Author Topic: Scottish ale question  (Read 1230 times)

Offline yso191

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Scottish ale question
« on: November 28, 2015, 11:15:02 PM »
This is my second attempt at brewing a Scottish ale.  I am currently boiling a gallon of first runnings, intending to reduce it to a pint or so, so that I can get some actual carmelization. 

My question is, is there an issue with adding back the amount that is boiled off to the main boil kettle so that my volumes would be equal to what I would have if I didn't reduce the gallon of first runnings?  I would be adding RO water.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2015, 11:42:10 PM »
When ive reduced the first gallon in the past ive just used extra in the sparge, but preboil ought to be fine too.

Offline yso191

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 12:05:25 AM »
Thanks Jim.  I just dumped 3/4 gal. in the boil kettle.  Sure wish the reduction went more quickly...
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 12:12:39 AM »
I doubt you did much good at all. Carmalization only occurs when the temperature of the sugar solution goes over something like 230F. You have to remove a lot of the water to enable the temperature to get that high. I can tell you it looks like magma and is very thick and it is a solid when the magma is cooled. It's essentially soft to hard crack sugar candy and it tastes great.

By the way, when done correctly, it does make a notable difference in a small Scottish.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 12:21:10 AM »
I think its just ok if you dont reduce enough, but doesnt make a lot of difference. Along the lines of what Martin is saying, when I reduce I boil till the bubbles start to stack and not want to pop on their own very easy. Then when it starts leaving a coating on the spoon I add the rest of my first runnings. In my experience the difference between reducing or not reducing is really subtle. I suppose if you boiled till it was candy that might make slightly more difference. For what its worth I quit doing it. Its kind of the "decoction" of Scottish brewing in that respect. Some will say it makes no difference, some that it doesn't make enough difference for the work (me), and some will say you simply can not make a Scottish without it.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 12:23:19 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline yso191

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 02:43:27 AM »
I doubt you did much good at all. Carmalization only occurs when the temperature of the sugar solution goes over something like 230F. You have to remove a lot of the water to enable the temperature to get that high. I can tell you it looks like magma and is very thick and it is a solid when the magma is cooled. It's essentially soft to hard crack sugar candy and it tastes great.

By the way, when done correctly, it does make a notable difference in a small Scottish.

Martin,

I hope and think I did better this time.  Last year over Thanksgiving I brewed this beer and stopped too early.  This time it took 2 hours and 10 minutes (!) to get the gallon of first runnings to where I think actual carmelization occurred.  I took a short video to illustrate:

« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 02:46:59 AM by yso191 »
Steve
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 02:45:14 AM »
I cannot disagree more with you Jim. In my experience, reducing the runnings to a thick syrup certainly makes a difference in the end product. For it to be noticeable, the reduction needs to be about 15% of the initial volume. In my case I take a gallon down to about a pint.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2015, 02:49:26 AM »
I cannot disagree more with you Jim. In my experience, reducing the runnings to a thick syrup certainly makes a difference in the end product. For it to be noticeable, the reduction needs to be about 15% of the initial volume. In my case I take a gallon down to about a pint.
Read again what I said...

"Some will say it makes no difference, some that it doesn't make enough difference for the work (me), and some will say you simply can not make a Scottish without it."

Do you still disagree?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 02:57:02 AM »
Yes, I still disagree. Worth every bit of effort. For me it doesn't take any extra time and minimal effort. I setup the camp stove with the first runnings and all is good.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2015, 03:03:05 AM »
It's been worth the effort for me, too. I agree it has to be boiled down to that point to see the real benefit. Getting the reduction going as you finish the runoff definitely saves time.
Jon H.

Offline yso191

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2015, 03:40:37 AM »
So someone who knows, please tell me if you think I got to the caramelization phase based on the video.  I think I did, but...
Steve
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2015, 03:43:41 AM »
Looks great Steve. Better than I normally get. Sounds like you had a knowledgeable assistant with you.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2015, 03:47:44 AM »
Looks great Steve. Better than I normally get. Sounds like you had a knowledgeable assistant with you.

+1.  Looks good to me.
Jon H.

Offline Whiskers

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2015, 08:53:57 AM »
After spending the last day or two going over the last six years' worth of home-made candi syrup internet banter and experimentation, I have to suggest that what I think you are after is not carmelization  (a word?) at all, but maillard reaction products.  I wonder if a bit of D45 would not be out of place in a scottish ale.

Does maltose invert or does it even need to invert for maillard products? 

I did do the wort reduction thing once some years back for a scottish ale.  It was pretty fun and not too much work.  The syrup tasted phenomenal. 

Offline pete b

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Re: Scottish ale question
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2015, 12:44:26 PM »
I think it makes a difference and is fun. Don't use your favorite sauce pan. I use a hot plate that I plug in outside so I can keep an eye on it.
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