I have a mixed relationship with beer styles. As much as I think they stifle creativity, and convince people to brew/drink beers that don't suit their tastes perfectly, they are also a wonderful guide to which combinations of malts, hops, yeasts, and techniques have been found to work.
Rather than start off every batch with a completely original thought or with my target set squarely on one of the 74 styles recognized by the BJCP (not counting the six "open" categories), sometimes I take an established style and give it a twist. This might take the form of swapping the hops (Riwaka-hopped hefeweizen) or changing the yeast strain (barleywine second-runnings lager). For this batch I made a second attempt at a concept I first brewed a few years ago, a Scottish ale with extra roasted barley, a 90 Shilling Stout.
I'm trying to be better about noting exactly which malts are used in my recipes. In some cases the maltster-to-maltster differences are quite significant in terms of color and flavor. I happened to have one pound of a few different versions of roasted barley on hand, so Scott and I had a tasting to pick which ones we wanted to use. We opted for mostly Muntons, along with a bit of Weyermann for its sharper, more acrid notes. The Briess was too pale and mellow for this beer.
In addition to the changes to grain bill yeast (ECY Scottish Heavy previously), the only other significant alteration from the first batch was the addition of a small amount of oak to the primary fermentor. When oak is exposed to fermentation (compared to oak aging) an additional flavor compound is created. In On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee describes furfurylthiol as having a coffee-like flavor. Hopefully this add a bit of the rustic charm that the Traquair House beers absorb from primary fermentation in ancient oak vats.
Expect tasting notes shortly as this one has already been on tap for nearly a month.
Scottish Stout #2
Batch Size (Gal): 10.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 23.75
Anticipated OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 32.9
Anticipated IBU: 23.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71 %
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes
86.3% - 20.50 lbs. Maris Otter
4.2% - 1.00 lbs. Muntons Roasted Barley
1.1% - 0.25 lbs. Weyermann Roasted Barley
4.2% - 1.00 lbs. Simpsons Carastan Malt
4.2% - 1.00 lbs. Crisp Crystal 75L
1.50 oz. Perle (Whole, 8.85% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 tsp. Yeast Nutrient @15 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
0.75 oz. Medium Toast French Oak 17 days (primary)
WYeast 1728 Scottish Ale
Profile: Washington, DC
Sacch Rest - 60 min @ 156 F
12/28/13 3 L stir-plate starter made with 2 month old yeast pack, started quickly.
Brewed 12/29/13 with Scott in the rain.
2 g of CaCl added to both the mash and batch sparge.
Boil 1.5 gallons of first runnings down to a syrup, ~1/2 gallon.
Added back to the rest of the wort at flame-out.
60 seconds pure O2 after chilling to 65 F.
Added steamed honeycomb oak to primary. Left at 60 F ambient to ferment.
1/14/14 Kegged and hooked up to gas. FG 1.017 (72% AA, 5.6% ABV)
2/13/14 Tasting notes. The caramel flavor from the malt gave it much of what the first batch was lacking. The body is fuller as well, but it could still be a bit thicker. Maybe some flaked grain next time around?