I read a while back that Scottish ales were originally brewed by taking a part of the first runnings and boiling them down to caramelize them. This was done instead of using caramel malt and black roasted malt for the caramel flavor and color. So I gave it a try. I used Marris Otter, I took 1 gallon of the first runnings and boiled it hard for 45 minutes. I could smell the caramel and the stuff looked like maple syrup. I then threw an ounce of fuggle hops in and took the rest of my runnings. The stuff didn't darken up as much as I had hoped but looking at a picture of my hydrometer sample next to the glass in beersmith adjusted to minimum color I think this beer is still within style. And wow can I taste the caramel. It is nice.
screenshot of 9 RSM which is minimum for the style
My hydrometer sample.
Does this look like it is minimum color for the style? I was contemplating steeping a couple ounces of black roasted barley in a cup of water, bringing it to a boil, putting it in my keg and racking on top of it to get the color. Though I am not entering any contests so it really doesn't matter as long as I like the beer.
The recipe was 9 pounds of Marris Otter
1 oz fuggles
S 04 yeast.
FWH with the ounce of Fuggles and boiled for an hour
boiled 1 gallon of first runnings for 45 minutes added the rest along with the hops