Wee Heavy

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Pappers_

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I'm brewing a Strong Scotch Ale, a Wee Heavy, later this week. Any thoughts, advice, comments or questions are welcome! Here's the info copy-and-pasted from BrewSmith:

Wee Heavy V 3.0
Strong Scotch Ale
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.50 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: Pot and Cooler (10 Gal/37.8 L) - All Grain
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 % (I set this lower than normal, as I tend to get lower efficiency with bigger beers)
Final Bottling Volume: 5 gal


Ingredients

21 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 88.0 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2 4.2 %
1 lbs Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.2 %
8.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.1 %
4.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.0 %
1.9 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 6 0.5 %
0.50 oz Magnum [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 14.4 IBUs
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 8 14.5 IBUs
1 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 9 -
Repitch of Wyeast Scottish yeast cake from a pale ale (harvest less than a week prior to repitching and saved in the fridge)

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.094
Est Final Gravity: 1.029
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.6 %
Bitterness: 28.9 IBUs
Est Color: 19.5 SRM

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Mash Temp Target: 158 F
Sparge Water: 3.91 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 33.04 qt of water at 172.7 F 158.0 F 45 min
 

Oginme

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I kind of think of Melanoidin and Aromatic malt as being very close in flavor and have often swapped one for the other depending upon my inventory. I'd switch one out (Melanoidin) for a mid range crystal (40L or 60L). Other than that, it looks pretty good!
 
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Pappers_

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I kind of think of Melanoidin and Aromatic malt as being very close in flavor and have often swapped one for the other depending upon my inventory. I'd switch one out (Melanoidin) for a mid range crystal (40L or 60L). Other than that, it looks pretty good!
Thanks, I'll think about that. I was wondering about breaking the crystal malts in half, doing a 60 or 80L in addition to the 120L.
 

madcowbrewing

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Boil size at 8.5 gallons and batch size of 5.5? Are you boiling longer then the 60 minutes stated? You could get some nice caramelizing from a longer boil.
 

Brew_Dude41

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Boil size at 8.5 gallons and batch size of 5.5? Are you boiling longer then the 60 minutes stated? You could get some nice caramelizing from a longer boil.
I have seen many recipes call for the first runnings to be boiled down to a syrup. Is part of the plan as well as a longer boil?
 

lumpher

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Maybe a 120 minute boil to caramelize, start hopping at 60, and as suggested, switch the melanoidin for crystal 60 to add some good maltiness. I'd also mash at 154-156, not 158
 
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Pappers_

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Boil size at 8.5 gallons and batch size of 5.5? Are you boiling longer then the 60 minutes stated? You could get some nice caramelizing from a longer boil.
This is where I've dialed it in for the brewing system I use. If I start with 8.5 gallons preboil, I end up with 6 gallons in the brew kettle after a one hour boil and 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.
 

thaymond

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Definitely boil at least a gallon to a syrup. It makes a huge difference! My wee heavy recipe calls for it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

madcowbrewing

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This is where I've dialed it in for the brewing system I use. If I start with 8.5 gallons preboil, I end up with 6 gallons in the brew kettle after a one hour boil and 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.
2.5 gallons lost in the boil in one hour? I also boiled off what I thought was too much when I was burning off 1.5 gallons in an hour, so I dialed it back to not waste the propane and materials in the beer. You must have your flame cranked way up.
 
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2.5 gallons lost in the boil in one hour? I also boiled off what I thought was too much when I was burning off 1.5 gallons in an hour, so I dialed it back to not waste the propane and materials in the beer. You must have your flame cranked way up.
Not really, its a boil but not a huge rolling boil, I dial down the flame (natural gas Blichman) quite a bit.
 
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KeninMN

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I have seen many recipes call for the first runnings to be boiled down to a syrup. Is part of the plan as well as a longer boil?
The advice I've seen is to boil one gallon of the first runnings down to a syrup. The alternative is to use crystal malts.

In theory, you can brew a great example of the style by using only base malt, some roasted barley for color (less than 3%), and an extensive boil. The extensive boil is to develop malt flavors that are a key component to the style. Judges will expect some caramel flavors and aromas in wee heavy and you can develop them through extended boiling. The best way, if you want to try it, is to boil down one gallon (4 L) of first runnings until it is thick and syrupy. While you will develop some caramel flavors by boiling for an extended time, it can be hit or miss. Often there is not enough caramel flavor or the flavor that develops is more toffee-like and judges think the beer has a diacetyl problem.

So, the easiest and most consistent way to get the proper caramel character is the use of crystal malt. Allocating 5-10% of the grist for crystal malt should add the right character. I prefer to split the crystal malts into a couple different color ranges. Lighter color crystal malts add sweeter caramel notes, mid-color crystal adds more caramel flavor, and dark crystal adds some raisin notes. The beer should have a rich color, so a touch of highly kilned malts, such as roasted barley can add a hint of balancing dryness and the depth of color that judges are looking for.
Emphasis mine.

Source: https://byo.com/bock/item/2890-strong-scotch-ale-style-profile
 
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