Scottish Heavy 70 Recipe critique

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Ooompa Loompa

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What say you boys and girls???

5 gal recipe
2 gal boil

4 lbs LME
1 lb brown sugar
3 oz roasted barley
4 oz Crystal 60L

.5 oz Pac gem (15% AA) @ 35 min

Muntons or Nottingham ale yeast (trying to do this one on the cheap side)

Pro Mash puts me at 1.039 SG and 16.9 IBUs

I'm also thinking of adding a very slight smokey/woody flavor by adding 1 oz of oak wood chips to the boil. Yes, I realize these would normally be added to the secondary, but I really do just want a small hint, and I think that boiling 1 oz for an hour would put me about where I wanted to be flavor/scent wise.
 

CBBaron

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Your OG, IBU and srm are all probably hitting the Scottish 70/- style but I don't think this will be much like the style in question.
You should use a clean yeast like US-05 or Scottish Ale Yeast that allows the malt to be accentuated, I think your yeast choices have too much character.
I don't see where brown sugar has a place in the style as it will tend to dry out the beer.
I think you could probably use a little more crystal malt to sweeten the beer and give it more body, but that would be more for my tastes rather than to style.

I think your recipe is closer in style to some type of English Brown Ale.

Now I'm just going on the style description, I havn't had many examples and I havn't brewed one yet but I am planning on it soon.

9B. Scottish Heavy 70/-

Aroma: Low to medium malty sweetness, sometimes accentuated by low to moderate kettle caramelization. Some examples have a low hop aroma, light fruitiness, low diacetyl, and/or a low to moderate peaty aroma (all are optional). The peaty aroma is sometimes perceived as earthy, smoky or very lightly roasted.

Appearance: Deep amber to dark copper. Usually very clear due to long, cool fermentations. Low to moderate, creamy off-white to light tan-colored head.

Flavor: Malt is the primary flavor, but isn’t overly strong. The initial malty sweetness is usually accentuated by a low to moderate kettle caramelization, and is sometimes accompanied by a low diacetyl component. Fruity esters may be moderate to none. Hop bitterness is low to moderate, but the balance will always be towards the malt (although not always by much). Hop flavor is low to none. A low to moderate peaty character is optional, and may be perceived as earthy or smoky. Generally has a grainy, dry finish due to small amounts of unmalted roasted barley.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low to medium body. Low to moderate carbonation. Sometimes a bit creamy, but often quite dry due to use of roasted barley.

Overall Impression: Cleanly malty with a drying finish, perhaps a few esters, and on occasion a faint bit of peaty earthiness (smoke). Most beers finish fairly dry considering their relatively sweet palate, and as such have a different balance than strong Scotch ales.

Comments: The malt-hop balance is slightly to moderately tilted towards the malt side. Any caramelization comes from kettle caramelization and not caramel malt (and is sometimes confused with diacetyl). Although unusual, any smoked character is yeast- or water-derived and not from the use of peat-smoked malts. Use of peat-smoked malt to replicate the peaty character should be restrained; overly smoky beers should be entered in the Other Smoked Beer category (22B) rather than here.

History: Traditional Scottish session beers reflecting the indigenous ingredients (water, malt), with less hops than their English counterparts (due to the need to import them). Long, cool fermentations are traditionally used in Scottish brewing.

Ingredients: Scottish or English pale base malt. Small amounts of roasted barley add color and flavor, and lend a dry, slightly roasty finish. English hops. Clean, relatively un-attenuative ale yeast. Some commercial brewers add small amounts of crystal, amber, or wheat malts, and adjuncts such as sugar. The optional peaty, earthy and/or smoky character comes from the traditional yeast and from the local malt and water rather than using smoked malts.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035 – 1.040
IBUs: 10 – 25 FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 9 – 17 ABV: 3.2 – 3.9%
 
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Ooompa Loompa

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CBBaron said:
Your OG, IBU and srm are all probably hitting the Scottish 70/- style but I don't think this will be much like the style in question.
You should use a clean yeast like US-05 or Scottish Ale Yeast that allows the malt to be accentuated, I think your yeast choices have too much character.
I don't see where brown sugar has a place in the style as it will tend to dry out the beer.
I think you could probably use a little more crystal malt to sweeten the beer and give it more body, but that would be more for my tastes rather than to style.

I think your recipe is closer in style to some type of English Brown Ale.

Now I'm just going on the style description, I havn't had many examples and I havn't brewed one yet but I am planning on it soon.
The reason I listed Muntons or Nottingham Ale yeast is because they are all that are available at my LHBS. But I have been thinking of ordering some stuff from AHS anyway, so I'll order 5 or so packets of US-05 so I have it on hand.

I've never used brown sugar in a recipe before, but I was under the impression that it added a carmalized flavor. I guess I was wrong, so thanks for that. I am going to keep the crystal low though to try to keep it somewhat close to styel.

I too have never had this style before, so I figured it would be fun to give it a try, and try something new.

So here is my updated recipe based on your comments:

5 lbs LME
3 oz roasted barley
4 oz Crystal 60L

.5 oz Pac gem (15% AA) @ 35 min

US-05 yeast

Pro Mash puts me at 1.037 SG, 17.3 IBUs, 14.1 SRM (so I'm still right in line for style)

I do still plan on boiling 1 oz wood chips with this to give it a very light smokey, earthy scent/flavor (BJCP lists this as optional, but it sounds good to me)
 
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Ooompa Loompa

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niquejim said:
Your updated recipe looks OK, BUT you won't get that slightly smokey Scottish flavor without a Scottish yeast. And I wish there was a dry one but there is not:( .
Yea, I know I should just bite the bullet and spend the extra 5 bucks and get the right yeast, and normally I would do that, but I've been spending sooo much money on expensive recipes lately that I need to cut back a little for my next few. I already have the oak chips laying around, so hopefully I get some of that smokey flavor from them. Either way I'm sure it will be beer and it will be tastey, maybe just not quite as much to style as I had hoped.
 

Bearcat Brewmeister

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Scottish ales are hard to make as an extract beer since a lot of the character of the beer comes from a wort that has a lot of unfermentables due to high mashing temperatures and carmelizing. A lot of AG brewers will collect the first runnings (the most concentrated ones) and boil them down to carmelize the sugars. The other thing that helps is a low attenuating yeast, but the other posters have covered that already.

To compensate, use plenty of crystal malt. I would use a pound in your recipe instead of 4 ounces and instead of 60L, I would use half 40L and half 120L. The 40 will lend sweetness and the 120 will be more like toffee and dried fruit (which will go excellent in the style as does your hop choice). And yes, 1/2 40L + 1/2 120L does not equal 1 60L - it is significantly different and in your case, an important difference.

The other thing that could help you out would be to use Laaglander DME in place of your LME if you can find it at your LHBS or on-line in short order (my understanding is that it isn't made any more, so if you can find it, snap it up). It is much lower in fermentables than other extracts and will lend the extra body you need for the style.
 

Dinbin

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Bearcat Brewmeister said:
I would use a pound in your recipe instead of 4 ounces and instead of 60L
+1 on the 1#. 4 oz is way small. I can't see it doing much more then adding color once its mixed up to 5gal.
 
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Ooompa Loompa

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Well, lesson learned on this one. Yeast makes a HUGE difference. The final recipe I went was 5.5 lbs LME, 8 oz crystal 40L, 8 oz crystal 120L, 3 oz roasted barley, 1 oz oak chips added during boil, US-05 yeast. What I did to try and get a more caramalized flavor was I took a half pound of the LME and added a little bit of water, and boiled it for about 2 1/2 hours. I had to add water to it 2 or 3 times because the water boiled out, and it was extremely thick. Then I started the beer as normal. Steeped the grains at 155 degrees for 30 min, added the caramalized and the regular malt extract, brought to a boil, added hops and oak chips and boiled for 35 minutes. Cooled to pitching temps, and pitched the US-05

The thing was the US-05 loved all the sugars in the wort, and I actually got 80% attenuation. So much for the carmalized LME. It finished extremely dry, and I didn't like it too much. So at bottling time I added 8 oz of lactose to sweeten it up. Now it's been bottled for 3 weeks, and I drank a Belhaven Scottish Wee Heavy (for comparison), then I drank my Wee Heavy. I really feel like the flavors are somewhat similar, but mine is just missing the maltiness from the Belhaven. Overall though, not a bad brew, I think the 8 oz of lactose I added really helped it out a lot. But if I were to brew it again I would definately use the correct yeast.

EDIT: I really liked the earthy flavor that adding 1 oz of oak chips to the boil imparted. I got exactly the characteristics I was looking for.
 
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