Strong Scotch Ale

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DiscoFetus

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Ok, so I just downloaded Beertools...really enjoying it. Toying around with some recipes and came up with this. Just looking for thoughts and opinions It calls within the guidelines for this classification, or at least Beertools says it does.

Strong Scotch Ale
yield: 5g
Extract and Grains

6 lbs dark LME
3 lbs light DME
.75 lbs caramel malt 10L
.25 lbs American chocolate malt
1 lb light brown sugar
1 oz Tettnanger 4.5% (60 mins)
.5 oz Tettnanger 4.5% (30 mins)
.5 oz Pride of Ringwood 8.5% (10 mins)
WLP033 (Klassic Ale Yeast)

Boil time 1.5 hrs
OG: 1.082
TG: 1.020
Color 23.3 SRM
IBU: 29.28
ABV: 8.12%

Any suggestions for primers? Stick to dextrose, or maybe DME? :ban:
 

Bearcat Brewmeister

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If you don't mind some recommendations, I would try the following:

--Add a small amount of dark Crystal (120L) or Belgian Special B to lend the plum/raisin flavor that is present in many versions. Half a pound will do. Perhaps you are trying to get this characteristic through the use of brown sugar. I am not sure how that would work - you would get the molasses-type flavor, but the sugar will ferment out and add thinness which doesn't help, so I would bag it for Crystal 120 and some DME. It is hard enough trying to make an extract version of malty beers since you can't control fermentability through a high mash temperature and adding any sugar would seem counterprodutive to me (anyone who has done comparisons of extract Scotch Ale recipes using a brown sugar version to those substituting dark crystal and some extra DME to compensate please feel free to correct my opinion - it is not based on experience, just gut feel). Maybe do both - cut the brown sugar by half AND add some Crystal 120 and a hair of DME. For a Scotch Ale, the more complexity to the maltiness and residual sweetness, the better.
--The 5 minute hop addition seems a bit high. Hop aroma and flavor should be virtually non-existant in a Scotch Ale. I would cut it by 2/3 or eliminate it completely.
--I would ferment at the low end of the temperature. You want to make sure you keep some residual sweetness.

The 30 minute addition is interesting since you will not get full bittering out of it and the flavor contribution is minimal, which is appropriate for the style. I would personally split it and move some to 90 and the rest to 20, but I am curious how this turns out for you. I may try it sometime as well.

Also, how did you score the yeast? White Labs lists that under Professional Strains. Good specs for the style. I used to use WLP028, but recently switched to Wyeast 1728 since it can be fermented lower temperatures which I have found benefit the style.
 
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DiscoFetus

DiscoFetus

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Thanks for the advice, I'll be adjusting. I don't have the ingredients yet, I have tendency to develop recipes and adjust based on whats hanging around the LHBS. That happened to be in the BeerTools database and seemed to work. The shop owner might be able to order it in, who knows. Thanks for the input!
 

KiltLifter

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+1 on the special B but 1/2 lb seems like a bit much in 5 gal.

You might consider 4-6oz of peated malt (4 if the grain jumps out at you, 6 if you have to get close to smell it)

+1 on the 1728, I like WLP028 Edinburgh as well.
 

Bearcat Brewmeister

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KiltLifter said:
+1 on the special B but 1/2 lb seems like a bit much in 5 gal.

You might consider 4-6oz of peated malt (4 if the grain jumps out at you, 6 if you have to get close to smell it)

+1 on the 1728, I like WLP028 Edinburgh as well.
True enough on the Special B. I guessed at the amount then looked at my recipes I have made. The most I have ever used is .4 pounds in a 5.5 gallon batch. I use that much in an all-grain version and boil down first quart or two of runnings by over half to carmelize and it isn't too overpowering.

On peated malt, I can't say I am quite on board with you. Jamil had a good discussion on this for his Scottish podcast. The use of peated malt is not really true to style - the slight smokiness should come from the yeast. Now we all know that we use all sorts of grains to duplicate the Scottish flavor that should really only come from base malt and a bit of roasted barley plus carmelization, so I can see where the use of peated malt came into the style. I think the problem is that "peatiness" is listed in the style guidelines and the use of peated malt to achieve this has gone a bit overboard. I have tried 4 ounces in a Scottish once and personally found it almost undrinkale - everyone's taste will vary. If you want to try it and have never used it before, I would try 2 ounces at most - a better safe than sorry strategy.
 

TexLaw

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I tend to agree with leaving the peated malt out. I've had one peated Scottish ale that I thought was good, and that one used just the tiniest bit. All the others taste somewhat artificial or just plain weird. It's a very, very difficult balance to strike, even if you understand the style inside and out.


TL
 

KiltLifter

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You're right, smoke is an acquired taste and overdoing it is easy. Until you have done a few, it's hard to judge the peated malt you get (I taste it before I set the amount). I like when it is in there, but you have to point it out for most folks to notice it. You could do a little peated tea for some of the bottles (I assume bottles because of the priming) just to see if it's for you.

Whatever you do, a Wee Heavy is a great beer. If you can get lighter beer drinker to try it (the color scares them) they usually like it.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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I recently used a whole pound of Special B, plus a 1lb of Crystal-65L, and 1lb of dark brown sugar. (plus 8lbs of base extract).

I was going for something strong, but very fruity and flavorful, but not extremely bitter. The end result was very tasty. That Special-B really adds a ton of flavor, especially at the amount I used.
 
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DiscoFetus

DiscoFetus

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I knew peat was used in whisky's but I didn't realize there was a peated malt until you guys mentioned it. I was considering smoke flavor, but thought that oak might be more useful. At the same time I didn't want to overwhelm the palate with different flavors.

The peat tea is interesting during priming. Steep peated malt in water, or in the priming solution?
 

KiltLifter

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I wouldn't add it to the priming solution. I usually add the priming solution to the carboy, so it would be hard to split it.

For the tea, I'd steep it long enough to pasteurize it (20 mins @160?) so you don't add any nasties.

Heck, you could make a tiny tea and add a wee bit to a commercial brew to see if you like it. It won't be exactly the same, but it may help you decide before you make 5 gallons that you won't like.

In my experience, both oak and peat take a while to mellow, so if you drink it after only 3 weeks, it may be harsh. Stash a few and try them in 6 months.
 

budbo

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I couldn't imagine a good wee heavy without a wee bit of Peated, my standard recipie uses 2 oz it balances nicely much more than that In my opinion adds too much smoke.. not adding any takes away from the complexity of the flavor.
 
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DiscoFetus

DiscoFetus

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Cool cool guys. Thanks a lot. I'll post the adjusted recipe soon.
 

Jayfro21

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I just wanted to make sure that people know that Scotch Ale and Scottish Ale are 2 different types of beer.
 

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