Scarborough Faire Ale

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Daddymem

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I found this recipe a while ago and it was one that tweaked my interest to get back in to brewing. Unfortunately the recipe is a bit of a mess. The brewer said on a forum that it was one of his more popular ones so I'd think it has to be somewhat good. I've searched far and wide for notes on this. I found the brewers website but it appears to be abandoned. This is the recipe from the site:

Scarborough Faire Ale

6 lbs Light LME
1 oz Parsley (30m)
1 oz Sage, Rubbed (30m)
1 oz Rosemary (30m)
1 oz Thyme (30m)
S-04 Dry English Ale Yeast

04/23
0946 - put water on heat
0954 - remove heat
- put jug of extract in water
0958 - put 6½ gal water on heat
1024 - remove heat
- add extract
1027 - restore heat
1030 - boil
1031 - remove/restore heat
1058 - put chiller in pot
1100 - add herbs
1130 - remove heat
- turn on chiller
1142 - put yeast in carboy
1143 - turn off chiller (70°)
1145 - remove herbs and chiller
1146 - rack through filter
- 1.036 @ 70° (adj. to 1.037)
1204 - move 4½ gal to basement

04/30
- rack to secondary
- 1.012 @ 58°

05/14
- rack to keg
- 1.012 @ 57°
- pressurize and move to outdoor fridge


So this is extract with no specialty grains and no hops so an hour boil isn't need for those. But it looks like he did the herbs for 30 minutes. Deciphering the notes, I'd say he heated water up enough to dissolve the LME, boiled that for 30 minutes then boiled the herbs for 30 minutes. After reading up on late extract additions, I'm thinking I can streamline the process and get a lighter beer (caramelization wise).

So instead:
Stir in half the LME when the water starts boiling.
Add the herbs when it starts boiling.
Add remaining LME and IC after 15 minutes boil.
Flame out and chill at 30 minutes.
I've got some Nottingham to use.

Any idea if there is a benefit to boiling the herbs longer like you do hops?
What about scheduling the herbs addition, like all the sage and rosemary for the boil but 1/4 (or 1/2, or all)of the parsley and thyme for the final 10 minutes?

TIA for any all suggestions, comments, shared experiences, etc.
 
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Daddymem

Daddymem

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What I've found scattered around the web:

"See, to me it's not about "hop substitutes", it's about hop
alternatives. This past summer I made an ale I called Scarborough Faire
using parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme; no hops. It is now one of my
most popular brews in the neighborhood. People who don't normally drink
beer keep asking for it.

It's not about looking to use something else to add hop bitterness,
flavor, or aroma. It's about getting other bitters, flavors, and aromas.
I personally prefer hopped beer, but I already know I can make a
non-hopped ale.
Tom"

"Quick tasting note: the sage was in your face at bottling time, but
eventually it moves back to let the rosemary come out. The parsley and
thyme don't really add any flavors I could destect, but they're there
because the song calls for them.

I currently have one bottle left that I'm saving to see how well it ages
over time.
Tom"

"I'm drinking it now. It's is really mellowed. It would go great with
chicken or turkey, I think.
Tom"
 

Bob

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I've used spices in malt beverage before, everything from oddball, non-traditional spices in Witbier - including, oddly enough, rosemary - to medieval gruit ales.

But I've never encountered this. It reads like something that would only taste good if it were used to baste the Thanksgiving turkey.

All I can say is, "Try it." Perhaps a half batch scaled to 2.5 gallons or something.

If it turns out awesome, you can brew more. If it turns out appalling, you can use it to baste the Thanksgiving turkey.

:D

Bob
 
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Daddymem

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Brew day.
I've decided to do a half batch (ish).

Recipe/brewplan
2.5 gallon h20
3.3# Muntons Light Malt Extract-30 min (wasn't sure on interaction with the sage if it was needed to boil at all)
.5 oz sage -30 min
.5 oz rosemary-30 min
.5 oz thyme-30 min
.5 oz parsley-30 min
Immersion chiller-15 min
Irish Moss-15 min

The herbs together smell fabulous. Not turkey like at all, the sage overpowers it. A menthol bitter clean odor to it. We'll see how it goes.
 
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Daddymem

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1.052
2.5 gallons going for low 60s with S-05
Wort tastes intriguing. Clean, mentholy, sage is the main flavor.

"Sage oil contains the chemical substances alpha- and beta-thujone, camphor, and cineole as well as other constituents including rosmarinic acid, tannins, and flavonoids. Even today, in many European countries sage is used medicinally as a gargle for sore throat and inflammation of the mouth and gums. Clinical studies also indicate that the substance found in sage oil may also offer antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects, explaining much of its medicinal activity."

Some similarities to hops, aroma, acid, tannins, flavonoids, and antibacterial/fungal. Makes sense. I'm not expecting this to replace beer, but to provide with an interesting beverage every now and again.
 
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Daddymem

Daddymem

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Today I bottled my Scarborough Faire Ale and my Hard Cranberry Cider.




Scarborough Faire (right in picture)
OG=1.052
FG=1.016

Very sagey going into the bottle. The recipe said it would be and that it mellows with time. I figure at worst this will be 3 gallons of some awesome pork marinade or turkey brine, at best it will be a refreshing alternative to beer.


Hard Cranberry Cider (left in picture)
OG=1.070
FG=1.000

Semi puckery cranberry flavor. I decided to go still since it may be a little strong. I think it would be great with a splash of 7UP or gingerale, but who knows, after some bottle conditioning it may rock just as is. What a pretty color to it. I started it on 3/22 so it took a while to ferment out. I think I will try it again with a cranberry mix like crangrape.
 

mutedog

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How did this turn out? I'm Putting together a recipe involving Thyme (and other herbs) but I haven't been able to find much info. Fresh thyme has such a strong flavor but it sounds like it takes a back seat to the sage in this recipe?

Did you use fresh or dried herbs?
 

mutedog

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interesting, thanks for the feedback!

I made a sage ale last fall with 4oz fresh sage, basically following the recipe from Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers 2oz for 60 minutes and 2oz in the primary. It's sagey but not over the top...
 
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Daddymem

Daddymem

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Dumped a bottle of this into the turkey roaster...great turkey marinade! Can't make a gruit worth a darn, but I make great marinade!
 
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