Monday, February 7, 2011

90 Shilling Scottish Stout Recipe

Reducing the first runnings from the Scottish Stout on the stove.
There are some style kinks that seem obvious, but are overlooked by craft brewers and homebrewers alike.  One of the "in" wrinkles the last few years has been making dark beers that don't fall in the standard porter/stout sub-categories; new styles (recognized or not) have emerged like Black IPA, and Belgian Stout.  A few months ago I had a bottle of Belhaven Scottish Stout and wondered, "Why didn't I think of that?"  The combination of a rich caramelly Scotch ale with additional roast seems so natural (compared to dark wits anyway), the roasty bitterness helping to counter the sweetness of a modestly hopped wee heavy and adding a smooth roast coffee complexity.

The result of the long boil was a syrup pretty close in appearance to Dark LME.
I've made Scottish ales (at both session and wee heavy strengths) always following the "modern" recipe scheme, getting the caramelized sugar flavor by adding crystal/caramel malts to the mash.  For this batch I wanted to take a more "traditional" route, using only pale malt (Maris Otter) and roasted barley, and relying on boiling down the first runnings to provide the caramel notes and residual sweetness.  My procedure was to take the first gallon of wort I collected and boil it on my stove while I continued to run off the rest of the wort for the main boil.  By the time the 75 minute main boil was completed the first runnings had reduced to three cups of thick sugary syrup (I had read the runnings should be boiled down to one cup, but at three cups the bottom of the pot was starting to char). 

In true Scottish style the small dose of bittering hops will provide some balance, but allow the malt sweetness to take the lead.  I got slightly better efficiency than I anticipated due to the extra gallon of wort I collected to compensate for the two boils, the result was a starting gravity .010 higher than I had planned.  I pitched the Scottish Heavy strain from East Coast Yeast, but I'd suspect the White Labs or Wyeast  Scottish strains would be equally good choices.  The strain I used is supposed to be more attenuative (77-80%) compared to the other two (WLP028: 70-75% and WY1728: 69-73%), so you might want to reduce the mash temp by a few degrees to compensate if you use another yeast.

90 Shilling Stout

With the syrup added back to the rest of the wort I racked to the fermenter.Recipe Specifics
---------------------
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.63
Anticipated OG: 1.064
Anticipated SRM: 29.9
Anticipated IBU: 23.9
Brewhouse Efficiency: 79 %
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain
------
94.6% - 11.00 lbs. Maris Otter
5.4% - 0.63 lbs. English Roasted Barley

Hops
------
1.38 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet, 4.75% AA) @ 60 min.

Extras
-------
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
0.50 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.

Yeast
------
East Coast Yeast ECY07 Scottish Heavy

Water Profile
--------------
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
----------------
Sacch 60 min @ 155

Notes
-----
Brewed 1/17/11 with Devin

Mash pH 5.5 at room temp without any water adjustments.

Year old hops adjusted down from 5.2% AA.

Caramelized 1 gallon of 1.080 first runnings down to 3 cups or so. Slightly burned onto the bottom of the pot.

Collected 6.75 gallon of 1.043 runnings. A bit more gravity than expected considering that doesn't include the caramelized gallon.

Weak boil since I was low on gas. Added the caramelized runnings right at the end of the boil.  Chilled to 64 F. ~1/2 gallon left over in the bucket that didn't make it to the fermenter. Pitched the yeast straight from the vial, 2 weeks since production, and left at 63 F ambient to get fermenting.

1/28/11 Racked to a keg with 2.5 oz of cane sugar. Gravity down to 1.018, (72% AA) might drop a few more points. There was a bit of thick krausen still hanging around.

4/20/11 Smooth roast, and a complex woody yeast character, happy with how this one turned out.

---------------------
Belhaven Scottish Stout: "The Stout is brewed using crystal malt (1%), chocolate malt (5%), roast barley (4%) and white malt (90%)."

8 comments:

twigboy2000 said...

Having a thing for Wee Heavy, I'm going to have to try this. My Wee Heavy has always been a fairly complexy grist as well and I'm interested in a comparison.

Maybe sub Pearl or Golden Promise for the MO.

-chuck

Adrian Avgerinos said...

Hopefully Ron and Martyn don't read your blog or they may have something to say about your historical commentary. ;)

For those that don’t know (since I’m sure you do, Mike):

1) Generally speaking, Scottish brewers made the same types of bitters, milds, porters, and stouts found in England. Ergo Scottish Stout is a typical stout brewed on Scottish land.

2) Hops were not hard to come by and were used in similar quantities as their English counterparts.

3) Scottish Ale means beer brewed in Scotland. Scotch Ale was a name for a strong Scottish Ale brewed similar to Burton Ale (strong, moderately hopped, no roast flavors). Wee Heavy was a Scotch Ale sold in a nip bottle.

4) The shilling system only told the strength of the beer since beer was taxed that way back then. You could buy a 90 shilling porter or a 90 shilling pale ale.

5) The notion that Scottish Ales must contain a specific caramel flavor is an American homebrew invention. Again, in most cases Scottish beers are just the English beers we know but brewed in Scotland. Save for a few oddball artisan breweries like Traquair House, there has been no evidence showing breweries like McEwan and Younger’s making caramel syrup from their wort.

6) In the early to mid 19th century Scotch ale was pale. In the late 19th and then into the 20th century Scotch ale turned into a darker product. Color usually came mostly from sugar and maybe a little crystal malt.

7) At least you didn’t mention peated malt. ;)

I propose these caramelized ales with a touch of roasted barley be called something new to capitalize on the American home brewers who have created this style: American Caramel Ale. We can lump in the other American home brewer invention with it, Irish Red Ale.

That said, I do sympathize with your decision to call it a 90 Shilling Scottish Stout. To any American home brewer who is familiar with the BJCP guidelines it’s a very succinct way of saying, “I made a typical stout but boiled down the wort first to create a caramel like flavor without using crystal malt.”

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

So what do you call the lower gravity versions of Scotch ale and Wee Heavy? There are Scottish breweries that use the numbered “Shilling” designation by itself to refer to a particular sort of sweetish low hopped beer (for example: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/148/11436 and http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/12142/52084 ). That isn’t to say that in the past the Shilling denotation wasn’t about taxes, that is the historical source for the naming convention, but it isn’t how it is used currently. Similarly plenty of Scottish breweries sell beers called Wee Heavy in regular bottles.

I don’t know the history well enough to argue about when and how much kettle caramelization was part of different examples before/after the advent of crystal malt. Before the invention of steam kettles the direct fire heating would have caused the development of more of these sorts of burnt sugar flavors.

Agreed on the peated malt.

Adrian Avgerinos said...

“So what do you call the lower gravity versions of Scotch ale and Wee Heavy?”

Do you mean Scottish Scotch Ales or the American interpretation of them? Either way, I’d probably call it a brown or amber ale. Or just a Scotch ale since gravities during WW2 were pretty low on all British beer including the strong ones.

“That isn’t to say that in the past the Shilling denotation wasn’t about taxes, that is the historical source for the naming convention, but it isn’t how it is used currently.”

My point was simply that the shilling thing doesn’t universally define a beer of Scottish origin unless you’re talking in BJCP terms. I’m sure there are a number of Scottish breweries that use the shilling thing to name their beers for marketing purposes. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those contemporary Scottish sourced brews with shilling names have only come on the market in the last few years to capitalize on the craft/micro brewing phenomenon that exploded in this country in the last 20 years. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess.


“Similarly plenty of Scottish breweries sell beers called Wee Heavy in regular bottles.”

Oh, I know that. I’ve got a bottle of Alesmith Wee Heavy my “cellar”. I was just putting that tidbit in there to explain the “wee” part.

“Before the invention of steam kettles the direct fire heating would have caused the development of more of these sorts of burnt sugar flavors.”

Probably, though not to the same degree as what you’ve created.

Jorge - Brew Beer And Drink It said...

I don't know the history of Scotch brewing enough, but Ray Daniels cites W.H. Roberts book "The Scottish Ale Brewer and Practical Maltster"... he talks about English-brewed Scotch ales using "white" malts and added black malt to get color... and he deducted from that, that pale malts from Scotland were darker than English malts.

These beers have a caramel flavor that neither pale malt or black malt has... so caramelization has to come from somewhere...

...maybe it comes from malting alone?

Otherwise it has to come from an extended boil like Traquair uses...

Adrian Avgerinos said...

“…and he deducted from that, that pale malts from Scotland were darker than English malts.”

Seems like a bit of a leap to me considering the English were doing the exact same thing. The lighter the malt the better the yield. It’s the main reason Porter went from 100% brown malt to a mixture of brown, pale, and black.

“These beers have a caramel flavor that neither pale malt or black malt has... so caramelization has to come from somewhere...”

I agree, however, you can’t take +200 years of modern brewing history and condense it like that. *Today’s* Scotch Ales have pronounced caramel flavor. I’ve seen no evidence that indicates this holds true in the past. We can assume a lot of things, but so far I’ve seen no reference to the Scottish using brewing ingredients or methods different from the English.

Nato said...

I used to be a grammar freak, and would get upset when people mixed up who and whom. I then took a class about linguistics, and learned how words and meanings constantly change over time.

Words are simply for conveying meaning. I understood immediately what a 90/- stout was, even though neither you, nor your beer are Scottish, or taxed at 90/-.

It doesn't really matter what historic beers were like. I mean, wits used to be really sour, look at Hoegaarden.

In other news, Dutch ovens aren't really Dutch.

Brewing Booth said...

Whoa...totally late to the party here since I was following a 2013 post from Mike, but +1 to Nato and +1 to Mike for not getting drawn into a 200 year old argument.

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