Fraoch Ale ( Heather Ale) recipe please

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RevRon

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O.k, I'm looking for a very authentic Fraoch recipe. It doesn't really matter to me if it is all grain, partial mash, or extract version. Has anyone tried this beer before? If so, how did you like it?
 

john from dc

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yeah, i've had it several times. it's pleasant, the flavors are pretty subtle though. definitely lacks the bitterness of hops which is probably why the commercial version is not very dark or malty.

byo had a recipe awhile back that included some hops as well as heather. it seems to me that they'd be necessary for balance if you want to brew anything with a bigger malt backbone.
 

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[FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Froach Heather Ale recipe from the brewer himself via Zymurgy Vol. 17, No. 4 Special 1994

Heather Ale

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.

[edited from here]

Bob
[/FONT]
 
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RevRon

RevRon

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[FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Froach Heather Ale recipe from the brewer himself via Zymurgy Vol. 17, No. 4 Special 1994

Heather Ale

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.

[edited from here]

Bob
[/FONT]
Awesome, now to find heather tips.:confused:
 

DrinksWellWithOthers

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Taken from Clonebrews.

5 gallons
OG 1.050-1.053
FG 1.011-1.013
IBU 17
SRM 6.5

3.30 lb light LME (John Bull)
3.25 lb light DME (Muntons)
4oz Crystal 55L

.5oz Northern Brewer (60 min)
1 lb heather blossoms (60 min)

.5oz EKG (15 min)
.25 lb heather blossoms (15 min)
1 tsp irish moss (15 min)

.25 lb heather blossoms (5 min)

Strain your cooled wort through .25 oz heather blossoms into your primary fermenter.

Wyeast 1728 Scottish ale yeast or Wyeast 1084 Irish ale yeast. Ferment at 68F.
 

Zymurgrafi

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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.
 
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RevRon

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+1 on the homegrown. I just ordered a pack of seeds off ebay. If your worried about taking crap posting it here you should pm it to me. I would like to see it if you wouldn't mind.
 

GordonT

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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.
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.
 

Amahl2442

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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. :)

PM me or post please. Grateful for any information you can pass on.
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'll be doing an article on heather ale for the Zymurgy Style Spotlight column in an upcoming issue (most likely May/June 2014).
 

iainag

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Some ago (when it was brewed in Strathaven and was still small scale) the website for the brewer had the actual recipe that was used by them. If I remember correctly there were bog myrtle leaves in it in place of hops. Somewhere I have it printed out. Give me a day or so :D
 

loveofrose

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I've brewed something like this before (recipe below). It turned out quite good and quite strong (13% ABV!). The first few months after bottling, the heather was faint, but after that, it returned in the strongest way possible! I just used dried heather tips from northern brewer.

Flowery Kilt Scottish Ale

Specialty Grains
8 oz Caramel 20L
2 oz Biscuit Malt
1 oz Roasted Baley
1 oz Peated Malt
-Hold at 170 F 25 minutes in 2.5 gallons water.*
Add 12 lbs Maris Otter extract, water to 5 gallons, and bring to a boil.*
Add the following hop schedule:
1.5 oz Syrian Goldings for 1 hour
2 oz Fuggles for 10 minutes.*
Added 1.5 lbs of honey and 4 oz heather flowers at 1 minute before flameout.*
Cooled with a wort chiller.*
Pitched a 2 liter starter of Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale.*
SG 1.11 IBU 25 - Setup a blow off tube. That turned out to be a wonderful idea.
FG - 1.01!?

You would never guess its so strong because it very light. The heather hides all the alcohol.
 

Amahl2442

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Nice one! I like the idea of adding an ounce of roast barley...very Scottish. Though I find the 1728 contributes a smoky phenol of its own, so I may skip the peated. I've brewed something along these lines as well, not quite so strong though, and with dried heather tips "dry hopped" in secondary as well. Not sure if I would do this again though, unless fresh heather flowers were available. I think your addition at 1 minute makes for a cleaner brew...thanks for digging this up!
 

AnOldUR

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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 Brewer’s Garden Heather Tips and stuck them in the hop freezer and forgot about them. Your Zymurgy article has me interested again.

I’ve 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.
 

Amahl2442

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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 Brewer’s Garden Heather Tips and stuck them in the hop freezer and forgot about them. Your Zymurgy article has me interested again.

I’ve 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.
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!
 

brewmcq

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From "Scottish Lore and Folklore", Douglas - C 1982, Beekman House, pg 256.

HEATHER ALE

"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.
heatherale.jpg


storyofheather01.jpg


storyofheather02.jpg
 

AnOldUR

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Had to work most of the weekend, but got the bug late Sunday and went for it. Mashed in after 6:00pm and didn't finish cleaning up until after midnight.

What didn't help time wise was a hour plus hop/heather stand held at 165 degrees and then letting it rest for another 30+ minutes after the completing chill and a manual whirlpool. Worth it though. Drew 5.5 gallons of nice clear wort from the kettle. Hop screen worked well at containing the loose Heather Tips.

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. :D
 

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Sounds like a worthy brew. It'll be interesting to see how the Citra works with the heather. Should be quite floral! I knocked out a 20 gallon batch of pre-prohibition pils this saturday and whirlpooled with 4 oz Hersbrucker. Flaked maize is so much easier than cereal mashing! Single infusion, mashout and good to go. It's popping along at 48 degrees in the Peltier-cooled conical. Gotta get these lagers brewed before our Colorado groundwater starts to heat up!
 

AnOldUR

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Update after 6 days. This was a strange fermentation and I have to wonder if the Heather has anything to do with it? Although it started quick enough, the krausen never got more than a couple of inches. I started it in the low 60's because I was thinking the opposite would happen, so that may be the cause. Ramped it up and now it's at 68 degrees. The more strange part was the muddy look the fermenting wort had. I didn't think that much of the Heather got through, but could it be the cause? It's clearing a little now and I plan to cold crash in a few days, so in the end it may not matter or are these beers naturally a little cloudy?

Heather at 6 days.jpg
 

loveofrose

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That is what mine looked like during fermentation (See post #11). Mine is now 11 months old and clear at room temperature. Once cold, it has a lot of chill haze despite a whirl floc tablet being used. I guess it's the heather.

Don't be surprised when the heather disappears for the first 2-3 months. After that it comes back very strong!


Better brewing through science!
 

AnOldUR

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Don't be surprised when the heather disappears for the first 2-3 months. After that it comes back very strong!
Good information. You're saying that the flavor and aroma from heather isn't volatile like hops? It's a good beer to cellar for a while?
 

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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. :D
I am curious: how did this fraoch turn out?
 

AnOldUR

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I am curious: how did this fraoch turn out?
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.

At this point my thinking is that when I brew this again, I’ll increase the heather addition. Maybe even double. But until I see how this matures, I'm undecided.

Are you planning on brewing a Fraoch Ale?
 

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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

Yeast - Saflager W-34/70 Fermented at 62 Degrees

My OG was 1.053, FG was 1.010 for an ABV of 5.6%

I bottle my beer so it is still carbonating. Will report back when it is ready to drink. I will have to say that the sample at bottling tasted amazing. It had a cider/wine like quality to it which surprised me since it has Maris Otter in it. This is mainly for my wife as she does not like beer. She has tasted many of my beer samples and finished beers and she too was surprised how nice the sample tasted.
 

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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
 

NTexBrewer

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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 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 bought my heather tips from a herb store. I still have some left. Just measured out a cup and it weighs about 1 oz.

Another confusing thing is if you use FRESH heather you have to use a lot more. The other recipe in the Zymurgy article uses Fresh Heather and calls for 12 cups.
 

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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
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? :mug:
 

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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? :mug:
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.
 

NTexBrewer

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NTexBrewer, How did the beer turn out? Tasting Notes??
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!
 

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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!
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.
 

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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 - it needs to be consumed quickly. The last bottle was far more malty and less flowery than the first.

Next time, I'll use sweet gale and flowering heather in the boil and flowering heather at flameout for an hour steep before fermenting.
 

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Good to know about consuming quickly. I actually have a batch bottle conditioning now. Will report back when I have a sample. I use small 7 oz corona bottles so I get more bottles for only doing a one gallon batch.
 

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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 -
How about mash grains for a 5 or 7 gallon batch.

Separate off 2 gallons for the Heather Ale. Use the remainder for a Pale Ale, IPA.

Doing a quick search found many people happy with a Cascade Marris Otter SMASH. The Crystal 20 will just add a little more sweetness which is fine for a Pale Ale or IPA.

One brew day and you get two beers.
 
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