Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scottish Ale 70/-

A couple session beers I'd like to brew better are light Scottish ales and an Ordinary Bitter. My 1st Scottish Ale was very simple, and turned out quite clean and easy to drink. It was also my first all-grain batch. Last year's Ordinary Bitter was pretty good, but it developed problems with my initial dry/keg hopping, and the small number of bottles developed an infection.

With this Scottish Ale, I wanted to do three things. 1. Keep the ABV low at around 3.5-4%. 2. Give a session beer style some richer flavors. 3. Give the beer some body.

This batch is probably very close to the cheapest batch yet. Only 12.2 lbs of malt, and 1.5 ounces of hops produced 10 gallons of brew. The ABV should come close to 4%.

The recipe is a bit complex, but I think it should produce a fairly clean flavor with some richness. I tried to boost the caramelized flavors by boiling 1.75 gallons of the first mash runnings down to about a half a gallon. This concentrated wort was poured back into the main boil near flame out. I'm hoping for some richness from this procedure as well.

The mash temp was quite high starting at close to 160 and then brought down to 157 for 50 minutes. This should produce a dextrinous wort that's less fermentable, resulting in some residual sweetness and body. Some flaked barley was also added to provide some body.

The hops are kept to a minimum in order to boost the malty core of the beer. A quarter pound of Turbinado sugar was also added to provide a touch of dryness.

I may try a few different packaging strategies. Bottle a couple gallons. Keg 5 gallons. Keg 3 gallons with very light keg hops and served "real" or "cask conditioned" by reversing the dip tubes, inverting the keg and simply opening the faucet & line-in to dispense the brew...never got around to trying it this time around, and finished it at a party in no time flat.

Scottish Ale 70/-

9.0 lbs. British Marris Otter
1.0 lbs. British Crystal 45L
1.0 lbs. British Mild
.75 lbs. Flaked Barley
.25 lbs. British Roasted Barley
.20 lbs. Amer. Chocolate Malt
.25 lbs. Org. Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar

1.5 oz. Willamette, 4.8%, pellet, 90min

Wyeast 1728: Scottish Ale

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 2/6/09
Bottled & Kegged: 2/24/09

Water Adjustment:
Strike: 1.25 tsp CaCl, .75 tsp Acid Blend
2nd Sparge: .75 tsp CaCl, .5 tsp Epsom, .25 Kosher Salt

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.6 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.2
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 157°F/50min
Mash Out Temp/Time: 169°F/vorlauf
1st Batch Vol/SG: 6.65gal/1.052

2nd Batch Sparge H2OTemp/MashTemp: 180°F/174°F
2nd Batch Vol/SG: 6.35gal/1.014

Pre-Boil Vol: 13 gallons
Pre-Boil SG: n/a
Boil Time: Long Boil
Post-Boil Vol: 10 gallons
Mash Efficiency: 85%

OG: 1.040
IBU: 17
Color/SRM: Brown/13-15
Ferment Temp: 59°F

FG: 1.018
ABW: 2.3%
ABV: 2.9%

Cost: $27, .25¢/12oz., $1.52/6-pack

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Deep brown color with some haze that has cleared some with a lot of undisturbed time in the keg, a good light-tan head forms then diminishes to a very small presence of bubbles at the surface, no lacing.
Aroma: Sweet, dark caramel, fruity, hint of chocolate, smallest hint of vanilla.
Taste: A good amount of flavor for a brew at only 2.9% (met my expectation), sweet fruity and carmelized sugar flavors with a touch of roast, bitterness is low and just enough.
Mouthfeel: Light
Aftertaste: A sort-of tart finish (perhaps from the concentrated boil), so it doesn't finish as clean as I'd like.
Drinkability: Very high, it's very light, but has a moderate amount of flavor, easy to drink, and the color throws off a lot of first glance it looks deep and roasty/chocolatey, but it's more fruity and light.
Overall: A good session ale, however, I'd probably skip the concentrated boil because it's adding some tart off flavors a detracting from the cleanliness. Perhaps this boil method, not done so extremely, would accent a stronger beer better.


Ben said...

Loving the cost... Good idea on carmelizing the wort. Let us know how it turns out. This may be a technique i'll try if it turns out good for you.

Slovak Brewer said...

I brewed a /70 last year and just did an extra long boil. Your method makes much more sense and frankly super obvious. I will rebrew in the future using your boil method.

Anonymous said...

This sounds darn tasty, and I've been very interested with the idea of switching the tubes and inverting the keg to gain a cask "feel". Looking forward to hearing how it turns out.

Ted Danyluk said...

Ben, I love the low cost too. To make a light session ale taste extremely good is the next goal. When its both super cheap & super tasty, its a super win-win.

Slovak Brewer, I don't remember where I read about this technique. So far the wort and fermenting beer smells ok.

One off scent was from the second pot of wort. There were 2 slight boil-ups which may have scalded the wet spent hops. I smelled an ever extracted (at very hot temp) black tea aroma which I wasn't too happy about. I'll definitely give updates and a review of the brew.

Ted Danyluk said...

Adam, me too. Can't wait to try it out. I'll have you over to for a pint when it's ready.

Vivek said...

That looks great. One thing I've found that goes a long way in one of these is a touch of brown malt; it really adds some nice complexity to the roast profile.

Ted Danyluk said...

Vivek, good thinking. I like it. Good suggestion. I'll be brewing a double dark Scottish Ale next, and just happen to have a bit of Brown malt hanging around. I'll now, probably throw it in to the mix. Cheers.

Slovak Brewer said...

Ted, got your comment about the Pils. I would definitely like to try your lagers. That Czech Pils was my first attempt at a Lager. At the moment I have a Maibock fermenting away.

Ryan said...

Hey, cool site, just came across it recently

The method you took this time (boiling down 1st runnings) is how McEwans does their 60schilling

I tried it on the last wee heavy I did, and it was fantastic, gave it a beautiful red color and a mouthfeel that I can only describe as chewy

BTW, I hope you dont mind, but I added a link to your site from mine