Wednesday, February 25, 2009

stay on target... Stay on TARGET....

So, the final installment in my Scottish ale series is nearly time. The new revised plan is to pitch the Scotch ale (wee heavy) on the cake of the 80/- which will be ready to keg on Friday. I am feeling some uncertainty at this point thus the following ramblings. Perhaps posting my thoughts will help to solidify my process. Not that anyone will read it, but just the fact that someone could read it will perhaps whip things into a more definite plan.

With the realization that this big brew is looming I have reviewed my progress thus far again. Looking back I realize that I did not pay attention to the grists ratios so much. I started to calculate the wee heavy and I realized I have used 2% roasted barley on each of the earlier brews. What does that mean? Well, I am not sure. I have read that 1% is a good amount when taking this simple grist approach, i.e. pale malt, roast barley and kettle caramelization. My very first brew the 60/- turned out really well with the 2%. Which being a small brew would seem to suggest that it was not too great an amount. I mean, if any of the brews would show too much roast character it would be the lightest I would think. No, what got me thinking was the 70/-. It shows a bit more roast character and has a character that is not quite as appealing as the 60/-. I have yet to determine what. Could merely be age. So I find myself sticking to 1% on this recipe though that will make me deviate from the others in the series.

It is necessary of course to change certain aspects as the gravity rises. I have a bit of trepidation about pitching onto the 80/- cake as well. It should be no problem if all has gone well. It is really only the 3rd generation (I think?) of this yeast (first the 60/- then a starter from washed yeast into the 80/- then this one) and each brew has been relatively small and very low hop rates. I will take a hydrometer reading tomorrow and taste taste of the 80/-. If anything jumps out as being wicked funky I suppose I can always postpone the brew and build a big healthy starter from the remaining washed yeast.

The other change I am thinking of making is in the hopping schedule. I am looking at an OG of around 1.082 or so (still fiddling with the amounts) so I am considering 2 hop additions. I do not really want to add hop flavor per se but perhaps some more hop presence to counter all this malt. So I am thinking 1 oz. of goldings at 60 then a quarter or so at 45 minutes. Should not really add flavor so much but I am hoping add some edge to help balance.

Okay, well, back to the brew preparations for now.

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