Author Topic: Caramelizing First Runnings  (Read 583 times)

Offline beerphilmcd

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Caramelizing First Runnings
« on: February 20, 2021, 11:26:12 AM »
I know it’s not often done and there is debate about its merits, not the point of my post, but I wanted to share how far down you can concentrate wort for Scottish ales etc. so here’s a pic of the wort-syrup solidifying on the spoon as it cools from the end of reducing just over a gallon of wort to less than a quart.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 12:28:11 PM »
Nice.  I haven’t done it in ages, but I recall doing that with Skotrats Traquoir House way back when...
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Offline denny

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 04:01:12 PM »
My last one was like that and I decided I don't want to take it quite that far next time.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 04:42:38 PM »
Pretty cool.


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Offline kramerog

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 04:42:58 PM »
When I last did it for an American-style Oktoberfest, I was pleased with the results although out of style for a BJCP Oktoberfest . I boiled it down to a syrup too, perhaps 1/3 of initial volume from ~1.080 first runnings.

Offline goose

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 05:22:40 PM »
I have caramelized thee first runnings for a barleywine (a buddy of mine and I brew one every year and try something different each time).  I didn't reduce it that far but had about a quart that we reduced by around 50%.  Still in the keg aging and haven't tasted it yet.  Will do so when I get back home.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2021, 07:41:13 PM »
I bet that's awesome on some vanilla ice cream or cheesecake!

I tried this once with apple juice to boost the OG of a cider. I didn't like how the cider turned out (it had kind of a "cooked" quality to it), but the apple caramel itself was amazing. I literally mopped up the pot I boiled it down in with a couple of handfuls of marshmallows to get every last drop.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2021, 10:03:10 PM »
Definitely intrigued! Looking into to this.

Offline beerphilmcd

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 06:05:42 AM »
Nice.  I haven’t done it in ages, but I recall doing that with Skotrats Traquoir House way back when...
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Yep, it’s definitely linked to scotch ales in the homebrew world.


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Offline beerphilmcd

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2021, 06:07:14 AM »
My last one was like that and I decided I don't want to take it quite that far next time.
I’ve done this a couple times and think it does well for big Scottish style brews. It might become overdone in smaller beers.


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Offline beerphilmcd

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 06:10:05 AM »
I have caramelized thee first runnings for a barleywine (a buddy of mine and I brew one every year and try something different each time).  I didn't reduce it that far but had about a quart that we reduced by around 50%.  Still in the keg aging and haven't tasted it yet.  Will do so when I get back home.
To me this process is a best match to wee heavy and barleywine ales. I’m sure it’ll work elsewhere, maybe doppelbock or big stouts.


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Offline beerphilmcd

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 06:14:46 AM »
I bet that's awesome on some vanilla ice cream or cheesecake!

I tried this once with apple juice to boost the OG of a cider. I didn't like how the cider turned out (it had kind of a "cooked" quality to it), but the apple caramel itself was amazing. I literally mopped up the pot I boiled it down in with a couple of handfuls of marshmallows to get every last drop.
I gotta say it’s slightly better than lme to taste, but still not something I’d crave. Not sure what it is about malt sugars but they just don’t hit the culinary spot for me except as a fermentation vehicle. Looks tasty though and my yeast love it!!!

As for your apple-caramel, YUM!!! I get what you’re saying though about a cooked character. Cooked fruit just does that during fermentation.


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Offline Kevin

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 02:27:34 PM »
There are so many myths and outright falsehoods about Scottish brewing. This is one of them. Brew logs show that when compared to their London counterparts Scottish breweries boil times were just the same and very often utilized shorter boil times... even for stouts and strong ales. If you like the process that is fine. I'm not criticizing the process. Just don't call it, or believe that it is somehow, "Scottish".
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 05:49:58 PM »
There are so many myths and outright falsehoods about Scottish brewing. This is one of them. Brew logs show that when compared to their London counterparts Scottish breweries boil times were just the same and very often utilized shorter boil times... even for stouts and strong ales. If you like the process that is fine. I'm not criticizing the process. Just don't call it, or believe that it is somehow, "Scottish".


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ot9YXVkHF8

yup, all here in a beersmith episode. i love it when i get to hear ron pattinson condense his stuff down into a single topic. cool stuff.

as well https://www.beeradvocate.com/articles/13450/international-collaboration-in-the-19th-century/

really fascinating that scotland used to be a major international exporter of pretty standard pale ale.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Caramelizing First Runnings
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2021, 02:26:55 AM »
Totally disagree.  This is an accepted way of brewing a wee heavy, whether it is historically accurate or not.  It represents a way of brewing that many have adopted.  This is not about history. It is about a recent approach to brewing. Different things.
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