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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: tygo on March 21, 2010, 05:59:19 PM

Title: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on March 21, 2010, 05:59:19 PM
I'm planning on doing a Wee Heavy in the next month or so and I'm working up the recipe.  Here's what I have so far:

Recipe: The Burial Chair
Brewer: Tygo
Asst Brewer:
Style: Strong Scotch Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 4.50 gal      
Boil Size: 8.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.118 SG
Estimated Color: 18.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 29.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
18.00 lb      Pale Malt, Maris Otter (4.0 SRM)          Grain        80.90 %      
4.00 lb       Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        17.98 %      
0.25 lb       Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)                Grain        1.12 %        
1.50 oz       Fuggles [4.50 %]  (90 min)                Hops         23.8 IBU      
0.50 oz       Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %]  (25 min)    Hops         5.2 IBU      
0.50 gm       Salt (Boil 15.0 min)                      Misc                      
0.50 tsp      Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 min)            Misc                      
1.00 items    Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)          Misc                      
2.00 gm       Baking Soda (Mash 60.0 min)               Misc                      
4.00 gm       Chalk (Mash 60.0 min)                     Misc                      
1 Pkgs        Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728)          Yeast-Ale                  


Mash Schedule: Batch Sparge Mash
Total Grain Weight: 22.25 lb
----------------------------

Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp    
60 min        Mash In            Add 28.00 qt of water at 187.6 F    154.0 F      
0 min         Temperature Adjust Add 4.35 qt of water at 154.0 F     154.0 F      
0 min         Sparge             Add 18.00 qt of water at 175.7 F    160.0 F      


I'm going to pull a gallon of the first runnings off and boil it down and then add it back into the boil.  

I was reading through the chapter in Designing Great Beers on Scotch and Scottish Ales and Daniels recommends a mash temp of 156 or higher.  I'm a little leery going that high with a beer this big.  He states that one of his better Strong Scotch Ales had an OG of 1.090 and a FG of 1.040 which is a way higher FG than what I think I'm going for.  I'm thinking of shooting for more in the range of 1.030 as a FG and the OG of this one is a good bit higher than 1.090.

I'm planning on pitching this on top of the yeast cake from a  5 gallon batch of 70/- I'm making as a starter beer for this and holding the fermentation temp down around 60F.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on March 23, 2010, 12:24:59 PM
This is more of a Way Heavy than a Wee Heavy!  ;)    Ingredients look fine. If you don't already have the base malt in your stock, give Golden Promise a try. How far were you going to boil the 1st gallon? Don't know if the whirlfloc is necessary or not in this beer.

156 on the mash is definitely on the upper end for a beer this big, IMO. Skotrat's Traquair House clone I brew is pegged at 154 and its OG is 1.088  

Big starter . . check  

62-65 on ferment temps . . check

I'd love to taste this one!  :)    
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on March 23, 2010, 01:35:30 PM
I like to push the limits  ;)

I was planning on boiling the gallon of first running down until I got scared  :).  The consistency I had in mind was thick syrup.  I'm working through a sack of MO right now so I'll be using that.  Whirlfloc probably isn't necessary but I figured it can't hurt.  I throw one into every batch.

Thanks for the comments!  I'm definitely thinking that I'll be sticking with a mash temp around 154 for this.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: redbeerman on March 24, 2010, 04:39:39 PM
MO will work well for this and the first gallon of runnings down to syrup is classic and will give you the character you are looking for.  May even warrant a run down to Sterling to check it out! ;)
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on May 02, 2010, 08:53:19 PM
Brewed this one today.  OG 1.121.  The hydrometer sample tasted awesome. :)  Now the waiting starts.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: redbeerman on May 02, 2010, 11:41:08 PM
Holy cow, this may be a wee bit too heavy, but I'll bet it turns out good.  Let us know in a few months.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on May 03, 2010, 12:54:28 AM
It'll definitely be a sippin beer.  As long as the yeasties can get it done I think this one is going to turn out great.  I gave them a good pep talk before pitching and they seemed up to the challenge.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: bonjour on May 03, 2010, 01:03:25 PM
Seems a bit light in base malt  ;) I usually use 28 lbs for 5 gallons.
What did you mash at?  That is critical in a beer of this size.  I usually mash my 1.120-1.150 OG wee heavies at 148-149F and get a FG in the 1.030's

The other key is to ferment cool and to aerate well.

Fred
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on May 03, 2010, 01:29:10 PM
Seems a bit light in base malt  ;) I usually use 28 lbs for 5 gallons.

This is a trial run.  We'll see what happens the next time I brew it.   ;)


What did you mash at?  That is critical in a beer of this size.  I usually mash my 1.120-1.150 OG wee heavies at 148-149F and get a FG in the 1.030's

The other key is to ferment cool and to aerate well.

Fred

I mashed it at 151.  I debated going lower but in the end decided not to because I didn't want to risk over attenuating it.  Hopefully it won't finish up too excessively high. 

It's sitting in the chest freezer at 60-62 degrees and I aerated with about a minute of pure O2.  I had activity within about 4 hours and it was cooking away merrily this morning.  So far so good.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on May 04, 2010, 03:07:59 AM
You, my friend, will have to exercise EXTREME self control to let this one age for awhile!
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: bonjour on May 04, 2010, 03:22:07 AM
You, my friend, will have to exercise EXTREME self control to let this one age for awhile!
why? It should be extremely drinkable once carbonated

Fred
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on May 04, 2010, 10:59:45 AM
The plan as of right now is to let it finish primary, which I'm estimating will take two weeks, give or take, and then rack it into the secondary and let it sit for about 2 months before bottling.  Then probably around 1 month in the bottle to condition before I pop one open (well one may get sampled before that, just for quality control purposes  ;))

After that I'm not going to be shy about drinking it but I'm definitely planning on letting some age in the bottle for awhile.  Hopefully my self control will be enough to allow some of the bottles to survive for over a year.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on May 04, 2010, 11:50:22 AM
Fred, I'm not saying it won't be very drinkable early, but my experience with such high grav brews is that they don't reach their peak until a they've had a decent amount of maturation. It would be a shame to not have the lion's share available once it hits its prime!  ;)   
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: bonjour on May 04, 2010, 12:16:24 PM
I feel too many brewers feel that big beers MUST be aged to be drinkable.  If that is the case then something in your process is amiss.  Big beers generally do improve with age and most will keep for years with no problem.  If they are not dangerously drinkable when bottled/kegged then something is wrong with the process.

Fred
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on May 11, 2010, 02:36:33 AM
SG is 1.034 as of tonight.  Based on that and the appearance of the brew I'd say primary is complete on this one.  I'll let it sit another couple days and then rack to the secondary for aging.

I have to say, the alcohol was very present in the sample I tasted.  A little too present in the flavor I would say at this point.  But it's very young and hopefully a few months of aging will mellow that out.  All in all I'm pleased with the results so far.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on May 11, 2010, 12:13:11 PM
That's around 11.7% abv . . NICE!  :)
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on May 11, 2010, 01:40:40 PM
That's around 11.7% abv . . NICE!  :)

Yep  :)
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on August 01, 2010, 09:36:20 PM
Bottled this one today.  The sample tasted very good and the alcohol presence definitely moderated quite a bit since I racked it.  Assuming my self control is up to the task I'm planning on letting it age another month in the bottles before i crack it open.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on August 01, 2010, 11:36:14 PM
Pretty sure you need another set o' taste buds on it just to verify your findings . . 
 
 :D




Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: The Professor on August 01, 2010, 11:48:50 PM
Bottled this one today.  The sample tasted very good and the alcohol presence definitely moderated quite a bit since I racked it.  Assuming my self control is up to the task I'm planning on letting it age another month in the bottles before i crack it open.

Be sure to put at least a couple of bottles  aside (if you can) to taste 6 or more months down the line.  Based on my experience with Wee Heavy (a favorite 'style' of mine) If it's good now, and you bottled with proper sanitation and attention to keeping the oxygen out of the process,  it'll probably be amazing with more age on it.

Big beers definitely  don't have to be aged...but most such brews will usually benefit greatly from it.
Just my opinion of course (an opinion shared by many)... but your own palate is the deciding factor in the end.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on August 02, 2010, 01:04:56 AM
Pretty sure you need another set o' taste buds on it just to verify your findings . . 
 
 :D

I'm sure I'm going to have no shortage of helpers on that front  ;)


Be sure to put at least a couple of bottles  aside (if you can) to taste 6 or more months down the line. 

I am going to make a valiant effort to do this.  But the batch only ended up yielding 38 bottles so it's going to be a challenge.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on August 02, 2010, 02:52:13 AM
Big beers definitely  don't have to be aged...but most such brews will usually benefit greatly from it.
Just my opinion of course (an opinion shared by many)...

FWIW, I wholeheartedly agree.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on September 24, 2010, 03:21:14 AM
So this one has been in the bottle now for going on two months.  It's been a very slow maturer which is to be expected I guess.  I've sampled three or so bottles starting at 3 weeks in the bottle and I've definitely seen progress in the carbonation but it's taking longer than I initially expected.

The one I sampled tonight had a thin head which dissipated quickly and there's low but noticeable carbonation.  The carbonation on this one should be fairly low but I'm hoping it increases a bit as it ages. 

It tastes a bit sweet which is somewhat moderated by the alcohol presence.  My initial read on this one is that it'll be a one at a time sipping beer which I'll take for the first attempt.

When I brew this one again I'll follow Fred's advice and mash a bit lower.  I'll also carb the next one up a wee bit more. 
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on September 24, 2010, 12:01:01 PM
Everyone needs to have a beer to enjoy over the long haul!

I've not done it, but I know brewers who have added a few grains of dry yeast to the bottles for carbing on really big beers . . like Nott for example. The initial yeast have worked pretty hard on a 1.100 + brew and might need a little hospice!
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: tygo on September 24, 2010, 01:54:52 PM
I added a half pack of US05 at bottling so there should be enough yeast in there.  And like I said it has improved over the last month.  We'll see what it's like in another six months or so.
Title: Re: Wee Heavy Recipe Check
Post by: dhacker on September 24, 2010, 02:29:46 PM
. . . We'll see what it's like in another six months or so.

The wait . . . the hardest part of brewing!   :)