I got the batch of Scootin’ Scottie Ale and the Mutt batch bottled back on Saturday 2/12. Finally getting around to posting some pics below.
I taste tested and took the gravity of each batch. The Scottie finished within target, at about 7.1 brix or 1.012. This means that since the Scottie’s specific gravity started at 1.057, the ABV comes to just about 6.1%. I’d been taste-testing it along the way as it fermented down, and it really finished off crisp but full-bodied compared to where it started. I’m very, very pleased, even just tasting it before it was carbonated. I might like this batch more than my Off-leash Coffee Stout (which got some great verbal feedback at a recent homebrew club meeting recently, by the way — more on that in a future post).
After tasting the Mutt, I’ve decided to re-christen it “Mutt Lite.” Man, did it ever taste like warm Bud Lite! Yuck!! I mean, maybe friends who don’t like good beer will like it. It started at 1.032 and finished at 1.005, making it 3.5% ABV.
Finally, at the very bottom you’ll find some pics of my ever-growing beer cellar.
Fermentation finally cooled off on the Scottie this past weekend. It had been almost three solid weeks since brew day. I guess this is just a characteristic of the Edinburgh Scottish yeast strain? Anyone else out there experience long fermentations with this yeast? Is it because they recommend fermenting with this yeast at 60-65* (as I did)? Somebody clue me in please.
I took a hydrometer reading Saturday and it came in at 7.25-7.5 brix, which equates to 1.012-1.014 FG, the target FG for this recipe. Once I transferred to secondary, I decided to experiment with the practice of “cold-crashing.” Cold-crashing is where you bring the recently fermented beer down to near-freezing temperatures in the secondary fermenter in order to cause a greater amount of yeast cells to shutdown and drop out of solution. The more yeast you can get to flocculate and drop to the bottom of the fermenter, the clearer your finished-product will be.
Though “clear” isn’t necessarily a defining characteristic of a dark beer, it should be clear to the extent you could see through it when you hold it up to the light. What I mean by this is that dark beer shouldn’t necessarily be hazy. A lack of haze is what I’m going for here. (more…)
I checked the gravity of my Scootin’ Scottie Ale (Scottish 80 /- Export) this past weekend. After two straight weeks, fermentation had finally calmed down. The airlock was bubbling once every 7 to 9 seconds (the airlock had been bubbling once every 4 to 5 seconds for the first 10 days), so I figured it might be time to transfer the batch to secondary. I took a refractometer reading this past Sunday 1/30 that came in at about 9 brix or a little over what I’m shooting for. That equates to a gravity reading of roughly 1.024 – 1.020, where I’m actually looking for 1.014 to 1.012 for this style.
On Tuesday night 2/1, I snagged another sample out of the carboy and the brix reading came in at 8.0-8.5, which is 1.017-1.020. It’s arguably moved down a bit, but the airlock is bubbling once every 9-11 seconds now, so I’m concerned fermentation is stalling right near the end. The fact that it just got a bit colder outside again (and colder in the house) didn’t help either, as the batch got down to about 58*, a few too low for this yeast strain. (more…)
Have you ever seen a Scottie dog scoot? Pretty funny… or gross, depending on if you’re the owner of the carpet. Anyway, while looking around at options for my next batch of beer, I had originally intended to do a sweeter style brown ale, as I’d had a few really good exemplars of the style over the holidays. I got distracted by a slightly different style though after reading around a bit. I’m not a HUGE fan of lagers (I find ales more flavorful, generally) and I already have one lager “lagering,” but I also would like to still try and take advantage of the ambient temps I can find in my Minnesota home in the dead of winter. Solution? A Scottish 80/- Export (the 80/- means 80 shillings, which is how much a beer of this style and alcoholic strength was taxed when it was popular a few hundred years ago — 80 shillings). This strength of Scottish Ale was often the strength sold to other countries, hence “export” in the name.
The yeast used by this style of ale is a perfect match to the ambient temps in my house right now. Primary needs 60-65*, which I can easily find in my basement, and secondary needs 35-45* which I can easily find in the closet next to my garage.
I knew I liked this type of beer because I bought a six pack of Odell’s 90 Shilling last summer and the taste has stuck in my mind ever since. Big fan of how smooth and flavorful it was. A nice alternative to IPA’s in my opinion. Completely different… but so completely different that it’s as interesting (even for a fan of IPAs) to try.
Base malt: 11 lbs domestic 2-row
Specialty: 4 oz Biscuit, 8 oz Caramel 40L, 8 oz Chocolate Malt, 2 oz Special B, 1 oz Peat malt (pre-mixed)
Hops: 1/2 oz Challenger, 1 oz. Fuggles (U.S.)
Yeast: White Labs Edinburgh Ale Yeast WLP028