of lightly pressed flowering heather tips
Irish moss (10 minutes)
O.G. - 1.048
F.G. - 1.011
Mash at 153F for 90 minutes. Sparge as usual. Add about one-half gallon (2/3 of total) of lightly pressed heather tips and boil vigorously for 90 minutes.
Run hot wort through a sieve filled with 2 cups (1/6 of total) of heather tips into the fermenting vessel. Allow to cool and ferment at 61F for seven to 10 days. A lager-type yeast is suggested. The original yeast for Froach Ale was a Scotch ale yeast, but after years of cold slow fermentation it has evolved into a strain with a bottom-fermenting bias. When the gravity reaches 1.015, usually the fifth day, remove ½ gallon of ale, add 2 cups (1/6 of total) of heather flowers and warm to 158 degrees
F. Cover and steep for 15 minutes, then return to the fermenter.
Condition the ale as usual. For those needing a hop fix, add 1 4/5 oz. of 6% AAU hops for the 90 minute boil to provide bitterness that will not unbalance the flavors. Late addition aroma hops would compete with the delicate heather.
The specifications for the commercially-bottled ale are ABV 4.9 %; O.G., 1.048; pH 4.1; color 9 SRM (23 EBC) and bitterness 21 IBUs.
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I'm interested in your recipe also and keep my ****e where it belongs. I'm especially interested in finding out what the traditional heather used is. From what I hear the 'magical' properties of this ale are down to a dust on the heather referred to as 'fook'? Sounds very interesting and like it could be a major hit if brewed correctly.I have my own recipe but alas, I am too drunk, and I have taken sh!te for it on here before (that is why I pulled my recipe)... perhaps if I sober up.
I will say, that from what I understand the brewery in Scotland started by Bruce Williams does now include some hops in their beer to appease the public. I find the beer with only heather to be quite refreshing and enjoyable. Certainly different than a hopped beer, perhaps an acquired taste, but I do not think it is that hard to acquire.
It should be fairly pale and malty to allow the heather character to shine.
Fun to experiment with. You can get heather tips from most online homebrew shops or you can do like I do and grow your own. Fresh really make a difference I think.
According to Stephen Buhner in Sacred and Healing Beers, the dust is a "moss" locally referred to by the Scots as "fogg." It has "narcotic and mildly hallucinogenic properties" and may also bear a wild yeast that the Picts used to ferment their heather ales and meads.I'm interested in your recipe also and keep my ****e where it belongs. I'm especially interested in finding out what the traditional heather used is. From what I hear the 'magical' properties of this ale are down to a dust on the heather referred to as 'fook'? Sounds very interesting and like it could be a major hit if brewed correctly.
PM me or post please. Grateful for any information you can pass on.
Much appreciated...I think this is definitely worth a try, something along the lines of a hop whirlpool addition. Not sure how volatile the floral essences are in dried heather tips, but as you mentioned, 170 degrees should at least be enough to neutralize any wild yeasts on the heather if you can maintain that temp for 10 or 15 minutes. Heather aromatics usually take a week or two of conditioning to appear. Maybe try an ounce for a five gallon batch and see where that gets you. I do remember having a rough time with getting heather tip debris caught up in my heat exchanger, so it might be a good idea to use a weighted hop bag. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!I bought the book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers a few years ago and found several things that interested me. Heather was one of them. I bought some Brewers Garden Heather Tips and stuck them in the hop freezer and forgot about them. Your Zymurgy article has me interested again.
Ive been experimenting with hop stands in the 160-170 degree range. What are your thoughts of using this technique with Heather Tips? The pasteurization effect may reduce the chance of wild bugs and the lack of a boil should preserve the aromatics and flavor contributions. If this sounds like something worth a try, what do you think is a good amount to start with?
Great article. Thanks.
"From the bonny bells of heather,
They brewed a drink langsyne,
Was sweeter far than honey,
Was stronger far than wine." - R.L.S.
Take the heather-bells when the heather is in full bloom. Was in cold water to remove any dust or small insects that there may be. Then fill a pot with the heather, cover with water and boil for an hour. Stain the liquid into a clean wooden tub, and for every dozen pints add half-an-ounce of hops, an ounce of ground ginger and a pound of sweet treacle or honey. Boil again another 20 minutes. Strain off once more, and when almost cold add five table-spoonfulls of barm. Cover with a cloth and all the stuff to 'work' undisturbed for at least twenty-four hours. After that, skim carefully, and pour over gently into a tub, leaving all the barmy sediment behind. Put into bottles and cork tightly. Put the bottles away in a cold dark place for a week. At the end of the week, the Heather Ale my be got rid of in the usual manner. There is spirit in Heather.
See the Story of Heather Ale on page 152.
I am curious: how did this fraoch turn out?Kept it simple. 95% Maris Otter and 5% Flaked Barley. Five gallon no sparge batch with an OG of 1.059, 73% efficiency. Bittered with a half ounce of Simcoe and tossed a couple of ounces of whole leaf Citra into the hop stand with the 2oz of Heather Tips. Pitched a good slurry of Pacman. Good fermentation going in less than 12 hours.
Didn't get a lot of aroma from the Heather. There was something kind of earthy there, but it was overpowered by the sweetness of the wort. Have to wait and see. If nothing else, way better than watching TV on a Sunday night.
The beer was rather good. The heather was present, but in the background. Gave the beer a nice herbal character, but not too strong. Some minty notes. I'm still curious how it will age. I managed to bottle a gallon or so before the keg kicked. (Didn't take long!) Going to revisit the bottles later this fall/winter to see how the heather develops over time.I am curious: how did this fraoch turn out?
I was following the recipe "Hand Pict Heather Ale" in the June/July 2014 magazine. For 5 gallons this recipe calls for 3 cups (about 3 oz) for 60 minutes and 1 cup (about 1 oz) at flameout. These are the amounts that I used and scaled for my 1 gallon recipe.I am planning on brewing a fraoch ale, yes. I love experimenting with traditional wines, meads, ciders and beers, but I have seen recipes (or suggestions) that the ale needs about 1.5 cups of heather tips/gallon - my experimental volumes - Not bought the heather yet although my LHBS sells it but 1.5 cups is probably 6 oz /gallon. NtexBrewer, that is about 10 -12 times the amount of heather you used
I think I'll give this a go. I'm new to 1G brewing though - how much water should I mash and sparge? Do I even need to sparge?Last month I brewed a 1 gallon batch based on the Zymurgy magazine article. This was my scaled down recipe
1.5 lb Maris Otter
0.1 lb Crystal 20L
0.2 lb Honey (Late Addition)
0.6 oz Heather Tips 60 Minutes
0.2 oz Heather Tips Flameout
Mash at 153 60 Minutes
Boil 60 Minutes
Looking at my notes, I did not sparge for this one. I do BIAB. I used 1.8 gallons of water and did a hard squeeze to get as much liquid out as possible. My notes show that I had 1.75 gallons pre boil volume. My boil off rate is about 0.75 gallons. After the boil and cooling, I line the fermenter bucket with another sterilized bag and strain/squeeze as much as possible to get as much wort into the fermenter. I had 1 gallon in the fermenter and was able to package 0.9 gallons.I think I'll give this a go. I'm new to 1G brewing though - how much water should I mash and sparge? Do I even need to sparge?
Before bottling, it tasted fantastic. To me it tasted more like a cider than a beer. Unfortunately it got infected during bottling. Super sour after carbonating.NTexBrewer, How did the beer turn out? Tasting Notes??
I am sorry to hear of the infection, try it again and let me know what you think. I too am curious of the recipe and plan to brew your version pretty soon.Before bottling, it tasted fantastic. To me it tasted more like a cider than a beer. Unfortunately it got infected during bottling. Super sour after carbonating.
Thanks for the reminder that I need to try this batch again. I get sidetracked trying the next new recipe and have trouble going back and revisiting some of my recipes.
I have the heather tips so no excuse to get the other ingredients!
How about mash grains for a 5 or 7 gallon batch.I made NTexBrewer's recipe a few moths ago. It came out quite good, nice and malty with a nice flowery nose. I will make it again, but am not sold on the inefficiency of 1G batches. Same work, 1/5 the output. Although I wouldn't want 5G of Fraoch -